(Updated at 4:00 p.m. on 10/6/10) Correction: This incident was initially reported to be an assault. The man appeared to have injuries to his face consistent with an assault. However, police now say the man was drunk, implying that this was likely an accident.
It happened Tuesday afternoon on the 4300 block of North Henderson Road, two blocks from Ballston Common Mall.
The man was ultimately able to walk out of the apartment building on his own power. His face bloodied and swollen, he was put on a stretcher, placed in an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
Several months ago, La Cabana restaurant, on Walter Reed Drive next to the Arlington Drafthouse, boarded up its colorfully-decorated windows and locked the doors.
Since then, despite the increasing foot traffic in the area and the continuing revitalization of Columbia Pike, leasing agents have struggled to find any restaurants that want to move in and fix the place up.
Bizarrely, public records show that a company applied for a liquor license at this address in July. But leasing agent Ray Leverty said the space is vacant and still up for lease.
The area is ripe for another food and drink option. What would you like to see open up here?
(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) A two car collision sent a pedestrian to the hospital and knocked down a light pole near the entrance to I-66 on Fairfax Drive.
The crash apparently happened while one car was turning into the entrance to the Holiday Inn. The accident caused one car to slam into the light post, which fell over and hit a woman, a bystander told ARLnow.com. The woman was taken to the hospital. Her injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
A moped that was chained to the light post was also damaged.
The woman swiped merchandise from the Payless shoe store on the second level of the mall, according to police spokesperson Det. Crystal Nosal. As she was running to the escalator, she sprayed pepper spray at a manager who was chasing after her.
The substance caused numerous people in the mall to develop symptoms that included difficulty breathing and burning eyes.
Firefighters set up a triage area outside the mall. A dozen people were treated and five people were brought to the hospital, including the store manager, Nosal said. They’re expected to be fine.
Witnesses described a foul odor in the mall shortly after the incident.
“There was a smell, a funny smell, and people were coming through [the hall] coughing and gagging,” said Danielle Davis, who works in the mall building. “Once I saw that… I turned around.”
The woman got away and is still at large. Police will be reviewing surveillance footage in an attempt to identify her.
A fire department spokesperson initially said the mall was evacuated during the incident. Nosal said everyone who left the mall did so on their own volition.
Update at 3:25 p.m. — Police describe the suspect as “an African American female, medium height, mid-length dark hair, red shiny puffy jacket, tight light colored pants, and white shoes.”
Nearly every day, the number of Arlington County ambulances ready to respond to calls reaches zero, prompting dispatchers to broadcast a warning to supervisors while they scramble to find medics that can be put back into service.
While there are often other options available in the event a call comes in while all ,paramedic units are busy, Arlington Fire Chief James Schwartz says it’s a problem the department is aware of and trying to address.
“EMS is one of my highest priorities,” Schwartz said. “Almost every day we run out of available medic units.”
Medical calls make up about 60 percent of the fire department’s call volume, according to Schwartz. At any given time, about seven paramedic units are on duty in the county. Of those, two or three are usually out at a hospital, delivering patients or restocking their supplies.
When the number of paramedic units reaches the ‘critical’ level — one or none — the first order of business is usually to see if any units out at the hospital can be put into service. Another option is to take advantage of the county’s mutual aid agreement with the Alexandria, Fairfax County and Reagan National Airport fire departments.
It’s a common, daily occurrence for Fairfax medics to respond to calls in the western part of the county, or for airport ambulance crews to respond to calls in the Crystal City area. Every day, Arlington fire and medic units will also respond to calls outside the county.
In the event that a paramedic crew is temporarily unavailable, a fire engine can be sent ahead. Since the county’s fire trucks are often staffed with trained paramedics and equipped with advanced life support gear, sending the engine first means there is no delay in a patient’s on-scene medical treatment. But an ambulance is still needed to take the patient to the hospital.
In a real pinch, a “surge unit” in the Clarendon/Courthouse area can be put into action by moving a fire crew to an unstaffed ambulance.
Schwartz said he’s unaware of any instances in which medics were delayed and a patient was harmed as a result.
The paramedic situation was discussed during this year’s budget, Schwartz said, adding that county policymakers are aware of the problem and often ask about it. He suggested that the department will seek funding for another medic unit during the next round of budget talks.
“I would expect that it would be a topic of this year’s process,” he said.
According to the data, Arlington’s population is 217,483 and growing quickly: up 6 percent in just the past two years.
Arlington is slightly more male than female: 51 percent to 49 percent.
As mentioned before, the school-aged population in Arlington is relatively low. The percentage of the population that’s under the age of 18 is 16.4 percent, compared to the national average of 24.3 percent.
The married population is about 10 percent below the national average. Only 39.7 percent of women are married, while 41.5 percent of men are married. Among men, 49.2 percent have never married, compared to 44.2 percent of women.
Arlington’s population is 17.1 percent Hispanic, 7.7 percent black, 7.9 percent Asian, and 63.6 percent non-Hispanic white. Recent racial trends are all within the margin of error — too slight to accurately measure.
The percentage of people who said they were unemployed more than doubled between 2007 and 2009: 2.5 percent compared to 5.8 percent.
Asked about their commute to work, 53.8 percent of Arlingtonians said they drive alone, 8.2 percent said they carpooled, 26.0 percent took public transportation, 5.4 percent walked, 2.1 percent took “other means” (perhaps biking) and 3.5 percent worked from home. The mean commute time was 25 minutes.
Arlington is affluent. Just over 47 percent of the population is in a household that earns more than $100,000 per year. Nearly 15 percent earn more than $200,000. The mean household income is $121,820.
To see the data for yourself, click here.
Flickr pool photo by Amber Wilkie Photography.