Slidebar Cafe Helps Homeless After Owner Previously Slammed Kelly Thomas

New Kelly.jpg
The Slidebar Rock N Roll Cafe is in the middle of a month-long food collection initiative aimed at aiding the Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services. Founded in 1975, FIES is a charitable collective providing emergency food and transitional housing to homeless in the Fullerton area. Slidebar, which regularly puts on free live shows featuring local and national acts, has been accepting food and cash donations since November 30th.

But considering the infamous Fullerton watering hole's current entanglement in the Kelly Thomas beating, one has to wonder if this charity is merely an attempt to snatch a little good PR this holiday season. 

Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man suffering from schizophrenia, was beaten to death in July by Fullerton police officers a few feet southeast of the Slidebar, the kind of place where an off-duty sheriff might feel comfortable brandishing his weapon. Two of the officers, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli (currently facing charges in the man's death), were reportedly responding to a call of someone breaking into cars at the Fullerton Transportation Center.

In August, multiple sources close to Slidebar told the Weekly that it was a venue employee who made the call on Thomas after he was seen glaring at customers from the sidewalk. The Weekly made several request to co-owner Jeremy Popoff (formerly of bro-rock icons Lit) and the Slidebar management at the time seeking comment, but none was answered.

Popoff was interviewed by local blog Fullerton Stories following Thomas's death and shed some light on how the mentally ill man was viewed by folks at the establishment. 

"I feel guilty ever having contempt for this guy," Popoff said. "But if you had asked me about him a month ago, I'd have nothing good to say about him. I don't want to say it was justified, what happened. But man, Kelly scared people. We...were always having to kick him out of our bathrooms or tell him to leave customers alone. Then he would yell at us." 

So is this food drive an indication that Slidebar has been moved by the spirit of the season, or just haunted by the ghost of this summer past? We'd like to know. The request for comment stands.
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23 comments
Jim
Jim

Brandon Ferguson writes and promotes garbage stories and biased, half-witted music reviews. 

Darrell  G.  Bezet
Darrell G. Bezet

I thank yall and yes i said yall.as in you. Need to wake-up sheeple,And get down on your face and thank GOD for all of the noise maker,s.Because without them yall still   would have murderer,s in blue  on yall  street,s .HELLO May GOD Bless the good people of fullerton !!!

Scwatson5
Scwatson5

Despite if someone is mental and or scary it is obvious to the so-called (most likely self proclaimed) icon Kelly had a condition. So instead of helping him he placed himself first. I understand he had a business to run but it's a testimony to ones character that not helping someone in need and place their personal gain ahead of others is what is exactly wrong with most people in this world. With that being said, no one deserved the brutality that was bestowed on him. NO ONE! Police brutality and the corruption of the Fullerton police is where the awareness should be raised.

Melanie
Melanie

Happy holidays to you and your family Ron

Ron Thomas
Ron Thomas

This is in response to Steve.Well Steve, if you would get your head out of your ass you would know that I am the one who got the City of Fullerton to start a “Homeless-Task Force”, Got the Armory opened AND supplied a Christmas tree for the homeless at the Armory, continually bring them clothing and supply food to the different churches. Every time that it is going to rain, I buy ALL of the rain gear that the Sports Authority has in stock and then I pass it out to those in need. I speak at events about homelessness all of the time, including USC. I’m working with the outside investigators into the misconduct of the officers, and also the FBI / District Attorneys office. I do plenty everyday to help not only the homeless/Mentally ill and the citizens of Fullerton, but people everywhere. What the hell have you ever done, and why do you think that it is MY responsibility to do everything? Do you live in Fullerton? If so, why am I cleaning up your City? I don’t even live in Fullerton. As far as Christmas shopping, I’m not having Christmas this year. It is my focus to put these killers in prison and make sure that charges are brought up on the other four. No parties for me ass-hole. Ron Thomas

Annoyed
Annoyed

Shame on you Brandon Ferguson for being such a Grinch.  There are many people and businesses that accept and make contributions to all different types of charities.  All of a sudden there has to be an “ulterior motive” behind helping??  Why don’t you do something for people in your community??  Can’t people do nice things anymore, especially in the holiday season?  What is this world coming to with people like YOU in it?  I have your 2012 new year’s resolution all ready for you…..slam yourself into reality and help others out instead of bashing on others good deeds!  Merry Christmas!

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

I co-sign everything "voxadreply" stated. It just seems like the OCWeekly is trying to make a mountain out of a mole-hill. I had a close schizophrenic uncle. Believe me not everybody liked him, even other family members. I could see why in all honesty (erratic behavior, mood swings, odd speech, etc). I can easily see how Kelly may of rubbed some people the wrong way and how maybe his presence wasn't appreciated by all. To the writer Brandon Ferguson. Stop trying to stir up trouble. Cheers to Slide Bar management. God bless Thomas Kelly (RIP)

ICregular
ICregular

No good deed goes unpunished.

Steve
Steve

Regardless of their motives, at least they are doing something. I'm very curious if Ron or any of the other people outraged by the incident have done anything lately about the homeless people with mental illness. Most likely not. They're probably busy Christmas shopping or going to holiday parties.

Voxadreply
Voxadreply

So, everybody had to like Thomas or else they were jerks? Nobody is saying what happened to him was a good thing, but if he acted strange, scared people, acted aggressive towards others, are we supposed to say he was a saint because he was unjustly killed?

Steve
Steve

Ron, you know, I did want to publically apologize for calling you out. I was wrong and shouldn't have done that. Like I said, my original post was directed to other people.

Steve
Steve

Maybe you should get your head out of your ass. What did you do for the homeless and people in your son's position BEFORE he was murdered? Anything? If so, great. If not, too bad.

I haven't done anything about what happened or tried to help the homeless because I don't pretend to be someone who cares and then do absolutely nothing. My comment was more directed to all of those people who made all of that noise ( and that's all that it was) and then disappeared to some Occupy protest.

I'm glad to hear that you doing the things that you are. And, to answer some of your questions, I never said it was your responsibility to do everything, and no I don't live in Fullerton.

Obvously, you have a lot of anger towards the individuals and what happened. And probably rightly so. But at some point you are going to have to let things go and accept what happened. Because if you don't, it is going to eat you up inside. It really will. I'm not saying that time is now, but at some time down the road.

You can call me any name you want, but I don't hold any ill will towards you.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

No mountains here—Brandon just calling it like it is!

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

You're just another shill, fuck off.

NiRE2
NiRE2

Okay Steve, you had your say.. Tell me, what have you done for the homeless lately? It's always easy to push a burden on others.. Grow up..

Scwatson5
Scwatson5

What about helping others as aposed to forming an ignorant opinion without knowing someone. I use to go to the Slidebar a lot and quite frankly 75 percent of the people in there scared me. Not because they had an illness but because they where all about themselves. God bless the Thomas family.

Tracy
Tracy

He's not a saint. He is a victim and a martyr. What those police did to him could have happened to me or you or one of your family or anyone we know that might've gotten into those cops' way that night. Just because Kelly wasn't the easiest guy to get along with in no way justifies what happened to him. There were never any complaints of assault from the patrons of Slidebar, just people not understanding that he was schizophrenic.

Streets
Streets

Steve your an idiot.  What people are you speaking of?  The one's that saw an  injustice and bitched about it.  Had they not protested and bitched the criminal oraganization A.K.A. Fullerton P.D. would still be beating people and murdering and getting away with it.  You do not know shit about shit, so shut the fuck up and go away! 

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

And believe me Gus, that's what I like about the OCWeekly. That all you scribes tell it like it is but I see nothing here. Brandon is just looking to inflame emotions. Just my opinion

Voxadreply
Voxadreply

Tracy- I completely agree with you. The FPD needs to be held accountable,it just seems like the OC Weekly is trying to paint the Slidebar guys as bad guys because they did not like Thomas when he was alive. I don't know Thomas or the Slidebar guys, it just seems like the weekly is trying to create controversy where there is none. They want to help the homeless, good for them. Just because they had a problem with Thomas doesnt mean they hate the homeless...

Michelle
Michelle

This was a reply to Tracy:)

Michelle
Michelle

Just because someone has died it does not change who they were..Terrible ending to his life, no doubt, but you do not and should not wait until there are" any complaints of assault from the patrons".....He should have had help long before this!! His family couldn't help him or understand him but patrons at a restaurant are supposed to?? This "blame game" just sucks!!Its going to be a sad Holiday Season for his family as well as the officers families!!

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