HOT Lane Lawsuit May Haunt County — At a time when the state is studying HOT lanes and other possible changes to I-66 inside the Beltway, Arlington County’s past actions may come back to haunt it. County officials “burned some bridges” when they filed a lawsuit against VDOT in 2009 to block HOT lanes on I-395. The county has also lost some regional credibility by abruptly canceling the streetcar project. Efforts by Arlington to oppose any changes on I-66, therefore, may fall on deaf ears. [InsideNova]
Incubator Launches in Crystal City — Eastern Foundry, a “veteran-owned government technology and innovation incubator,” celebrated its launch in Crystal City yesterday. The company held a ribbon cutting ceremony with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vornado/Charles E. Smith president Mitchell Schear. [PR Web]
Man Arrested for Arlington Attack — Fairfax County Police have arrested a man wanted for allegedly attacking his ex-wife’s boyfriend in Arlington. In the June 15 attack on Columbia Pike, police say Edwin Patino-Medina ripped two necklaces off the boyfriend’s neck then tried to run him over with a car. [WUSA 9]
Menorah Lighting Tonight — Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. Tonight, in the park next to the Clarendon Metro station, Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington will hold a menorah lighting and community celebration. The event kicks off at 6:00 p.m. and features a “giant 6 foot menorah” plus music, potato latkes, chocolate gelt and “dreidels for all.” Tomorrow, the group will hold its annual Chanukah on Ice event at the Pentagon Row ice rink.
Flickr pool photo by Alves Family
Board to Consider ‘Technology Zone’ Expansion — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a motion to advertise changes to its program of giving tax breaks to small technology firms. Possible changes include expanding the “technology zones” in which businesses are eligible for the program to instead cover the entire county. The Board will vote on the changes in December. [Arlington County]
Werth Gnome Made of Cans at DCA — A huge Jayson Werth garden gnome sculpture made of cans is one such can creation on display at Reagan National Airport. Made for the annual “Canstruction” competition, which runs through Nov. 22, the sculptures will benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center. [DCist]
Students Place First in Video Contest — Six Arlington Public Schools students have placed first in a state-wide video contest. They created a 30-second video for the annual Virginia School Boards Association competition. [Arlington Public Schools]
Shooting Suspect Arrested in Arlington — One of the two suspects in the shooting of two teenagers in Woodbridge was arrested Tuesday by Arlington County Police, following a traffic stop on N. George Mason Drive. [WNEW]
Columnist: Streetcar’s Death Will Widen Class Divisions — Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney opines that the decision to kill the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar system will “probably deepen” class and racial divisions in Arlington. “In effect, Arlington just told its least prosperous residents: ‘You want streetcars to upgrade your neighborhoods? Too expensive. Keep riding the bus.’” McCartney writes. [Washington Post]
TV Bachelor Arrested in Arlington — John Bonavia, a wealthy bachelor who tried to find love last year on the Bravo show Millionaire Matchmaker, was arrested in Ballston on Saturday, Nov. 1. Banavia was charged with being drunk in public on the 4200 block of N. Fairfax Drive, near the Ballston Metro station. [Radar Online]
Historical Marker for Pharmacy — Arlington County has erected a historical marker for the Green Valley Pharmacy in the Nauck neighborhood. The interactive marker includes audio clips from an interview with 86-year-old owner Leonard “Doc” Muse, who still operates the pharmacy to this day. [InsideNova, Arlington County]
No Blue Line Tomorrow — Metro’s Blue Line will be suspended on Tuesday (Veterans Day) to help with the agency’s effort to accommodate the massive crowds expected to attend the Concert for Valor on the National Mall. Yellow Line trains will replace Blue Line trains on Tuesday. As many as 800,000 people are expected to attend the concert. [WMATA]
County Offices Closed Tuesday — Arlington County offices, schools, courts and libraries will be closed for the Veterans Day holiday on Tuesday. ART buses will operate on a modified holiday schedule. Normal trash, recycling and leaf collection will still take place. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Cary James, a 44-year-old Florida resident, was arrested by Montgomery County police on Thursday.
James robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Rockville, then tried to take a taxi to D.C., according to a police press release. Montgomery County officers were able to locate the cab and take James into custody without incident. Police say they recovered the stolen cash in the taxi.
There was “chaos” on the streets of Clarendon Saturday night when a naked bar crawl attendee ran from police, hopped in a car and led cops on a high speed chase that ended in a crash.
Just past 8:00 p.m., police say a man who had been participating in the All American Bar Crawl stripped naked in Goody’s (3125 Wilson Blvd) pizza restaurant. The man, described as a black male in his 20s, left his clothes in the restaurant and ran outside, where police quickly gave chase, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The man hopped into a car — police couldn’t say if it was his car — and took off. Police cruisers followed, and chased the drunk man through an adjacent neighborhood. The man then made it back to Clarendon and started going the wrong way down Wilson Blvd, before striking two parked vehicles near the intersection with N. Highland Street, Sternbeck said.
The man — still stark naked — jumped out of the car window and started running, but was soon tased by police and taken into custody, according to Sternbeck. He was taken to Virginia Hospital Center as a precaution, and is expected to be booked at the Arlington County Detention Center tonight on numerous charges including indecent exposure.
A large crowd witnessed the incident, Sternbeck noted. One witness on Twitter said the largely intoxicated crowd that gathered started chanted “USA” as the nude man was detained.
NBC 4 tweeted the following photo of the arrest.
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) June 29, 2014
Photo (top) courtesy Keith Hall
William Couch pleaded guilty to abduction with intent to defile and object sexual penetration in the cases, according to an Arlington County Police Department press release.
According to police, Couch admitted to the May 9, 1989 sexual assault and robbery of a woman whose home was broken into as she slept, and the Sept. 11, 1989 rape of a woman who was forced into a maintenance room by a man after she arrived early for her shift at work.
“In January of 2013, cold case detectives reviewed evidence from these cases and in June of 2013 William Couch became a suspect,” according to the press release. “On February 17, 2014 Couch was indicted on charges in connection to these assaults. On June 12, 2014, he pled guilty and was sentenced to 45 years on each case.”
The cases were investigated by detectives Rosa Ortiz and Robert Icolari, of ACPD’s Cold Case Squad, and prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cari Steele. Ortiz is best known for being the lead detective in the Carl Diener murder case.
“Once again the value of a having a Cold Case Squad has been proven as we were able to bring some closure to two victims while bringing this sexual predator to justice,” said Deputy Chief Daniel Murray, commander of ACPD’s Criminal Investigations Division.
The incident took place around 4:50 p.m. Saturday afternoon on the 3800 block of 9th Street N., in the Virginia Square area. Police say Melvin Baxter, 57, grabbed the 87-year-old man by the neck and threw him to the ground before robbing him of the cash in his wallet and fleeing on foot.
“A witness immediately came to the assistance of the victim and contacted police, providing a detailed description of the assailant,” according to an Arlington County Police Department press release. “The victim sustained minor injuries and was treated by medics on scene. At approximately 5:00 p.m., an officer located and detained the suspect on the platform of the Ballston Metro Station.”
Baxter, a Capitol Heights, Md. resident, was charged with robbery and held without bond at the Arlington County Detention Facility.
Arlington County Police say the three men robbed a woman of her purse at a hotel on the 2000 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, near Crystal City, around 11:30 p.m. this past Saturday. As they were running away, one of the suspects accidentally left a couple of things behind.
“As the subjects were fleeing, one dropped his wallet and cell phone, which were recovered by security,” according to the police report.
The butter-fingered suspect was arrested after he went back to the hotel to try to find his belongings, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Another was arrested at his home a short time later.
“Muqtadir Mustafa, 19, of Arlington, Va. and Andre Costa, 19 of Arlington, Va. were arrested and charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery,” the police report said.
A third suspect, whose identity is now known to police, remains at large.
The incident happened around 3:30 a.m. It started, police say, when a man followed a 31-year-old woman off the Metro and, after exiting the station, threw her into a bush near the corner of N. Veitch Street and Wilson Blvd.
The man tried to sexually assault the woman, but her screams for help were heard by a group of four men who ran to her aid, fought off the attacker and called police, according Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The suspect was arrested as he tried to flee eastbound on Clarendon Blvd, Sternbeck said. Ryan Dean, 27-years-old of no fixed address, is charged with sexual battery.
Photo courtesy ACPD
The incident happened around 7:45 p.m. at a gas station on the 3300 block of Lee Highway, just east of Cherrydale and west of I-66.
Police say a woman was pumping gas when she saw an employee with his pants down, masturbating in one of the garage bays.
Police were called and Arlington resident Bishnu Bahadur, 37, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
The alleged incident took place at 5:00 p.m. this past Monday, on the 1000 block of S. Cleveland Street.
“A subject was seen masturbating in his car in front of a daycare as children were playing in the front yard,” according to the ACPD crime report. “Police arrived on scene and took the suspect into custody.”
The suspect — identified as 38-year-old Alberto Sanchez Jr of New Haven, Conn. — has been charged with “taking indecent liberties with children.” He was held without bond.
James Watson, 32, was found guilty this week of beating up his roommate after the roommate drew a penis on his face while he slept. An Arlington County Circuit Court judge sentenced Watson to a $1,250 fine and restitution on the misdemeanor charge, but no additional jail time.
During trial, the jury was told that Watson and his two roommates were out drinking in Clarendon on a Friday night last March. When they returned to their Lyon Village home, Watson fell asleep on the couch with his shoes on, prompting the victim decided to prank him by drawing a penis on his face with a black dry erase marker, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Ben Inman, who prosecuted the case.
Watson awoke and “felt a tingling on his face,” leading him to use a mirror function on his phone. Upon seeing the cartoonish genitalia, Inman said, Watson went upstairs and began repeatedly punching the victim in the face. The victim testified that we awoke to Watson punching him, while Watson argued that a heated verbal argument preceded a physical fight between the two men. The third roommate corroborated the victim’s story, said Inman.
As a result of the assault, the victim suffered a broken nose, an eye that was swollen shut and other facial injuries, according to police and prosecutors.
The victim testified that pranks were a part of life in the home, and that it was a “house rule” that one would be drawn on should they pass out with their shoes on. Watson argued that he was aware of no such rule.
The victim also told the jury that he had tested the marker on his arm before using it, and that the black mark had come right off. Watson said he tried but could not remove the penis drawing from his face.
In recommending no jail time, the jury might have felt sorry for Watson and the negative attention, media and otherwise, he received as a result of the genitalia on his face.
“He was an object of ridicule in jail that weekend because he still had the penis drawn on his face,” Inman told ARLnow.com. Watson made bail early the following week.
Watson is scheduled to be back in Circuit Court in July as a result of the conviction. He was previously tried on felony charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer in 2012, but the imposition of sentence was suspended on the condition of good behavior. That suspension could be revoked, leading to possible jail time or other punishment.
An allegedly gun-toting convicted felon was arrested by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents after a brief car chase and crash in Pentagon City over the weekend.
The ATF says its agents were following D.C. resident Othaniel Gaither, a convicted felon, after he illegally bought two guns and ammunition in Northern Virginia on Sunday. When Gaither took a detour through Pentagon City en route back to D.C., the agents tried to pull him over in the area of 15th Street and S. Fern Street.
“At this point, Gaither attempted to evade arrest and rammed into one of the ATF vehicles,” ATF Washington Field Division spokesman Thomas A. Faison told ARLnow.com. “This evasion attempt proved unsuccessful.”
“[Gaither] admitted to being a convicted felon who was transporting the firearms and ammunition from Virginia to D.C.,” Faison said. “He also stated that an associate of his was shot several weeks ago in D.C. and the firearms and ammunition were for retaliation against the individuals responsible for the shooting incident.”
ATF agents recovered an AK-47 rifle, a .38 caliber machine pistol and a flare gun that was modified to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells, according to Faison. Ammunition was also found.
Gaither remains in custody on federal charges.
Photos courtesy @WestwoodKing
An 18-year-old Arlington resident was arrested early Tuesday morning after police say he drunkenly ran his car into two small “boulders” at Henry Clay Park, then assaulted two police officers as he was being taken him into custody.
The man faces a long list of charges, including DUI, possession of PCP and assault on a police officer. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ASSAULT ON POLICE OFFICER, 140422003, 500 block of Garfield Street. On April 22 at 1:29am, police noticed a vehicle driving erratically and honking its horn. Police followed the vehicle and witnessed it strike two boulders at Henry Clay Park and coming to a stop. The suspect assaulted officers as they took him into custody. John Taylor Herrling, 18, of Arlington, VA was arrested for two counts of assault on a police officer, possession of PCP, DUI, eluding, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, and hit and run. His bond status will be determined once he is sober.
Also in this week’s crime report, a man is accused of trying to rape a woman he met on an online dating site.
ATTEMPTED RAPE, 140420017, 1700 block of N. Troy Street. On April 20 at 6:50am, a victim reported being sexually assaulted by a subject she met through an online dating site. Following police investigation, Joseph Lamae Coles, 24, of Washington, D.C. was charged with attempted rape, abduction with the intent to defile, choking, and malicious wounding. He was held without bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
An Alexandria man has been arrested and charged with hitting an Arlington police officer with his SUV after tossing a water bottle at a group of people outside Mister Days in Clarendon.
The alleged incident happened around 2:00 a.m. this past Saturday.
“Officers witnessed a SUV stop in front of Mr. Days bar and throw a water bottle out of the vehicle at other patrons,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The vehicle took off at a high rate of speed, struck a median and was driving recklessly before stopping at a traffic light.”
Foot patrol officers chased down the SUV and, standing on either side of the vehicle, ordered the driver to get out, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The driver “acknowledged their presence and chose to ignore their commands,” said Sternbeck, then “accelerated forward and knocked over the officer with the side of his vehicle” in an attempt to flee.
The officer was knocked to the ground and rolled several times, but only suffered minor injuries. Police caught up with the accused driver, 27-year-old Evan Rowland, in Alexandria. He was arrested and charged with Malicious Bodily Injury to a Law Enforcement Officer.
Photo courtesy ACPD