The first incident started out as a mystery right out of a horror movie: several pools of blood were found this morning within a one block radius of Ray’s Hell Burger in the Rosslyn area.
One was found on the sidewalk along Wilson Boulevard, between N. Rhodes Street and N. Quinn Street.
Then, two more were reportedly found in the parking lot and elevator of an apartment building on the 1800 block of N. Quinn Street. Also at the scene: a bloody CVS bag with shampoo and cat food in it, according to a witness.
At first, police were baffled by the blood — no one had called the night before to report any nefarious acts in the area. One nearby resident even told police he had been up all night with the window open and hadn’t heard a thing. Eventually, though, investigators located the source of the gore: a man who lived in the apartment building in which the blood was found.
The man — who’s in his late 20s, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck — had a broken nose and a pair of black eyes. He didn’t remember much from the night before, but confirmed that he had been out drinking at nearby Red Hot and Blue, then left the restaurant and took a Lunesta sleeping pill. It was at that point that his memory got fuzzy. Police believe he got into some sort of altercation, but robbery was likely not the motive — he still had all his money and credit cards with him.
Police photographed and collected samples at the blood pools and then called the fire department to hose them down. Because the man couldn’t remember what happened, police don’t have much to go on in terms of finding a suspect.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Sternbeck said.
In Ballston, meanwhile, Halloween revelry took a dark turn when an intoxicated man hopped behind the bar of a restaurant on the 600 block of N. Glebe Road (in Ballston Common Mall) around 11:30 last night.
A female bartender confronted the man, at which time he grabbed a bottle of Amaretto and swung it at her, according to police. The bartender sustained a cut to her leg and was taken to Virginia Hospital Center. The man, identified as 30-year-old Jorge Zunagua of Alexandria, was detained by security, arrested and charged with malicious wounding.
Elsewhere in Arlington, a couple of instances of mischief were reported. One house was egged and one of its windows was somehow broken as a result, according to Sternbeck. He was unable to say where in Arlington the house was located.
In Virginia Square, pranksters rearranged the numbers on a gas station sign to suggest that regular unleaded gasoline was $7.43 per gallon. A passerby informed the manager of the station (Japanese Auto Service) of the prank.
Photo (bottom) courtesy James Webster
Trick or Treating Tonight – So far, Arlington County has not placed any restrictions on trick or treating tonight in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. There’s no official trick or treating time in Arlington; children typically begin trick or treating shortly after sundown.
Halloween Safety Tips – WalkArlington has a number of helpful safety tips for parents whose children will be trick or treating tonight. Among them: Parents should make sure their trick-or-treaters are wearing bright colors or reflectors and have a costume that allows them to clearly see their surroundings. Parents should also review safety rules with children before they leave the house. [WalkArlington]
Reopening After Sandy — Arlington Public Schools will be open today, with the exception of Barcroft Elementary School, which is still without power. Arlington County government offices, libraries, courts, community centers, and nature centers will also be open, as will federal government offices.
SoberRide Still On — The SoberRide program, which provides a free cab ride (up to a $30 fare) for holiday revelers, is still on despite Sandy. It’s open to anyone in the greater D.C. area calling 1-800-200-TAXI between 10:00 tonight and 4:00 tomorrow morning. A planned SoberRide-related press event in Arlington, however, which was to unveil a new vehicle that would be used to discourage drunk driving, has been postponed until after Election Day (Nov. 6).
So far, the county is not putting any restrictions on trick or treating. County staff is urging parents, however, to use their best judgment to keep children out of harm’s way in neighborhoods particularly hard hit by the storm.
“We all hope that the weather will improve quickly and that we can all get back to normal as quickly as possible,” said Arlington County Director of Communications Diana Sun. “I sincerely hope that there are no disappointments for all the young people looking forward to tomorrow evening.”
Although crews are hard at work to repair downed power lines and clear fallen trees, there may still be debris scattered along sidewalks tomorrow. Parents should be cognizant of such hazards, especially as it gets dark. Other dangers to watch for include slippery leaves and unstable, rain-soaked ground.
Unfortunately for dog owners, the Dog Trick or Treat event planned for tonight in Shirlington has been cancelled. A representative for Dogma Bakery said there’s a possibility the event will be re-scheduled for Thursday and those interested should check the event’s Facebook page for updates.
Update on 10/29/12 — The press event has been postponed until after Election Day (Nov. 6) due to Hurricane Sandy.
Arlington County Police, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) and Red Top Cab are preparing to reveal a secret weapon in the fight against drunk driving.
The weapon: a Ford Crown Victoria that’s half ACPD police car and half taxi. The vehicle — pictured here on the county property yard several weeks ago, in an unfinished state — will be parked strategically throughout the county and used to remind party-goers of two options for getting back home after a night of drinking: in the back of a taxi or, if they try to drive drunk, in the back of a police car.
The vehicle, which is still being retrofitted and decorated, will be officially unveiled just
before noon outside Arlington police headquarters on Wednesday (Halloween). The unveiling will coincide with WRAP’s SoberRide program, which will offer anyone 21 and over in the greater D.C. area a free taxi ride home from 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 to 6:00 a.m. the next day. The SoberRide phone number is 1-800-200-TAXI.
SoberRide operates on high-risk holidays: Halloween, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and Independence Day. Halloween is a particularly dangerous time to drive: 40 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths during Halloween are caused by drunk drivers, according to WRAP.
While the Halloween holiday isn’t until Wednesday, the anti-drunk driving message also applies this weekend, which is prime time for Halloween parties and bar crawls.
Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so fans of the holiday have a number of opportunities to attend events over the next few days. There are numerous events for adults at the area bars and restaurants, but here is a list of some family friendly activities for participants of all ages:
- Halloween Harvest (5:15-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24) — Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO) is hosting a community gardening event. There will be face painting, a treasure hunt, pumpkin decorating and healthy snacks fresh from the garden. Attendees can learn more about community gardens at the free event, which will be held at Whitefield Commons (106 N. Thomas Street).
- Fire Pit of Horror (6:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Join Arlington’s WSC Avant Bard at the Lubber Run Park fire ring as performers bring classic horror tales to life. There will be readings of works by Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Costumes are optional, but encouraged. The event is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP online.
- Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror (7:00-9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 27) — A haunted trail located at 1620 S. Quincy Street in the Douglas Park neighborhood. Attendees are asked to bring canned goods or nonperishable items for donation to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
- Trick or Treat with Shirlie (2:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — The Village at Shirlington is encouraging patrons to dress up in costumes while enjoying free treats at the restaurants and shops. Several of the businesses will have promotions, face painting, crafts and other activities. A list of all participating businesses can be found online. Entries for the pumpkin carving contest can be dropped off at the Hilton Garden Inn from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and the winner will receive a $100 gift card to One, Two Kangaroo Toys.
- FALLoween (10:00 a.m-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Market Common (2700 Clarendon Blvd) will hold its annual free event featuring a petting zoo, face painting, music and trick or treating at some of the businesses. A performance by Rocknocerous kicks off the event at 10:00 a.m. People and pets are invited to join in the costume parade at noon.
- Halloween Party (1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.) will host a special day for kids ages 3-11. Activities at the free event include carnival games, moon bounces, crafts, a costume parade and prizes.
- Ghostbusters Viewing (8:00-10:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Take in a showing of the classic movie “Ghostbusters” in the Dome Theater at Artisphere. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online.
A listing of some pet friendly Halloween activities can be found in a previous article.
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Halloween is just over two weeks away. If you have kids, that means it’s probably time to start picking out their costume for the big day. If you have a dog (or dogs) — well, you should probably start picking out their costume, too.
At least three events are planned in Arlington for those who want to celebrate Halloween with their favorite four-legged friend.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families will hold its 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk for the Homeless. The event is being held at Big Walnut Park (1915 N. Harrison Street).
“Bring your dogs dressed in their ‘Howl-O-Ween’ finest for a mini-walk to support Doorways for Women and Families,” the organization said of the event. “All human participants will help Doorways to reach our walker goal for the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon, while our animal participants will get the chance to compete for prizes from local pet store merchants, including Unleashed by Petco, Weber’s Pet Supermarket, Kissable Canine and Dogma Bakery! Treats (both canine and human) will be provided for all attendees!”
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., PetMAC in Virginia Square (822 N. Kenmore Street) will be holding a “Doggy Halloween Party.” The event will feature “treats (for our 2 and 4 legged friends) and other refreshments, games, photos, costume contests and special store discounts,” according to the pet store.
Also on Oct. 30, Dogma Bakery and Boutique (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) will be hosting its annual Dog Trick or Treat through Shirlington Village. The trick or treating will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Photo via Doorways for Women and Families
Some Arlington residents went all-out when it came to dressing up their homes for Halloween. Just before the kids started trick-or-treating last night, we stopped by two local streets that were said to have some of the best decorations around.
On the 700 block of N. Illinois Street in Bluemont, two homeowners were duking it out for the title of scariest house. One home was not only spook-ified on the outside, but the creepy decorations and frightful lighting continued well inside the front door as well.
The 700 block of N. Jackson Street in Ashton Heights was even more festive. One otherwise charming home was converted into a yard of horrors, with freshly-dug graves, cobwebs, leering ghouls and a menacing coffin. Just down the street, neighbors were out taking photos of the N. Jackson Street Cemetery — a house-turned-haunted-house featuring a real, rusted-out hearse, more freshly-dug graves and a small army of free-standing witches, ghosts and skeletons.
How do these compare to the best-decorated homes in your neighborhood?
Students from Abingdon, Arlington Science Focus, Campbell, Barrett, Barcroft and Key elementary schools went trick-or-treating at the White House on Saturday night. Students — including the two Key Elementary students pictured — were handed Halloween treats from none other than the President and Mrs. Obama themselves.
Photo courtesy Arlington Public Schools
Last week, the county’s WalkArlington program published a series of safety tips for trick-or-treaters, parents and drivers alike.
For instance, drivers should anticipate children darting out from between parked cars, while kids should make sure their costume is visible to drivers.
The tips, from WalkArlington’s Pacer email newsletter, are below. Have a safe Halloween tonight!
Tips for Parents and Children
Do a costume check. Can the child walk easily in the outfit? Make sure the masks or head gear allow the children to see clearly what is around them.
Think visibility. Wear bright colors, use retro reflective materials. Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and to help others see you.
Choose the safest routes to walk. Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic, if possible. Look for well-lit streets with slow traffic. Remind children to watch for cars turning into or pulling out of driveways.
Plan how to cross streets. Avoid crossing busy, high-speed, or multi-lane roads. Limit the number of street crossings. Give children exiting the street room to enter the sidewalk area.
Review crossing safety rules with children. Tell kids: Always look for cars yourself – even when adults are also looking. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic and turning cars. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing. When crossing the street at an intersection, obey traffic signs and signals and double-check to see if cars are coming.
Walk, don’t run, across the street. Walk, don’t run, from house to house.
Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for lights on, well-lit driveways, and walkways or paths to the front door.
Reminders for Motorists
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where you might expect to see pedestrians trick-or-treating.
Watch for children in dark clothing. Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and that they may not be able to see your vehicle.
Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
SoberRide Active for Halloween — The regional SoberRide program will be offered Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Halloween partiers can call 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) between 10:00 p.m. on Saturday and 6:00 a.m. on Sunday to get a free, safe ride home — up to a $30 fare — in Arlington, Alexandria, D.C., Fairfax and most other surrounding jurisdictions. Arlington’s Red Top Cab is not only one of the participating cab companies, but one of the main sponsors of the program. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
Candidate Forum on Sunday — The League of Women Voters of Arlington will be sponsoring a candidate forum on Sunday. From 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., the local candidates for state Senator, state Delegate and County Board will discuss their stances on the issues. The forum is being held at the Arlington Central Library auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street). [League of Women Voters]
Goblins, Ghouls and Politicians in Westover — On Saturday afternoon, the Westover neighborhood will host its own version of a candidates forum. But instead of speeches and debate, the candidates are instead invited to hang out at the Westover beer garden (5863 N. Washington Blvd) and meet and greet votes. The candidate event will take place between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., and will be followed by the annual Westover Halloween Parade. [TLHCA Blog]
Community Yard Sale This Weekend — The West Village of Shirlington condo complex (4167 S. Four Mile Run) is holding a community yard sale on Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington encourages you to dress up your dog in a costume and attend a trick or treat event at Dogma Bakery (2445 N. Harrison St.) in the Lee-Harrison shopping center. With a $10 donation, you can fill your dog’s treat bag at various stores in the center. There will be treats for humans as well.
There will be games and prizes for best costumes–both pet and handler. The whole family is welcome at the event, which starts at 6:00 p.m.
Elliot Hosts Halloween Event in Clarendon — DC101′s Elliot in the Morning is hosting a Halloween Bash at Clarendon Ballroom on Friday night. [Clarendon Nights]
Arlington Seeks More Notable Trees — Arlington County is asking residents to help it identify more unusual, historic or special trees for its Notable Tree registry. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Biz Group Ponders Silver Line — Is the opening of the Silver Line to Tyson’s Corner a threat or an opportunity for businesses in Arlington? That’s what a group of local business owners discussed yesterday at a meeting organized by Leadership Arlington. [Washington Examiner]
More Swanson Students Riding Bikes to School — Bike ridership at Swanson Middle School is on the rise, according to the CommuterPageBlog. There are now nearly twice as many bikes parked outside the school as two years ago. [CommuterPageBlog]
New Salon Coming to Clarendon — A new salon called Smitten is coming to Clarendon. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Tomorrow (Oct. 22), from noon to 2:00 p.m., the Whole Food Market in Clarendon (2700 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting AppleFest — a “harvest tasting event” devoted entirely to apples.
“From juicy and aromatic apples to those that are fine textured, families and apple-enthusiasts can welcome the new fall season while sampling a variety of tasty apples and enjoying its culinary and crafty delight,” Whole Foods said in a press release. Planned activities include cooking demonstrations, crafts, tastings and an apple scavenger hunt.
Next Saturday (Oct. 29), the Market Common shopping center in Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) — across from Whole Foods — will be hosting its annual FALLoween event.
The free, family-friendly event will feature a petting zoo, a kids circus, face painting, sidewalk chalking, a comedy show, a DJ and other live entertainment. Plus, there will be trick-or-treating for the kids at a number of stores and each attendee will have the opportunity to take home a free pumpkin.
FALLoween is being held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Costumed people and pets are also invited to join a FALLoween parade, which kicks off at 11:30 a.m.
Also on Saturday, Oct. 29, Doorways for Women and Families will be organizing a Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk for the Homeless.
From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., dog owners are encouraged to dress up their pooches and bring them to the James Hunter dog park for a mini-walk to support Doorways. The park is located at the corner of N. Herndon and 13th Streets in Clarendon.
“All human participants will help Doorways to reach our walker goal for the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon, while our animal participants will get the chance to compete for prizes from local pet store merchants, including Wylie Wagg and Kissable Canine,” Doorways said on its website.
Registration for the walk is $30 for adults and $20 for youth 25 and under. Pets are free.
With Halloween just around the corner, Arlington Public Library is hosting a Star Wars costume event this coming weekend. Representatives from the Rebel Legion and the 501st Legion — international costuming enthusiast organizations for the Star Wars good guys and bad guys, respectively — will be on hand at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) on Saturday to discuss how they make their elaborate Star Wars costumes.
Star Wars geeks and casual fans alike are invited to come take photos with fully-costumed members of the local Rebel Legion and 501st Legion (slogan: “Bringing order to the galaxy since 1997″). For those who want to follow in the footsteps of legion members, be prepared for intricate instructions on how to become an authentic storm trooper, Jedi knight or bounty hunter.
“This program will be very detailed, so it is recommended for upper-elementary school kids, teens and adults,” the library said on its blog.
The event will be held at the Central Library Auditorium from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 703-228-5946.
The leaves are still green and the air is still humid, but Count Gore De Vol will be donning his white makeup to present a special sneak preview for the Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival this weekend.
De Vol (television legend Dick Dyszel) will be hosting “Spooky Shorts,” a three-hour screening of “thirteen of the wildest short films from around the world,” at Artisphere on Saturday.
The screening starts at 8:00 p.m. in the Artisphere’s Dome Theater. Tickets are $10.
The shorts will serve as an “exclusive preview” for the 6th Annual Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival, which will be held from Oct. 13-16 this year. Additional summer spooky movie screenings are planned for Aug. 20 and Sept. 3.