Last summer, former Seattle Weekly staff writer Vernal Coleman profiled the dilapidated-but-lovable Undre Arms Apartments in Capitol Hill, leading with a description of resident Marty McDermott as "a self-identified hobo with a straggly length of beard and just a couple surviving teeth." It's unclear whether McDermott took offense at the description, or just doesn't like alt-weekly papers, but for the last six months he's made a habit of trashing Seattle Weekly's and The Stranger's newspaper boxes around Capitol Hill (flipping them over, taking out all the issues and hiding them, etc.)--and driving the paper's respective circulation managers up the wall while leaving readers forced to search for a proper dispensary of the city's finest publications.
He seems to take issue with the adult classified ads in the back of the newspapers.
Shurtluff caught McDermott again a week later and at that point, he called police. According to a police report obtained by Seattle Weekly, Seattle Police Officer Felton Miles showed up on March 3 and found McDermott on the street and talked to him about what Shurtluff had just seen him doing.
The bearded old "white-boy warrior preacher" (as he once described himself) said that he "doesn't take the newspapers or destroy them, he just inconveniences them."
The officer didn't arrest or cite McDermott, but told him that his actions could get him sued in civil court.
Weekly Circulation Manager Jay Kraus sums up the "inconvenience."
"It's been going on for about six months now," Kraus says."I'll go out there and every single one of our boxes from 8th and Madison to 11th East and Madison--about 15 boxes--are trashed. There's garbage in there, he takes our papers out and hides them or puts The Stranger's papers in ours, or vice-versa. I'd say it costs me about an hour a day cleaning it up each time it happens."
Kraus says he just wants the guy to quit making his job suck.
As for McDermott, he's more than welcome to write our office (or comment here) and express his views on adult advertising. It's a reasonable topic for discussion. But fucking with our newspaper boxes just wastes our employees' and, more importantly, our readers' time.