75°Scattered Clouds

by ARLnow.com — July 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm 1,740 0

Arlington police carArlington County Police are looking for a man who flashed two women on an elevator in Rosslyn.

The incident took place around 11:30 Friday night, on the 1400 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man got onto an elevator and exposed himself to two female victims.

“The suspect is described as a black male in his thirties, approximately 6’0″ tall and 150lbs,” according to ACPD’s crime report. “He was wearing a blue plaid shirt, jeans, and high top ankle boots.”

by ARLnow.com — July 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm 6,586 0

Aftermath of an alleged assault at IHOP on 7/20/14 (submitted photo) Aftermath of an alleged assault at IHOP on 7/20/14 (submitted photo)

A man was jabbed with a fork and a woman was punched in the face during a scuffle at the International House of Pancakes (935 N. Stafford Street) in Ballston late Sunday night.

Police say a verbal argument escalated into a physical confrontation at the restaurant around 11:45 p.m. The suspect, identified as 45-year-old Arlington resident Ernesto Juarez-Cabrera, allegedly jabbed another man in the hand with a fork, then punched a female family member in the face, according to police.

Neither victim required a trip to the hospital, although the fork broke the skin on the man’s hand, Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said. The fight was broken up by an IHOP manager, who escorted the suspect outside. While outside, Juarez-Cabrera repeatedly punched a restaurant window, breaking it, according to Sternbeck.

The broken glass cut Juarez-Cabrera’s hand and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Juarez-Cabrera, who police say was intoxicated at the time of the incident, has been charged with malicious wounding, attempted malicious wounding, felony destruction of property, and domestic assault and battery.

by Jason Hargraves — July 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm 1,529 0

MWCOG crime stats for Arlington in 2013There was good news and bad news for Arlington County in the latest compilation of annual crime stats.

The good: No homicides were reported in Arlington County in 2013 — a 100 percent drop compared to the five cases in 2012. Rape cases decreased from 31 to 26, a 16 percent drop. Reports of burglaries were also down 16 percent and motor vehicle thefts experienced a 14 percent drop.

The bad: reports of aggravated assaults were up 34 percent in 2013 and robbery and larceny reports also increased slightly compared to last year with 8 and 5 percent increases, respectively.

The statistics were released this week by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG).

Neighboring Alexandria had a reverse situation concerning homicides in 2013. The area reported no cases in 2012 compared to five in 2013. Alexandria experienced a 40 percent rise in reported rapes during the same period.

In total, Arlington County’s 358 sworn police officers responded tf 87,530 calls for service, up from the 80,872 calls reported in 2012. Overall, crime in the entire Washington metro region was down 2.6 percent from 2012 and 12 percent from the four-year high in 2009.

One noticeable uptick in crime for the entire Northern Virginia area highlighted in the report involved bicycle thefts, although no specific numbers were given. (Last year, MWCOG highlighted the problem of cell phone theft.)

Many of those bike thefts occurred from unlocked garages and near Metro stops, according to MWCOG. Officials say they weren’t surprised considering the growing popularity of bike commuting and facilities tailored to pedal-powered commuters. The United States Census recently reported a 30 percent increase in residents using bikes to get to work. 

Officials hope those theft numbers drop as more riders record their serial numbers with local police departments and as general awareness about bicycle safety and security increases.

by ARLnow.com — July 9, 2014 at 10:30 am 2,266 0

Post-storm sunset over North Arlington and D.C. (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

County Official: I-66 Doesn’t Need More Lanes — Arlington County officials have repeatedly expressed opposition to widening I-66 inside the Beltway. Now one county official is even decrying a proposal to add lanes to I-66 outside of the Beltway. Arlington County Commuter Services chief Chris Hamilton says the plans “are not only maddening, but they fly in the face of everything we’ve learned about induced demand… it’s impossible to build ourselves out of congestion because the roads themselves cause traffic.” [Mobility Lab]

ACPD to Hold ‘Chief-for-the-Day’ Contest — The Arlington County Police Department is holding an essay contest for children ages 8-12. The kid who submits the best answer to the question “what does it mean to be a police officer?” will be named “chief-for-the-day.” The winner will be “picked up at his or her house on August 5, 2014 by a patrol car and driven to the ACPD to spend the day involved in fun filled activities.” [Arlington County]

Arlington Beauty Queen Almost Married Dean Martin — Beauty queen and Washington-Lee High School grad Gail Renshaw, who was named Miss USA-World in 1969, nearly married the late Rat Pack crooner Dean Martin. In the end, Renshaw turned down Martin’s marriage proposal, moved to Prince George’s County, worked as a dialysis nurse and married a banker. [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington Native Goes to China, Voices TV Show — Yorktown High School grad Emily Jeffers wasn’t sure about what exactly she wanted to do for work when she traveled to China on a one-way ticket and a tourist visa. Eventually, she found employment dubbing a state-produced Chinese sitcom into English for syndication on South African TV. [InsideNova]

Potomac Yard Metro Station Progress — Federal transit authorities have narrowed down the list of potential locations for a Potomac Yard Metro station from four to two. The two remaining locations are also the two least expensive options studied — one is relatively close to the existing Potomac Yard shopping center while the other is close to the Potomac Greens neighborhood. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

by ARLnow.com — July 3, 2014 at 10:55 am 1,516 0

Arlington police carIn Crystal City last week, two cab drivers were robbed on the same block but in different days.

Both incidents took place on the 500 block of 15th Street S. Both involved two suspects in their twenties. One robbery was committed at gunpoint. The cab driver was assaulted during the other robbery.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ROBBERY, 140626002, 500 block of S. 15th Street. At 12:20 am on June 26, two unknown suspects assaulted and robbed a cab driver of cash and his belongings. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black baseball cap, dark jacket over a white t-shirt, jeans, and black and white shoes. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

ROBBERY, 140629058, 500 block of S. 15th Street. At 11:10 pm on June 29, two unknown suspects robbed a cab driver at gunpoint of cash and his belongings. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’1″ with a skinny build. He had a full beard and was wearing shorts. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’2″ with a skinny build. He was wearing salmon colored shorts and a Hawaiian shirt.

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

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — July 2, 2014 at 9:00 am 851 0

Are mom and dad heading out for dinner and leaving the kids at home?

The Arlington County Police Department has released a video with safety tips for children who are home alone. The tips include:

  • Do not have friends over without an adult in the house to supervise.
  • Keep your doors closed AND locked when you’re home alone.
  • Do not open the door for anyone even if you know the person.
  • Don’t answer the phone and never tell anyone you’re home alone.
  • Make sure you have a trusted neighbor you can go to if you need help and a list of emergency phone numbers to call.

Those emergency numbers include 911 in an actual emergency, and the police non-emergency line (703-558-2222) for everything else, including reports of suspicious activity.

by ARLnow.com — June 30, 2014 at 10:15 am 5,241 0

Police cars at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Highland Street after a car chase ended in a crash (photo courtesy Keith Hall)Over the weekend, during the All American Bar Crawl in Clarendon, an intoxicated Alexandria man in his early 20s stripped naked and led police on a chase that ended in a crash on Wilson Blvd.

It’s the latest high-profile police incident involving a bar crawl attendee in Arlington. In March a Reston woman allegedly showed up naked at the Arlington Magistrate’s Office and demanded that she be allowed to visit her husband, who was arrested earlier that day. Both had attended the St. Patrick’s Day-themed Shamrock Crawl, according to police.

The drunken antics of bar crawl attendees continue to irk residents of the neighborhoods around Clarendon. Some are calling for additional restrictions, or even an outright ban, on bar crawls. On the other hand, supporters say bar crawls are fun events that provide a social outlet for younger residents and a big boost for local businesses.

What, in your opinion, should Arlington policymakers do about bar crawls, if anything? (Assume that reducing the frequency of bar crawls is inclusive of any changes in police staffing you might support.)
 

by ARLnow.com — June 27, 2014 at 11:30 am 0

“Even playtime can be a dangerous time if kids aren’t careful,” says a new video from the county-run Arlington TV channel, released just in time for the start of summer.

(Last week was the last week of the school year for Arlington Public Schools students.)

The video, above, offers safety tips like “don’t play too close to the road,” and “never talk to strangers that approach you.”

If kids are approached or followed by a stranger, they’re encouraged to tell a trusted adult. That adult should then call police at 703-558-2222 — or 911 in an emergency — according to the video.

by ARLnow.com — June 27, 2014 at 10:35 am 2,745 0

An Uber driver was robbed in Crystal City early Thursday morning.

Police say two men assaulted the driver and took his cash and belongings around 12:20 a.m. From an Arlington County crime report:

ROBBERY, 140626002, 500 block of S. 15th Street. At 12:20 am on June 26, two unknown suspects assaulted and robbed a Uber cab driver of cash and his belongings. Suspect one is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black baseball cap, dark jacket over a white t-shirt, jeans, and black and white shoes. Suspect two is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

Last week’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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by ARLnow.com — June 27, 2014 at 9:35 am 2,626 0

Sunset landing (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Five Rideshare Drivers Nabbed in Arlington — Arlington police have issued citations to five drivers of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft since June 5, the department says. The drivers were all pulled over for separate traffic infractions and admitted to driving for the services, which are currently operating illicitly in Virginia. [Washington Post]

Teens Arrested for Skate Park Vandalism — Four teenagers have been arrested and charged with causing $35,000 in damage to the Powhatan Springs Skate Park earlier this month. The teens are accused of painting “graffiti containing vulgar language” at the park, which was closed until county crews could clean it up. [NBC Washington]

Arlingtonian Wins, Then Loses at Wimbledon — For the second year in a row, Arlington resident and tennis pro Denis Kudla advanced to the second round of Wimbledon. Kudla, 21, defeated Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan in the first round of the tournament before falling to No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets. [Wimbledon]

Wine Bar Coming to Rosslyn — Bistro 360, a wine bar and gourmet market from Cassatt’s Kiwi Cafe owner Art Hauptman, is coming to the former Cafe Assorti space at 1800 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. The wine bar will have as many as 140 seats indoors and outdoors. Bistro 360 hopes to open its doors by the end of the summer. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by ARLnow.com — June 24, 2014 at 9:45 am 3,740 0

Arlington County Police Department badgeThe Arlington County Police Department is warning of a home invasion robbery scheme that has victimized at least one local senior citizen.

Police say two men knocked on a door of a home near the water treatment plant in south Arlington over the weekend and claimed to be representatives of a utility company. After the elderly resident let the men in, they locked her in a room while they stole valuables.

ACPD says residents who question the identity of someone claiming to be a utility representative should call the utility company to verify they are who they say they are.

The department issued the following press release about the weekend robbery:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is warning the public about a recent robbery scheme.

On Saturday, June 21, 2014, two suspects knocked on the door of a residence in the 700 block of S. 31st Street at approximately 3:22 p.m. and claimed they needed to perform repair work for a utility company. The elderly female victim allowed the men to enter the residence, where one of the subjects confined her to a room while the other subject rummaged through the remainder of the house. After concealing valuables, the two suspects fled the scene on foot and remain at-large.

Suspect one is described as a white or Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’6″ and 160 lbs. He was wearing a Nike blue t-shirt and had a chipped front tooth. Suspect two is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’1″ and 145 lbs.

If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of these individuals, please contact Detective Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703.228.4185 or at jtrain@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

If you are confronted with a similar situation or claim, make sure to verify that it is actually your utility company. Residents can do this by directly calling the number on your latest bill or by finding the number on the utility company’s main website. Never allow anyone into your home without proper 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.

by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm 8,475 0

Arlington County police officer kisses his boyfriend at the 2014 Capital Pride Parade (photo via Twitter)An Arlington County police officer has become a viral sensation after he was photographed, in uniform, kissing his boyfriend in front of Westboro Baptist Church protesters at the Capital Pride Parade earlier this month.

Officer D.J. Stalter was one of three Arlington officers participating in the parade when he was snapped holding a rainbow flag and smooching boyfriend Mark Raimondo along the parade route. That alone was not overly remarkable, but it was the background of the photo that helped it gain international attention: Westboro Baptist Church members can be seen behind Stalter and Raimondo, holding offensive signs decrying gay marriage and homosexuality.

Headlines on Buzzfeed, the Daily Mail (U.K.) and elsewhere applauded Stalter for appearing to stand up to intolerance. “A Cop At D.C. Pride Kissed His Boyfriend to Piss Off the Westboro Baptist Church,” “A Defiant Police Officer Kissed His Boyfriend in Front of a Westboro Baptist Church Protest,” and “A Brave Cop Turned the Westboro Baptist Church’s Hate Into an Inspiring Kodak Moment,” were some of the headlines.

ACPD Lt. Kip Malcolm, who was walking the parade route with Stalter, said the kiss, which took place near the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and R Street NW, wasn’t necessarily meant to provoke the protesters.

Arlington County police officer kisses his boyfriend at the 2014 Capital Pride Parade (photo via Instagram)“A lot of people in the LGBT community thought it was defiance, but my thought it was more about affection and celebrating the moment,” he said. “The crowd cheered and they were excited to see that ability to display that affection. The fact that we’re in a day and age where a uniformed officer can walk in the parade hand and hand with his partner is a big step.”

Arlington County Police officials declined to say whether Stalter faced any reprimand or disciplinary action for the photo seen ’round the world, saying that it does not comment on personnel matters. But the department currently has no formal policy regarding public displays of affection.

“There hasn’t been any negative feedback for the department that I know of,” Malcolm said, of the photo. “Common sense would say be tactful and mindful, but I don’t think a kiss among two gay officers at a gay pride parade is too shocking. Just like a heterosexual couple out at dinner kissing is not something we’d frown upon.

Arlington Police Chief Doug Scott said he supports the department’s participation in the parade — it’s part of a larger LGBT outreach effort — but in the future he might seek to avoid photos of uniformed officers engaged in public displays of affection.

“Unequivocally, I have supported our participation… in the parade,” Scott told ARLnow.com. “I applaud the officers in our agency that want to participate in that way. The issue of the photo did raise some concerns…. do we need a policy of public displays of affection for officers in uniform?”

Scott said such photos “could affect the professional image of law enforcement” and there’s been “kind of an unwritten rule for some time” against PDA while in uniform. He said a review will be conducted to see if the department should codify that rule.

Regardless, Scott said he will continue to support the involvement of uniformed Arlington officers and police vehicles in the pride parade.

“I would just like to reemphasize the point that our agency is very progressive,” said Scott. “Our participation is one that I personally support, that the community supports and that our County Board supports.”

Photo via Twitter, Instagram

by ARLnow.com — June 23, 2014 at 1:35 pm 5,532 0

Arlington County police carAn armed and masked man robbed the miniature golf stand at Upton Hill Regional Park (6060 Wilson Blvd) over the weekend.

The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police say the man approached the stand, brandished a handgun, and told the clerk to empty the register. The clerk complied and the man took an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing on foot and running through the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex.

A mini golf customer initially gave chase but was unable to keep up with the suspect, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Numerous police officers, assisted by the Fairfax County Police helicopter, attempted to located the suspect, to no avail. The suspect remains at large.

Numerous mini golfers witnessed the robbery, but luckily no one was hurt and their rounds of putt-putt were uninterrupted.

“There were many patrons who were enjoying a round of mini golf when this incident occurred, who witnessed the event,” Sternbeck said. “Despite the robbery, the miniature golf course remained open for the remainder of the night.”

The suspect is described as by police as a “black male, approximately 5’8″ and 170-180 lbs… wearing a black mask, white sweater, and black pants.”

The Upton Hill miniature golf course touts itself as “one of the best courses in Northern Virginia,” with “cascading waterfalls, aquatic gardens and one of the longest minigolf holes in the country.”

by ARLnow.com — June 20, 2014 at 11:30 am 4,191 0

Arlington police carA trio of intoxicated men got in a tussle in Clarendon after one man fell and another tried to help him up.

The incident happened early Saturday morning on the 1200 block of N. Garfield Street, about a block from the Clarendon Metro station. It started when one man drunkenly stumbled and fell on the ground, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The victim, who was also intoxicated, then tried to help the man up. But, according to police, his kind gesture was misinterpreted by the drunk stumbler’s drunk friend, who thought the two were fighting. He started assaulting the victim, and then the stumbler himself joined in on the melee, Sternbeck said.

Metro Transit and Arlington County police were called to the scene and the two alleged attackers were arrested. The victim was transported to George Washington University Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140615011, 1200 block of N. Garfield Street. At 1:49 am on June 15, police were dispatched to a fight in progress and upon arrival Metro Transit Police had suspects in custody. Jamar Harris, 25, of Arlington, VA and Connor McGrath, 26, of Fredericksburg, VA were arrested and charged with malicious wounding and drunk in public. The victim was transported to GW hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — June 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm 1,414 0

William Couch (photo courtesy ACPD)A man has pleaded guilty to two 25-year-old cold cases in Arlington.

William Couch pleaded guilty to abduction with intent to defile and object sexual penetration in the cases, according to an Arlington County Police Department press release.

According to police, Couch admitted to the May 9, 1989 sexual assault and robbery of a woman whose home was broken into as she slept, and the Sept. 11, 1989 rape of a woman who was forced into a maintenance room by a man after she arrived early for her shift at work.

“In January of 2013, cold case detectives reviewed evidence from these cases and in June of 2013 William Couch became a suspect,” according to the press release. “On February 17, 2014 Couch was indicted on charges in connection to these assaults. On June 12, 2014, he pled guilty and was sentenced to 45 years on each case.”

The cases were investigated by detectives Rosa Ortiz and Robert Icolari, of ACPD’s Cold Case Squad, and prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cari Steele. Ortiz is best known for being the lead detective in the Carl Diener murder case.

“Once again the value of a having a Cold Case Squad has been proven as we were able to bring some closure to two victims while bringing this sexual predator to justice,” said Deputy Chief Daniel Murray, commander of ACPD’s Criminal Investigations Division.

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