(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) A jury has sentenced a man to life in prison without parole for the June 2013 machete attack on two homeless brothers outside Arlington Central Library.
Derrick Sutherland, 30, was convicted of aggravated malicious wounding for attacking twins Brian and Tim Kern while they were sleeping outside on June 24, 2013, sending both to the hospital with serious injuries. Sutherland was also homeless at the time, and he was “known to carry a machete,” according to police.
Arlington Circuit Court Chief Judge William T. Newman will hand down Sutherland’s final sentencing in an April 17 hearing, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Lynch, who tried the case along with Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Lindsay Brooker.
“What broke this case open was some great police work,” Lynch told ARLnow.com this morning. “Officer Stephanie Rodriguez was on the ball that night, she went to where Brian was. She remembered that 48 hours earlier, she went to that very same place and encountered a guy with dreadlocks, a Jamaican accent and a pink shirt, and he was homeless.”
After searching for several hours, police located Sutherland near Wilson Blvd and N. Piedmont Street, a few blocks from where the attack took place. Within the previous six months, Sutherland had been convicted twice on weapons charges, once for carrying a concealed Bowie knife and once for brandishing a machete or Bowie knife, Lynch said.
Just days before the attack, three officers had encountered Sutherland and confiscated a machete, which Sutherland said he needed to protect himself. At two separate points since the attack, Lynch said, Sutherland was ruled mentally incompetent and had to be treated at a state mental facility in Staunton.
According to the Washington Post, Tim Kern suffered a broken collarbone and an injured knee during the attack. He also required staples in his shoulder and stitches in his arm. Tim also suffered a cut on the back of his neck that went through “his skin, his fat, his muscle all the way to the muscle surrounding the spinal cord,” Lynch said. “It was deep and it was long. I categorized it as an attempt to decapitate him.”
Brian Kern lost the vision in one of his eyes, and both of his wrists and three fingers were broken in the attacks. He also suffered large wounds to both of his hands, and Lynch said he had to learn how to write left-handed because of the injuries to his right hand.
Tim Kern died in a homeless shelter two months after he was attacked, but the machete wounds he suffered “did not contribute directly to his death.” He and his brother were 26 at the time. Brian, now 28 and living with a family friend, testified against Sutherland during the trial.
“The victim showed a lot of patience,” Lynch said. “June 24, 2013, was a long time ago. He showed courage throughout. Just surviving and getting up and testifying showed a lot of courage.”
The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a 39-year-old Fairfax woman for allegedly running over a man in a Columbia Pike parking lot yesterday evening.
Alexandra Mendez was arrested at her home at 6:00 this morning, police have announced. She is charged with aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, two counts of hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license. The 40-year-old victim, a Stafford resident, remains at George Washington University Hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said.
The man was lying on the ground when police and witnesses say Mendez drove her SUV over him, dragging him several feet before speeding off westbound on Columbia Pike. Mendez also allegedly rolled over another man’s foot in her Toyota Highlander, in the parking lot behind a car dealership and beauty salon on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.
Mendez is being held at the Arlington County jail without bond. Police also recovered the SUV when making the arrest this morning.
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has taken into custody and charged Alexandra Mendez, 39, of Fairfax, VA, following yesterday evening’s accident in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. Mendez was denied bond and is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility. She has been charged with aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding, two counts of hit & run and driving on a suspended license.
On January 27, 2015, at approximately 4:44 p.m., the suspect struck a male victim with her vehicle in a parking lot, knocking him to the ground. Numerous witnesses attempted to prevent her from driving away from the scene as the victim lay on the ground in front of her Toyota Highlander. After ignoring their requests to stop, Mendez proceeded forward over top of the victim and fled the scene. She remained at large until officers took her into custody at her residence at 6:00 a.m. this morning.
Emergency personnel transported the victim, a 40 year-old Stafford, VA man, to GW Hospital with life-threatening injuries, where he remains in critical condition.
The United States Marshal Service, Fairfax City Police Department and Fairfax County Police Department assisted Arlington County officers in taking the female suspect into custody this morning. The vehicle was recovered outside of the suspect’s residence.
(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) A burglar made off with 200 pounds of meat between Friday night and Saturday morning, just before the Arlington Food Assistance Center was set to give out its weekly meals to families in Nauck.
AFAC dropped off its usual delivery on Friday night at at 2229 Shirlington Road, at the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation, to be distributed to families on Saturday, AFAC Executive Director Charles Meng told ARLnow.com. At some point overnight, according to Meng and police reports, a burglar entered the building and stole about 200 pounds of meat. There is no suspect description.
“Chicken, fish, hot dogs and dried beans were stolen,” Meng said this morning. “We quickly replaced that so that the distribution could go on the next morning. It’s unfortunate, but it’s more of a case where somebody saw an opportunity and saw some food and took it. I suspect it was someone who was more in need of food than anything else.”
Meng said the food was being held in an office with computers and other electronic equipment, none of which was stolen. Considering AFAC delivers more than 80,000 pounds of food a week, Meng did not seem concerned with the theft.
“Two hundred pounds is going to cost us $200 or so,” Meng said. “We have the backup supplies to replace it. In our mind, the thing we want to do is make sure our clients get served. That’s our first objective. We deal with other matters after that.”
AFAC’s objective continues to be strained as the group struggles to meet the ever-increasing demand of Arlington’s hungry families. Meng said AFAC served a record 2,230 families last month and he’s projecting AFAC will exceed its food budget by $150,000 for the second straight year.
AFAC is serving 100 new families each month, Meng said, and he doesn’t anticipated the trend reversing itself anytime soon.
“We put in a request to the county for additional funding,” he said. “Right now their funding amounts to 6.8 percent of what it takes to operate AFAC. They’re getting a fantastic deal, they’re getting an 1,100 percent return on their dollar in one year. I hope they understand to keep this organization running and helping this community, some additional support is needed.”
Patrick Joseph Friedel, 29, will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession and production of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today.
Friedel admitted to meeting five underage girls over the internet and, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, exchanged sexually explicit images with them, using “persuasion, including sending depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and coercion, including threats to post images online and tell parents.”
According to a signed affidavit by the Department of Homeland Security agent assigned to the case and acquired by ARLnow.com, Friedel used social networking apps Kik and MeetMe with the username “gthoya” to find victims and persuade them to send him sexually explicit images and videos.
Law enforcement found approximately 500 images or videos on Friedel’s computer of minors engaging in sex acts or other lewd behavior, according to the affidavit. The majority of the media was sent to Friedel directly at his request. At least six of the images or videos were of children under the age of 10 engaging in sex acts with adult males, but agents believe Friedel acquired them from other sources online.
Friedel engaged in sexual activity with one of the girls with whom he had contact three times, taking pictures and videos of the incidents. According to Friedel’s plea agreement, the images “included sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” The victim was 15 years old at the time.
The affidavit states Friedel rented a Zipcar to drive to the victim’s house, pick her up, and engage in intercourse and “oral and anal sodomy” in the back seat. On a separate occasion, Friedel picked her up and brought her to his home in Arlington, where he filmed their sexual encounters. On the videotape, the agent states, he instructs her to perform sex acts to him and “slapped her on the head” when she did not do as instructed.
Friedel is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24.
The full press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office is after the jump.
Other than a notable bar fight in Ballston, this past week has been a rather slow one in Arlington crime-wise, at least according to the weekly county crime report.
One standout is a reported stolen vehicle. For some reason, someone stole an old purple van a couple of blocks from Campbell Elementary.
01/12/15, VA TX134307, 1996 Ford Econoline, Purple
5600 block of S. 7th Place
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
The incident happened this past Friday, just after 7:00 p.m. Police say a group of five boys ages 11 to 13 entered the 7-Eleven and stole Slurpees.
When the cashier confronted the suspects, one allegedly brandished a knife and made threats, before fleeing the scene on foot.
From the crime report:
ROBBERY, 150102041, 400 block of S. 23rd Street. At 7:14 pm on January 2, a group of five juveniles entered a 7-11 and stole slurpees. When the cashier confronted the subjects, one of them brandished a knife and made threatening remarks. The suspects fled the scene on foot. The five suspects were described as black males between 11-13 years old and were wearing dark clothing.
The rest of this week’s Arlington crime report, after the jump.
A bomb threat was phoned into the Pentagon City mall on Christmas Eve, according to the latest Arlington County weekly crime report.
The bomb threat was called in around 1:00 p.m., just before a “black lives matter” protest at the mall. It’s unclear if the threat was in any way connected to or in response to the protest.
BOMB THREAT, 141224021, 1100 block of S Hayes St. On 12/24/14 at 1304 hours, unknown suspect called in a bomb threat to the Pentagon City Mall. Nothing suspicious found in garage area and mall did not evacuate.
PROTEST, 141224033, 1100 block of S Hayes St. On 12/24/14 at 1432 hours, approximately 15 individuals protested at Pentagon City Mall. No arrests made.
Also in the crime report, an armed robbery occurred in the Rosslyn / Courthouse area. The incident happened early last Monday morning.
ROBBERY,141229005, 1800 block of N Wilson BL. On 12/29/14 at 0330 hours, an unknown suspect displayed a handgun while demanding cigarettes and cash. Suspect description is black male, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans.
The rest of the weekly crime report, after the jump.
On Tuesday, Dec. 23, just before 6:00 p.m., police responded to an address near the Rosslyn Metro for a cab fare dispute, a fairly routine call. However, the taxi passenger was found to be drunk in public and was arrested — and she didn’t go down without a fight, police say.
The woman allegedly kicked two police officers as she was being loaded into the patrol car, injuring them.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
BATTERY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (2 COUNTS) / DRUNK IN PUBLIC,141223047, 1800 block of N. Nash St, On 12/23/14 at 1752 hours, officers responded for a cabfare dispute. The suspect was located and she was intoxicated in public. After the suspect was arrested, she kicked two police officers as she was being loaded into the patrol vehicle. Both officers sustained minor injuries and the suspect was held without bond.
Also in this week’s crime report, a woman reported being sexually assaulted in Ballston by a man with whom she went on a date. The alleged crime happened after she used the man’s bathroom, as she was trying to leave to go home.
SEXUAL ASSAULT, 141217058, 900 block of N Stuart St, A female victim told police that between 2030 hours and 2115 hours on 12/17/14, she went to a restaurant with a known male subject. She dropped him off at his residence and requested to use the bathroom before heading home. Upon doing so, she was pushed onto his bed where he she was sexually assaulted. The victim spoke with detectives and the investigation continues.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Last week, we reported on a gift shop in Ballston that had been robbed not once but twice by the same armed robber.
It turns out, the same guy has actually robbed the store three times in the past month or so.
Police say the man, pictured above, robbed the City News and Gift Shop inside 950 N. Stafford Street on Nov. 8, Dec. 3 and Dec. 4. The first time, he displayed a handgun and demanded money. The second time, he displayed a “large kitchen knife” and demanded money and Newport cigarettes. The third time, he again flashed a gun and demanded money.
Arlington County Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the man. The police department’s press release, below.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying an armed robbery suspect who has robbed a Ballston convenience store on three occasions and has been captured on surveillance video.
On November 8, 2014, the suspect entered the City News and Gift Shop located inside 950 N. Stafford Street at approximately 3:10 PM. The suspect was wearing black pants and was layered in a Washington Nationals jacket over a red and white striped polo shirt which was over a black hoodie. The suspect displayed a handgun tucked into his front waistband and demanded money. After the robbery, the suspect fled towards Fairfax Drive.
On December 3, 2014, it is believed that the same suspect entered the City News and Gift Shop at approximately 2:55 pm. This time the suspect was wearing black pants and a black jacket layered over a tan hoodie. The suspect displayed a large kitchen knife, demanded money and Newport brand cigarettes before fleeing towards the Ballston Metrorail station.
On December 4, 2014, the same suspect entered the City News and Gift Shop at approximately 8:20 pm. The suspect appeared to be wearing the same clothing as the day before with blue jeans. During this robbery, the suspect again displayed a handgun before demanding money. It is believed that the suspect fled again towards the Ballston Metrorail station after the robbery.
The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s-30s, approximately 5’8″ to 5’10” tall, with a medium build. In all three robberies, he appears to be wearing black and white soled tennis shoes, similar to Converse All-Stars, and a black beanie-style winter cap.
There were no reported injuries during any of these armed robberies
If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective P. Mulvaney of the Arlington County Homicide/Robbery Unit at (703) 228-4239 or [email protected] Anonymous tips can also be provided through the Arlington County Crime Solvers Hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
A man stole $450 at knifepoint on Wednesday, Dec. 3, then came back the next day and stole $400 at gunpoint, according to police.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 141203034, 900 block of N Stafford St, On 12/3/14 at 1501 hours, an unknown male entered the store and demanded money from the victim at knife point. The suspect was given $450.00 from the cash register then fled on foot towards the Ballston Metro. The victim confirmed this was the same suspect who robbed this store several weeks ago. The suspect is described as as black male, 5’08”-5’10”, medium build, 170 lbs, wearing a black coat with leather sleeves, black pants, a black beanie, a tan hoodie pulled halfway over the beanie, and black shoes with white soles. The knife is described as a large kitchen knife, 8-10″ in length with a black handle and silver blade. The suspect was seen entering the Metro platform through the handicap gate without paying and jumping on a train just prior to police arrival.
ARMED ROBBERY,141204049, 900 block of N Stafford St, On 12/4/14 at 2020 hours, an unknown male entered and robbed the gift shop at gunpoint. After the clerk gave the subject $400.00, the subject fled on foot towards the Ballston Metro. The subject is described as a black male, 5’08”-5’10”, medium build, a tan hoodie underneath a black leather coat, blue jeans, black beanie, and black shoes with white soles. The gun was held in the subject’s right hand. It is believed this is the same subject that robbed the store yesterday at knife point.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Cops say 100 bottles of wine were reported missing at a divorcing couple’s house in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood on Monday. The wine, worth about $5,000, disappeared at some point between September and November, said the female half of a couple.
“The male half denied any knowledge or involvement in the missing wine,” police said. “There were no signs of forced entry.”
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
BURGLARY, 141201025, 4600 block of 13th St N, On 12/1/14 at 1242 hours, the female half of a divorcing couple told police she believed her estranged husband entered the marital home when she was not present and stole approximately 100 bottles of wine, valued at approximately $5000.00, sometime between 9/23/14 and 11/28/14. The male half denied any knowledge or involvement in the missing wine. There were no signs of forced entry.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Around 7:45 p.m. on Monday, in the area of the Pentagon City mall, a witness told police that he saw a physical altercation between a man and a woman. Police searched the area and found the people in question, who turned out to be a prostitute and her john.
According to a crime report, the pair had “brief sexual encounter” at another location, then traveled to Pentagon City and “stole items from several area businesses.” The witness, police say, had actually seen the aftermath of a fight between the man and the woman over one of the stolen items.
“When the male subject demanded one of the stolen items, a verbal argument ensued which escalated into a physical confrontation with the male subject pushing the female to the ground then unsuccessfully attempting to take her purse, where some of the stolen items were hidden,” said police.
Both suspects were arrested. The woman was wanted on an out-of-state warrant. while the man was charged with attempted robbery. Other charges may be pending.
The woman was jogging on N. Park Drive around 4:00 p.m. when a man “called out and gestured her to stop,” according to police. She stopped, and the man exposed himself.
The woman fled the scene and called police, but so far the man remains at large.
From the Arlington County Police Department’s daily crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 141130039, 400 Blk N Park St, On 11/30/14 at approximately 1605 hours, a female victim told police she was running when an unknown male subject called out to her and gestured her to stop. Upon doing so, the male exposed himself to her. She left quickly and called police in the process. The victim lost sight of the male subject but stated an unknown model black vehicle appeared to stop in the area where the male subject was last seen and she heard a car door close. The subject is described as a white Hispanic male, approximately 25-30 years of age, 5’05”, 150-170 lbs, short brown spiked hair, brown eyes, wearing a red sweatshirt underneath a black vest, and dark blue jeans.
The suspect, described as a white, Hispanic or Middle Eastern man in his mid- to late-20s, jumped into the woman’s car while she was dropping off the man at the East Falls Church Metro station at about 4:20 p.m., according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. The victims told police the suspect said “I need a ride” and directed her to drive.
“Just drive and no one will get hurt,” the alleged abductor told the two victims, according to Malcolm. “Don’t do anything stupid, and no one has to get hurt.”
The victims pulled into the Exxon station at 400 W. Broad Street in Falls Church, Malcolm said, and were able to exit the vehicle and call police after the suspect fell asleep in the back. The suspect, described as 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, 160-170 pounds with black hair, wearing a dark ball cap, dark blue hoodie, and blue jeans, fled the scene and avoided apprehension when he heard police sirens approaching.
From this week’s crime report:
ABDUCTION, 141122061, 1900 block of N Sycamore St, On 11/22/14 at 1620 hours, the male and female victims told police they had exited the highway and had stopped to allow the male victim to exit the vehicle when an unknown male suspect entered the rear of the vehicle demanding they continue to drive and threatening them if they called police or used their cell phones. The victim(s) continued to drive into Falls Church where the pulled into a gas station, exited the vehicle, and called police. The suspect, who was now asleep in the back, was alerted by police sirens and fled the scene. He is described as a white Hispanic or Middle Eastern male with no discernable accent, unshaven, 5’09” to 5’11”, mid to late 20s, 160-170 lbs, black hair, wearing a dark ball cap, dark blue hoodie, and blue jeans.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
At about 11:00 p.m., Daniel Cabrera, of Hyattsville, Md., was taken into custody after police say he tried to rape the teen on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. The victim escaped and screamed, and was overheard by neighbors and a police officer. Responding officers apprehended Cabrera at the intersection of N. Piedmont Street and Pershing Drive, after the victim identified him at the scene.
The victim told police Cabrera was “watching” her as she worked in the area on Saturday, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. As the victim walked home from work later that night, Cabrera approached her from behind, pulled her hair and covered her mouth, police said.
“He pulled his pants down and attempted to pull her pants down,” Malcolm told ARLnow.com. “She bit his hand and was able to secure her escape.”
Cabrera was denied bond at a magistrate’s hearing, and is currently being held at the Arlington County Detention Center. Malcolm say Cabrera has no record of sex crimes, but police are asking anyone with information about the incident or similar incidents involving Cabrera, to contact the Special Victims Unit at 703-228-4244.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department