A woman was raped while visiting her sister in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood last Thursday, according to this week’s Arlington County crime report.
The crime happened while the victim was visiting her sister’s apartment, in the basement of a home shared by several tenants, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A man who lives in one of the rooms forced himself upon her while in one of the basement’s common areas, according to Sternbeck.
RAPE, 04/26/12, 2100 block of N. Patrick Henry Drive. At 3:30 pm on April 26, a victim was raped by a known subject at a multi-family residence. Carlos Montalban Pineda, 45, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with animate object sexual penetration.
On Saturday a man was arrested after police say he brandished a BB gun during a parking dispute at Gunston Middle School.
BRANDISHING A FIREARM, 04/28/12, 2700 block of S. Lang Street. On April 28 at 9:37 pm, a subject displayed a black handgun after arguing with the victim over a parking space. Officers located the suspect a short time later at a soccer field and learned the firearm was a BB gun. Mohamed Sesay, 30, of Alexandria, VA, was arrested and charged with brandishing a firearm on school property. He was held on no bond.
On Sunday, police responded to the Comfort Inn in Ballston for a report of two women who were advertising prostitution services on Backpage.com while using the hotel’s lobby computer. No arrests were made.
PROSTITUTION, 04/29/12, 1200 block of N. Glebe Road. At 8 pm on April 29, officers were alerted of two subjects engaged in prostitution at an area hotel. Upon arrival, it was learned that the subjects were placing online solicitations ads from the hotel lobby computer.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
The President will be focusing on the need to prevent interest rates on federally subsidized student loans from doubling. If Congress does not act, the loan rate will double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Both he and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney have said that action needs to be taken to prevent that from happening.
President Obama is scheduled to hold a roundtable discussion on the issue with graduating W-L seniors and their parents. He will then deliver prepared remarks to the junior and senior classes on “the importance of their having a fair shot at an affordable higher education and the skills they need to find a good job,” according to the White House.
The public will not be able to attend the lunchtime event. The Arlington County Police Department will be helping to direct traffic in the area during the presidential visit.
It’s National Barbecue Month, and as the weather warms up, more people are firing up the grills. But before getting caught up in grilling, it might be a good idea to make sure you’re familiar with the Arlington County fire code.
According to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Captain Gregg Karl, problems can arise with people in multi-unit residences, such as condos and high rise apartments, who may not even realize they’re violating the code.
No grills, combustible devices or open flame cooking devices are to be used or stored on balconies and rooftops. Fire pits and similar types of warming devices are also banned. Electric devices without an open flame are acceptable.
Most standalone homes and townhouses with ground level patios are exempted from the rules. However, the fire department still recommends trying to keep the device 15 feet away from the building, or as far as space allows.
“You do still have the potential for a fire if something goes wrong with the grill,” Karl said. “We want people to be aware of where they’re putting the grill and the potential dangers.”
Landlords are supposed to inform tenants, in writing, of all the fire code regulations upon move-in and lease renewal. After that, tenants are responsible for following the regulations.
Those who are found to be in violation of the code will be issued a notice and given the opportunity to remove the offending items. Failure to correct the violation could result in a citation and fine.
Karl encourages people with questions about the rules to call the Arlington County Fire Prevention Office at 703-228-4644.
Update on 5/7/12 — We have published a statement from Arlington National Cemetery.
A weathered gravestone for Robert Porter Patterson, a top military official during World War II, can be seen propped up against an old building inside the future Penzance office construction site in Clarendon.
Patterson was the Undersecretary of War during World War II and is credited with being “instrumental in the mobilization of the armed forces preparatory to and during” the war. He later served as Secretary of War under President Harry Truman.
Patterson was also a Harvard Law School graduate, a decorated army officer during World War I, a U.S. District Court judge, a prominent New York City attorney, and president of the Council of Foreign Relations. He died in a plane crash in 1952 and was buried in Section 30 of Arlington National Cemetery.
It’s unclear how Patterson’s gravestone — inscribed “Soldier. Jurist. Statesman.” — came to be propped up against the aging brick building along 11th Street N., next to a small fenced-in parking lot. The structure is set to be torn down as part of a large new office complex that will soon be built on the site.
One likely explanation is that the gravestone was somehow connected to the now-shuttered T.A. Sullivan and Son cemetery monument business, which is located within the Penzance block and which provided monuments to Arlington National Cemetery. However, we were unable to reach anybody at the business’ Vienna location to confirm that.
Reached by phone, Arlington National Cemetery officials were unable to provide any information about the wayward gravestone, and were unable to confirm whether there is a newer monument now marking Patterson’s grave.
In 2010 the cemetery was rocked by a scandal after it was revealed that hundreds, maybe even thousands of graves were misidentified or misplaced and that a number of gravestones had been discarded along the banks of a small stream.
Hat tip to Peter Golkin
(Updated at 12:05 a.m.) Police are now clearing the scene at Ballston Common Mall after a phoned-in bomb threat.
Three separate bomb threats were phoned in to authorities: one to Prince George’s County dispatchers, one to Arlington, and one directly to the mall, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. It’s not clear if the threats all were made by the same individual.
Mall security has informed stores of the threat but decided not to evacuate, Sternbeck said. Police officers and two K-9 units searched inside and outside the building but found nothing.
“We want to be very thorough in our sweep and… in deeming it safe,” said Sternbeck during the search. “If we did find something we deemed legitimate we would have the authority to bring everyone out [of the mall].”
Dozens of shoppers and workers on their lunch break could be seen carrying on normal daily business inside the mall during the incident. One lane of Wilson Boulevard was partially blocked by police vehicles outside the mall. As of 11:50 a.m., most of the police response was packing up and starting to clear the scene.
Last night, the Arlington County Civic Federation debated a proposed resolution regarding raising backyard chickens, but it didn’t get very far.
Jim Pebley, a member from the Waycroft-Woodlawn Civic Association, had proposed the resolution, which opposes changing the county ordinance in order to allow residents to raise chickens.
Currently, livestock or poultry must be kept at least 100 feet away from a property owner’s street and lot lines, which is a difficult feat considering the size of lots in Arlington. A group called the Arlington Egg Project has proposed eliminating that restriction so that residents can raise egg-laying hens in their backyards. The county’s recently-formed Urban Agriculture Task Force is tackling the issue and is expected to make recommendations to the County Board by early next year.
Pebley gave a presentation explaining why it would be detrimental to the community to allow backyard chickens. In addition to irking neighbors with noise, Pebley contends chickens in backyards would attract rodents, pose a health risk and pollute groundwater that drains to the Chesapeake. He said the chickens and their waste also produce odors, which would bother neighbors.
“The smell is unavoidable,” said Pebley. “This just really borders on nonsense.”
He also said it would be difficult for the county to enforce regulations for raising chickens, due to the animals being hidden in backyards. That, he believes, would push neighbors to report each other to authorities.
“You aren’t going to have any more staff to enforce this. Neighbors are going to have to be the ones who enforce it,” Pebley said. “We’re going to have to turn the neighbors into police.”
Ed Fendley, co-founder of the Arlington Egg Project, gave a presentation in favor of backyard chickens. He said the group is interested in allowing a limited number of hens, but not roosters. He explained that with a limited number of hens, waste problems and noise would be minimal.
Fendley doesn’t believe the proper avenues have been followed to get information about urban agriculture out to the public. He asked the Civic Federation members to keep an open mind and to let the facts get out as part of the proper process.
“The Arlington Egg Project wants to foster a community conversation about backyard hens,” said Fendley. ”All we’re asking you to do tonight is reserve judgment, we’re not asking you to join us.”
Fendley said the group is gaining support and more than 1,000 people have signed a petition requesting that Arlington allow backyard hens.
In addition to disagreeing with the way the backyard hen issue is being addressed, Fendley contends the Civic Federation’s resolution is unbalanced and biased as currently written.
“Let’s believe in Arlington, and let’s let the process work,” Fendley said. “If you believe in that process and if you believe in facts, then I ask that you join me in voting against this premature resolution.”
As it turns out, there wouldn’t be a vote on approving the resolution due to member concerns.
ACFD Vehicle Involved in Rollover Accident –An Arlington County Fire Department SUV was involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident on the Dulles Toll Road on Monday afternoon, the McLean Patch reported. No one was injured in the accident, fire department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl confirmed to ARLnow.com. No other details about the crash were immediately available.
Arlington’s Mongolian Community — Arlington is home to one of the country’s largest Mongolian communities. In fact, Mongolian is the fourth most common language in Arlington Public Schools. [Washington Post]
Miss Gay Arlington Crowned — “Stardust” won the title of Miss Gay Arlington 2012 over the weekend. The annual eventat Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City included a talent contest, an evening gown competition and a questions and answer session. [Sun Gazette]