Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 3, 2011

An Update On Steve Rude’s Recent Arrest

imageA few e-mailers have expressed concern about the Steve Rude arrest story, stating that it would be nice to know as much information as possible concerning what the longtime illustrator was arrested for doing before being asked to maybe stop by Rude's eBay store and make a purchase in support of bail and legal counsel. This wasn't a primary concern of mine because I figure if it was something minor than Rude deserved our consideration for the great inconvenience and misfortune of being arrested for something like that, and if it was something major -- I didn't think even from what little I know about Rude it would be major -- he would deserve our consideration in a more directly compassionate way. Still, I understand why folks would want to know as much information as possible.

From my e-mail correspondence with Jaynelle Rude, I did learn the following. I'll try to present this as cleanly as possible, although please note I haven't been able to track down the other folks in question, and I can imagine the whole topic being a very raw one for the Rudes.
* Monday night's incident was as reported the latest development in a longstanding dispute between Rude and his neighbors. This includes the barking dogs cited in some reports. This also includes Rude stating at some point during a previous permutation of their encounters that he'd like to kill the neighbors, which was apparently enough for them to secure a restraining order.

* the incident in question from Monday night concerns the aforementioned barking dogs, which were out again where Rude could hear them as he handed out Halloween candy in costume. Rude responded to the barking dogs by throwing rocks at the fence behind which the dogs were barking in an attempt to silence them.

* one of the dog-owning neighbors confronted Rude verbally, followed by the other when the first one retreated inside. Rude says this quickly became verbally abusive, and included an invite for Steve to come over to where the second neighbor, a male, was standing. This ends with Rude ripping the neighbor's shirt and shoving him backwards, causing the second neighbor to also go indoors. This would be the basis of the assault charge.

* Rude returned to handing out Halloween candy. The cops -- Rude says in four police cars -- found him at his candy-dispensing station and asked after a concealed weapon. When the cop to whom he was speaking asked him to turn around and put his hands behind his back, Rude at first tried to ascertain if he was being arrested and then complied.

* Rude suffered some physical abuse during the arrest and later at the jail, the latter of which will be looked at by a doctor.
So that's the best information that I have, and I think provides a rough idea as to events -- even though, and let me emphasize this, it shouldn't for a single second be treated as sworn testimony or an all-sides account. At any rate, if you were worried about buying a print of Rude's and finding out later he set fire to someone's dogs or beat up an entire household of people Roadhouse-style, this will hopefully assuage those fears.

I wish Steve and Jaynelle a just outcome in what sounds like an ordeal with potentially damaging consequences, consequences that would seem to me to outweigh by a factor of several times the incidents that actually unfolded. I also hope that fate and their own actions combine so nothing like this ever happens again.
posted 9:00 am PST | Permalink

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