Forced into the light by a recent murder, a transient community starts talking.
The murder of Tim Bradly was particularly shocking to Philly's anarchist punks, Mike says, because "Philadelphia isn't known for being that vicious or violent of a place. It's a nice little scene here--not like New York or San Francisco."
Mike remembers working security once at a punkfest that went bad after a crew of scumfucks showed up. After Bradly's death, in a blog post on the MySpace page of someone calling himself Oneiric Imperium, he wrote how "a group of self-proclaimed scumfucks showed up not to see any of the bands but to do what they tend to do--drink and then intimidate and fight. They were fucking arseholes, and that is what they wanted to be."
For some crusties, scumfucks and their trademark violent behavior are repellent. At the end of his MySpace posting, Mike writes, "What happens to all these people where constant violence is a way of life? Who would want this? And why? Really, what it comes down to is that I don't want to live in that world at all. I don't want to be associated with it."
Marc and Steve-O, though hardly classic examples of the scumfuck culture, are no strangers to aggression or violence.
Back outside Five Guys on Chestnut Street, Steve-O takes off his calf-length work boots, rears back and smashes a bare-footed roundhouse kick into a tree. Later he fiddles with a yellow flathead screwdriver, his protection from aggressive travelers. Marc says he sometimes carries a "smiley"--a lock attached to a chain.
Both claim they've done time. Steve-O says he spent 10 months in a D.C. jail awaiting trial for allegedly beating up a man he claims pulled a knife on him, and for assault with a deadly weapon--his shoe. And as this story went to press, he was arrested twice--once for public drunkenness and once for assaulting a cop.
Marc, meanwhile, says he has a five-year-old DUI charge and his own assault charges as well.
Marc, who hopped his first train in Cleveland when he was 15, says he isn't motivated by politics, despite the homemade anarchy symbol tattoo on his leg. He says he's for "equality for everyone," pointing to a lowercase "e" encircled in black ink on one of his knuckles.
Though his companion isn't with him at the moment, Marc often travels with his dog "Wendy-O," whom he shares with another hobo who's now in Pittsburgh.
Marc says he left Philadelphia two days before Bradly died. He'd been hanging with Montana Bill, a sometime hopper with a tattoo the shape of Montana on his face. The two drank a half-gallon of whiskey, and wandered through West Philadelphia to various squats looking for people to get even drunker with. Rebuffed, they stumbled over to Paradise City, the squat at 49th and Locust.
Someone produced another bottle--vodka--and Montana Bill and Marc continued drinking on the building's roof.
Marc left the next day. In New York a few days later, he learned that Tim Bradly was dead, and Montana Bill was in intensive care.
Ward and McCarthy were caught in Franklin, Pa., a city about 85 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, and booked in a Philadelphia police station on Fri., July 13.
Police Capt. Mike Costello says Bradly had been partying with a friend who passed out. When his friend woke up the next morning, he found Bradly's body and called the police.
The police say Bradly hadn't been using drugs, and that the gun he'd been seen carrying was plastic, and not capable of firing.
The arrests might have saved the accused couple's lives. Asked about Bradly's death and the fate of his murderers, Marc grows quiet.
"Someone's gonna kill them," he says, referring to Ward and McCarthy. "They fucked up real bad."
Immigrants are not a zombie invasion
PW's Fall Guide 2014