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by Ethan Rothstein — October 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm 7,876 0

The $23 million mansion at 201 Chain Bridge Road in Arlington was the scene of a possible home invasion robbery this morning.

The robbery is at least the second time the 23,000-square-foot, Mediterranean house overlooking the Potomac River has been broken into in the past seven months. This time, police were dispatched around 10:30 a.m. for a report of a burglary in progress, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Police arrived with a large response; more than two dozen vehicles were at the scene, blocking off one lane of Chain Bridge Road and occupying the entirety of the hilly driveway. Sternbeck said police took two subjects into custody and had multiple K-9 units sweeping the massive house to ensure no one else was on the property.

“This is a known residence to police,” Sternbeck said, referencing previous calls for “a variety of incidents,” including when valuable art was stolen from the home.

The mansion near the border with McLean belongs to Rodney P. Hunt, the former CEO of RS Information Systems who sold the I.T. company for $1.2 billion, he told ARLnow.com in April. The April incident was also allegedly perpetrated by two individuals, who made off with some crystal ware, Hunt said.

Sternbeck could not confirm if anything was taken from the house before police arrived. Hunt and another person were inside the home when the break-in occurred, Sternbeck said.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm 2,772 0

Police car lightsA 19-year-old man reportedly was robbed at gunpoint in Lyon Village early Saturday morning.

The man was in the 3300 block of 13th Street N. around 2:05 a.m. on Saturday when he was apparently approached by three strangers. The three men robbed the victim of his watch while showing a gun, according to the police crime report.

Several bystanders allegedly intervened, but they didn’t stay at the scene until police arrived.

Police describe the three suspects as black males, between 5’9″ and 5’11″, with medium builds. One suspect was wearing a red hoodie at the time of the incident and the other two were wearing black hoodies.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm 5,282 0

Arlington police carA 20-year-old man ended up in the hospital on Saturday night after he was stabbed in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood.

The victim had just visited his girlfriend in the 800 block of S. Frederick Street. Around 6:45 p.m., three teenagers reportedly attacked the man without provocation, stabbing him multiple times in the upper body. Police say the victim’s girlfriend witnessed the attack but was not hurt.

The victim sustained significant injuries and was taken to Fairfax Inova Hospital.

Police have released the following suspect descriptions:

  • Suspect one — Teenage Hispanic male, approximately 5’4″ tall and 165 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing and had a blue bandana covering his face.
  • Suspect two — Teenage Hispanic male, approximately 5’10″ tall and 200 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing with grey sweatpants and had a black bandana covering his face.
  • Suspect three — Teenage Hispanic male, approximately 5’4″ tall and 165 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing and also had a black bandana covering his face.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the police non-emergency number at 703-588-2222. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).”

by ARLnow.com — October 27, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,437 0

Cary James (photo via MCPD)A man has been arrested in connection with at least three bank robberies, including one in Arlington and another in Falls Church.

Cary James, a 44-year-old Florida resident, was arrested by Montgomery County police on Thursday.

James robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Rockville, then tried to take a taxi to D.C., according to a police press release. Montgomery County officers were able to locate the cab and take James into custody without incident. Police say they recovered the stolen cash in the taxi.

James is also suspected in the Oct. 17 robbery of the United Bank at 5350 Lee Highway, and the Oct. 21 robbery of the BB&T Bank on West Broad Street in Falls Church.

by ARLnow.com — October 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm 4,942 0

Police car (file photo)An 18-year-old man was shot in the rear end in the Nacuk neighborhood early yesterday morning, a law enforcement source tells ARLnow.com.

The teen showed up at Virginia Hospital Center at 2:30 a.m. Thursday with a single gunshot wound, according to a crime report (below).

The circumstances behind the shooting are unclear. So far, police do not have a description of the suspect.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 141023003, 2200 block of S. Shirlington Road. At approximately 2:30 am on October 23, a male victim arrived at Virginia Hospital Center with a single gunshot wound. The injury is non-life threatening. There is no suspect(s) description and the investigation is ongoing.

by ARLnow.com — October 23, 2014 at 3:45 pm 1,461 0

Police Chief Doug Scott at a community forum on policing

Could another Ferguson happen in Arlington?

Yes it could, admitted Arlington County Police Chief Doug Scott, but it’s not likely.

Scott and other local law enforcement and community figures were speaking at a community forum on policing last week at Wakefield High School when he was asked by WJLA’s Jeff Goldberg whether a police shooting — like the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. — could happen and spark unrest here. Yes, he said candidly, but Arlington County Police has been doing its best to ensure it does not.

For one, said Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos, Arlington officers are well-trained in the proper use of force.

“The level of professionalism, training… and the degree to which Arlington police exercise restraint in terms of the use of force,” make a controversial police shooting very unlikely, she said.

However unlikely, though, Scott said the department was prepared for a Ferguson-like shooting, in which the suspect turns out to be unarmed and conflicting witness statements are given. ACPD would stay in close contact with the local community in the wake of the shooting, would release information in a timely manner and would thoroughly investigate the shooting, he said.

“Part of my charge as the Chief of Police and working with members in the community, is to assure them that we’re going to do a comprehensive, objective and fair investigation,”said  Scott. “We’re going to put the officer on restricted duty. [He or she] is going to be compelled to give us a statement. There are going to be two investigations, a criminal investigation and an administrative investigation.”

Scott said the Ferguson police department seemed to be “trying to hold something back” after the shooting. “I think that those kind of things fueled the mistrust.”

Speakers at a police forum at Wakefield High SchoolDespite the police department’s efforts to build trust with minority communities — like Nauck, Arlington’s oldest African American neighborhood — speakers at the forum expressed concern about policing in the community. Some accused specific officers of being too aggressive, while others said that officers don’t spend enough time trying to be a part of the community.

“We should not be prisoners in our own house. Were were born and raised here,” said one Nauck resident, who said she was concerned about police “harassing” her sons. “You don’t go to my church. You only come out what, during Community Day? How are we supposed to trust you?”

“The way they speak to us is unacceptable,” said another woman. “The way they treat us in Nauck is not right.”

One young woman said she gets pulled over by ACPD at least once a week because she’s mistaken for her boyfriend, the co-signer on the car, whose drivers license is suspended. Another speaker said Nauck residents get stopped for riding bikes without helmets.

“Yet you put bikes without helmets in here,” he said, referring to Capital Bikeshare stations.

After the forum, Chief Scott said it’s clear that ACPD has more work to do.

“I thought I had a pretty good pulse on some of the issues that are out there in the community,” he told ARLnow.com. “I heard some things tonight that really have made me pause and think we have work to do in some of these communities in terms of trust in the police department.”

by ARLnow.com — October 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm 4,033 0

A man who got drunk, sped down the wrong way of a one-way street in Clarendon and caused a crash that seriously injured a pedestrian earlier this year has pleaded guilty to a felony charge.

Pentagon City resident Benjamin Andruss, 37, pleaed guilty yesterday to felony DUI maiming. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

The crash happened between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12. Prosecutors say Andruss had just left First Down Sports Bar in Ballston, where he had consumed 4-5 beers and three glasses of whiskey while watching afternoon football games. A friend encouraged him to take a cab, but Andruss insisted on driving.

Andruss drove from the Ballston Common Mall parking garage to Clarendon, revving the engine of his Mercedes-Benz at stop lights and “speeding the whole way,” prosecutors said. At the intersection of Wilson, Clarendon and Washington Blvds, he again revved his engine at the stop light, then accelerated straight through the intersection when the light turned green.

Andruss sped the wrong way down Wilson Blvd, past Spider Kelly’s and other bars. His Mercedes ran up on the sidewalk, striking the side of the Clarendon War Memorial. In his path was a pedestrian, a man around 30 years old who works for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The pedestrian tried to dive out of the way, but Andruss struck a parked car, which then struck the pedestrian. The man regained consciousness in the middle of the street.

From a statement of facts entered by prosecutors as part of the plea:

He was taken by ambulance to GW Hospital, where he was treated for numerous injuries to his head and left elbow. Both required serious treatment. His head required more than a dozen staples. His broken elbow required surgery, the insertion of a metal plate, and screws to ensure regained functionality. The elbow now has a permanent visible scar. And [the victim], despite weeks of physical therapy, has yet to regain – and may never regain – a full range of motion.

After the crash, the Defendant exited the vehicle and appeared to try to walk away. He was prevented from doing so by onlookers. The Defendant was described as unsteady on his feet, with slurred speech and bloodshot/glassy eyes. He repeatedly “fell” into an officer’s arms as they spoke. The Defendant admitted to drinking and refused to perform all field sobriety tests. He was placed under arrest at 9:20pm.

“Mr. Andruss made a series of poor decisions that evening,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Katcher told ARLnow.com. “He drank too much, he didn’t take a cab, he drove recklessly from Ballston to Clarendon, and then he drove the wrong way, down the wrong street, at the wrong time.”

“Try to imagine this from the victim’s perspective: he’s minding his own business, walking down a sidewalk, when he hears an engine revving, sees a set of headlights speeding towards him, and has no more than a second to try to dive out of the way,” Katcher continued. “Next thing he knows he is on his back in the middle of the street with people looking down at him telling him not to move. This is the type of mayhem that happens when people drink and drive. There is no defense, no reason, and no excuse for this type of behavior.”

Andruss is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 6, 2015. He’s expected to receive a sentence of 1-5 years in prison.

This is not the only legal trouble Andruss is facing. Three days after the crash he was fired, and a week after that he was sued by his former employer, accused of making hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of improper purchases on his company credit card and withdraws from the company checking account, all while deliberately concealing evidence of his actions.

by ARLnow.com — October 21, 2014 at 10:15 am 6,305 0

Timothy Lowe (photo courtesy ACPD)A man was arrested Thursday night after allegedly doing push-ups in public while naked, then resisting arrest.

The incident happened around 8:00 p.m. on the 3200 block of 24th Street S. Police say a local resident, 31-year-old Timothy Lowe, was nude and doing push-ups in the middle of the street.

“The subject ignored numerous commands by police and began approaching officers in an aggressive manner while yelling obscenities,” according to a crime report. “The subject was taken into custody following a taser deployment.”

Lowe has been charged with indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice. He was under the influence of the drug PCP at the time of the incident, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Lowe, who spoke out against what he described as police profiling and harassment at a community forum on policing a day prior to his arrest, has had other run-ins with the law.

In September, he was arrested and charged in connection to a stabbing in the Nauck neighborhood.

Photo courtesy ACPD

by Ethan Rothstein — October 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm 979 0

Arlington Police traffic stopTraffic tickets and criminal fines in Arlington County will now cost $5 more to fund the implementation of an electronic summons system.

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the fee at its meeting Saturday. Earlier this year, the state General Assembly passed a provision to a state law this year that allows localities to levy up to a $5 fee on summons for traffic and criminal cases to fund the establishment of an electronic system for filing summons for traffic tickets.

According to the county staff report, the Arlington County Police Department issued 42,761 traffic citations and made 5,102 arrests from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. The county estimates the new fee would add $200,000 in annual revenue, and that the new system would cost $150,000 for equipment to implement.

“When motorists are stopped by police, it adds an element of danger as both the motorists and officers are exposed to passing traffic,” the staff report states. “An electronic summons system would lessen the chances of a road shoulder accident during the course of the officers’ traffic stop and also provide the motorist with a faster and more efficient transaction.

“An electronic summons system will also significantly improve efficiency and accuracy in the processing of issued citations,” the staff report continues. “With an electronic summons system, citation data would be automatically scanned and electronically entered at the point of activity. Personnel will no longer have to subsequently re-enter data from hand-written summons. Once the citation is completed, the transaction data is sent electronically to the court’s case management systems, usually within 24 hours. This will also allow violators to prepay their fines promptly and aid the courts in managing their dockets while tracking their caseloads. The utilization of the electronic summons system will help reduce data entry errors.”

The money that doesn’t go toward paying for the equipment will fund the summons system’s maintenance. Equipment for the system includes handheld devices for officers, driver’s license scanners, portable printers and and barcode readers. Once maintenance for the next three years is fully funded, the county says, it will consider removing the $5 fee.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2014 at 12:15 pm 4,731 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A robbery occurred just past noon today at a bank branch on Lee Highway.

The United Bank at 5350 Lee Highway, across from the Harris Teeter, was robbed by a man who implied a weapon and passed a note to the teller.

The man fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash before police arrived. Police searched the area for the suspect but were unable to locate him. The FBI is also on the scene and investigating the incident.

The suspect is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall, with a muscular build. He is said to be wearing a gray hat, shirt, and pants.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm 1,693 0

Arlington police carThe Arlington County Police Department needs to hire more Latino and bilingual officers, according to one community group.

BU-GATA, a nonprofit that advocates for tenants rights and Latino issues, issued a statement during ACPD’s community outreach meeting last night asking the ACPD to step up its hiring practices so its department reflects the demographics of the community it serves.

“[The] lack of Latino, Spanish-speaking police officers is a major problem,” the group’s statement says. “In Arlington where 15.3 percent of the population is Latino, only 6-8 percent of the police force is Latino.”

The group charged that the lack of a “Latino, go-to liaison within the police department” and the lack of professional interpreters at community meetings have helped foster a “lack of trust between police officers and community members.”

Speaker from BU-GATA at the Arlington County Police Department forum Oct. 15, 2014“There continues to be great concern in the Latino community about rising numbers of Latinos being stopped and arrested by Arlington County police,” BU-GATA states. The ACPD only compiles demographic statistics based on “white” or “black” arrests, with Latinos largely grouped into the white demographic, an issue BU-GATA says should be rectified for a broader analysis of why Latinos are arrested at a higher rate than other demographics.

BU-GATA analyzed arrest data from 2011, it said, and found that Latinos made up for 23 percent of all those arrested in Arlington, based on “Spanish last names.” Many of the arrests were for one of three crimes: drunk driving, driving without a license and drinking in public.

Arlington County Police Chief Doug Scott responded to the call for hiring more Latino officers with an acknowledgment that the ACPD can do a better job.

“Our numbers of Latino officers may not be exactly where we want to be, but more and more we’re recruiting officers who are bilingual, so we’re trying to address some of those issues,” Scott said. “We do our best to have a police department that reflects the community that we serve.”

The ACPD offers incentives for bilingual officers, but BU-GATA said it does not do enough outreach to find bilingual candidates. The police department also has a standard of two years of college for its officers, which it recently has decided to waive for some with military or prior law enforcement experience.

BU-GATA said Arlington could create a “basic patrol” position, which other jurisdictions have, in an effort to hire more Latino officers who don’t qualify for the education requirements. After being hired, the “basic patrol” officers could then be reimbursed for tuition costs, the group proposed.

Scott said that although the numbers don’t fully match up demographically, he’s pleased with the department’s recruitment and diversity efforts. He said federal and local law enforcement agencies in the D.C. area are all competing to recruit Latino officers.

“Our numbers are pretty good in terms of the demographics of Arlington and the demographics of our police department,” he said. “We do quite a bit in terms of targeted recruiting for more African American officers, Latino officers, Asian Pacific officers. In fact the county manager gave an award to our recruitment staff for meeting our goals.”

by ARLnow.com — October 14, 2014 at 5:00 pm 1,486 0

The Rite Aid at Pentagon RowA man with a gun tried to rob the Rite Aid pharmacy on Pentagon Row Friday night, according to Arlington County police.

The man entered the store just past 8:00 p.m. and brandished a gun at the pharmacist, demanding prescription medications. The pharmacist was able to shield himself behind protective glass, foiling the robbery attempt.

The suspect took off on foot before police arrived.

“The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’8″ tall and 160 lbs,” according to a crime report. “He was wearing a black long sleeve sweater, blue jeans and a white and orange baseball hat at the time of the incident.”

by Ethan Rothstein — October 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm 2,135 0

ACPD Chief Doug Scott at the WCA meeting 3/13/14The Arlington County Police Department wants to build its relationship with the community in light of the national unrest surrounding the events in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.

To help strengthen the community’s trust in the ACPD, the department is hosting a forum this Wednesday at the Wakefield High School auditorium (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

“With recent national media coverage of law enforcement and community relationships, the Arlington County Police Department feels it is imperative to continue to build relationships through open dialogue,” ACPD said in a press release. “The Arlington County Chief of Police, along with Commonwealth Attorney, County Sheriff and other distinguished panel members, will conduct a community forum focusing on the community’s trust and confidence in the criminal justice system.”

Police Chief Doug Scott, Sheriff Beth Arthur, Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, NAACP Arlington President Elmer Lowe, community activist Andres Tobar, who is the director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center, and ARLnow.com founder and editor Scott Brodbeck.

WJLA’s Jeff Goldberg will moderate the panel, which will hold a discussion with topics including use of force, community policing and the use of police body cameras, according to the police department. After the discussion, the panelists will answer audience questions.

The event is free and open to the public. ACPD will be live-tweeting the event at its Twitter account for those who can’t attend.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — October 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm 2,613 0

The 7-Eleven store at 3600 Columbia Pike was robbed at gunpoint in the early morning hours last Saturday.

The suspect, who was wearing a surgical mask, made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 141004019, 3600 block of S. Columbia Pike. At 3:18 am on October 4, an unknown male subject brandished a firearm and robbed the cashier at 7-11. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall with an average build. He was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, black pants and had a white surgical mask covering his face.

Last Friday, a teen stole beer from the Giant supermarket at Penrose Square. He allegedly assaulted a security guard who tried to stop him as he fled the scene.

ROBBERY BY FORCE, 141003057, 2500 block of S. 9th Street. At 7:30 pm on October 3, a male subject concealed beer in a backpack at a grocery store and assaulted a security guard when he was confronted. The suspect fled the scene on foot. He is described as a teenage Hispanic male and approximately 5’6″ tall. He was wearing a white shirt with gray stripes.

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

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — October 9, 2014 at 11:30 am 5,063 0

Route 50 at Irving Street (photo via Google Maps)A cyclist was seriously hurt when a car ran a red light on Route 50 and struck her in the crosswalk last night, according to police.

The 26-year-old woman was crossing Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) at N. Irving Street just after 6:00 p.m. when a driver in a westbound Honda Accord blew through the red light, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The woman was struck and thrown a distance, landing on the westbound lanes, Sternbeck said. She was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with “significant and critical injuries.”

The driver, identified only as a 46-year-old Arlington man, remained on scene. He’s facing several charges, Sternbeck said.

Rush hour traffic was “significantly impacted” during the accident investigation. All but one lane in each direction was closed for about two hours, according to Arlington Alerts.

File photo via Google Maps

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