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I grew up on Capitol Hill and worked at the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery on Pennsylvania Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street. I have known Daniel Hinton for almost 10 years. His manner of asking for money was never “aggressive” or threatening in any way. Quite the opposite: He was always friendly to me, whether I gave him money or not. When it was late at night, he would escort my friend back to her house so she wouldn’t have to walk home alone. The harassment that I saw involved him being harassed by drunken frat boys, not the other way around.
Regardless of the specifics of this case, the subject and tone of the article (“King of the Hill,” 6/12) seem to be far more suited to a suburban community paper. At times, the poor and homeless need to beg for money to survive, and the only part City Paper finds important to report is that they “pester” area merchants and are “annoying” to upper-middle-class professionals on lunch. People like Mr. Hinton are often the most victimized people in our society, and it is remarkably insensitive of Mr. Coates and City Paper to portray him as some great evil.