The prohibition on profanely cursing in public will not change, but the Board will consider changing “drunkenness” in the code to “intoxication,” to include those under the influence of narcotics. County staff is also recommending making the crime a Class 4 misdemeanor, the punishment for which is a fine not to exceed $250.
Currently, county code calls for a fine not to exceed $100 for the first two convictions in a year, and a fine not to exceed $500 for any additional convictions.
“These recommended changes to the penalty portion of the Code are meant to simplify and align the County Code with State Code” staff said of the proposed changes, adding that it will also “clear up any ambiguity or constitutional vagueness with the current language.”
Included in the staff report is the number of arrests for drunkenness and profane cursing last year — and there were quite a few.
“The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) made 664 arrests for individuals either appearing drunk or using profanity in public during calendar year 2014,” county staff reported. “There were instances where individuals were under the influence of other intoxicants; however, enforcement was not possible under this Code section.”
The incident happened at the Marshall’s at 1201 S. Hayes Street around 6 p.m. on Friday. The woman noticed someone taking pictures of her while she was in the store’s dressing room and reported the incident to the police.
The alleged peeping tom fled the scene before officers arrived and the victim was unable to provide a description of the suspect.
From the daily Arlington County Police crime report.
PEEPING TOM, 150605045, 1200 block of S. Hayes Street. At 6 pm on June 5, a female victim noticed a subject taking pictures of her while in the dressing room at Marshall’s. The suspect fled and victim was unable to provide a description.
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. on the 5200 block of 8th Road S. Police say the man approached the victim and demanded money — but he apparently did not specify how much.
“The victim gave the suspect one dollar and the suspect asked for more,” according to the daily Arlington County crime report. “As the victim was opening his wallet to give the suspect more money, the suspect snatched the wallet and fled the scene.”
“The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 5’7″, slim build with blonde hair wearing a white shirt, grey shorts and a red backpack,” the crime report continued. “The investigation remains ongoing at this time.”
An Arlington resident on the county’s western section of Wilson Blvd had three modern life essentials — an iPhone, Macbook and eyeglasses — stolen from his or her home last week.
The theft occurred early Friday morning. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
BURGLARY, 150401011, 5900 block of Wilson Boulevard. Between 1:00 and 5:30 am on May 1, an unknown subject(s) entered a residence and stole an iPhone 6, MacBook Pro and eyeglasses. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
A man was viciously punched in the hallway of a Columbia Pike-area apartment building early Wednesday morning, police say.
Two arrests were made in connection with the alleged crime. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 150415010, 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road. At 2:26 am on April 15, two subjects assaulted a victim in the hallway of an apartment building. The victim was repeatedly punched causing him to suffer a broken tooth that was embedded in his lip. Vannak Ki, 20, of Falls Church, VA and Joshua Hueston, 19, of Arlington, VA were arrested and charged with malicious wounding. They were held without bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
The man who killed a 24-year-old Alexandria resident last January in a drunk-driving collision in Rosslyn was sentenced to 12 years in prison this morning.
Aman Singh Lail was sentenced to 20 years, with nine suspended, for aggravated involuntary manslaughter, plus 12 months for driving under the influence. Lail pleaded guilty to the charges last summer.
The sentence was the maximum allowed upon the plea agreement, and Arlington Circuit Court Judge Louise DiMatteo apologized to the family of the victim, Chowdhury Saqlain, saying no sentence could replace the son they lost.
“I don’t even know what to say to the family seated over here,” she said from the dais. “It’s completely unfair what’s happened to you. It’s wrong.”
Lail had previously been arrested twice and convicted once of DUI in Virginia. He had also been charged with multiple reckless driving and speeding charges, totaling more than 30 citations and arrests.
On Jan. 24, 2014, Lail was driving on Lee Highway at between 53 and 64 mph — the Commonwealth’s Attorney and Lail’s attorneys dispute the speed and blood-alcohol content of the case — when his Jeep Wrangler slammed into Saqlain’s sedan at the intersection of Ft. Myer Drive. Lail could not complete a field sobriety test and initially lied to detectives, telling them a friend “Moe” had been driving his SUV.
“He drove like a maniac, was outrageously drunk and displayed callousness after the fact,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jay Burkholder said during the hearing. Witnesses said he drank between four and five vodka and orange juice drinks and two tequila shots at a hookah bar in Fairfax County. “Because of perverted fate, the defendant is alive and [Saqlain] is dead.”
Lail’s mother testified that her son had been an alcoholic and told her the evening after the crash he didn’t remember what happened. In the 15 months since the crash, Lail’s attorney claimed he had grown up, and asked for leniency in the sentencing.
After the hearing, Saqlain’s family and their attorney, David Haynes of The Cochran Firm, held a press conference outside the courthouse and announced they would be pursuing a civil suit against Lail, asking for $20 million in damages.
Haynes said the family hopes Saqlain’s legacy is fewer drunk-driving deaths. They are also calling on state legislators to make bars and restaurants liable in drunk-driving accidents that occurred after over-serving their patrons.
“Without this law on the books, we are unable to hold these establishments responsible,” Haynes said.
During the sentencing hearing, Saqlain’s stepfather read testimony written by his wife — the victim’s mother — who was quietly sobbing in the front row.
“There will be no more birthdays, he will always be 24,” he read. “My heart aches knowing he had no warning, no ability to prepare. He couldn’t say goodbye.”
A woman told police that an SUV pulled up to her around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, on the 1300 block of S. George Mason Drive. There were two women inside the SUV, who flashed a handgun and demanded that the victim get into the vehicle.
While inside, according a crime report, the suspects robbed the victim of a handbag containing cash, a cell phone and a passport. They drove a few blocks then let the victim out of the vehicle.
From the crime report:
Both suspects were described as Hispanic females, approximately 45 years old. One suspect wore a baseball cap and grey hoodie. The second suspect had bleached blonde hair. She was wearing a hoodie with floral print, ripped blue jeans and ankle-high snow boots. The suspect’s vehicle was described as a dark color SUV, unknown make, model or tags. The investigation remains on going at this time.
According to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the lockers in the men’s locker room were all locked with digital locks, and it’s unclear how the suspect was able to open them.
“We’re not sure if the suspect watched people in the locker room put in their codes, or if there’s a way of getting around the digital locks,” Sternbeck said.
One of the larceny victims said the robbery happened over the course of just a few minutes.
“I was working out for about 15 minutes, went back to my locker to change into my swimsuit and it was gone,” Mark Slobodien told ARLnow.com this morning. His wallet, ID and some jewelry were also stolen. “It feels like [the gym] was responsible, at least partly. I was using their locks to secure my property.”
Sternbeck said the department doesn’t keep statistics for thefts from gym lockers — they’re usually reported as larcenies — so he couldn’t say how frequent locker room thefts are. He did say, however, that most of the thefts are from lockers that were not secured by a lock.
There is no suspect description. All of the items stolen, Sternbeck said, appeared to be wallets, cash and other valuables that can easily be concealed.
Slobodien said L.A. Fitness staff told him similar larcenies had happened “once or twice” in the last couple of years. L.A. Fitness management did not return a request for comment.
Police say a male suspect put the victim in a chokehold while a female suspect went through his pockets and stole a cell phone.
From the ACPD:
ROBBERY, 150325003, 5100 block of Columbia Pike. At 12:38 am on March 25, an unknown male suspect placed the victim into a choke hold while a female suspect went through his pockets and stole his T-mobile cell phone. The male suspect was described as a black male in his 20’s, approximately 6’0 and 230 lbs. He was wearing a dark color baseball cap, dark long sleeve shirt and dark color pants. The second suspect was described as a black female in her 20’s. The suspects fled the scene on foot prior to officers arrival.
Last weekend, police found a man who had been knocked out, lying on the ground in Clarendon. A 49-year-old Woodbridge man was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 150322006, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At 12:30 am on March 22, officers located a 26 year old male victim on the ground and unresponsive. The victim was transported to George Washington Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Investigation revealed that the suspect assaulted the victim. Ivan Deloria, 49, of Woodbridge, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. The suspect was held with not bond.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Arlington’s rate of Part I offenses (homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) dropped 8.22 percent from 2013 to 2014, and the total of 3,863 Part I offenses was the lowest in the county since 1961, ACPD said.
“The historically low crime rate is a true testament to the partnership among the community and Police Department,” Police Chief Doug Scott said in a press release, his last as ACPD chief before his retirement became official this week. “We will continue make these partnerships even stronger as it has made our community safer.”
Arlington had one homicide last year — a domestic murder-suicide in December — and rape incidents increased from 26 in 2013 to 27 in 2014. Other crime categories all fell year-over-year:
- Robberies decreased 12.7 percent
- Burglaries decreased 14.17 percent
- Larcenies decreased about 7 percent
- Motor vehicle thefts decreased about 7 percent
- Aggravated assaults decreased 19.4 percent
“Even with crime rates at historic lows, the Arlington County Police Department will continue to actively patrol and maintain safety, and will attempt to identify causes for crimes so that they may be addressed,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said in the release.
Police say the man ran off with the store’s cash register and, a short distance away, smashed it on the ground to open it. He then fled in a getaway vehicle with his pilfered cash.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ROBBERY, 150219028, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 2 pm on February 19, a male subject entered the Dollar Up store and brandished a knife at an employee. The subject grabbed the cash register and fled the store on foot. A short distance later the suspect is seen slamming the register on the ground and taking an undisclosed amount of money before driving off in a getaway vehicle. The suspect is described as a black male in his fifties. He was wearing a dark colored winter coat and brown beanie.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
Reward Paid for Bank Robbery Tip — Arlington County Crime Solvers has paid a reward for a tip received that led to the arrest of a bank robbery suspect. The tipster called a 1-800 number to leave a tip after seeing a press release about the Dec. 6 robbery at Capital One Bank in Ballston Common Mall. [Arlington County]
Williamsburg Middle School Closed Monday — Williamsburg Middle School was closed Monday due to a pipe that burst over the weekend, damaging part of the school. [WUSA 9]
‘CoworkCafe’ Launches in Clarendon — A new coworking space concept called CoworkCafe has launched in the lounge next to Boccato Gelato in Clarendon. For $150-200 per month, those seeking to get work done can access the lounge as often as they like. They also get a $50 credit toward food and beverage. [Washington Business Journal]
Solar Co-Op Launching in Arlington — A group of Arlington residents is banding together to form a solar co-op, which will allow members to obtain bulk discounts on the purchase and installation of home solar power equipment. [Sun Gazette, Virginia Sun]
‘Soulless’ Tweeter Spotted in Arlington — Byron Tau, the Wall Street Journal reporter who asked last week if Arlington was the “most soulless place in the United States,” was photographed over the weekend smiling widely at Courthouse’s Fire Works Pizza. “No comment on the record,” Tau tweeted in response to the photo. [Twitter]
Reminder: Pothole, Water Main Break Reporting — As the freeze, thaw, refreeze cycle continues during the month of February, numerous water main breaks and large potholes have been reported around Arlington. If you spot one that needs to be fixed, you can quickly file a report about it via the following “report a problem” online form. [Arlington County]
The incident happened just after noon, at the Safeway on the 3700 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man implied that he had a weapon and demanded cash. The store’s manager was able to subdue the suspect and hold him until police arrived.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ROBBERY, 150217009, 3700 block of Lee Highway. On February 17 at 12:03 pm, a male suspect entered the Safeway and attempted to rob the store demanding money and assaulting the store manager and implied he had a weapon. The manager was able to detain the suspect until police arrived. Enkhamar Tserenorj, 19, of McLean, VA, was arrested and charged with robbery and assault & battery. He was held without bond.
Last Friday, just before Valentine’s Day, a man allegedly used a master key and bolt cutters to break into his ex-wife’s apartment in the Columbia Heights West community.
Once inside, police say the man assaulted the woman and her boyfriend.
BURGLARY/ASSAULT, 150214003, 700 block of S. Florida Street. At 11:53 pm on February 13, a male subject gained entry to his ex-wife’s apartment by using a master key and bolt cutters. The suspect forced his way into the bedroom and physically assaulted the 44 year-old female victim and her boyfriend. The suspect fled and was located by police at a relative’s house. Gonzalo Cruz, 45, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with burglary, possession of burglarious tools, destruction of property and assault. He was held without bond.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) A convicted felon put a knife to the throat of a 7-Eleven clerk in Lyon Park early this morning, then tried to carjack a delivery truck at gunpoint before ditching the gun and running off into the neighborhood, according to police.
The incident happened around 2:15 a.m., in the midst of this morning’s snow storm, at the 7-Eleven store at 2704 Washington Blvd.
Police say Antonius Sallis, 33, held up the store, putting a knife to the throat of a clerk with one hand while holding a handgun in his other hand. Sallis demanded Newport cigarettes and cash, then slashed the clerk’s neck before leaving the store, Arlington County Police said in a press release.
A delivery truck driver witnessed the robbery, police said, then was robbed himself. The driver told investigators that Sallis demanded his wallet and tried to steal the truck.
Police say the getaway was foiled when Sallis could not disengage the truck’s airbrake, at which point he took off running into the neighborhood.
Officers tracked him down and after a brief foot chase, Sallis was arrested, ACPD spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm said. He’s charged with two counts of armed robbery, malicious wounding, abduction, carjacking and being felon in possession of a firearm.
Police and canine units searched for hours after the robbery to find the gun. Just before 3:00 p.m., an officer found it, along with “some other evidence” in the backyard of a house on the 300 block of N. Fillmore Street, Malcolm said.
“Officers during their evening shift briefing were told the suspected path the suspect traveled,” Malcolm said. “About two blocks behind the 7-Eleven, an officer spotted it.”
Sallis, who police say is homeless, is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Center.
Earlier, police said Sallis — who has retained a lawyer — was being uncooperative as officers searched for the weapon.
“We did searches with canines, patrolled the area… We’ve looked everywhere we can, but we’re only 360 police officers and not all of us are in,” Malcolm told ARLnow.com earlier today. “We’re asking the community to be mindful and look for the firearm. It could be in the snow, in a trash can, in a storm sewer.
“We’re most concerned about kids finding the firearm,” Malcolm said. “We really need to find this.”
Police recovered the knife and other evidence when they apprehended Sallis, Malcolm noted.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
Two masked men held up the McDonald’s at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway early this morning and stole cash.
The two men caught on surveillance cameras entered the fast-food joint about 4:40 a.m. and jumped over the front counter, police said. One man pointed a handgun at employees while the other man served as a lookout. The thieves stuffed cash into a backpack and drove off in a dark sedan. No injuries were reported.
Police described the first suspect as a black man in his 20s who stands about 5-foot-3, weighs 125 pounds and was last seen wearing ripped jeans and construction boots. The other man was described as black, about 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds. He was wearing dark jeans and a black North Face coat.
Anyone with information about the crime is encouraged to contact Det. Mulvaney of the ACPD’s robbery/homicide unit at 703-228-4239 or at [email protected], or submit a tip anonymously at 866-411-TIPS (8477).