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Every Tuesday and Thursday, we run down what’s going on in local Internet discussion groups.

It’s not like the D.C. Department of Corrections has exclusive rights to humiliating prisoner escapes. When asked what the deal was with the police chopper circling over 13th Street and Maryland Avenue NE at around 10 a.m. Monday, Commander Diane Groomes replies in a quick post, “The Fifth District had an escaped prisoner out of their wagon along Bladensburg Rd near their station…thus helicopter used to canvass along Bladensburg Rd.” Amanda, apparently one of those types who needs to know every last detail, asks, “Was the escaped prisoner apprehended?” To which Groomes replies, “He is still at large—have to get the info from the Fifth District.” Adds Dottie: “MPD reports that they are attempting to locate a prisoner who escaped from an MPD vehicle at 1300 Maryland Ave. NE. Description: Black male, wearing all black clothing.”

Maddie gets enough about homicides in the news; she doesn’t need to read about them in her neighborhood chat room. “This listserve is too depressing,” she writes in response to a notice about a shooting at 7th and Kennedy Streets NW. “I love Petworth, as a new resident, but I have two children under 4 and every other message has to do with this kind of violence. I may seriously start reconsidering having moved here.” Don’t worry, Maddie—Charles is there to comfort the wary. “Where would you go?” he asks. “Georgetown? Oh, no…they have throat slashers there. My point is.…violence is EVERYWHERE! I’m thankful that we have a mayor, city council, and police chief who are at least trying to be on top of things. Stay a while…I think that you and your…children will be o.k.” And just in case Maddie’s considering fleeing for the ’burbs, community activist Joseph Martin notes, “Gangs are very active in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County among other places.”

If slot-machine petitioners are failing to win the hearts of Brooklanders, it’s certainly not for a lack of assertion. Loretta shares a note from a friend who had a testy exchange with a pair of slot sluts on the Metro: “The two guys collecting signatures at the Brookland station on Thursday couldn’t even articulate what the petition was for, other than that it was ‘about slots,’ and were pretty pushy in their insistence that I ‘just sign anyway.’ (No way.) They also claimed to be working for the DC government and said that the DC government was paying them to collect signatures. I told them that I certainly hoped that wasn’t the case, as that would be illegal.” Joe had his own run-in with an aggressive trio of petitioners, none of whom lived in the city; when he informed them that by law they need a D.C. resident to witness the signatures, they came up with a novel solution: “two told me I could be the witness. One became mildly threatening when I declined.”