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ACPD Officer Involved in Early Morning Wreck

by ARLnow.com | April 21, 2014 at 10:20 am | No Comments

Police-involved crash at Clarendon Blvd and N. Barton Street (courtesy photo)A female Arlington County police officer suffered minor injuries after an early morning wreck in the Courthouse area Saturday.

The crash happened around 3:00 a.m. Police say the officer was heading eastbound on Clarendon Blvd and was approaching a flashing yellow light at the intersection with N. Barton Street.

The officer proceeded through the flashing yellow, but at the same time a Jeep traveling on Barton Street ran through the flashing red, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The resulting collision heavily damaged the front of the officer’s cruiser and caused the Jeep to flip on its side. The officer suffered minor injuries but did not need to go to the hospital. No other injuries were reported.

The driver of the Jeep was issued a ticket for a red light violation and was released, Sternbeck said.

Courtesy photo

Police, Firefighters Honored For Saving Lives

by Ethan Rothstein | April 17, 2014 at 10:55 am | 594 views | No Comments

Arlington’s emergency responders were recognized for their acts of bravery and public service yesterday during the annual Valor Awards.

The Lifesaving Awards for the Office of Emergency Management and the Arlington County Fire Department were given to dispatchers and firefighters who responded to a kitchen fire in the Dominion Hills neighborhood on April 1 last year.

Two emergency communications technicians, Rachel Moreno and Heather Horan, were honored for their work dealing with the caller, the woman who was rescued from the scene of the fire. Moreno, who wasn’t a fully trained ECT at the time, and Horan, who was training her, took the woman’s call, dispatched a fire response in 50 seconds, told the victim to get to a window and punch through the screen so she could lean out to get air.

“ECT I Moreno was not fully qualified as a call taker but she showed tremendous poise,” OEM Director Jack Brown wrote of the dispatchers. “Her ability to stay calm and maintain control of the call was outstanding and showed experience beyond her years. Together, ECT I Moreno and ECT III Horan were able to obtain critical information and provide life-saving guidance that kept this incident from ending in tragedy.”

The victim eventually fell unconscious, but Moreno and Horan were able to give firefighters the victim’s exact location on the second story of the house. Soon after the victim fell unconscious, firefighters Nicolas Calderone and Jamie Jill entered the house, located the victim, carried her outside and extinguished the fire.

When Calderone and Jill set the victim down, firefighter Joseph Marr noticed she didn’t have a pulse and conducted a minute of CPR. When her pulse returned but her consciousness didn’t, Marr had to carry the victim up the street, since it was too narrow and there were too many firetrucks for the ambulance to get through. The victim made a full recovery.

“Often, this is the only public recognition these officers receive,” Chamber of Comerce President Rich Doud said. The chamber presented the awards. “It is unique to hear the stories of their heroic acts and to meet the officers involved. We are fortunate that they work in Arlington and perform so selflessly in the service of our businesses and citizens.”

Four Arlington police officers and one sheriff’s deputy were honored with lifesaving awards for preventing suicide attempts in three separate incidents.

Officers Stephanie Rodriguez and Kenneth Kernicky were honored after saving a man trying to hang himself from a tree in Douglas Park. Rodriguez caught the man while Kernicky cut the noose from the tree. Days later, according to the Sheriff’s Office, the man thanked the officers for saving his life. Deputy Andrew Woodrow found himself in a similar situation when he rescued an inmate at the Arlington County Jail tried to hang herself with a shoelace from her cell bed.

ACPD First Sgt. Latasha Chamberlain and Det. Paula Brockenborough were given the award after they prevented a woman from jumping off her apartment balcony after she learned of the death of her husband. Through background investigation on the way to the hospital, they discovered the woman was suffering from a mental illness.

Two police lieutenants, two firefighters and a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office were given Meritorious Service awards, the valor awards’ equivalent of a lifetime achievement award. Police Auxiliary Lt. Heather Hurlock was given the award after volunteering for 1,724 hours in Arlington in 2013 and, since 1997, she has volunteered more than 30,000 hours.

Other recipients of the Meritorious Service Awards were: Lt. Mark Belanger, Sgt. Kevin Pope, Firefighter/EMT Clare Burley and Fire/EMS Capt. Brandon Jones.

Arlington County Board to Explore Curbing Pub Crawls

by Ethan Rothstein | April 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | 4,236 views | No Comments

Shamrock crawl (photo via Groupon)The number and popularity of bar crawls in Arlington has increased, and it’s caught the attention of the Arlington County Police Department and county government.

At the Arlington County Board’s budget mark-up meeting this afternoon, the County Board approved an addition $42,000 to the police specifically for “pub crawl support.” Pub crawls in Clarendon, Courthouse and Ballston have drawn crowds close to 5,000-6,000 people, County Board Chair Jay Fisette said.

“I’m becoming a pub crawl expert, not by choice,” Arlington Police Chief Doug Scott told the Board Wednesday. “We are receiving crawl requests at a very escalated pace because they’ve been very popular. We thought we were going to have three, that went to nine, and it’s growing.”

Scott said he’s planning a meeting with the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association on April 30, but told ARLnow.com a time and a location have not been finalized yet. He and the Board discussed the potential for regulatory measures for potentially reining in the crawls, or requesting the restaurants and/or organizers provide the funds for the police support.

“There are a lot of legal issues around some of the choices the manager and board will have in terms of how we address these crawls in the future,” Scott said.

Board Member Libby Garvey asked Scott if the crawls were “a little like Mardi Gras except all year long.” Board Member Mary Hynes, who lives near Clarendon, said she has had a hard time wading through the revelers when she wants “to go to the grocery store.”

Lines for bars extend far down the sidewalk for many of the bar crawls, which include crawls on St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and other holidays. A bar crawl in late June last year led to 13 alcohol-related arrests, and one reveler during this year’s Shamrock Crawl showed up naked to the Arlington County Jail while trying to visit her husband, who was arrested during the crawl.

“Our level of disorderliness really escalates on days where we have pub crawls,” said Scott, who told the Board he’s reached out to law enforcement in cities around the country to ask how they’ve handled bar crawls. “I just signed off today on a comprehensive ground response. I think there’s no aspect of the community, especially around some of these bar locations, that are not impacted.”

The April 30 meeting appears to be the first step toward the Board possibly setting new policies regarding pub crawls. Board member Walter Tejada, however, cautioned against taking too harsh a stance against the events.

“I want to be careful not to be the hardheaded government keeping people from having fun,” he said. “I want to strike that balance, but it’s an issue of safety. If you have data that it could be leading to bad things, then we can’t ignore it.”

Photo via Groupon

Virginia Hospital Center Employee Charged With Rape

by ARLnow.com | April 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm | 6,077 views | No Comments

Roy Anthony Jones (photo courtesy ACPD)An employee at Virginia Hospital Center has been charged in the alleged rape of a patient.

Police say Roy Anthony Jones, a 30-year-old D.C. resident, raped a 37-year-old female patient in the early morning hours of January 13, 2014, while he was working as a CT Scan Technician.

“The victim was at the hospital as a patient when the incident occurred and reported the crime to police following the attack,” Arlington County Police said in a press release today. “Virginia Hospital Center staff cooperated with detectives throughout the investigation.”

Jones was denied bond and is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Photo courtesy ACPD

Driver of Truck That Struck, Killed a Local Mom Charged With Traffic Infraction

by ARLnow.com | April 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm | 3,889 views | No Comments

Pedestrian struck in front of Nottingham Elementary

Arlington County Police are closing the investigation into the fatal pedestrian crash that occurred in front of Nottingham Elementary School on Feb. 24.

After a month-and-a-half accident investigation, police have charged 33-year-old Manassas resident Marvin Valladres with “failure to pay full time and attention,” a traffic infraction. He will not face more serious criminal charges, like negligence or involuntary manslaughter.

Valladres had just left a nearby construction site and was driving his dump truck down N. Little Falls Road around 11:30 a.m. when a passenger side step caught the open rear sliding door on 39-year-old Jennifer Lawson’s minivan, according to investigators. Lawson had just finished putting her young child in a car seat and was standing next to the driver’s side door when the truck drove by, ripping the sliding door off the minivan and fatally injuring her, police said.

Following the crash, neighbors in the Williamsburg neighborhood held a community meeting, with many calling for answers and accountability. Investigators, however, believe this is a case of a tragic accident.

Valladres was “very cooperative” during the investigation, there was “no indication of any driver distraction or alcohol involved” in the accident, and there was also ”no indication of any speeding violation,” according to ACPD Dep. Chief Daniel J. Murray.

Crime Report: Airbags Stolen in Fairlington

by ARLnow.com | April 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm | 1,638 views | No Comments

Thieves stole the airbags from a number of cars parked in Fairlington early Tuesday morning.

Victims told NBC 4 that they woke up to find their car hoods open and their airbags missing. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

GRAND LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 140408013, 3000 block of S. Columbus Street. On April 8 at 5:46am, it was reported that multiple vehicles in the Fairlington area were broken into by an unknown subject(s) and airbags were stolen. There is no suspect(s) description and the investigation is ongoing.

Also on Tuesday, a cab driver was allegedly robbed at gunpoint in the Rosslyn area.

ROBBERY, 140408063, 1800 block of N. Clarendon Boulevard. On April 8 at 7:06pm, a taxi cab driver reported he was robbed at gunpoint by a passenger. The suspect later identified as Sami Troy Traboulsi, 28, of Alexandria, VA was taken into custody and charged with robbery.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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UPDATED: Police Investigating Assault on Custis Trail

by ARLnow.com | April 7, 2014 at 11:30 am | 5,271 views | No Comments

Police car lights(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Arlington County police are investigating an assault and indecent exposure incident on the Custis Trail near Rosslyn.

Police say a man grabbed a woman as she was either running or walking by, spun her around, and exposed himself to her. The incident happened on the trail between N. Quinn Street and N. Oak Street just after 11:00 a.m. The man then fled west on the trail, possibly running into a nearby apartment complex.

This was not a sexual assault, as earlier reported, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The man is described as a white male in his 30s, 5’10″ with a heavy muscular build and short, partially balding brown hair. He was wearing tennis shoes, a dark jacket, a white t-shirt and dark shorts at the time of the incident.

A police K-9 unit was brought in to try to track the suspect, but that was made impossible by the rain. So far police have not made any arrests, Sternbeck said.

Officers believe the suspect may be responsible for at least one other, similar assault that occurred in the same area, according to scanner traffic.

Crime Report: Attempted Rape in Buckingham

by ARLnow.com | April 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 3,408 views | No Comments

Police car lightsArlington police have arrested a man and charged him with attempting to rape a woman in Buckingham last Friday afternoon.

Police say Hector Lopez Aguilar, 33, forced his way into an apartment on the 4200 block of N. Pershing Drive and tried to rape a 54-year-old woman.

He allegedly fled the scene when the woman fought back.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ATTEMPTED RAPE, 140328034, 4200 block of N. Pershing Drive. At 2:00 pm on March 28, an unknown subject forced his way into an apartment, assaulted a 54 year-old female victim and attempted to rape her. The suspect fled when the victim fought back.  Police located the subject the following day at a nearby apartment. Hector Lopez Aguilar, 33, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with attempted rape and abduction with the intent to defile. He is being held without bond.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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UPDATED: Police Respond to Barricade Situation in Courthouse

by ARLnow.com | March 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm | 6,000 views | No Comments

Update at 5:05 p.m. — The barricade situation has ended peacefully.

Earlier: A man who may be suicidal has barricaded himself in his Courthouse townhouse, leading to a standoff with police.

The incident started between 3:00 and 4:00 this afternoon when the man’s girlfriend told police that he made remarks suggesting he may be contemplating suicide. Police responded to the scene and tried to get the man to come out of the house. Reached by phone, he told police that they’d “have to come get him,” according to scanner traffic.

Police backed off and have surrounded the townhouse complex, which is located across the street from the Courtland Towers apartment building. At one point, the man reportedly ran out of the house and then ran back in when confronted by officers. Police negotiators are now trying to talk the man out of the house again.

N. Wayne Street is closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic between 13th Street and the Fairfax Drive pedestrian path as a result of the standoff. Residents of the townhouse complex are so far not being allowed back in their homes.

“We’re taking all precautions,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Police Sponsoring HS, MS T-Shirt Design Contest

by Ethan Rothstein | March 28, 2014 at 10:15 am | 512 views | No Comments

2014 ACPD T-shirt Design Contest flyerThe Arlington Police Beneficiary Association is asking Arlington middle- and high-schoolers to design a T-shirt for Police Week in May.

Students are asked to submit designs for the theme “Honoring the Fallen By Remembering Their Sacrifice,” by Friday, April 4 at 3:00 p.m. Designs are asked to be drawn in marker — with no more than four colors — on a sheet of letter paper. The winning designs will be printed for shirts during Police Week, May 11-17.

The grand prize for the contest is $100 gift card, a press release with the winner’s name and school in it and a free T-shirt with the winning design. Each school’s School Resource Officer will be collecting the submissions, which will be printed on the back of black and/or blue shirts.

Crime Report: Clarendon Apple Store Robbed, Perp Flees in BMW

by ARLnow.com | March 27, 2014 at 11:50 am | 4,895 views | No Comments

On Monday afternoon, an alleged thief stole two items from the Clarendon Apple Store and fled the scene in a customized BMW coupe.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ROBBERY, 140324046, 2700 block of N. Clarendon Boulevard. On March 24 at 4:10pm, an unknown suspect fled the Apple Store with two items without paying. He fled the scene in a early nineties model dark blue BMW coupe, with a slightly faded bumper and lower body kit. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 35 years old, and was wearing blue jeans, a light grey hooded sweatshirt with a black jacket on top and tan Timberland boots at the time of the incident.

Early Saturday morning, two men at Darna Lounge (946 N. Jackson Street), near Clarendon, allegedly flashed badges and claimed to be police officers.

IMPERSONATING A POLICE OFFICER, 140322003, 900 block of N. Jackson Street. On March 22 at 12:43am, police responded to a report of two bar patrons displaying badges and claiming to be officers. Samuel Wesley Aples, 40, of Alexandria, VA was charged with impersonating a police officer and private security violations. He was held on a $5000 bond. Austin James Jones III, 30, of Woodbridge, VA was charged with private security violations and was released. Both were banned from the establishment.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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Man Arrested After Pepper Spraying GMU Law Prof

by ARLnow.com | March 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm | 14,952 views | No Comments

George Mason University's Arlington campus (photo via Google Maps)A George Mason University law professor was pepper sprayed in his classroom today after a man tried to place him under a citizen’s arrest, according to Arlington County police.

The incident happened at GMU’s Arlington campus, near Virginia Square, around 3:00 p.m. Police say the man entered the classroom and attempted to place the professor under a citizen’s arrest. The professor tried to get the man — described as a white male in his 20s or 30s — to leave, at which time the man pepper sprayed him and a scuffle ensued, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The professor did not know the man, Sternbeck said.

An off-duty police officer heard the commotion and tried to intervene. The suspect fled but was arrested outside the school by Arlington County police officers, according to Stenbeck. He’s now being questioned by police. Several charges are pending.

Paramedics evaluated the professor and about a dozen students who were in the classroom at the time and suffered residual effects from the pepper spray. There were no reports of anyone being taken to the hospital.

Photo via Google Maps

Police Again Warn of ‘Jury Duty’ Phone Scam

by ARLnow.com | March 26, 2014 at 9:30 am | 1,010 views | No Comments

Arlington County police logoThe Arlington County Police Department is again warning of a phone scam involving scammers who impersonate law enforcement.

Police originally warned of the scam last month. It involves a caller claiming to be from the police department or Sheriff’s Office, demanding payment of a fine for failure to appear for jury duty. Police say the scammer threatens to arrest the victim unless they’re paid with Green Dot MoneyPak cards.

From ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department, along with Sheriff’s Office, are reminding residents of phone scams occurring across Arlington that involve a transaction using a Green Dot MoneyPak.

Recently, victims have received phone calls from an individual(s) claiming to be a Lieutenant with the Police Department or Sheriff’s Office and accusing them of failing to appear for jury duty. The subject claims a warrant for their arrest would be issued unless fines are paid immediately through MoneyPak cards. Additional claims of these scam artists have included falsely representing the Arlington County Police Department’s Warrant Services Division and even name current judicial officials during the conversation.

The Arlington County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office continue to urge residents upon receiving a call of this nature, to immediately hang up with the caller and verify the claim by calling the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office at 703.228.4460. Never use a phone number provided to you from the caller to verify their credibility. It is also important to note, that under no circumstance would an Arlington County Office require a financial payment via a MoneyPak card. This tactic only allows money to be transferred to an account without using identification.

After making a verification call, if you find that you were a victim of a scam or were a target, please file an online police report at http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/police/incident/new/start-report.html or call the non emergency police line at 703.558.2222.

The missed jury duty scam is just the latest approach these criminals are taking. Past scams have included individuals claiming to be from utility companies collecting for past due bills, tax collection agencies for unpaid taxes and lottery officials claiming residents have won money. You can assist law enforcement agencies by spreading the word about these scams so that neighbors and/or family members don’t become victims.

Police Investigate Indecent Exposure in Hillside Park

by ARLnow.com | March 25, 2014 at 11:30 am | 1,403 views | No Comments

Police car lights(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Police are on the lookout for a man seen masturbating in Hillside Park, near Rosslyn.

The incident happened around 7:20 p.m. this past Friday night, on the 1600 block of N. Pierce Street. Police say a man was pleasuring himself in view of two women in the park.

Officers were called to the scene but the man had fled by the time they arrived.

The man is described as ”a white male with white hair, between 55-65 years of age, and approximately 5’0″-5’6″ and 220 pounds,” according to police. “At the time of the incident he was wearing a blue hat, beige jacket and blue pants.”

Drew Elementary Principal Resigns After DUI Arrest

by ARLnow.com | March 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 12,023 views | No Comments

Former Drew Elementary principal Jacqueline Smith (photo via APS)Drew Model Elementary School principal Jacqueline Smith resigned earlier this month, just days after being arrested for driving under the influence.

Smith, a 53-year-old Arlington resident, was arrested on the 1100 block of S. Rolfe Street, in the Arlington View neighborhood, around 3:30 a.m. on Friday, March 7. Smith was observed by an officer stopping at a green light, weaving in and out of lanes and almost striking a parked car, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The officer pulled Smith over and she subsequently failed a field sobriety test, Sternbeck said. Smith was arrested and taken to the Arlington County Detention Center. Four days after the arrest, Drew Elementary parents were notified that Smith was “retiring.”

“We wanted to let you know that Jackie Smith, Principal of Drew, has informed us that she plans to retire from her position with the Arlington Public Schools for personal reasons,” wrote Arlington Public Schools superintendent Patrick Murphy. “She will be on leave the remainder of this week, and will retire effective March 17. We wish her the best in the future.”

“I have been grateful for my 21 years in Arlington as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal,” Smith said in the letter. “The support I have received through the years from Dr. Murphy, APS administrators, the School Board, and the many dedicated teachers and educational leaders throughout the county has been greatly appreciated. I want to express my best wishes to the Drew Model School staff, students, and community, and I hope for their continued success as they work to provide excellent learning opportunities for our children.”

Asked by ARLnow.com if Smith had been fired, APS spokeswoman Linda Erdos said “that statement is not accurate.” Theresa Bratt, who retired from APS last year, is now serving as interim principal at the school.

Smith’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 19. Court documents indicate that, if convicted, this would be her first DUI.

Photo via APS

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