Salami Nuggets’ Siren Song Seduces Bravo (Updated with audio) – March 6, 2010
Kevin L. Hoover
NORTHTOWN – Nicholas Bravo, a former City Council candidate known for bizarre public behavior and caustic oratory, was arrested Thursday, March 4 at Wildberries Marketplace on suspicion of shoplifting, then booked and lodged in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
Bravo, 36, a Nebraska native, moved to Arcata in 2000, became active in public affairs and made two runs for City Council, in 2004 and 2005. He became known for wild accusations usually involving conspiracies and wrongdoing by government officials and others. Various feckless actions, such as flipping off a citizen from the dais during a council candidate forum at the Community Center and pseudonymous “tips” to news media about other candidates’ sexual proclivities, helped enshrine Bravo in Arcata’s well-stocked pantheon of supercilious saviors.
After a multi-year absence from Arcata, Bravo’s return to public participation took place Wednesday, March 3, during City Council consideration of an anti-panhandling ordinance. With trademark hyperbole, he suggested that the the ordinance presaged creation of “FEMA camps” and extermination of indigent citizens. He refused to stop speaking after the nominal three minutes, and some shouting between himself and councilmembers took place before he retreated.
“I see you’ve come back to town, so welcome,” Mayor Alex Stillman told Bravo. Councilmember Shane Brinton subsequently explained to Bravo that time limits on speaking have to be applied equally to all citizens.
After attempting to exceed the three-minute limit, Bravo attempted to commit another rarely-tolerated breach of protocol by returning to the mic to make a second comment on the same topic. What ensued was a brief but intense paroxysm of simultaneous dialogue between councilmembers and Bravo, creating something of an aleatoric a capella composition worthy of John Cage or Karlheinz Stockhausen. The cacophonous interlude ended with Stillman clapping her hands and declaring “You’re finished!” With that, Bravo ceded the public podium to the next speaker.
Click to hear “You’re Finished!”
His renewed crusade to reform Arcata’s wicked ways suffered another setback the next night, sidetracked by the allure of cured meat snacks. APD dispatcher logs indicate that Thursday at 8:23 p.m., Bravo was detained by Wildberries personnel after eating “$2.50 in salami nuggets” at the store. “Subject is not cooperative,” the narrative reads. “[Reporting party] used some force to get him into the office.”
Interim Police Chief Tom Chapman said Bravo fled from officers. A witness said he ran out of the store, but was captured and arrested.
The incident echoed Bravo’s initial arrival in town 10 years ago, when he got into a struggle with an APD officer who had discovered him car camping – an infraction usually handled with a warning or citation. Originally named Ryan Fenster, Bravo legally re-named himself after his favorite actor, Nicolas Cage. For the Nov., 2004 City Council race, Bravo described himself as an “experienced occultist.” After losing that election, he ran again the following year as an “environmentalist.”