Newsrooms around Washington have been hit with the unexpected over the years. Suicides. Deaths. Layoffs. Snakes. Fist fights. Add grotesque vandalism to the list. Over the past few weeks Metro Weekly, one of Washington’s prominent gay publications, has been coping the unthinkable: Their news boxes are being filled with rotting food such as banana peels and chewed food, garbage and the worst of it — human and animal feces. Some boxes were completely emptied, with the magazines dumped into the trash.
The publication has reported the incidents to the Metropolitan Police Department. There are no formal suspects at this time, but employees of the magazine do know of a middle-aged white man hanging around the Cosi in Dupont Circle who has been spotted and filmed throwing copies of Metro Weekly into the trashcan. Co-publisher Sean Bugg, who calls what happened a “particularly vile scandal”, believes it was a hate crime, citing the fact that no other boxes in the vicinity were touched.
When Bugg wrote to inform us about the incidents, he began, “Hope I’m not spoiling your lunch.”
”The severity of the behavior has escalated,” Uy wrote to Mejia. ”The waste material he places in our distribution boxes is filthy, disgusting and repulsive. It smells horrible, attracts flies and rodents, and is difficult to remove. Lately, it includes the dumping of large amounts of human feces, which is certainly a health hazard, as well. The boxes have been removed, washed, sterilized and replaced, only to find the same horrible material in them again and again. It is not only unbelievably unpleasant, but it costs us a lot of money as well to deal with.”