Following up news of Monday’s arrest of Steve “The Dude” Rude on charges of assault and violating a restraining order, Tom Spurgeon got further details of the night in question from Rude’s wife Jaynelle. It seems that on Halloween evening, Steve was outside, in costume, giving out Halloween candy, when barking dogs in a neighbor’s yard distracted the Dude, which led him to throw rocks at the fence in front of the barking dogs. The owners of the dogs — who had previously obtained the restraining order against Rude — came out and an argument ensued, which ended with Rude physically shoving one of the neighbors and ripping his shirt off. Rude then returned to handing out his Halloween candy until the police showed up and arrested him.
According to Jaynelle, Rude suffered some physical injuries while in police custody — given the Maricopa Sheriff Dept’s rep as giving third world dictatorships a run for their money in the punishment category, this is pretty easy to believe.
To anyone who knows the Dude at all, a mental movie of this incident — with episodes of Rude serenely giving out candy bracketing an angry, violent confrontation — is easily conjured.
Some have wondered if Rude’s actions should be supported by buying art to pay for his defense. It’s no secret that Rude has suffered from depression in recent years, which has severely cramped his ability to make a living. Although we only know Rude’s side of the story, it’s pretty easy to build up a mental picture of the ongoing feud between neighbors as well. It doesn’t sound like anyone is too innocent in this whole story, and Rude would seem to need some kind of anger management therapy going forward, but based on what we know, I’d say that if you like Steve Rude’s artwork, buying a piece now won’t violate the karma police too much.
UPDATE: I screwed up a very important fact in the report from Jaynelle, which is that Rude threw rocks at the FENCE IN FRONT OF THE DOGS, not at the dogs themselves.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.