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UPDATED: Police Investigating Assault on Custis Trail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | March 20, 2014 at 8:35 am | 3,546 views | No Comments

"Sun shines through" (Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA)

H-B Parents Peeved By Document Disappearance — Some parents of H-B Woodlawn students are up in arms after three documents that questioned a proposal to move the secondary program to a new building disappeared from an Arlington Public Schools website. One parent called the removal of the documents “heavy-handed and disturbing.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington Man Charged With Fairfax Sex Assault — Sloan Wilson Rappoport, a 44-year-old Arlington resident and former George W. Bush administration official, has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman he met at a Bailey’s Crossroads clothing store. Police say Rappoport invited the woman into his Mercedes-Benz, then drove to a nearby location and sexually assaulted her. [Washington Post]

Clement to Run for School Board — Perennial Green Party candidate Audrey Clement is planning on running for Arlington School Board. Currently running in the race are three candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement: Barbara Kanninen, Greg Greeley and Nancy Van Doren. [InsideNoVa]

Airline Changes at DCA — As a result of changes related to the American Airlines/US Airways merger, JetBlue, Virgin America and Southwest Airlines will all be expanding their presence at Reagan National Airport. [MWAA]

Endorsements for Howze, Vihstadt — Arlington County Board candidates Alan Howze (D) and John Vihstadt (I) have picked up notable endorsements in the past week. Howze has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, which says he has a “depth of knowledge and understanding of key environmental issues facing the County.” Vihstadt has been endorsed by the local firefighters union, which says it shares Vihstadt’s spending priorities — an emphasis on core services and opposition to projects like the streetcar and the aquatics center.

Will Arlington Regret HOT Lanes Opposition? – Writing about what may be the area’s “worst commute” — from Fredericksburg to the District via I-95 and I-395 — highway historian Earl Swift suggests that Arlington may ultimately regret its opposition to HOT lanes on I-395. Running HOT lanes from I-95 to just before Arlington on I-395 “could spawn new and fearsome jams on I-395, choking Arlington County with the exhaust of idling legions of cars,” Swift writes. “The HOT lanes could be so popular, and inspire so fierce a public demand for their extension to the Potomac, that talks between state and county resume.” [Atlantic Cities, Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

Police: Break-In Suspect Fondled Sleeping Woman

by ARLnow.com | February 20, 2014 at 4:15 pm | 2,572 views | No Comments

Joshua Barrett (photo courtesy ACPD)A Woodbridge man is in jail after police say he broke into an apartment and started fondling a woman as she slept.

Joshua Barrett, 23, has been charged with burglary with intent to commit rape and sexual assault and battery. Police say he broke a window and gained entry into an apartment on the 4500 block of Arlington Blvd, near the National Guard Readiness Center, around 3:00 a.m. this past Sunday morning. Once inside, police say he started touching a woman who was in bed asleep.

“Barrett entered the victim’s bedroom and began to fondle her as she slept,” according to an Arlington County Police Department press release. “The 36 year-old female awoke at approximately 3:10 a.m., as Barrett was lying next to her and screamed. The victim ran to the lobby of her apartment complex and called police.”

“As officers were conducting their initial search of the apartment, a male subject matching Barrett’s description was seen standing outside the rear of the residence,” the press release continued. “A foot pursuit ensued and Barrett was taken into custody.”

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

Crime Report: Man’s Ear Severed in Fight

by ARLnow.com | December 4, 2013 at 3:45 pm | 1,806 views | No Comments

Arlington County Police Department badgeA man lost part of his ear in a fight last week.

The incident happened Friday afternoon at a residence in the Alcova Heights neighborhood. The upper portion of man’s ear was severed, but he was “very uncooperative” and wouldn’t tell police what happened, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Police do not have any suspects in the case.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 3600 block of S. 3rd Street. At 2:00 pm on November 29, an intoxicated male subject’s ear was severed in a fight. An investigation is ongoing.

Earlier this week, someone lit a field marker flag on fire at Long Bridge Park, causing minor damage.

ARSON, 400 block of S. Long Bridge Drive. Between 3:00 pm on December 2 and 7:00 am on December 3, an unknown subject lit one of the field markers on a soccer field on fire. No suspect description is available.

Police are also investigating a report of a woman being sexually assaulted after leaving a bar in the Courthouse neighborhood last Sunday night.

The woman was intoxicated at the time, can’t remember details of the alleged incident and reported it three days later, according to Sternbeck. There are no suspects in the case.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Sternbeck said.

SEXUAL ASSAULT, 1400 block of N. Courthouse Road. Between 10:30 pm on November 24 to 12:07 am on November 25, a female victim reported she was allegedly sexually assaulted after leaving a bar. An investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Note that ACPD is now including case numbers and basic details of minor incidents in its crime report.

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Crime Report: Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Roommate

by ARLnow.com | October 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm | 3,284 views | No Comments

Allister Kennedy (photo courtesy ACPD)An Arlington man has been accused of sexually assaulting his roommate.

The alleged incident happened just before midnight on Monday, on the 4500 block of Four Mile Run Drive.

Police say a 24-year-old woman woke up to find her roommate, 31-year-old Allister Kennedy, over her. She tried to fight him off but he still managed to sexually assault her, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

SEXUAL ASSAULT, 10/07/13, 4500 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At 11:50 pm on October 7, a female victim was sexually assaulted by a roommate. The subject entered the victim’s bedroom while she slept, pinned her down and sexually assaulted her. Allister Kennedy, 31, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with animate object penetration. He is being held without bond.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Photo courtesy ACPD

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Police Seek Man Who Attempted to Sexually Assault Arlington Girl

by ARLnow.com | September 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm | 2,023 views | No Comments

Police car lightsA man broke into an apartment in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood this morning and attempted to sexually assault a girl.

Police have released only a few details about the alleged crime, but are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

The incident happened around 6:00 a.m. at an apartment somewhere in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood, off of Columbia Pike. The man broke into the apartment and attempted to sexually assault a juvenile female, according to Arlington County Police. The victim did not know her attacker, police said.

“Despite recent efforts to locate the suspect, he continues to remain at-large,” police said in a press release. “The subject is described as a 20-25 year old white male, approximately 5’7” with freckles and a short brown mohawk. At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a white shirt with a gray design, blue jeans, and black shoes.”

“If anyone has information on the identity and/or whereabouts of this individual, please contact Detective Joe McGrath of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703.228.4244 or at jmcgrath@arlingtonva.us,” the press release said. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477). ”

Details like the apartment address, how the suspect got inside the apartment and the exact nature of the assault have not been released.

“We don’t want to go into specifics at this time,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Air Force Officer Indicted on Assault Charge

by ARLnow.com | August 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm | 981 views | No Comments

Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski leaves an Arlington courthouseLt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski, the former chief of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch, has been indicted on a charge of assault and battery.

A grand jury returned the indictment this afternoon, a month after prosecutors dropped a sexual battery charge against Krusinski, who’s accused of grabbing the breasts and buttocks of a woman in Crystal City.

Prosecutors said changing the venue, from General District Court to Circuit Court, and changing the charge, from sexual battery to assault and battery, were largely procedural moves unrelated to the facts of the case. Krusinski’s arrest in May helped to spark a national conversation about sexual assault in the military.

A trial date is expected to be set on Thursday in Arlington Circuit Court.

DJ Accused of Sex Assault in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com | July 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm | 3,764 views | No Comments

Joseph Rivera (photo via Farifax County Police)A former Alexandria resident and DJ is accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in Clarendon and videotaping the encounter.

Joseph Rivera, 34, has been charged with aggravated sexual battery in connection with the incident, which police say took place between 2:00 and 2:33 a.m. on December 26, 2010. According to police, Rivera sexually assaulted an unconscious 26-year-old woman in a vehicle in a parking lot somewhere in Clarendon.

The victim came forward after seeing news reports about Rivera, who last week was charged with numerous sex offenses by Fairfax County Police. Those charges include rape, aggravated sexual battery, animate object sexual penetration and two counts of unlawful filming; police say Rivera sexually assaulted several unconscious women and made videos of some of the assaults.

Rivera, formerly of 724 Four Mile Road in the Arlandria section of Alexandria near the Arlington border, was arrested in Las Vegas and is awaiting extradition.

The Arlington victim saw Rivera’s mug shot on the news and contacted police, Arlington Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said. Detectives showed her one of the videos he made to establish positive identification.

“The victim saw the news coverage and called police,” he said. “She was able to identify herself in one of the videos the suspect had taken.”

Rivera worked as a DJ at several D.C. area bars under the name Joey Flash. According to the Washington Post, one of the bars he worked at was A-Town Bar and Grill, in the Ballston area.

The bar was operated under a different name in 2010 and Sternbeck was unable to say whether Rivera had been working as a DJ the night of the alleged Dec. 26, 2010 incident.

Sexual Battery Charge Dropped Against Air Force Officer

by Katie Pyzyk | July 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm | 1,699 views | No Comments

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski on May 9The sexual battery charge against Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski — the former chief of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch — has been dropped, but Arlington County prosecutors intend to charge him with regular assault instead.

Police arrested Krusinski in May after an incident that we’re told began near Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City, and then carried over to a nearby parking lot. He is accused of grabbing the breasts and buttocks of a woman he didn’t know.

At the time, Krusinski was chief of the Air Force’s program to prevent sexual assault, but he was removed from that position shortly after his arrest. According to the Air Force Times, a female two-star general now leads the branch.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos said dropping the sexual assault charge is a procedural move. Prosecutors are seeking a grand jury indictment for the new assault charge on August 19.

The change means the case can now head to Circuit Court instead of General District Court. It prevents a potential extra step in the prosecution, since convictions in the lower court can be appealed to the Circuit Court.

Just as with sexual battery, a charge of assault and battery is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia and carries similar maximum penalties — a fine and up to one year in jail. The main difference is that prosecutors do not have to make the case for lewd behavior or intent.

Krusinski’s attorney, Barry Coburn, released the following statement today:

One of the most critical tasks prosecutors perform is the exercise of prosecutorial discretion: deciding how a case should be charged. Here, the prosecutors in Arlington County have exercised their discretion with care and judgment. While we respectfully disagree with the decision to charge Lt. Col. Krusinski with any offense, and look forward to defending our client at trial, we very much appreciate the care and diligence with which these prosecutors reached the conclusion that a sex offense could not legitimately be charged in this case.

Charging decisions such as this one must be based on the facts and the law of each individual case, not on politics or the desire to have a “teachable moment” concerning issues such as sexual abuse in the military. It is noteworthy that the reason this case became highly publicized was the combination of Col. Krusinski’s job responsibilities in the Air Force and the fact that he initially was arrested for misdemeanor sexual battery. His name and photograph were in virtually every newspaper in the country for these reasons. Now a decision has been reached by careful, responsible prosecutors that that was not the correct charge. This sequence of events hopefully will, in the future, give all of us, particularly persons of great responsibility, pause before we make premature judgments about pending criminal cases before trial, particularly cases involving individuals who have devoted their entire professional lives to military service.

Police: Sexual Predator Targeted Young Immigrants

by ARLnow.com | April 15, 2013 at 2:15 pm | 1,208 views | No Comments

Miguel Angel Pinedo-Valdivia (photo courtesy ACPD)Arlington police are seeking victims of a man they say is a sexual predator who preys on young Hispanic immigrants.

Miguel Angel Pinedo-Valdivia, 50, has been charged with Attempted Forcible Sodomy in connection with an incident on Thursday, April 11. Police say Pinedo-Valdivia, who has ties to residences in Arlington County and Maryland, picked up a 17-year-old boy outside a restaurant on the 4100 block of Columbia Pike, offering the boy potential work.

“The victim, being in the country only a few months, was tricked into a back seat of a vehicle thinking he had an offer of employment,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Pinedo-Valdivia drove his Mercedes sedan into Maryland, where he engaged in “aggressive sexual advances…. and inappropriate touching” of the boy, according to Sternbeck. The man then drove back into Arlington County, where he again tried to sexually assault the 17-year-old, Sternbeck said.

“After numerous unsuccessful attempts to sexually assault the victim, along with additional pleas to stop, the suspect then allowed the victim to exit the vehicle,” said Sternbeck.

Investigators believe Pinedo-Valdivia may have assaulted other young immigrants, and are asking for any victims to step forward.

“Information revealed in the investigation indicates that there are potentially other victims and police believe Pinedo-Valdivia could be targeting the Hispanic immigrant population,” police said in a press release. “Anyone who has information about this suspect or has information on additional victims is asked to call Detective Hermes Molina at 703.228.4208 or email investigations@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

Police Seek Victims of Accused Rapist

by ARLnow.com | April 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm | 983 views | No Comments

Joshua Franklin (photo courtesy ACPD)Arlington County Police are seeking more potential victims of a man accused of raping a prostitute in Crystal City.

Woodbridge resident Joshua Terrell Franklin, 24 was charged last week with the December 2012 rape of a prostitute in a Crystal City hotel room.

“The suspect, in response to an online advertisement, hired a woman to perform sexual acts,” police said in a press release. ”Shortly after arriving at the victim’s hotel room, the suspect forced the victim to perform sexual acts at gunpoint. ”

Franklin has been charged with Rape, Robbery and Forcible Sodomy in connection with that incident. He is currently awaiting trial in Fairfax County for a similar crime, the alleged sexual assault of two women in a Springfield hotel room in January.

Police believe Franklin might have assaulted other women, and are asking for additional victims to come forward.

“Information revealed in the investigation indicates that there are potentially other victims or persons with information regarding this subject,” police said. “Anyone who has information about this suspect is asked to call Detective Angela Comer at 703.228.4243 or email investigations@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

This is the third time in three years that a man has been accused of sexually assaulting prostitutes in Crystal City hotel rooms.

Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department

Man Arrested for Yorktown High School Sex Assault

by ARLnow.com | November 30, 2012 at 11:55 am | 8,345 views | 64 Comments

(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) A 34-year-old Arlington man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl on the Yorktown High School track.

The alleged incident happened around 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. According to police, the man (described as having a “muscular build”) touched the girl’s buttocks as she was jogging around the track. He also blew her kisses and said “hey baby,” according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The girl is a student at Yorktown but was not participating in a school activity at the time of the incident, Sternbeck said.

Acting on a hunch — the suspect was said to frequent the track area and has been known to approach female joggers — an Arlington police officer stopped by the school around 6:45 last night.

The officer spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description near the track, then observed him hop a fence and urinate on a tree in a wooded area, Sternbeck said. The man was arrested and the victim’s mother was able to positively ID him on scene, according to Sternbeck.

Anibal Guzman, 34, has been charged with sexual assault and urinating in public, Sternbeck said. He’s currently being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility.

“This is an example of how the Arlington County Police Department is dedicated to keeping a safe community,” Deputy Police Chief Daniel Murray told ARLnow.com. “Individuals committing crimes of this nature in Arlington will be held accountable for their actions.”

Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department

Hotel Sex Assault Suspect Gets 95 Year Sentence

by ARLnow.com | November 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm | 4,872 views | 29 Comments

(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) A man accused of breaking into an Arlington hotel room and victimizing two female tourists has been found guilty.

Storme Gary Swann, 51, was accused of binding two women — a mother, 73, and a daughter, 51, who were visiting from Canada — then sexually assaulting one of them (the daughter). He also robbed them of cash, jewelry and electronics.

Swann was arrested two years ago, on November 24, 2010. Yesterday, jury found Swann guilty and recommend a whopping 95 year sentence, based in part on his prior criminal convictions.

From an Arlington County Police Department press release:

On November 15, 2012, after a three day trial, an Arlington County Circuit Court jury found Storme Gary Swann, 51, formerly of La Plata, Maryland, guilty of two counts of robbery, two counts of abduction, and one count of statutory burglary. The offenses occurred on August 14, 2010, when Swann broke into a hotel room in the 2400 block of South Glebe Road. He then forcibly assaulted, detained, and bound two female tourists – a mother, 73 and daughter, 51 – who were visiting from Canada, robbing them of cash, jewelry, and electronics. He also sexually assaulted one of the victims.

After receiving evidence of Swann’s criminal history, which included prior convictions for armed robbery, first-degree sexual assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and kidnapping, the jury recommended a 95 year sentence. Final sentencing is scheduled for February 8, 2013 before Judge Louise DiMatteo. Under Virginia law, the court may impose the recommended sentence or reduce it but cannot increase it.

The investigation was conducted by Sergeant Donald Fortunato of the Arlington County Police Department. Jay E. Burkholder prosecuted the case on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. “Due to the exceptional work of Sergeant Fortunato and other members of the Arlington County Police Department, a dangerous criminal was apprehended,” stated Burkholder. “The victims showed great courage in confronting their attacker. On behalf of Commonwealth’s Attorney Theophani K. Stamos and Police Chief M. Douglas Scott, I am grateful that these brave women were willing to return to our community and relive a terrifying experience in order to prevent Swann from victimizing anyone else. In its verdict and sentence, the jury made clear that violent crime will not be tolerated in Arlington County.”

Crime Report: Ballston Buttocks Grabber

by ARLnow.com | November 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm | 7,552 views | 70 Comments

A man grabbed the behind of a woman as she was walking home from the Ballston Metro station early Saturday morning, according to police.

It’s at least the third instance of a woman having her posterior touched inappropriately in Ballston over the past five months.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

SEXUAL ASSAULT, 10/27/12, 1100 block of N. Stafford Street. At 1:38 am on October 27, a female walking home from the Ballston Metro station was approached from behind by a Hispanic male on a bike when he grabbed her butt. The suspect fled the scene on his bike. He is described as approximately 25 years of age, about 5’6” tall with a medium build. He had slicked back black hair and was wearing blue jeans and a short sleeve blue and white stripe polo shirt at the time of the incident.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

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Police Seek Help Locating Sexual Assault Suspect

by Katie Pyzyk | September 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm | 4,335 views | 91 Comments

(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a man accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl.

Toribio Antonio Rodriguez-Soriano is a 31-year-old Hispanic male, around 5’5″ tall and weighing around 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Due to the sensitive nature of the case and the ongoing investigation, police will not disclose exactly where or when Rodriguez-Soriano allegedly assaulted the girl. However, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the suspect knows the victim. Rodriguez-Soriano was last seen on the night of Sunday, Sept. 23.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Rodriguez-Soriano is asked to contact Detective Jim Stone of the ACPD Special Victims Unit at 703-228-4245 or at investigations@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

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