Marine Reservist Attacks Bearded Greek Orthodox Priest Mistaken for Terrorist

A4S_bruce111109_93606dA Marine reservist, Jasen Bruce, is under arrest in Tampa after beating a man whom he believed was a Muslim terrorist. The man turned out to be Father Alexios Marakis, a bearded Greek Orthodox priest in a traditional Greek robe.

Marakis was lost and had pulled over for directions when he approached Bruce, who initially had his back to him while getting clothes out of the trunk of his car. Marakis speaks little English. Bruce hit him with a tire iron and then chased him three blocks. He tackled the priest, pinned him to the ground, and called police to say that he had caught a terrorist.

Police say that Bruce later claimed (1) the priest tried to rob him, (2) the priest grabbed Bruce’s crotch and made an overt sexual advance in perfect English, and (3) the Greek Orthodox priest yelled “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great.”

On the last part, Bruce reportedly explained, “That’s what they tell you right before they blow you up.”

We give this man weapons.

When he is not on reserve duty with the Marine, Bruce, 28, is a sales manager for APS Pharmacy in Palm Harbor. What is interesting is the media is reporting that his blog discusses the benefits of increasing testosterone and human growth hormones. He previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery in 2007 for shoving a tow truck driver. It is not clear if he was also a terrorist.

Bruce is now facing charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Marakis was hospitalized but does not want to press charges. My guess is that he would like to get out of Tampa.

For the full story, click here.

52 thoughts on “Marine Reservist Attacks Bearded Greek Orthodox Priest Mistaken for Terrorist”

  1. I guess if the state’s attorney( or its equivalent in Florida) drops the charges because they can’t prove its case,in H’s world that means his name is cleared. The article actually states that it doesn’t clear his name, but that the state can’t prove their case. Now, if it was a Catholic Priest, maybe the reservist’s story about the priest grabbing his genitals would be believable.

  2. Homework submitted without references will be returned ungraded.

  3. Hiernonymous,

    I am waiting for an answer, should I wait two weeks?

  4. Mr Turley,

    It’s been a few weeks since the news broke that Mr. Bruce was cleared. Given the alacrity with which you posted your initial outrage at his alleged misdeeds, I would have thought that simple intellectual honesty and a sense of right and wrong would have led you to make notice of the fact of his clearing, as well. Perhaps you’ve done so and I missed it; if so, I’d appreciate a link or some directions to it.
    It’s a shame that when one googles Mr. Bruce’s name, what leaps out at one is still the mob of knee-jerk denunciation from last November. While you are not alone in being a bit faster to denounce than to retract, I thought you should know that at least one person is watching this as a test of your good name. To paraphrase your entry above, “we give this man a keyboard?”

  5. Mike,
    Just a little follow-up. Today’s Tampa Trib reported that Jasen Bruce has been cleared and will not be charged. I wasn’t going to hold my breath waiting for Mr. Turley to follow up on his righteously indignant original piece. Did you want to discuss ‘spin’ some more?
    xxx ooo

  6. Mike,
    – I live in Tampa; you live in Orlando. The story happened in Tampa. If proximity = credibility, you lose. (Not that I’d argue anything so inane.)
    – If you are not familiar with jouralists using pseudonyms, that speaks more to your education than to the nefarious nature of pseudonyms. I direct your attention to Benjamin Franklin as a good starting point.
    – That said, I’m not the one with pretensions to being a journalist; that would be Mr. Turley. My reasons for remaining anonymous are quite straightforward and have more to do with not wanting some unbalanced nutcase showing up on my doorstep than with sinister agendas.
    – Now that we’ve dispensed with the ad hominems, Mike, are you suggesting that it is NOT the proper role of the journalist to attempt to ascertain the facts before presenting a story as truth? If you’ll read my comments again, you’ll note that I didn’t take a side – I mentioned that there were alternative explanations offered, and that the journalist had not done any elementary fact-checking. I note that you don’t dispute that.

  7. HB, I live in Florida and have followed this story. Your efforts to spin it are just that, spin. And speaking of journalistic credibility, all of the responsible journalists with whom I’m familiar do not find it necessary to hide behind pseudonyms. Your doing so likely means that you simply have an agenda that is not necessarily related to the truth. How about it, HB? Are you willing to do some actual journalism? I expect not.

  8. Outrage and puffery are the bread and butter of blogdom; this story is a pretty good example of why bloggers are not a good exchange for the old-style press. Bruce has had interviews in which he addresses many of the assertions above. He noted that the confrontation took place in a gated private parking garage on a cul-de-sac – how did the priest get in there, and why would he be asking directions there and not in one of the several nearby convenience stores? His description of events is obviously different. He also addresses the smear concerning the gay porn sites by noting that he did a modeling stint, and that several gay porn sites have appropriated images from the modeling site to boost their business.

    If Turley were a journalist, he’d dig into this. Walk, or have someone walk, the scene of the event to see how it compares with Bruce’s account. Maybe scare up the name of the modeling agency Bruce shot with and see how his accusation of misappropration by the porn sites stacks up. You know – work to find the truth, instead of offering inanities such as “we give this man weapons.”

    What about it, Jon? You willing to do some actual journalism?

  9. Clearly too much testosterone in his system. He should have *all* sources of testerone taken away from him…

  10. Thanks, pardon me?, for the Yates reminder:

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    –The Second Coming

  11. He deserved it. On 9/11/01 the Archbishop of Athens said we deserved it. As a Greek American I know what an anti-American anti-Semite he is if he doesn’t bathe, shave and wear pants unlike the priests of my youth under Iakovos. If he doesn’t speak English, he came here to spread poison. You can imagine what unnatural islamosoviet actions take place under his filthy gutter-swabbing cassock.

  12. I was reminded of this song by Mespo’s comment in the Catholic Delaware thread, but i think it fits better here.

  13. I was surfing through my many cable channels yesterday and found the Outdoors channel. The night seemed to be devoted to weaponry and self defense and there were at least two shows that were shot on the blackwater training site. Very scary stuff and the few minutes I saw did nothing to relax my anxiety.

  14. Paully:

    the website that the Moar you know has listed. Maybe it isnt a gay web site so I may just be making an assumption.

  15. Paully,

    Other than claimed to having been grabbed by the man as one of the reasons that he beat this man, I don’t know.

  16. Byron–

    Here are links to three articles that were written by Jeremy Scahill, author of “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army,” for The Nation:

    Blackwater Attempted to Bribe Iraqi Officials (11/10/2009)

    Judge Refuses to Dismiss War Crimes Case Against Blackwater (10/22/2009)

    Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder (8/4/2009)


    And from AlterNet:

    Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater: They’re Christian Supremacists With a Conversion Agenda (VIDEO) (11/6/2007)

  17. Byron,

    Other than being influenced by anonymous commentary, what has led you to determine his sexuality?

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