Epic Beard Man's sister lives in Minnesota
|The fight that made Epic Beard Man internet famous.|
Bruso became better known as "Epic Beard Man" after the video of his transit confrontation got more than a million hits in 24 hours. People began drawing cartoons of him and generally giving him the Tron Guy treatment.
SF Weekly tracked down Bruso, and reveals that his family lives in the Midwest, including a sister in Wisconsin and another in Minnesota.
His sister in Minnesota, whom we'll call Anne because she asked that his family members' names be withheld, feels the same way. Anne says she could bring herself to watch only a couple of minutes of some of the news, man-on-the-street interviews, and documentary clips on YouTube in which her brother embarked on rants familiar to
the North Beachers who know him as Crazy Tom, Vietnam Tom, or Touchdown Tommy, one of the neighborhood's most infamous unmedicated kooks: He was stuck in an oven by his mom, he beat up his father, he was a vet who turned into a pimp in Chicago.
Anne ripped the stories apart. No, their mom never put him in an oven. He was never a pimp, nor did he beat up his father. And contrary to what everyone believes, including people raising money online for Bruso, Vietnam Tom never went to 'Nam.
"If he has your attention, he can tell you all types of stories and make himself feel good about who he is for that moment in time," she says. Yet she's tired of him spinning and believing his own tall tales. "We're like, 'You're not going to be rich and famous, you're bullshitting them. And you believe it. You believe you're Vietnam Tom, that you're Epic Beard Man.'"
Anne says her brother, who says he is bipolar, gets out of control because he refuses to take his meds. He says the medication turns him into a vegetable, but she has another diagnosis: "If you're taking meds, and you're calm, you can't act out and blame others. ... He chooses to be in the limelight of negative attention."
Obviously he's getting plenty of it now. "It's a delusional life he's living through this media glittery-type attention," Anne says. "It's wrong to even pick up on it. I'm asking you not to glorify him."