(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) An out-of-control SUV struck the front of Bangkok 54 restaurant (2919 Columbia Pike) this afternoon.
The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. Damage to the building appeared to be relatively minor and confined to the front facade of the eatery. The vehicle also nicked a street tree before coming to rest between Bangkok 54 and Maruko Japanese Restaurant. A box of beer could be seen in the back of the SUV.
The driver tried to run once police arrived on scene, we’re told. He hopped a fence behind the nearby McDonald’s restaurant but was tased by police and apprehended a block or two away.
The man, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, was evaluated for minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital, where he will undergo drug and alcohol testing, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. No other injuries were reported.
Police are investigating whether the vehicle might have been stolen or used without authorization.
“I write this piece as a warning to men in the D.C. metro area because I don’t want them making the same mistakes I did,” he writes.
“I thought you’d be interested in learning what’s it is like from the side of the john being arrested in Arlington,” he told ARLnow.com. “I hope I also give you some insight into why some people do this sort of thing. I figure since they make it a very public and embarrassing crime I might as well roll with it and own it.”
The man explains that johns arrested in Virginia don’t remain anonymous in the eyes of the law; the state’s practice of making public the names of those arrested has his identity scattered across the internet. Now, those who search his name for any purpose will see his arrest.
“I’m going to have to answer for what I’ve done to anyone and everyone for the rest of my life. I wear a scarlet letter now,” he writes. “It’s almost like you’re a sex offender, never mind that what you’ve done is a misdemeanor. They make [it] feel much worse; like it’s a felony.”
In the following excerpt from the man’s blog post about his experience with prostitution, he explains what happened during his arrest:
I was leaving the hotel where I had just met my latest “friend” and was trying to justify the cost in my mind as I walked down a busy street bustling with nightlife. I was oblivious to my surroundings and I never saw my judge, jury and executioners coming. They appeared out of nowhere. The next thing I felt was the coldness of the glass window as I was forced up against it and then the tightness of the handcuffs as they were snapped into place on my wrists. It was open season on Mr. John. I was visible to everyone. Had anyone I knew seen me I don’t know what I would’ve done afterwards to myself. I thought to myself that I rightfully deserved my fate and I am readily willing to admit it.
They were watching us Johns the whole time. As we went in an out of the rooms. In the end they got a whole bunch of us along with the escorts. It was a reverse prostitution sting without the female officer. They used the escorts that were there as the bait. I honestly should have turned back the minute I saw a police car in the parking lot leaving hurriedly, probably thinking that I spotted them or on their way to bust another John. But I wanted what I wanted and I paid the price. Even now when I walk past that hotel I look to see if they are staking the place out. I sometimes will see a police car parked there waiting for its prey. I then think about the poor fool who is about to be caught. Of course they use unmarked vehicles as well. If you see people standing around in a parking lot in plainclothes that’s them. All of this was being done the night I was caught, they actually didn’t come out of nowhere and I was stupid not to see the signs and know that they’re always watching.
I cooperated fully with the officers and told them everything they wanted to know. They spoke to me about the perils of prostitution. Besides the danger of STD’s (and yes I use protection) and the physical danger that these women are putting themselves into; I could also be robbed. They relayed to me some of the horror stories they’ve been subject to. While I too have read some of these stories online, having a police officer tell it to you in person really wakes you up to the reality.
So I appreciate what the police are doing and I know that I was wrong. All I’m saying is I’ll never do it again–not so long as I’m in a place where it’s illegal. The pain I’ve put myself through is not worth it. Now every time I’m walking and hear a car screech I flinch thinking it’s a cop coming for me.
The man closes his piece with a straightforward warning to others: “Don’t turn into me.”
Police have released surveillance video they hope will help lead to the arrests of suspects from last week’s check cashing store robbery in the 4700 block of Columbia Pike.
According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the two men confronted an employee as she was approaching the store to begin her shift last Wednesday (July 25). One held a gun to her head, the other a knife to her neck. They forced her to open the safe and made off with its contents, which was nearly $40,000.
The suspects are both described as Hispanic men between 5’8″ and 5’10″ with medium builds.
Anyone who has information about the suspects or the crime is asked to contact Detective Robert Wright at 703-228-4197 or email@example.com. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
In one week, Ballston will be home to a new beer establishment. World of Beer (901 N. Glebe Road) is making its final preparations for opening next Monday (August 6).
Owner Evan Matz and his wife recently moved to Arlington from Florida. He enjoys the area and thought it would be the perfect place to launch Virginia’s first location for the Florida chain.
“I love Arlington. I think it’s a great area,” said Matz. “World of Beer looks forward to being Ballston’s neighborhood social scene, while being dedicated to the beer enthusiast.”
The coolers are stocked, thanks to a beer shipment that arrived last Friday. Later this week, kegs and tap handles will be delivered. In all, there will be more than 500 beers, with 50 rotating taps. New selections will come a couple of times every week.
Bartenders have to go through extensive training to become familiar with all the different types of beers. They should be able to give customers suggestions based on individual tastes, as well as giving the history of some of the more unique brews. Matz says the focus on the beer will make his place different from all the others in the area.
“We’re an upscale neighborhood sports craft beer bar,” he said. “Other restaurants will have a good selection of beer, but we are a place that has a phenomenal selection of beer, that happens to have food.”
Traditionally, World of Beer establishments don’t serve food, but this location will in order to comply with state law. The limited menu will feature gourmet sausages, small bites such as soft pretzels, and beer-infused desserts. There’s been a unique partnership set up to allow customers to order from other restaurants and have the food delivered inside World of Beer. Matz said with the offerings both from his menu and those of Vapiano, BGR The Burger Joint and P.F. Chang’s, customers will have plenty of variety when it comes to dining options.
Inside, sports fans can catch the games on the TVs throughout the establishment, and there will be free live entertainment on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Those who want to get some fresh air can take advantage the outdoor seating. Happy hour will take place on weeknights, along with different daily specials such as trivia night or service industry night.
Because it reached its goal of 1,000 Facebook fans and 500 Twitter followers, World of Beer is holding a special pre-grand opening party for all the fans and followers on August 6. Social media followers or not, Matz invites everyone with a passion for good beer to stop by.
“We’re giving Ballston and Arlington a place where people can come and enjoy better tasting, better quality beer,” said Matz. “We want to make sure that everybody enjoys the music, the entertainment, just the laid back atmosphere of World of Beer.”
Greg Emanuel has been named to the position, effective as of August 13. He will replace William F. O’Connor, who has held the position since October 2010, and is retiring from the county this month. Emanuel had served as the department’s deputy director since March.
“I am very pleased to have Greg join my Executive Leadership Team,” said Donnellan. “He has a proven track record of results, and a tremendous dedication and passion for our workforce and our community.”
Emanuel will be earning a salary of about $168,000 per year, according to Arlington County Human Resources Director Marcy Foster. That’s slightly less than O’Connor’s annual salary.
The department, which has more than 700 employees, manages the county’s infrastructure, transportation, the environment and capital investment.
In a press release, the county listed more of Emanuel’s experience and accomplishments:
During his time with the County, Mr. Emanuel led the effort for several major capital construction projects including Fire Station #3 on Lee Highway, Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike, Fire Station #5 in Aurora Hills, and Shirlington Library/Signature Theater. He also played an important role in partnering with the Department of Management and Finance on the development of three Capital Improvement Plans, each time increasing the scope, focus, and detail to demonstrate the full range and strategy of the County’s ambitious capital programs.
Prior to his experience with the County, Mr. Emanuel served 21 years with the U.S. Air Force, where he held a variety of engineering leadership positions around the world. While there, he managed multi-year capital improvement and redevelopment plans, significant construction projects and new initiatives while balancing political, cultural, regulatory and financial challenges.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s of Civil Engineering in Construction Management from North Carolina State University. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Public Works Association.
Mr. Emanuel, a fitness, cycling and swimming enthusiast, resides in Arlington with his wife and three children.
Dog Paws ‘n Cat Claws dog daycare (940 S. George Mason Drive) is moving out of Arlington.
The move, to a bigger space at 5818 Seminary Road in Falls Church, will allow the five-year-old business to serve as a dedicated pet adoption center, says owner Ryan Folcher.
The current space, just off of Columbia Pike, allows only for standalone pet adoption events, said Folcher, who also cited concerns about Arlington County’s move away from the type of light industrial zoning his business uses.
“We want to kind of reconstruct the building. But I don’t have the money or time to do that and risk that Arlington just says, ‘No, we’re not going to approve it,’” Folcher said. “The only thing that is zoned for Arlington is high-rise apartments and condos. I was interested in staying but my business model really can’t adopt. Financially, I just need to let the business evolve and that’s not where it’s going to happen.”
Daycare manager Lisa Niel said the current space holds between 50 and 60 dogs a day. Folcher and another employee showed off the new 7,400-square-foot daycare and retail store to clients in an open house on Sunday.
“We’ve already heard feedback from clients dropping off dogs that they love the new space,” Niel said. “We think it will broaden our client base into Alexandria, Bailey’s Crossroads and Fairfax.”
Folcher also cited Arlington County signage restrictions as an issue. Last year, the county told him he could not post temporary signage advertising holiday sales.
He hopes to have the new location ready to open by late August.
(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) Volunteers are needed for a variety of opportunities throughout Arlington, such as citizenship teachers and youth soccer coaches. More information about the opportunities listed below, in addition to a list of others, can be found online.
- The Arlington Soccer Association (ASA) seeks people who would like to volunteer as soccer coaches and assistant coaches for the fall season. Volunteers must enjoy working with kids ages 6-16. Soccer experience is helpful but not required. Coaches will be given training, and all necessary equipment is provided by ASA. Coaches must be available for games, typically on Saturdays, and for one or two practices per week on weeknights. Applicants can contact Justin Wilt at 703-527-0157.
- The Community Outreach Program is looking for volunteers to be citizenship class teachers. There’s no need to be a certified teacher, the instructors come from all different backgrounds and professions. Volunteers must just be able to go through an orientation class and use materials they are given to teach immigrants the information necessary to pass the U.S. citizenship exam. There’s particular need for an instructor on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road). There are also some positions open for weekday classes from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Clarendon Education Center (2801 Clarendon Blvd). Although it’s preferred that volunteers commit to at least three months, those who can’t make the full commitment are welcome to apply for substitute positions. Anyone interested in applying can contact Aaron McCready at 703-228-1397.
- The Department of Parks and Recreation needs volunteers to help children with disabilities learn to swim. Trained staff members will lead the classes and volunteers will be in the pool to offer assistance and encouragement to participants. Experience working with individuals with disabilities is a plus, but not required. Volunteers should be comfortable in the water and able to swim, and should be able to attend four sessions throughout the year (one for each season). The sessions will take place at the pool adjacent to Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd). Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Shaeron King at 703-228-4731.
Family Remembers Homicide Victim — As Arlington police search for the man who killed a Columbia Pike jewelry shop owner on Friday, the family of the victim is speaking out. The victim’s daughter said her dad, 52-year-old Tommy Wong of Herndon, had owned Capital Jewelers at 3219 Columbia Pike for the past 5 years. “I just want to know why didn’t he take what he needed and leave my dad alone,” she said tearfully in a TV interview. [WUSA 9]
Tobacco Use Down Among Arlington Youth – Arlington youths are using less tobacco but are using more marijuana, according to the latest survey by the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. The survey results point to a continuation of a decade-long trend of declining tobacco use and increasing marijuana use among Arlington youth. [Sun Gazette]
Obituary for Local Business Leader – An obituary has been published for Syd Albrittain, the chief executive of local developer Dittmar Co., who died at the age of 82 last month. In addition to helping Arlington achieve its vision for transit-oriented development, Albrittain gave millions to local organizations like Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School, the Catholic Archdiocese of Arlington, Virginia Hospital Center and the Arlington Free Clinic. [Washington Post]