Doug Bruce comes out of jail swinging

Published on: June 4th, 2012

Is there any end to the can’t-look-away spectacle that is Douglas Bruce, anti-tax crusader and convicted tax evader? Apparently not.

Fresh out of jail after serving 104 days on a tax-dodging conviction, he wasted no time finding some reporters to gripe about the conditions of his imprisonment. Among his numerous complaints (over which he plans to sue, once he appeals his tax conviction):

• Inmates were served “refrigerated rolls” twice a day;

• Gravy that looked and tasted “like sewage;”

• No coffee in the clink;

• Black inmates sporting afros were allowed to have hair picks, which could be used as weapons;

• Bad plumbing and heating;

• Expensive commissary food;

• Expensive fees for using the phone.

There’s more, including an accusation that he was unjustly placed in solitary confinement for his first four days and again for three days after his life was threatened. The Denver Post quotes jail spokesman Capt. Frank Gale as saying that Bruce requested the solitary confinement in the first instance and that the second sequestering was done for his safety. Gale also refuted most of his other nitpicking complaints.

“He probably just didn’t like being in jail,” he said.

Few people do, but few have persecution complexes as well-developed as Bruce. While in jail, he reportedly read a book about Nelson Mandela, presumably to feel some brotherhood with another political prisoner.

This tale is far from over, but the appeal might not be nearly as fun to watch as the original trial, where Bruce defended himself. That spectacle inspired Colorado Springs Gazette reporter John Schroyer to tweet it live, a side-splitting feed under the #dougbruce hashtag that was impossible to look away from. (Read some of the best here on Storify.)

The next time around, however, Bruce will be represented by David Lane, the state’s most famous civil rights lawyer who is no stranger to controversial clients (remember “Balloon Boy” and his parents?). Check out our interview with Lane in the upcoming issue of Yellow Scene.

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