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.
Update at 10:45 a.m. — An arrest has been made in the case.
A man is in critical condition after being run over by an SUV in a parking lot on Columbia Pike Tuesday evening.
The incident happened at approximately 4:45 p.m., in the parking lot behind a barber shop and a car dealership on the 3600 block of Columbia Pike.
Witnesses say a woman driving a white or silver Toyota Highlander was trying to exit the parking lot after a fender bender when two men tried to stop her by closing the parking lot gate. One man had his foot ran over, according to news reports.
The other man was knocked to the ground, ran over and dragged several feet under the car, we’re told. The driver then sped off westbound on Columbia Pike.
The man was transported to George Washington Hospital’s trauma center with life-threatening injuries, according to police. Witnesses on scene took video of the incident and police are reviewing the footage.
A group of witnesses said they were in Burger King next door and saw the incident unfold.
“While the guy was lying down, everyone was around screaming at her to stop,” one witness, who declined to be identified, told ARLnow.com at the scene. “She kept on moving and ran over the guy.”
Witnesses say the man’s face suffered severe-looking injuries, “his legs were twisted” and his hands were bleeding. Paramedics arrived to the scene and quickly transported him. There’s no word on the suspect or if she knew the victim.
The collision happened around 8:30 Sunday night. A driver vehicle heading northbound struck a pedestrian just before the exit to Spout Run. The striking vehicle then drove off, continuing on northbound, according to U.S. Park Police.
The pedestrian, who has not been identified, is “currently being treated at a local hospital and remains in critical condition,” police said Monday night. It’s unclear why he or she was on foot in or along the roadway.
Investigators don’t have a description of the vehicle, and are asking witnesses to come forward.
“Commuters traveling north on the George Washington Memorial Parkway that may have witnessed this crash or may have information is asked to contact the United States Park Police Tip Line at 202-610-8737,” Park Police said.
The 2014 Nissan Sentra was reportedly stolen from the Zipcar parking around the Ballston Metro Station. It was spotted by the MTPD officer around midnight, driving eastbound on Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square without its headlights on. The officer turned on his emergency lights and made a U-turn to attempt to stop the vehicle.
The driver in the Zipcar refused to stop and led the officer on a 0.3 mile chase down Fairfax Drive toward Clarendon. The vehicle ended up driving over a sidewalk near the Silver Diner (3112 Wilson Blvd) before the suspect bailed out and left the vehicle on a sidewalk across from the Clarendon Metro station.
“The operator of the Nissan is believed to have fled on foot northbound on Clarendon Blvd,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told ARLnow.com. The suspect got away and is now wanted on charges of eluding, hit and run and grand larceny auto.
The Nissan suffered “minor damage to the tire/rims” during the chase. A motorist told police that the fleeing suspect had hit his car at some point during the pursuit, causing minor damage. No injuries were reported and no other damage was reported, Stessel said.
The Arlington County Police Department responded to 14 DUI incidents this weekend. On Sunday afternoon alone, there were four DUI hit and run cases. Police say that number is more typical of a Friday or Saturday night, not a Sunday afternoon.
“This is not a typical shift, with four similar DUI hit and runs. We were able to locate the individuals and apprehend them a short time after the incidents,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “This is unusual for a Sunday afternoon.”
One of the incidents involved police receiving calls about a car on I-66 westbound with what appeared to be one missing tire. Officers checking out the reports saw the driver of the vehicle hit another vehicle and attempt to leave the scene. She then reportedly hit the concrete barrier, which stopped her car near Glebe Road.
Officers had to remove the woman from her vehicle because they said she was unable to stand or hold up her own head. She was taken to the hospital as a precaution but did not have any serious injuries. Blood drawn at the hospital showed the woman had a blood alcohol level of .36. She was arrested for DUI and hit and run.
All of the drivers in the other three hit and run incidents were also tracked down and arrested for DUI and hit and run, among other offenses.
ACPD cautions drivers that DUI incidents tend to increase during holiday weeks. The department will have addition patrols out this week checking for drunk drivers in light of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“If you’re driving, please don’t drink,” Sternbeck said. “If you do drink alcohol, please use a sober designated driver and wear your seatbelt.”
The incident happened around 11:00 Sunday night. Arlington Medic 109 was exiting a parking lot onto the 2400 block of S. Glebe Road, with lights and sirens blaring and a medical patient on board, when the driver observed a car approaching at a high rate of speed. The ambulance stopped but the driver of the approaching vehicle did not, and the car broadsided the ambulance, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Bill Shelton.
The driver of the car then fled on foot, Shelton said. He was later apprehended by police and transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash.
The patient on Medic 109 was taken to the hospital by another ambulance, apparently unhurt by the collision, according to Shelton. The two paramedics were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, also uninjured.
“They were very lucky in that respect,” Shelton told ARLnow.com. “It was a very substantial impact.”
A police spokesman could not be reached to confirm which charges are being filed against the alleged hit-and-run driver. Until repairs can be made, Medic 109 will be replaced by a reserve medic unit from the fire department’s fleet.
Photo courtesy Robert Eversburg/ACFD
A pedestrian was sent to the hospital after an alleged larceny turned into a hit-and-run this afternoon (Friday) in Virginia Square.
The suspect stole one or more items from Casual Adventure (3451 Washington Blvd) before fleeing the store and getting into a silver Mercedes, according to witnesses on the scene. Once in the Mercedes, the suspect peeled out of an adjacent parking lot, striking a pedestrian before driving away.
The suspect was described as a well-dressed man in his 50s.
A suspect is in custody after a hit-and-run accident near the Department of Motor Vehicles office on S. Four Mile Run Drive.
A witness told ARLnow.com that the driver of a Nissan was trying to turn into the DMV parking lot from the westbound lanes of Four Mile Run Drive when the car was struck by a truck heading eastbound.
The driver of one of the vehicles fled the scene on foot after the accident, according to Arlington Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The other driver was injured and transported to the hospital.
A police K-9 officer was brought in to track the fleeing driver. The dog picked up the scent and led officers to nearby Wakefield High School. The suspect was located and arrested behind the school, Sternbeck said.
Sternbeck was unable to confirm which vehicle belongs to the fleeing driver, who’s expected to be charged with hit and run.
Photos courtesy Brian Kee
Police are investigating a hit-and-run involving a minivan that crashed into the front of the Popeyes at 5007 Columbia Pike this afternoon.
The incident happened around lunchtime at the Columbia Pike Plaza strip mall. After running into the front of the restaurant, the van backed into an SUV and then sped away, according to police and witnesses.
The collision caused minor damage to the Popeyes, including scrape marks on a brick column and a broken front window pane. The restaurant was briefly evacuated, according to scanner traffic, but then reopened and continued to serve lunch patrons. Nobody was hurt.
The SUV driver told ARLnow.com that the van backed into his vehicle as he was trying to leave the parking lot. The collision dented the front of the SUV but did not cause any injuries or significant damage. The SUV driver said the striking vehicle was a gray minivan, and the driver — who he caught a glimpse of as the van fled the scene — was a Hispanic male. He said it was his first crash in his 46 years of driving.
“I just hope they catch the bastard,” he said as he surveyed the damage to the SUV. “They better find him before I do.”
As of 1:00 p.m. police were still looking for the van and its driver. This was at least the third time a vehicle has crashed into the front of a business at the Columbia Pike Plaza shopping center since May 2011.
Yorktown High School grad Zorigoo Munkhbayar, 23, was walking along eastbound Route 50 near Courthouse early on the morning of Sept. 16, 2011, when he was struck by a box truck. The truck and its driver did not remain at the scene. Police later found Munkhbayar dead, lying in the roadway on the Route 50 exit to N. Rhodes Street.
A month later, after analyzing parts of the truck that were left at the scene, police arrested Marc D. Hicks of Oxon Hill, Md., and charged him with hit and run.
The case went to trial on Monday, with Hicks maintaining that he did not know he struck Munkhbayar. Hicks, 43, claimed that he thought damage to his truck was caused by a deer he struck in Maryland later that morning. (The truck belongs to a commercial snack delivery business.)
On Thursday, however, an Arlington County jury found Hicks guilty of felony hit and run, recommending a sentence of 15 months in prison, according to prosecutors. Hicks will remain in the Arlington County jail pending a final sentencing hearing that’s scheduled for Friday, May 17. At that hearing, a judge will have the option of either imposing the recommended sentence or a reduced sentence.
Jennifer Clarke, the Arlington Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney who prosecuted the case, told ARLnow.com that Hicks was only charged with hit and run, and not any other crimes, because the facts of the case did not suggest that he was negligent in the accident.
“There was no evidence of reckless driving, there was no evidence of intoxication or any impairment, it was just an accident that happened… and he just didn’t stay on scene,” she said.
Clarke said that there were no witnesses to the accident.
Park Police Seeking Hit and Run Info — The U.S. Park Police is asking for the public’s help with providing information about an early morning hit and run on Monday. Around 5:45 a.m. on December 31, a driver was involved in an accident with a motorcyclist while traveling on the Memorial Bridge. The motorcyclist is being treated for a serious leg injury and other non-life threatening injuries. Police need help finding the other driver involved. The person was said to be in a brown minivan, which may have damage along the front driver’s side. Call the U.S. Park Police tip line at 202-610-8737 or U.S. Park Police Dispatch at 202-610-7500 with any info.
Avant Bard Needs New Theater — WSC Avant Bard has spent the past two years as the resident theater company at Artisphere, but now the performance group is looking for a new home. Avant Bard has not been operating under an official lease at Artisphere, and received the news last month that it needs to find a new space before its play season begins in May. The county now wants to use the stages at Artisphere for shorter running productions. [Washington Post]
APS Holding Meetings about New Williamsburg School — Public meetings begin next week regarding the new elementary school that will be built on the Williamsburg Middle School site. There will be a work session next Wednesday, January 9, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Williamsburg auditorium. On January 14, the public will get a chance to look at the concept designs from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and on January 17, the School Board and County Board will engage in a work session about the plan following a project presentation. Residents are welcome to attend all meetings. [Arlington Public Schools]
(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Arlington police and firefighters are on the scene outside the Ballston Common Mall for a report of a man who fell about 30 feet from the Ballston public parking garage.
The incident happened on the Glebe Road side of the parking garage, near the intersection with Carlin Springs Road. The victim is described by police as a 40-year-old white male.
Witnesses saw the man dangling from the first level of the parking garage, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Police were called, but the man fell before they arrived on scene. He suffered a traumatic head injury and was rushed to Inova Fairfax Hospital, Sternbeck said.
According to Sternbeck, the man was involved in a hit-and-run accident on the G-4 level of the parking garage today. Investigators believe he was attempting to flee the scene when he climbed onto the ledge of the garage, but he didn’t realize how high up he was until it was too late. Sternbeck said police and paramedics have had “frequent contact” with the man in the past for alcohol-related incidents.
Police have closed down the sidewalk and blocked two out of three northbound lanes of Glebe Road while they continue to investigate.
Police are releasing more details about an accident involving a bicyclist near Westover last Tuesday (August 28). Although details were sketchy at the time, they now consider it a hit and run.
At the time, police believed the cyclist may have had a medical emergency and fallen off the bike. That was based on a report from a person who claimed to have seen a cyclist experiencing what appeared to be a seizure, then falling to the ground.
According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the police investigation into the incident indicates the report of a medical emergency is inconsistent with what responders observed at the scene. Sternbeck says based on damage to the bicycle and emergency crews finding an unconscious victim bleeding from the head, the incident is now deemed a hit and run.
The driver left, no obvious evidence was uncovered at the scene and there were no witnesses who stayed to speak with police, so there is no suspect or vehicle description available.
Anyone who may have information about the accident is asked to call the ACPD non-emergency number at 703-558-2222.
John Reynolds was 24 at the time of his arrest in March 2011. He was accused of hitting a 22-year-old woman with his car while driving drunk on Fairfax Drive, near the Ballston Metro station, on December 30, 2010. Reynolds sped away from the scene of the near-fatal accident, but detectives were able to use debris from his car to track him down and arrest him.
Reynolds — who studied psychology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University — was charged with hit and run and DUI maiming. Following a three-day trial that started on Monday, an Arlington County jury found Reynolds guilty on both charges yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. Today the jury sentenced Reynolds to 4 years and 3 months in prison, plus a $2,500 fine.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jay Burkholder, who prosecuted the case with fellow Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Clarke, said Reynolds’ “level of intoxication” played a role in the jury’s decision-making. Reynolds did not testify at the sentencing hearing, Burkholder said.
The victim of the accident suffered what Burkholder described as “very serious” injuries to her hip and legs. She also suffered nerve damage.
“Due to some fantastic doctors at Inova Fairfax Hospital she survived and is walking today,” Burkholder said. “She is doing much better, but will always face some physical challenges from this crime.”
Reynolds is being held at the Arlington County jail pending a formal sentencing hearing in September, when a judge will have the option of suspending part of his sentence.
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a fatal hit and run accident near Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon.
Around 6:00 this morning, police say an adult male was struck by a vehicle on southbound Route 110 near the ramp to Washington Boulevard. A witness reported seeing a man’s body in the roadway and a vehicle stopped near it. When officers arrived, the vehicle was gone, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The victim has been identified as Robert Shepard, a 62-year-old military veteran from Lawrence, Mass. Police said Shepard had a history of mental illness and was reported “missing and endangered” by his girlfriend in Massachusetts about 2 weeks ago. He was wearing camouflage pants at the time of the accident, according to Sternbeck.
The force of the impact propelled the Shepard’s body about 60 feet from the point of collision, Sternbeck said. Investigators say they’re currently working several leads, including traffic camera video, to try to track down the striking vehicle.
Two lanes of Route 110 and the ramp to Washington Boulevard were closed immediately following the accident. Investigators remained on scene through the morning rush hour, causing significant backups on Route 110.