China youths flee Internet boot camp

A group of teenagers and twenty-somethings staged an elaborate break-out of an Internet boot camp in China’s Jiangsu province earlier this month.

The 14 young people covered their counselor in a blanket and hog-tied him to a chair before making their escape from the “jie-wang” (quit the internet) camp at Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Center on June 3. When the counselor screamed, they hit him while apologizing at the same time. They had been practicing the feat with a rope for days.

For the escapees – who cited mean staff and bad food as well as “monotonous work and intensive training” as reasons for their breakout – the taste of freedom lasted just a few hours. Some took cabs to nearby Xuyi County, home of the group’s ringleader. Here their plan fell apart at that point as they had no money to pay for the ride.

Tipped off by the cab driver, police picked up the penniless youths wandering the streets, still dressed in the camp’s military-style fatigues.