A new superhero will be hitting the streets and bars of Clarendon Saturday night.
“SoberWoman” is described as the “witty better half” of SoberMan (left), the anti-DUI superhero who tried to save Clarendon bargoers from poor post-drinking decision making last December.
“SoberWoman will engage with patrons at Arlington area restaurants and quiz them on how they plan to get home after partying,” according to a press release. “She will award prizes to those who have made advanced plans to get home safely by not drinking and driving. SoberWoman will pose for pictures and encourage bar-goers to share photos and her mission via social media, using hashtag #SoberWoman.”
SoberWoman is planning on stopping by Whitlow’s on Wilson (2854 Wilson Blvd), Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street) and Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd) between 10:00 p.m. and midnight on Saturday. She will be joined by Arlington County Police Department Captain Kamran Afzal and Kurt Erickson, president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program.
The arrival of SoberWoman should attract some attention. She will “arrive in a police motorcade and use a P.A. system to announce her mission at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Filmore St., adjacent to Whitlow’s,” according to the press release. “She will repeat her police ‘sirens and lights’ arrival at the following bars before engaging bar-goers inside”
Organizers say SoberWoman’s superpowers — namely, “continued vigilance and heightened awareness about drinking and driving” — are needed because drunk driving fatalities have been on the rise in Virginia over the last two years.
Someone smashed a half dozen car windows to steal some pocket change last week.
The crime happened overnight in the North Rosslyn area, according to police. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO/DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (SERIES), 141112016-021, 1600 BLOCK N COLONIAL TERRACE, Sometime between 1700 hours on 11/11/14 and 0720 hours on 11/12/14, an unknown subject(s) smashed the front passenger windows of six vehicles and stole loose change. There are no witnesses and there is no suspect information at this time.
The rest of the weekly crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
The wallet went missing between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, on the 2600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. Initial reports suggest police were searching for clues in the Holiday Inn hotel at 2650 Jefferson Davis Highway.
(An earlier version of this story cited incorrect information regarding the timing of the wallet going missing.)
There was little additional information available about the incident. Malcolm was unable to provide the name of the congresswoman or the circumstances surrounding how the wallet went missing.
“We can confirm that a congresswoman’s was possibly stolen,” he told ARLnow.com “We notified U.S. Capitol Police.”
U.S. Capitol Police have thus far not responded to a request for more information.
Photo via Google Maps
The Arlington County detectives have solved and obtained a conviction in a decades-old rape case thanks to new DNA technology, according to a report by TV station WUSA9.
The crime happened in January 1992, when a 25-year-old grad student answered a knock at her door, in an Arlington apartment building. The man at the door, dressed as a maintenance worker, drew a gun and proceeded to rape her.
Veteran detectives Rosa Ortiz and Bob Icolari, who have been working to solve long-cold rape cases, resubmitted a small amount DNA evidence from the case to the state crime lab, which was able to find a match thanks to new technology. The suspect — Stevie Brinson, 55 — confessed and was sentenced to life in prison, WUSA reported.
WUSA9′s report (note: video automatically plays), after the jump.
Police say a 35-year-old man used “racial slurs” before assaulting a victim at a bar on the 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd. The suspect is described as a 6’1″, 220 lbs white male with brown hair and brown eyes.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ASSAULT AND BATTERY (HATE CRIME), 141103069, 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd, On 11/3/14 at 2320 hrs, an unknown subject used racial slurs before assaulting the victim. Both were patrons of a bar at the time of the incident. Suspect is described as a non-hispanic white male 601/220, Bro/bro, approximately 35 years of age, wearing a black leather coat and a plaid button up shirt.
Also this week, a woman in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood told police she was attacked by her boyfriend after refusing to have sex with him.
STRANGULATION AND DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 141102011, 800 block of S Greenbrier St, A female victim states she was strangled and punched after refusing the sexual advances of her boyfriend. The male suspect fled when he found out police were called. Warrants and an Emergency Protective Order were issued.
On Sunday night, a woman said she was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend after the boyfriend accused her of cheating on him with another man, who was staying over her apartment at the time. The boyfriend accused the woman of punching him in the face.
In the end, no one was charged.
SEXUAL ASSSAULT, 141102046, 3100 block of Lee Highway, On 11/2/14 at 1143 hrs, a female subject states she was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend after the boyfriend accused her of engaging in sexual intercourse with another male, who was currently in her apartment at the time of the boyfriend’s visit. The boyfriend accused the the female subject of punching him in the face during their argument over the other male staying there. Magistrate denied warrants.
A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
From this Thursday, Nov. 6, to Nov. 24, officers will be assigned to special safety details at the intersections of Wilson Blvd and Lee Highway with N. Lynn Street.
The Wilson-Lynn intersection has been a source of major headaches during rush hours thanks to the ongoing construction along N. Lynn Street with the Central Place project. The backups have led to some drivers not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, and the ACPD is responding with the new enforcement campaign.
The Lynn Street and Lee Highway intersection, nicknamed the “Intersection of Doom,” has for years been a dangerous place for pedestrians and bicyclists because of vehicles exiting from I-66 to the Key Bridge intermingling with users of the Custis and Mount Vernon trails.
Police say they plan to ticket pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers who violate traffic and jaywalking laws.
“Officers will ticket motorists who violate traffic laws or do not yield for pedestrians in crosswalks,” according to a police press release. “In addition, pedestrians will be cited for jaywalking. Public Service Aides will hand out safety information to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who commute through these busy intersections.”
The enforcement campaign will begin from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and noon to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday and continue on weekdays until the Nov. 24, the Monday before Thanksgiving. The pedestrian safety campaign, part of the region’s Street Smart campaign, is designed to inform motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians that 25 percent of traffic deaths in the D.C. region are bikers and walkers, nearly 90 deaths per year.
(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department live-tweeted Saturday’s Halloween-themed bar crawl in Clarendon, providing Twitter followers with frequent updates, safety tips and photos.
The bar crawl, billed as “The Rise of the Day Drinkers,” ran from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. It was the first bar crawl approved for a permit under the county’s new bar crawl regulations, which are intended to curb drunken criminal activity by providing a larger police presence, at the expense of crawl organizers.
The stepped-up police presence apparently worked. This past weekend’s Halloween-theme was a relatively quiet affair, with only 9 or 10 arrests, according to initial reports. There were no reports of any bar crawl patrons stripping naked, or any other significant incidents, according to police spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.
ACPD’s live-tweeting highlighted authorities’ efforts to keep everyone safe — from officers making sure long lines outside of bars did not stretch out onto the street to paramedics having a stretcher ready should medical assistance be needed.
The police department’s running commentary also had some lighter moments, including an officer taking a photo with Muppets characters, a joke about finding Waldo, and a reminder that orange could be the new black for bar crawl patrons who choose to drive home while drunk (see below).
Remember to drink responsibly & plan a sober ride home. Over the limit & these costumes can become a reality. pic.twitter.com/38FxQlJFv9
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) November 1, 2014
Photos via @ArlingtonVaPD
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.
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).
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).”
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.
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.
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.”
Despite 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.”
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.
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