D.C.

Metro Weekly distribution boxes vandalized

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The LGBT publication "Metro Weekly" says it's being targeted by a vandal, who has been throwing away its magazines in bulk an filling its distribution boxes with garbage.

The latest incident happened this week, just hours after the new issue hit newsstands.

It's not uncommon for any free weekly newspaper or magazine boxes to het knocked over of vandalized. But both Metro Weekly and The Washington Blade say the recent vandalism seem more thought out.

And for Metro Weekly it's been getting worse.

"This started about two months ago, and it's been escalating week after week," Metro Weekly Publisher Sean Bugg says.

Bugg says he's disappointed and hurt by the recent acts of vandalism that seem to target his publication, which reports on Washington's LGBT community.

Bugg adds, "It's really attacking the readers who are trying to just get a copy and just find out what's going on in the community."

At several distribution boxes around Dupont Circle, Bugg says someone has been trashing stacks of newly-issued magazines.

But that's not all.

Pictures taken by Metro Weekly show boxes littered with banana peels and other garbage. In some cases, what appears to be animal or even human waste were also tossed inside the boxes.

Washingtonians just learning about the vandalism say it's disturbing.

Marte Stevenson of Northwest D.C. says, "It shocks me that someone would have that much animosity toward anything. I mean, we should be more tolerant of our neighbors."

Some call it a hate crime.

"It's disrespectful of the neighborhood regardless of your views of gay rights, gay matters whatever," Terrence Gee of Northwest adds.

Both Metro Weekly and The Washington Blade have notified police about the crimes.

Bugg says he's most upset that his staff has to clean and sanitize the boxes after they were trashed.

"They know that their work is being attacked by somebody who has some sort of grievance against the magazine or some hatred toward our subject matter," Bugg explains.

Metro Weekly say the incidents have been happening late Thursday or early Friday morning on Connecticut Avenue, 17th Street and P Street, NW.

Residents who live nearby are urged to report anything suspicious.

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