Thursday, September 20, 2012

Arson! White Supremacists! Facebook Riot! The Incredible Back Story Behind The "Crap Hole" Building At 3203 Logan Avenue North! NOW, WITH THE BUILDING DEMOLISHED, THE TALE CAN FINALLY BE TOLD!

Facebook photo used under First Amendment Fair Comment and Criticism, blog post by John HoffT

Northside residents who lived nearby just started calling it "the crap hole," and for the longest time they only wanted it gone, gone, gone. Confusingly--but perhaps in keeping with the sprawling, craptastic nature of the structure--it had three different addresses, and they weren't all on the same street. It was 1900 and 1904 Lowry Ave. N. But, officially, it was 3203 Logan Ave. N.

I wrote about this building as a possible candidate for "obsessive blogging" to spur official action, in one blog post written from Afghanistan, click here, and another blog post on August 23. Behind the scenes I started to hear frantic noises: The issue is being worked on. PLEASE DON'T START BLOGGING ABOUT THIS BUILDING.

Too late. Even passing public mention of the building seemed to roil dark and mysterious waters, beneath which slept a beast. The name of this beast was Thomas Amadeus David, the son of the elderly owner. Once upon a time David had been well known. In fact, he had been infamous. In the early 1990s, David tried to start a "White Student Union" at the University of Minnesota. Controversy over the issue literally caused a riot. Notably, I can find no single online resource telling the story from beginning to end, in coherent fashion; but bits and pieces of the story can be found in PDFs of the Minnesota Daily, click here for an example. Here is another snippet which tells the tale in abbreviated form, click here. 

For the longest time, however, only a few of...

...the most elite movers and shakers in the city knew of Tom David's association with the owner of the dilapidated building, Donna Rudebusch. The owner was elderly and reportedly a bit confused. Naturally, city and neighborhood officials wanted to be gentle about the need to demolish the building in which she was living and, indeed, there was a lot of discussion about some entity like Habitat for Humanity buying the building at a fair price. The word I have behind the scenes, however, is the owner was, er, "difficult."

A Felonious Blast From The Past

Of course, things became even more difficult when Tom David was involved.

Not mellowed by time, Tom David is still an avowed white separatist who throws the label "cultural Marxists" around to describe those who disagree with him. On his Facebook page, before the settings were changed (I made screen shots) he had a picture of Adolph Hitler addressing a crowd and the caption "I have a dream." David had pictures that compared black people to monkeys. One Facebook forum participant who looked at his albums said she need Lysol for her eyes.

In addition to being a white separatist, David is also a felon on probation with a notable rap sheet. By his own admission in social media, he's broke,  divorced once and the second marriage is also on the skids. Conditions for his "terroristic threats" conviction in 2009 include "contact with children arranged through Family Court" so it appears the "terroristic threats" took place in the course of a domestic situation.

David's first criminal charges were in 1992 when he was charged with "unauthorized use of a tear gas compound." I've never even SEEN that charge before on MNCIS. That charge and a disorderly conduct charge did not stick, but David was convicted of Assault in the 5th Degree as part of the 1992 incident. In 2000, David pled guilty to "terroristic threats." Conditions included "no bullet proof vest." Once again, I've never seen that on MNCIS. Another condition was "commit no acts of domestic abuse."

After the 2000 incident, David kept his nose clean except for a speeding ticket. But in 2009 he was charged with felony level terroristic threats and entered a guilty plea. Once again, conditions included contact with children to be arranged with family court. David also had to undergo psychiatric evaluation and/or treatment and follow the shrink's recommendations, abstain from controlled substances AND alcohol, supply a DNA sample, attend Alcoholics Anonymous weekly "unless probation thinks it should be more often," submit to random testing, and not ship, possess, transport or receive a firearm.

Or ammo.

A Fiery Virtual Riot On Social Media

Some time between 12:03 AM on August 23, when I wrote a blog post about the "crap hole" building, and 12:46 AM, some anonymous person submitted a comment to my blog suggesting that a "Molotov cocktail" could take care of the problem the building presented. The comment was short and to the point. I remember the phrase "Molotov cocktail" but I don't remember if "Molotov" was spelled correctly. A suggestion to commit arson is not the kind of comment I approve, but I thought it was just some frustrated resident making a bad joke. I deleted the comment without publishing it, and wrote my own comment, as follows.

Comment rejected which may have been submitted in a spirit of fun, but suggests an action which is not legal and, furthermore, dangerous to surrounding property.

The next day, August 24, at 9:42 PM, a Blogspot profile with the name "Tom David" left the following comment, replicated below with original spelling error included.

My mother, Donna Rudebusch, owns the house at 3203 Logan Av. N. and she had a signed agreement with Habitat for Humanity to tear down the damaged commercial structure and this was slated to be done this spring. However, they pulled out of the deal and instead the city decided that the entire structure should come down. So, my mother is now looking for a new home within her very modest budget. The city just doesn't want to be left with a bill for tearing the place down so my mother is now once again trying to find someone to tear it down with no cost to her. So, she has not created all these delays in getting the structure repaired, the city has with its ever changing desires with repsect to the property.

The profile of "Tom David" was created in June of 2011, and blogs he follows include "AWM: Anti-White Media" and, interestingly, a blog about South African issues told from a south African perspective, click here. After the 9:42 comment, a few other individuals commented on the issues concerning the building and/or reacted to the comment above.

Then on August 28, at 2:51 AM, Tom David posted the following comment about an attempted arson at the property in question.

Yes, the city has said that no repairs whatsoever could be done on the tornado damaged commercial section. But someone just tried to burn it down and the fire department is out there on it right now. I wouldn't be surprised if the person who did it has posted on this page. Hopefully the police will investigate.

This comment was quickly followed up by another remark at 3:18 AM.

O.K., I have turned the fire department's arson investigator onto this page because I'm 99% sure that someone who posted or at least visited this page tried to burn my 66 year old mother out of her home last night.

Sitting at a Burger King in rural Minnesota where I was visiting relatives, a couple hundred miles from the craptastic building in question, I approved Tom David's accusatory comments and then shot back with the following at 2:26 PM that same day.

Best of luck with that. If I had the technical capacity to let authorities know who was visiting my blog or posting on my blog, I'd be letting the authorities know the ISP address of the person who posted info about the Terrell Mayes shooting on two random threads.

Be sure to "investigate" the North Talk Facebook page while you are at it, where there were, I believe, a couple HUNDRED comments about this crappy building.

I got in contact with a neighborhood official and made it clear I had no way to trace the ISP address of the "Molotov cocktail" remark, which of course I hadn't approved in the first place. If arson investigators wanted to find me and document my whereabouts on the night in question, I wasn't hard to find and my whereabouts were spectacularly easy to document. To this day, no arson official has bothered to contact me and if they do, I'll invite them to have a cocktail.

But not a Molotov cocktail, naturally.

Tom David was on a tear and now, and with my blog commentary pointing the way to the North Talk Facebook forum he found his way over there. Of course, at this time I still had no idea who Tom David was or whether "Tom David" was a real name.

It wasn't long before Tom David was on the North Talk Facebook page. Still in rural Minnesota, this time at a bar that served nothing late at night but pizza (pretty good pizza, though) I spent hours on the
North Talk Facebook page going back and forth with Tom David about his mom and her crappy building and his role or responsibility as her son. One of the first things I did, naturally, was to check out Tom David's Facebook page. What I found there was so incredible the first thing I did was make sure I saved screen shots so there would be absolutely no denying what was there. The guy was some kind of Hitler fan and made no secret about his loathing for black people.

Behind the scenes, I was getting messages about a "Tom David" who had been involved in the White Students Union at the University of Minnesota. My response was, "But where is the SMOKING LINK? Where is the proof this is the same Tom David who is the son of Donna Rudebusch and possesses this incredible Facebook profile?"

Other members of the North Talk forum began airing the links between "our" Tom David and the guy who tried to establish the White Students Union. (I keep saying "tried to" establish it, because apparently you need at least 3 students to form an organization and while Tom David managed to create a big public controversy he wasn't able to find enough interested students to get his organization off the ground) Soon enough, Tom David verified he was the same guy; only older, divorced and more felonious than the younger Tom David. Oh, and he'd traveled the world. He'd been to BULGARIA, for example, and sang a German song in a jail cell. Tom David seemed very proud of this story and kept telling people on Facebook what a great place BULGARIA was, someplace smart people would like to move before the coming financial collapse.

Oh, and he was obsessed with granite countertops. They were a sign of opulent extravagance and those who possessed them were probably "under water" in their mortgages. Those who disagreed with him were "cultural Marxists" and he was oh-so-superior to all of us. In very little time he got himself temporarily banned from the forum, but I was banned right along with him for various "Maverick went below the flight deck" rule violations. Later, when I was un-banned and back on the forum, I compared the wild scene to the infamous "skinhead throws a chair and hits Geraldo Rivera" incident, linked below from YouTube. And another participant in the forum agreed, yeah, that's pretty much what it was like on that chat thread.

Because he was banned for only a short while (like I was) Tom David came back. But he wasn't back long before he was permanently banned.

Bright red notices appeared on the building. Behind the scenes, I heard things about the arson investigation secondhand, but the time is not right to reveal those things. Reportedly the damage was minor and part of me wonders if the investigation will even be pursued. It was, after all, a building slated for demolition. With Tom David no longer on North Talk, and no longer commenting on my blog (at least openly) he disappeared from our notice.

Miracle On Logan Avenue North

Residents were told not to get our hopes up. The building would probably not be demolished in time for Harvest Fest 2012. But a demolition order was issued September 17. By Monday the 24th, demolition was taking place. Though it might be necessary to burn a bundle of sage the size of a small refrigerator to rid the spot of all the "bad energy" associated with the craptastic building and white supremacist Tom David, residents are relieved.

But a story this good must not be allowed to go unrecorded. So, as Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story.  


Anonymous said...

There is a Minnesota Daily story dated April 16, 1992. It reports some alleged events on Feb 8, 1992 which led to 3 criminal charges being filed against Thomas Amadeus David. The charges reported happen to include one misdemeanor charge of "UNAUTHORIZED USE OF TEAR GAS COMPOUND."

The story has been transcribed for the convenience of the reader and the internet.

" David charged with assault of Anti-Racist Action members

By Gita Sitaramiah Staff Reporter

Tom David, the University student trying to organize a white student union, was charged Wednesday with spraying Anti-Racist Action members with tear gas outside Coffman Memorial Union in February.

David, a College of Liberal Arts senior, is charged with three misdemeanors in Hennepin County District Court: unauthorized use of a tear gas compound, fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Each misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $700 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, a member of Anti-Racist Action asked David to leave a group meeting at Coffman Feb. 8.

Two group members, identified in the complaint only by their initials, escorted David outside Coffman and watched him cross the street. A friend of David's struck the male group member on the back of his neck with a closed fist, the complaint said. The group member tried to ward off the repeated blows, police said.

David then ran back across the street and sprayed tear gas in the group member's face the complaint said. Both members were hit by the spray.

David and the other man then fled, according to the complaint.

David, however, said he acted in self-defense after he was attacked by a group member.

"The guy tries to attack me from behind and I turn around and this guy's in my face," he said. David said about six to eight group members were outside Coffman at the time.

"I don't think that anyone would commit suicide in that fashion being outnumbered six to one," David said."

MNCIS shows that on April 15, 1992 charges were filed State of Minnesota vs THOMAS AMADEUS DAVID Case No. 27-CR-92-030496 as follows:

UNAUTHORIZED USE OF TEAR GAS COMPOUND 624.731S8(C)(3) Misdemeanor 02/08/1992

ASSAULT IN THE 5TH DEGREE 609.224 Misdemeanor 02/08/1992

DISORDERLY CONDUCT 609.72 Misdemeanor 02/08/1992

Anonymous said...

A previous tear gas incident reported in the Minnesota Daily January 14, 1992.

Transcribed and posted for the benefit of the reader and the internet.

"Tom David, ARA member Scuffle Near Kolthoff Hall

White separatist Tom David and a member of a University anti-racisim student group scuffeled on campus Monday morning David told University Police.

David and Jean-Marc Troadec, an Anti-Racist Action member, argued at about 10:30 a.m. after riding the same bus to the University's East Bank. David, whose efforts to form a white student union on campus last year triggered an uproar, told police he and Troadec exchanged words on the bus and that Troadec followed him to the front lobby of Kolthoff Hall.

David, a College of Liberal Arts senior, said Troadec pushed him against the wall, prompting David to spray Troadec with Mace.

"He wanted to fight with me until he saw I had the Mace," David said later, adding he thought Troadec was following him to discover David's class schedule.

But Troadec, who said he also plans to speak with police, said he was trying to start a discussion with David, not follow him.

Troadec said he pushed David after David shoved his finger into Troadec's chin in a threatening manner.

Troadec, a CLA sophomore, said he wasn't hurt by the Mace and that he had never intended to fight.

The two said they talked afetr rthe incident for about two hours. -Gita Sitaramiah"

Anonymous said...

More 1st Amendment retaliation data preserved, recorded, and archived for use in your next trial.
Jeez, I think we're gonna need another hard drive soon.

Anonymous said...

At least Tom David is honest about his feelings

Anonymous said...

The entire confrontation on North Talk was started by you, that's a fact. And for your "baiting behavior" you were suspended for two days. And the first thing you did on your return was more baiting behavior.
If the administrators had the balls to enforce the rules against you, you should have been banned, but since Jeff Skrenes is your personal friend I guess you got away with it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:49, stop blowing smoke and please explain how posting previously published stories on misconduct is in any way, shape or form, a violation of First Amendment rights. Secondly, who are you threatening here, John Hoff or the two anonymous posters who shared the information? Or are you too hopped up on anger-fueled adrenaline to read the difference?

Anonymous said...

There is a Minnesota Daily story dated September 25, 1992. It reports some alleged events from September 22, 1992. This time the alleged events involve Thomas Amadeus David and the University of Minnesota Association of Gay/Lesbian/Bi Student Organizations and Their Friends.

The story has been transcribed and posted for the convenience of the reader and the internet.

"White separatist targets campus gays

A Student who organized a white students' union has turned his attention to the homosexual community.

By Mary Mussell Staff Reporter

Self-proclaimed white separatist Tom David has turned his attention toward the University's gay and lesbian community, distributing flyers Tuesday linking "homosexual behavior" to a decline in "the white birth rate."

David, who last year atttempted to register a white student union as a student organization, delivered copies of the flyer to the office of the Association of Gay/Lesbian/Bi Student Organizations and Their Friends.

Gary Schiff, one of the group's co-chairs, said he contemplated filing a harassment complaint against David with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, but decided against it. "He's no threat," Schiff said.

"He's the joke of the University. The primitive flyer he passed out is laughable."

But David likened his efforts to war.

"I have access to about 40 men who are willing to put their lives on the line for the white race," David said in an interview.

In a statement delivered to the Daily yesterday, David wrote of his band of "Holy Warriors."

"Tom David is not going to go away and nor will the White Student Union," the letter stated.

The letter also spells out David's intentions for the upcoming school year.

"Our main thrust this year will be against the University faggot community," David wrote. "We will teach males to be men by destroying those among us who are non-men."

Events in the recent past suggest David may be willing to act on his threats.

This summer, David was sentenced to three days in the Hennepin County workhouse for his role in an altercation with members of the Anti-Racism Action group.

After participating in a WMMR radio call-in show Feb. 8, David assaulted an Anti-Racist Action group member by spraying him in the face with Mace.

The confrontation between Schiff and David was verbal, not physical.

David and three male followers showed up at the association's office yesterday. Schiff says one of David's companions handed him a copy of the flyer.

But David says Schiff requested to see a copy of the flyer. David says he only went to the office for information.

"I wanted to go up there to find out what the faggots have planned for this year," David said.

Schiff says he asked David why he was there, but made no attempt to keep David out of the office.

"Our office manager gave him a tour and David took some safe-sex literature," Schiff said.

"Seemed like they were scared to come in," Schiff said. "If he is trying to make a media stunt out of this, then he is failing miserably."

Along with David's attacks on gays, the letter to the Daily goes on to describe David's attraction to Nazi Germany, his contempt for women and his advocacy of violent action.

"In order to bring about these changes," the letter states, "we realize that violence and even brutality are historically necessary."

David first came to the attention of the University community last year when he tried unsucessfully to have his White Student Union registered as a student organization."

Johnny Northside! said...

I resent your remark that Jeff Skrenes doesn't have balls.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about Tom David and the University of Minnesota. The worst part was just how obnoxious all the anti-racist protesters got, as if making speeches against one white supremacist could erase decades of racism and white privilege. They even bashed a guy on the head for wearing a Swedish modified swatstika to an anti-racism rally.

Tom David was a troll in a pre-internet age.

But regardless, his mother shouldn't be burned out of her house - as crappy as it might be and as much of an eye sore as it might be.