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.
Less than seven months after a car ran into his house in the Claremont neighborhood, Patrick Lee is dealing with a similar problem. Somebody hit his car overnight, likely while trying to speed through the crash-prone traffic circle at S. Chesterfield Road and S. Dinwiddie Street.
Lee said his father woke him around 5:00 a.m. asking what happened to his car. That’s when he went outside to find the banged-up vehicle. The other driver left nothing behind except a few shards from a smashed headlight, which Lee hopes will eventually help police find the perpetrator.
Lee’s car had been parked on the street in front of his neighbor’s house when it was hit. He explained that three houses on the block, including his, had all recently sustained property damage from vehicles speeding through the traffic circle. The next-door neighbors escaped a car slamming into their home when the vehicle rammed a tree in the front yard instead.
Lee says when his home was hit in April, the person behind the wheel didn’t end up paying for repairs. A loophole voided her insurance because she uses the vehicle for work. That meant Lee and his parents had to pay about $5,000 out of pocket for repairs. The total estimated cost for damage, both outside and inside, ended up being about $28,000.
Neighbors are concerned not only for their own property and safety, but also because of the traffic circle’s proximity to Wakefield High School.
“I drive for a living and spend a lot of time in traffic,” Lee said. “Never, not anywhere in Northern Virginia, Thailand or other countries, never have I seen such a poorly maintained and dangerous intersection next to a school.”
The intersection has two stop signs and two yield signs for drivers entering the circle. People in the neighborhood say drivers speed through the circle without stopping or even slowing down. Lee mentioned that the layout of the intersection has been changed several times, but a good solution has yet to be found.
“You really have to be flying through these stop signs for something like this to happen,” Lee said. “This is right next to a school and everybody is going 45 to 50 miles per hour and not stopping.”
Lee said he talked to the responding officers about fixing the intersection when his house was hit in April. Although he doesn’t have an easy solution, he said a good start would be a four-way stop. In the meantime, Lee is going to contact his insurance company about his car, and hopes to find the driver who hit it.
Police say 42-year-old Marc D. Hicks of Oxon Hill, Md. was driving the truck that struck and killed Zorigoo Munkhbayar as he was walking down Route 50 near Rhodes Street in the early morning of Sept. 16. Hicks did not stay at the scene of the accident, according to police.
Munkhbayar, an Arlington resident and Yorktown High School graduate, was later found laying in the roadway by a passerby, who called 911. The 23-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
Arlington County Police detectives were led to Hicks by evidence from the striking vehicle left at the scene. Hicks had been driving a truck for a Northern Virginia-based delivery company at the time of the accident, according to police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. The company — which was not named — did not have knowledge of the crime and was “very helpful with the investigation,” Nosal said.
Hicks is currently being held without bond at the Arlington County Detention Center.
“Police ask that anyone who may have additional details about this collision, contact Detective Paul Marseilles at (703) 228-4237,” police said in a press release. “Detective Marseilles can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Munkhbayar was walking on Route 50 early Friday morning when he was struck by a vehicle near the N. Rhodes Street ramp. By the time someone saw Munkhbayar’s body laying in the roadway and called police, the Arlington resident was already dead.
Today police revealed that they believe a 2005-2007 Mitsubishi delivery truck was the striking vehicle. Police say the truck “would have noticeable damage to the front passenger side and passenger side grill/headlight.”
Investigators are asking for the public’s help in solving the crime.
“Police ask that anyone who may have seen a man walking on eastbound Route 50, or witnessed the accident, contact Detective Paul Marseilles at (703) 228-4237,” police said in a statement. “Detective Marseilles can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.”
The above photo, provided by the Arlington County Police Department, shows a truck similar to the model suspected of hitting Munkhbayar. See more photos here.
Candlelight Vigil for Hit and Run Victim — Friends of Zorigoo Munkhbayar gathered on the Rhodes Street Bridge Sunday night to mourn the 23-year-old’s tragic death. Munkhbayar was hit by a car — which then fled the scene — as he was walking down Route 50 early Friday morning. [Ode Street Tribune]
Residents Still Waiting for Promised Traffic Lights — Some residents are asking: Why haven’t traffic lights been installed at the intersections of N. Qunicy Street and 9th Street and Wilson Blvd and N. Pollard Street? After all, Arlington County has already collected tens of thousands of dollars from developers with the express purpose of installing traffic lights at the intersections. [Sun Gazette]
Clarendon Urgent Care Center Opens — Mid Atlantic Urgent Care opens today at 3301 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon. The seven-day-a-week medical office encourages walk-in visits from patients with non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. [Mid Atlantic Urgent Care]
Disclosure: Mid Atlantic Urgent Care is an ARLnow.com advertiser.