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BREAKING NEWS — Man Dies After Plunge From Rosslyn High-Rise

by ARLnow.com July 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm 5,409 47 Comments

See updated story here.

A man died after a seven story plunge from a broken window in a Rosslyn high-rise. Initial reports suggest it was a suicide.

The man landed on a brick courtyard outside of a cafe. A large crowd gathered as police placed a white sheet over the man’s body, which was surrounded by broken glass in clear view of witnesses.

The man was in his mid-30’s, according to Arlington police spokesperson Det. Crystal Nosal.

The building is located at 17th Street and North Nash Street.

Editor’s Note: Normally media outlets do not report on suicides. There are two exceptions: when it involves a public figure, or when it’s done in a high-profile, public area (such as a Metro station). In this case, the incident happened outside the front entrance to a large office building as people were heading out on their lunch break. There were a number of witnesses. Due to the public nature of the incident, we decided that it was of sufficient public interest to report.

IMPORTANT: The following photos (after the link) contain imagery that some readers may find disturbing.



  • local worker

    The courtyard there is next to two major buildings that house many federal employees and contractors. Its a very heavily trafficked courtyard and the Jefferson Cafe there is a very popular lunch time destination. From chatter over here, apparently the jumper narrowly missed people on the ground, not that it was one of the jumper’s objectives.

  • Name

    Certainly if the Post is also reporting it, you are in the clear. I appreciate this information. This is the building I work in and information is not quickly forthcoming.

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  • Mike

    Editor’s Note: Normally media outlets do not report on suicides. There are two exceptions: when it involves a public figure, or when it’s done in a high-profile, public area (such as a Metro station). In this case, the incident happened outside the front entrance to a large office building as people were heading out on their lunch break. There was at least one witness. Due to the public nature of the incident, we decided that it was of sufficient public interest to report.

    Yeah, but this is a blog.

    • MIchelle

      You know you really should remove the picture with him covered with the sheet. He has a family, and that picture will haunt them for the rest of their lives. To publish the picture is insensitive to say the least on your part. You don’t need it to report the story, and I would hope you will remove it to show that you have some human deceny left.

      • Renee Hodges

        I agree with you Michelle.

  • Cindy

    So sad to be so hopeless.

  • Andy

    Thank you for reporting. This office building is right next to mine and we were concerned. So sad; suicide is never the answer.

  • Skeptical

    I do wish people wouldn’t philosophize on stories like this or on the recent police standoff incident. However irrational someone’s behavior appears to us, as complete outsiders with a few specks of information, we have no business speaking (from our comfortable computer chairs) as if we know anything about the matter, what motivated the person(s) involved, or what their actual choices were. In point of fact we only know that this is an “apparent” suicide, making it very early indeed to say anything about what the “answer” is or isn’t — we don’t even know there was a question, or if so what it might have been.

    • MB

      Indeed.

    • Morally Superior

      I do wish people wouldn’t reflect from a place of superior rationality on people’s immediate emotional reactions (from his or her comfortable computer chair). Please join an academic faculty and make sure to paralyze your life with analysis and fail to achieve anything but spitefully published long winded opinions in useless peer reviewed academic journals. I look forward to never reading your articles on the irrationality of humans’ emotional reaction to suicide.

      • AllenB

        You’re my hero.

      • Skeptical

        It is perfectly all right for people to have an emotional reaction to news of suicide, if this was one, but is it necessary for complete strangers to broadcast that reaction over the Internet?

        As it happens, I wrote what I did because one of my dearest friends, going back to childhood, died by suicide during our second year of college. I only found out some of the anguish this person had endured after the fact, and had to bite my tongue while listening to more clueless remarks — intended as “compassionate” and “comforting” — than I ever want to think about again. And those were from people who knew me well enough to talk to me about it. I’m so glad the Internet didn’t exist then.

      • PLD

        Wow, what a sense of superiority you have there. If you do not wish to hear or read peoples opinions then go live in a country where free thinking and debate is prohibited. I may not be as educated as you, and I certainly don’t write as pretty as you do, but we are entitled to think for ourselves in this country and expressing ones opinions is allowed.

        Get off your high horse.

    • Jib Jab

      It was obviously a suicide, what the hell else could it have been? Let me guess, his boss pushed him after not submitting his TPS reports? Give me a break! Have some freakn compassion for a guy that was battling stress and depression beyond our comprehension…Very sad!

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  • John Newman

    We should all say a prayer for this young man and his family.

    • Doris

      AMEN!

  • Patricia

    I work in the building next door, and my heart is so heavy! For whatever reason, this young man just gave up on life. My prayers go out to his family, friends and co-workers as well at the one who witnessed this.

  • Really?

    Man, the readership of this blog is really showing its class today!

    • Arlingtonian

      my thoughts exactly … good lord.

  • Really?

    My comment makes no sense without the comment it responded to, which thankfully has been deleted.

  • Tina

    It is truly said that this young man thought the only way out for him was through a window. My heart goes out to his love ones and friends who obviously did not see this coming. May he rest in peace.

  • charlie

    sad story.

    why is a suicide considered not something to report on yet the standoff at the house was? a barricade situation could involved suicide. curious about that. suicide is a terrible illness and while we certainly don’t want to glamorize it shouldn’t we learn to expect it for what it is — a tragic exit?

  • Jib Jab

    My daughter had a suicide attempt, thankfully she failed and is much better now. This is a horribly sad day for this business neighborhood. Hug someone close to you and be thankful!

  • Dear Arlnow.com

    Can’t you please disable comments? I don’t know why online newspaper sites ever allowed for running commentary on news articles. It is most always offensive, and never helpful.

    • Because

      disable comments? this is not an online newspaper, it’s a blog.

      • The comments are wonderful. If you dont like them – dont read them. But thru many of the stories today, they have provided insight and understanding. They also build community.

        • Chris

          ditto. Don’t read it if you cannot stomach it.

  • matt

    i work in the floor above the jumper. I just wonder why he did it at work at noon with people eating lunch right inside, very tasteless.

  • BM

    This guy was going through a divorce… so not only did he leave children behind but he probably put his soon to be former wife through an enormous amount of guilt and stress. (I pray she does not take it out on herself now) I don’t feel bad for this coward. I feel bad for his family and for the people who witnessed this horrific event and had to go home from work due to emotional stress. Thanks to this selfish coward, he leaves a family behind and many people with horrific images, who will most likely need counseling now. Thanks a lot.

    • witness

      BM~ I am going to need to talk to someone after what I saw today. As much as I wish I could forget, I won’t. It was my nightmare.

      • my belle

        What did you see?

        • Chris

          Everything. But then again I was at Wall street when 9/11 happened so… Maybe some are better than others in dealing with it…

          • Katie

            Really sorry to hear that.

            My friend ran to pick up his child from day care, near the WTC, on 9/11. For months, the boy was drawing pictures of people falling out of buildings, smoke…

    • Set the controls

      BM~ I am going to need to talk to someone after what I saw today. As much as I wish I could forget, I won’t. It is your post. You castigate a man for not showing empathy and consideration for others, yet you show neither.

  • TGEoA

    I’m impressed the guy could break the window enough to actually fit through. That stuff is nigh on indestructable.

  • charlie

    As it relates to windows in hi-rises being broken — there are several windows on every floor of every building designed and designated as “kick out” so that people can get out and firemen can get in during an emergency. It is the same window the whole way up the building. The designated windows have a decal right in the middle of them — about five inches square –I don’t know the word to describe it but it is like a cross/fire fighter shield. Look at your building to know. Fire safety is everyone’s priority. And to think you didn’t think you would learn anything today.

    • Tysons

      Good post, did not know that. But makes sense after seeing the photos.

  • Wow

    I agree that the lack of class of some of the posters on this blog is truly disgusting. To call this poor man tasteless or a selfish coward does not help the situation. If it were a friend or family member of yours who had done the same thing, I would hope no one spoke of them the way you are of this man. Have some respect for his family. It’s a sad story and my heart and prayers go out to them. Yes, I’m sure some witnesses may or may not have to undergo therapy to get over the mental anguish, but think of what he went through that ultimately brought him to end his life. It’s just flat out sad. I hope he found his peace and I hope his family has the support system to allow them to cope and move forward.

    • sad

      I agree

  • PLD

    The pain and anguish this poor man was feeling must have been awful. I have never understood people that say suicide is a cowards way out, it takes guts to kill yourself. I hope he has found peace.

  • Emily

    If you or someone you know is considering suicide or if you witnessed any aspect of this tragic event, there is help. Locally, you can call CrisisLink – a 24/7 hotline with trained counselors. That number is 703-527-4077. Or, nationally, you can call Lifeline at 1-800-273-talk (8255).

  • angie

    That was my uncle!!:/

  • angie

    He didn’t kill himself!! He Fel!!

  • angie

    He was not going through divorce, it was not a duicide!! He was working and he fell!

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