Terrel Hunter is on the lam. He lives in daily fear of the authorities.
But it's no actual crime Hunter has committed. His offense: He eats too much.
Terrel Hunter, you see, is just a teenager. Where he belongs is in school. But he'd much rather stay home and stuff his face. So he sits around his inner-city apartment here in the District of Columbia and eats in secret. The curtains are drawn. He flinches at the sound of automobiles outside. When the cops finally do show up at his door, he goes kicking and screaming, threatening to sue their asses.
Terrel thinks nothing of a 1,400-calorie lunch at Wendy's. At age 10, he stood just over 4 feet tall and weighed 210 pounds. Terrel suffered from Blount's Disease, not uncommon in obese children, which left his legs deformed. He had trouble walking. At 13, he weighed 341 pounds and lived on a diet of Big Macs, pizza, orange soda, candy bars and instant ramen noodles.
Twice, Terrel has been sent to a fat farm for children outside Richmond, VA. He's lost weight, put it back on again. This year, his mother lost custody of Terrel for failing to watch his health. A D.C. judge has ordered him back to the fat farm.
Terrel is determined to quit school and stay home. He just wants to eat in peace.
You can read the amazing story Terrel--"Heavy T"--in its entirety at The Washington City Paper. Bravo to the City Paper and writer Joe Eaton.