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by ARLnow.com — October 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm 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 1,428 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

by ARLnow.com — October 8, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,711 0

Arlington County police logoA D.C. man is wanted for a shooting in Arlington’s High View Park neighborhood.

Police say 23-year-old Jeffrey Gaskins showed up to his ex-girlfriend’s house on the 1900 block of N. Culpeper Street around 9:35 p.m. this past Sunday. He tried to kick in the front door, police said, and when that didn’t work he went to the back of the home, took out a gun and allegedly fired four shots at the house.

The ex-girlfriend, her two young children and an adult male were inside the home at the time but were uninjured. The man fled the scene after firing the shots and remains at large, according to a crime report.

“Warrants for four counts of attempted malicious shooting, shooting into an occupied dwelling, attempted burglary with the intent to commit murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and misdemeanor assault were issued” for Gaskins, police said.

by Ethan Rothstein — October 8, 2014 at 10:40 am 1,925 0

Police car (file photo)(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A man exposed himself outside Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang Street) last Tuesday, police said.

The incident happened just before 7:00 p.m. Police say an unknown suspect exposed himself at the water fountain outside the school, near the athletic fields.

“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his thirties, approximately 5’3″ tall and 140 lbs,” according to an Arlington County police crime report. “He was wearing a bright red shirt and blue jeans at the time of the incident.”

There’s no indication that any children saw the man’s genitalia, police told ARLnow.com. WJLA reported that the fields were likely in use by community groups at the time.
 

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm 3,954 0

Virginia State Police badgeVirginia State Police is investigating a crash that killed a motorcyclist early Sunday morning.

Police were called to Washington Blvd near I-395 at 2:20 a.m. for reports of a single-vehicle crash. When police arrived on the scene they found the victim’s motorcycle, but not the driver. After a search, 27-year-old Joel A. Morales of Woodbridge was found in a nearby wooded area. He died at the scene.

Police believe Morales was driving westbound on Washington Blvd from the I-395 off ramp when he apparently struck a jersey barrier. He was thrown from his motorcycle and landed below the overpass in the wooded area. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Arlington County police assisted VSP with traffic control and security when the road had to be shut down to investigate the accident scene. VSP continues to investigate the cause of the crash.

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2014 at 10:15 am 5,947 0

Arlington police carThe Arlington County Police Department wants residents to be on alert for a police impersonator who tried luring a woman into his car this past weekend.

Police say a 31-year-old woman was driving through the Ballston area around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday (October 4), when the suspect pulled up behind her and turned on a rotating red light on his dashboard. The victim pulled over on N. 11th Street near Quincy Park and the suspect approached her car, displaying a badge. The man reportedly told the victim to get out of her car and go with him to the police station. The woman was skeptical and stayed in her car. She told the man she was going to call the police to have an officer in uniform respond to the scene. At that point, the man took off in his car.

“This suspect had the intention of getting the victim into his vehicle,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “If something doesn’t seem right to you, trust your instincts and contact police. This woman’s actions likely kept her from being abducted.”

ACPD will confirm if a traffic stop is legitimate for any citizen who calls the police non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.

The police impersonator is described as a black man, around 6′ tall and 200 pounds. He was driving an older, dark colored car that appeared to be a Crown Victoria or a similar car resembling an unmarked police vehicle.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact ACPD Detective Conigliaro at 703-228-4193 or rconig@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

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