Celebrating the Arrest of Tommy Tatum

Tommy Tatum, traitor, speaks at the J6 rally

Live your life in a way so that the entire Internet doesn’t celebrate your arrest.

It began with a tweet, one that was rapidly retweeted, favorited and shared. Texts began to fly among people. Discord servers buzzed with expletive-filled reactions, photos and so many potato-based memes. A Twitter Space popped up and rapidly filled with laughter and mockery from around the country. Outside the DC Jail, Anarchy Princess and the Commish arrived, bullhorns in hand, to taunt the chuds of Freedom Corner with the news:

Tommy Tatum had been arrested.

A loathsome insurrectionist who bragged that he was “untouchable,” Tatum was more than just a January 6th rioter. He spent almost two years in DC harassing police officers and victims of the Trump-inspired attack on the Capitol.

Claiming that he knew the truth about that day, he was a figure of some note in the conspiracy universe who appeared on podcasts and YouTube shows to spread the lie that antifa caused the insurrection, despite the fact that he had filmed himself attacking the police.

Tatum was also a key figure in the pro-insurrection vigil outside the DC Jail which calls itself “Freedom Corner.” Bald and well over 300 pounds, he was the muscle of the group who took it upon himself to bully and stalk counterprotestors, most of whom were women a fraction of his size.

I wrote about the insurrectionist shitshow known as Freedom Corner. In response, he doxxed me.

This is my story. It’s an excerpt from my memoir, How I Became Red Bike Guy.

So, You’ve Been Doxxed

March 26, 2023

I was doxxed on a rainy afternoon. I was at home, doing work, and occasionally checking in on the drama at Freedom Corner.

It was a big day for them. Marjorie Taylor Greene and a Congressional delegation were touring the J6 prisoner facilities at the DC Jail. The chuds expected major press coverage when the “shocking truths” about the jail were revealed.

The DC Jail is an aging facility stuffed beyond capacity where deaths are common. But the J6 prisoners are kept in their own wing, in individual cells, and they have access to iPads and the internet so that they can contact attorneys, research their cases – and make nightly calls to Freedom Corner.

Representative Jasmine Crockett, Democrat of Texas, called the J6 wing one of the nicest she’s ever seen and in no way comparable to prisons in her home state.

Marge, of course, had complaints. But when the Georgia Representative began to speak outside the jail, a man began blowing a whistle. He was wearing a jacket with a hood and had a mask over his face. Every time Marge began spreading conspiracy theories (“they painted the jail before we visited!”) he blew his whistle.

I watched, amused, as Defender of Ants (DOA) livestreamed the event and sparred with the chuds, who were big mad at “Whistle Guy” as he was soon known on Twitter.

So mad that they followed him back to the Metro, Ashli Babbitt’s mom Micki and another woman Sherri, stalking him as he left to go home.

And following them was DOA, filming as he wondered what Micki and Sherri were up to.

As Whistle Guy got to the Metro, he attempted to get on the elevator to take him down to the station. Micki and Sherri followed him into the elevator and blocked the doors so that they wouldn’t shut.

DOA then arrived, framing the scene: Micki and Sherri standing in the door with the older gentleman trapped inside as an alarm began to ring. Sherri was smoking a cigarette.

“Do you need help, sir?” DOA asked.

“Yes, they won’t let me go!” Whistle Guy said.

“C’mon, Micki, this is a really bad look,” DOA said. “This is kidnapping.”

Seeing that they were being filmed, they let Whistle Guy go, Sherri flicking her cigarette at DOA as they left.

When this clip made it to Twitter, I shared it, thinking it was nuts. Micki and Sherri looked like high school bullies, except that they’re in their 50s.

And then came the accusation that I was Whistle Guy. “You’re him!” came the cry, a slur that rapidly spread through the chudoverse.

Within minutes, I was receiving hateful replies on Twitter, accusing me of damaging Marge’s hearing with my whistle.

And then the real doxxing began.

Tommy Tatum, a J6er, put my name, face and contact information on his website, describing me as an agitator. He was 99.9% sure that I was Whistle Guy.

Why me? Chuds can only dox people they know. I had written about Freedom Corner on my blog. They hated hearing the truth about their squalid, violent movement. I had become a kind of boogeyman to them. They talked about me in their chats, accused me of somehow manipulating Google search results to give my posts prominence, and saw me everywhere.

There were at least three different people they identified as me. In addition to Whistle Guy, there was a man who regularly visited Freedom Corner in a motorcycle helmet. He had an electric guitar and sang a song of his own creation called, “Tommy Tatum has no butthole.” And there was another guy who came by with a camera, like I did sometimes.

All these people became Joe Flood.

Anarchy Princess tried to tell them that Whistle Guy was not me. “You idiots are terrible at this! He’s older than Joe and the ears are all wrong. Look at the ears!”

It didn’t matter. The online mob had been activated.

I received threatening emails. I tried to tell them that they had the wrong guy but soon gave up. Nasty notes came in through Facebook; I soon made it private, along with all my other social media channels. This continued for a couple days. I received dozens of messages.

It’s scary when your name and photo appears on a conspiracy-laden web site calling you a traitor. I was targeted.

Thankfully, my LinkedIn was out of date. I had never gotten around to adding my new job to the site.

Doxxing is a favorite chud tactic. I am far from the first person who they doxxed. They’ve also doxxed “Whistle Girl” (who also blows a whistle) revealing where she worked and flooding her company with demands that she be fired.

The chuds called another one of the counterprotestors a “drug addict” and shared her account of overcoming addiction. It’s a powerful, inspiring story that they tried to paint as shameful.

And they tried dox Biketifa but, since they’re terrible at it, doxxed the wrong person, claiming that he is a disbarred attorney named Grant. Biketifa’s name is not Grant and he’s not a lawyer, or a “bard lawyer” as they called him online, conjuring images of a poet writing verse as he attends trials. They posted a photo of Grant who looks vaguely like Biketifa in the sense that they’re both white people.

How did they find Grant? He’s the husband of a bike advocate in Arlington. That’s chud logic for you – how many people could be riding bikes? It has to be him!

Anarchy Princess has also been doxxed, and in a far more sinister fashion. They revealed her personal information online and sent people by her home to threaten her. She had to move due to the threats.

The morning after I was doxxed, I went to play soccer like I normally do. Leaving my apartment building, I took a good look around, scanning for suspect vehicles, like trucks with out-of-state tags. I was on my bike and figured I could easily get away, knowing the city better than they did.

But there was no one. Everyone is brave online but these keyboard warriors weren’t going to do shit.

Doxxing does not work. After the shock wore off, it just pissed me off. And left me wanting revenge.

If you liked this, check out How I Became Red Bike Guy, my memoir of life in DC during the turbulent Trump years.

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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