Serial Stabbing Suspect Was Arrested, Released in Arlington

by ARLnow.com August 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm 2,491 12 Comments

The man suspected in the stabbing deaths of five people was arrested and later released in Arlington last week, the Arlington County Police Department has confirmed.

Elias Abuelazam, 33, was pulled over for a traffic violation on the 1100 block of South Walter Reed Drive early Thursday morning, according to police spokesperson Crystal Nosal. After Abuelazam’s information was run through a computer database, he was arrested on an outstanding warrant for simple assault in Leesburg.

He was booked and a mug shot was taken. A magistrate then released him on his own personal recognisance, police said.

The Washington Post reports that Abuelazam is suspected in a stabbing that occurred in Leesburg later that morning.

Abuelazam was arrested at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport last night while reportedly trying to flee to Israel. He is suspected in at least 20 stabbings in Michigan, Ohio and Northern Virginia. Five of those attacks were fatal.

Abuelazam lived in Leesburg as recently as one year ago, according to ABC 7.

  • Lou

    Would be interesting to see the details of the assault charge.

  • Judge Roy Bean

    Elias Abuelazam I sentence you to go to the wood shed. There you will be introduced to the wood chipper.

  • Novanglus

    “Abuelazam lived in Arlington as recently as one year ago”

    No, according to the source you cite, he lived in LEESBURG as recently as one year ago.

    • Must have been changed. We’ll change it too.

  • MM

    So scary! Glad they caught him in Hotlanta.

  • Are we sure the order of operation from the traffic stop to booking was exactly how ACPD said it was? It seems rather odd and not very convincing that an Arlington police officer took the time to arrest and book a suspect on a warrant just to have a magistrate realse the subject on summons. Theres a range of scenarios that could have occured that night and how the public has been told has differed between the news channels. If a police officer takes the time to arrest someone and bring them back to the county jail at 1425 N. Courthouse and the only reason for arrest is because of a warrant in Leesburg then that officer or the police department should either be using the Sheriff’s office to transport that suspect to Leesburg or call Leesburg PD and have them send a transport unit to come collect their prisoner, then their magistrate can make a decision. I’ll admit that this may not be the most common practice but it is a plan in place that does happen for a variety of warrants, all those resources are available as police and sheriffs have transport officers/deputies and vehicles specifically for this and it should be used alot more especially when a police officer is making a decision to arrest someone, bring them to the station for a warrant and is no longer in the field available for calls or on patrol while people are being attacked either in Leesburg or the 1800 block of either Adams street or Veitch street just a few blocks from the Arlington Police station. I dont want lazy police work in my town leading to people being stabbed and murdered in a nearby town especially when the suspect was arrested in my town hours earlier. I’m referenceing these two incidents so far in August 2010, (1800 N. Adams, jogger groped,a charge of sexual battery) (1800 N. Veitch, couple attacked and robbed)Both close to my home and not too far from the police station, and both in very low crime neighborhoods of North Arlington.

    • Just the Facts

      This guy doesn’t know anything about criminal procedure in Virginia. Nothing in the media accounts of the Arlington arrest indicates that what the officer did was “odd.” When someone is arrested in jurisdiction A for a warrant issued in jurisdiction B, and if the two jurisdictions are non-contiguous (don’t share a border), then the arrestee is brought before a magistrate in jurisdiction A who determines bail. That’s the procedure and that’s what appears to have happened in this case.

      Also, if someone is taken into custody on a warrant and later walks out of the magistrate, then he wasn’t “released on a summons” like this bonehead wrote, he was released on some sort of bail. Could be a secured cash bond, could be an unsecured bond or could be personal recognizance (promise to appear/no cash). A person is only “released on a summons” when it was a SUMMONS that was originally issued (as opposed to a WARRANT). A magistrate can’t change a warrant into a summons.

  • except for on any given day you can see law enforcement vehicles around the Arlington courthouse.police station from jurisdictions in VA and MD as far as 30 miles away. Both Fairfax Sheriffs,Prince William Sheriffs and small agencies suxh as Falls Church PD are amonong the most common agency who on a weekly basis both transport and pickup from the arlington jail. I’ve seen Frederick Maryland come down for a pickup before… I also said depending on warrants this practice isnt always used, but it is used quite a bit each month, here and throughout the state as well as the rest of the country.

  • Its important to realize that still arlington police did everything on their end right. Like the people that get hung up on Fairfx police stopping the DC snipers early on in the shootings and couldnt make an arrests, how and the world could they have thought, OMG heres the White Snipers in the White Box Trucks when they werent white and in an old model caprice. Theres no way Arlington police could have known this guy was the guy and theres no reason to think Arlington had a real shot of preventing the next stabbing. But what if Arlington would have called Leesburg and seen if he was wanted or had been thought to be connected to anything else. Why did the officer make the arrest if the end result was so open and shut to the suspect being released, and yes with a legal obligation to report to court (on summons) It’s only easy to think about now because everything has happened, but if its easy now to see then it will be easily seen tomorrow and the next day. Should police departments contact other agencies when they have wanted subjects from those jurisdictions? should police officers bother taking the time to book subjects who within minutes will be set free? Is the time off the beat for that officer worth it while on the same street used to get to the station is being taken over by muggers and robbers ( 1800 N. Veitch, Aug 7th ). There should be a common sense policy in place, especially for a department like ACPD who arrives on scene of (example)a robbery and looks half asleep there..and i was there for the (1800 Veitch call) and i’m onscene with ACPD for many calls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzaKLQlP2lw

    • Just the Facts

      You have a little bit of knowledge about the Virginia criminal justice system and think you know everything. You don’t.

      Just because there are vehicles from other jurisdictions in Arlington DOES NOT mean that they are transporting arrestees who have just been picked up on warrants. They could be transferring prisoners who have completed sentences in Arlington and have time to serve in another jurisdiction; they could be transporting prisoners who are serving time in Arlington but have court in another jurisdiction; they could be transporting prisoners who were picked up in Arlington on another jurisdiction’s warrant and were denied bail by the magistrate; and Falls Church (one of your examples) uses the Arlington County jail and magistrate, so they could be there on their own accord.

      As for your statement that Arlington could have “called Leesburg and seen if he was wanted”…THAT WAS DONE! All warrants have to be confirmed by the original agency and a copy of the warrant has to be sent to the arresting agency to be executed. So Leesburg WAS contacted and he WAS wanted…just not wanted for the knife/hammer attacks.

      You also wrote, “Why did the officer make the arrest if the end result was so open and shut to the suspect being released…” [By the way, that’s YOUR horrible grammar.] Let me answer that for you: because he HAD to. Warrant issued = suspect arrested. No choice. It doesn’t matter that the magistrate might release the suspect, if a warrant is issued then it “shall be executed by the arrest of the accused.” VA Code sec. 19.2-76.

      You need to stop writing about things you know little about.

  • JD37

    Just the facts has it right. Everything he is saying is spot on and it does appear NoVaPJ has no idea what he is talking about involving Virginia’s court system, magistrate system, VCIN/NCIC or anything else involving criminal procedures in the Commonwealth…

    • thats because wires were crossed and you guys didnt see that i was saying that virginia should be more like the rest of the nation, i said at the beginning virginia didnt do it that way, thats why i said it wasnt common in virginia! learn how to read i guess?? the fact is everyone else it seems does, i was saying it would be nice to see virginia, even arlington on its own start acting like a responsible county with a responsible police force.


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