Flashback: Don't Mess With "Vietnam Tom"

Brad Fox | January 28, 2015
Font Size

Making a name for himself on the internet, Thomas Bruso, AKA Tommy Slick, Vietnam Tom, and Epic Beard Man is quite the character. 

Tom claims to be veteran of Vietnam, is around 67 years old and from Chicago Illinois. In an interview  about his incident on a bus (featured below) he said, "It's overwhelming, I don't deserve all that attention I was just doing what is right, he was a murderer, I got a murderer off the streets, I feel good about that, He was wanted for murder and did 18 years in the penitentiary." Tom said now it's his third strike and he will be facing 25 to life. 


Tom says that the argument started when he was talking with his friend on the bus about borrowing money for some Tracy Adam's shoes he could wear to his mothers funeral.

He said, "My boy is going to shine em for me." When the aggressor heard this he chimed in, "Why does it gotta be your boy?" 

Tom then replied, "A boy could be anyone, it's my brother," to which the younger guy replied, "Why does it gotta be your brother shining your shoes?" 

The interview gets pretty interesting around a minute in a half in when Tom says, "

"So I went to the front of the bus cause I was getting real mad and scared when he showed me that knife. . . and next thing you know he suckered me in the jaw bone. . . then I says, you gonna get a Vietnam now  mother, and I whipped his butt so fast and so quick, and so pretty, I hit him with the Muhammad Ali. . ."

He then breaks down a bit about his mother dying two days after the incident and gets mad when he thinks about why that guy, who murdered someone, was on the streets.

Here is is after the incident.


This is non Tommy's first viral video, however. He was publically tased at a baseball game

See his alarming interview here for more on his take on things. 

On top of all of this, it is very likely he never served in Vietnam and exaggerates most of his far-fetched stories. Lesson learned, not everything you see on the internet is as it seems. 

Here is an in depth look into the rise and fall of epic beard man from SF Weekly

Mental disorder is something our society needs to understand better and come to terms with. Many families give up on their mentally ill family members leaving them to the state, or to roam around getting themselves hurt. 

The police are the front line in a mental health crisis in our country. 

Update: These records show a Thomas Brusso who was in the army for 3 months before being discharged. 





mrc merch