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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com May 7, 2012 at 8:55 am 2,412 80 Comments

ACPD Cruiser Hits Dog — An Arlington County police cruiser hit a dog Thursday night. The dog’s owner is accusing the police officer of speeding at the time the dog was struck, but a police spokesman suggests that that the dog’s injuries — it survived and is expected “to make a full recovery” — would have been worse if the officer was actually speeding. [WUSA 9]

Ballston Craft Market Season Starts — The Ballston Arts & Crafts Market will open its 2012 season on Saturday, May 12. It will take place on the second Saturday of the month through October. [Sun Gazette]

Wine Shop Offers Discount for Locals — The new Crystal City Wine Shop is offering 10 percent off to neighbors who live in the 22202 zip code and can prove it with a valid photo ID. The deal is valid on Tuesdays only. The shop is also offering 10 percent off on Wednesdays to anybody who works in the 22202 zip code and can prove it with a business card.

  • JohnB2

    The only times I have seen an ACPD (or any police car) do the speed limit is when they’re boxed in by people afraid to speed near them. They routinely speed down 11th ST and Wash Blvd in Ballston. Other people speed down those roads too though.

    • JohnB2

      Oh and I hope the dog is ok! I would call it a draw on fault though; even if the cop was speeding, the owner let their dog out unleashed (it apparently broke through the screen).

      • Westover

        Agree on all counts, the cops speed on Patrick Henry, Ohio, and Washington through Westover worse than anyone. So much for the Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Campaign! And the dog’s owner should be ticketed for the dog being out unleashed.

      • Maria

        I know zero details about this situation, but if the dog broke through the screen, how exactly would one conclude that the owner “let” the dog out unleashed? Maybe I’m misunderstanding…

    • novasteve

      You’ve got to have some balls to complain about the police anywhere. They’ll deny any wrongdoing, and threaten you. I had a friend who got rear ended by a cop once, and the cop threatened to arrest him for even suggesting that anything happened or that it should get reported, or informing his insurer.

    • Tabs

      And then they get impatient being “stuck” behind you going the speed limit, and they’re majorly tailgating.

      • JamesE

        They tailgate you so you will speed up and they can pull you over, this was a classic tactic used by fairfax county.

  • Just me

    Maybe if the dog was on a leash and the owner has control of it the dog would not have been in the street to be hit.

    • Josh S

      This entry will now be enshrined in the dictionary, under the definition of “blaming the victim.”

      • bobco85

        In this case, the dog is the victim, but it is not the dog’s fault. It is also not the officer’s fault, regardless if he was speeding or not (that’s a separate situation of cops speeding on side streets). The only blame would be with the dog’s owner who failed to maintain control of their dog to prevent it from running into the street.

        In all reality, I think this is an unfortunate accident.

    • NPGMBR

      I was wondering about that. I think that the speed of the vehicle is irrelevant if the own did not keep control of his/her pet.

  • soarlslacker

    Click and read the WUSA report on the ACPD officer hitting the dog with a cruiser. What kind of officer does not help, does not check on the well-being of an animal that they hit with a cruiser, offers no assistance with the injured? Not a very good one. Arlington County Police Spokesman Dustin Sternbeck does not show much knowledge of pets when he asks why wasn’t the dog on a leash. No one was out walking the dog. The dog ran outside (unplanned by the owner) to greet a known friend. What if it was a 4 year old that ran out into the street? Would the officer do nothing, stand and watch and do their chapstick? Glad to see our tax dollars are at well spent supporting police that hit your dog and do nothing to help. Any human with a brain would have helped: told the owner to get a blanket, helped put the dog in a car so it could be taken to an emergency vet, apologized for injuring the dog. What kind of heartless police officers are employed by ACPD? How do we find out the name of this officer? If an ass like this shows up at my house, my three dogs might run out my front door and do some biting of a trespasser on our property.

    • Daniel

      As long as we’re jumping to conclusions… Why was the boyfriend standing in the middle of the street when the dog ran out? Why wasn’t the boyfriend hit by a car? Why didn’t 40mph kill the dog? Why doesn’t ACPD require all cops to be dog lovers? Why wasn’t the owner cited for not having her dog on a leash? Why didn’t the owner build a fence? Why is this boyfriend so lovable? Does he smell of kibble? Why a yellow lab and not black or chocolate? Why weren’t the headlights on? Why doesn’t the owner have pet insurance?

      • soarlslacker

        Why did WUSA report that the officer provided no assistance, interest or concern for the well being of the dog, or getting it to a 24 hour emergency vet? That is the least one would expect from a police officer–concern and assistance to the victim. Where is the ACPD response to this report?.
        I emailed the ACPD PR person and asked numerous questions. I recieved a reply to one of my questions. This is not sufficient.
        From: Dustin Sternbeck [mailto:[email protected]]
        Sent: Monday, May 07, 2012 10:22 AM
        Subject: RE: Request for Details on 5/3/12 accident involving an ACPF Officer hitting a dog with a cruiser

        Mrs. XXXXXXXX:

        Reports are released only to the parties involved or their legal representative

        Dustin Sternbeck
        Public Information Officer
        Media Relations/Legislative Affairs
        Arlington County Police Department
        1425 N. Courthouse Rd
        Arlington, VA 22201
        [Removed per comment policy] (Cell)
        703.228.4331 (Office)
        [email protected]

        Sent: Monday, May 07, 2012 9:49 AM
        To: Dustin Sternbeck
        Subject: Request for Details on 5/3/12 accident involving an ACPF Officer hitting a dog with a cruiser

        Dear Mr. Sternbeck,

        Does the Arlington County Police Depart plan on releasing the Accident Report involving the 5/3/12 accident involving an ACPF Officer hitting a dog with a cruiser, if so how do I obtain a copy?
        Does the Arlington County Police Depart plan on releasing the name of the officer who was driving the cruiser that hit the dog? How do I obtain this information?
        Does the Arlington County Police Depart plan on releasing the driving records and or accident records of the of the officer who was driving the cruiser that hit the dog? How do I obtain this information?

        The report provided by the media (WUSA) indicates that the officer did not provide any assistance to the dog or its owner after hitting the dog with a ACPD cruiser. Is this correct? Can you confirm or deny this information? I could find no information about this incident on the ACPD web site.

        It is very surprising that an ACPD officer would not provide any assistance to the victim of an accident. I am requesting an explanation to the residents of Arlington County .

        Thank you for your time. I look forward to your reply.


        • Rick

          I saw a undercover cruiser get in an accident. Instead of checking on the other driver, the female cop immediately began writing a ticket. The Arlington Police don’t care about people they care about money, this story just reinforces it.

        • Quoth the Raven

          Why do the police have to tell you anything? You’re in no way involved in this incident, and you’re wasting time by asking them to provide you with a report. What do you want the offier’s name for? Are you going to egg his house? Run over his dog? And you want his driving record?

          What a witchhunt. Maybe, just maybe, it was actually an accident. Nothing more, nothing less. Sorry the cop didn’t live up to your expectations of what one is supposed to do.

        • WeiQiang

          If you look on the interwebs regarding transparency or public access to police reports in Virginia, you’ll find that the law permits law enforcement agencies to deny access to those reports and related information with a high degree of latitude.

          Good luck.

        • Josh S

          This response will now be enshrined in the dictionary under the definition of “busybody.”

        • BrianKal

          soarlslacker: Maybe it would help if your initial letter to ACPD was literate. And ever hear of privacy rights? O and be glad you actually got some reply, that’s frankly more than you deserve for putting in to a matter.

          • soarlslacker

            If you are a county employee driving a county vehicle one could only hope that your driving record is monitored.
            i’d like to aware of police that do not aid victims. I live here and I pay taxes. That’s why I have the right to ask. Residents pay for the government and we have every right to question it.
            Stick your head back into the sand and you’ll get the government that you deserve.

          • Quoth the Raven

            You are certainly free to ask, but you don’t have the “right” to get an answer!

            You have no clue what happened here. You’re basing the entirety of your anger on a news story which may or may not be accurate. For all you know, the cop offered to help and the owner told him to get away. Yet you’re filled with righteous indignation over what you perceive is the cop’s failure to act in a way you think is appropriate. And without knowing all the facts.

            I love dogs. I think they’re great. But they aren’t people. Saying “I’d like to be aware of police that do not aid victims” is a bit theatrical, don’t you think?

          • soarlslacker

            The dog was the victim. You aid victims—two-legged and four-legged. Theatrical is your term. Not aiding an injured dog and its upset owner is reprehensible. The ACPD should get out in front of this and inform the community, not duck and cover.
            I just took my dogs to Longbridge Park which was full of workers who are contractors to Arl Cty. I can’t imagine any of them would not aid one or all of my dogs if it was injured. I can’t image anyone not aiding an animal that had been injured, particularly if you caused the injury. There is no pet ambulance. You have to get your pet in a car and get to one of 2 emergency 24 hour Veterinary practices, both of which are outside of Arl Cty. Many people would need some help making this happen to save their pet.
            If the news report is not the way this happened, despite the quotes of a witness, then the ACPD should correct the information. Their silence is not impressive. In fact, it gives the appearance of deception. They don’t have to tell me anything, but they do answer to the community, so the community should start asking some questions.

            Mission statement of ACPD:
            “Our mission is the reduction of the incidence of crime and the improvement of the quality of life in Arlington County by making it a place where all people can live safely and without fear.”

            I now have fear. I fear that if a ACPD officer hits me and my dogs they will call their supervisor, not help me and not help my dogs, not call 911 and get me to a medical facility, not call a K-9 Officer and get my dogs to veterinary medical care. Since the reporting on the ACPD has created fear and I am not the only dog owner in the county, the ACPD should make every effort to come out with some facts, hopefully these facts would alleviate my fear, but since they have said nothing, it makes me wonder.
            The ACPD also has a link to their Core Principles:

            Many things are well written and make great sound or word bites, but if you don’t live up to them then there is a problem. Problems need to be investigated, reported on and resolved. Is that happening in this case? Who knows because the ACPD is not talking nor releasing information.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Yes, theatrical is my term. I have no idea why I applied it to you. No idea at all.

    • slowdown

      soalslacker…exactly right. anyone who hits an animal and just keeps going is a loser. what kind of people including cops would do this in the first place and then do nothing or even worse deny it or shift the blame to the victim. if you are driving slower then it is easier to stop for the animal.

      • Maria

        He didn’t “just keep going.” And “easier” to stop doesn’t necessarily mean “possible” depending on how close the animal is when it runs into the road.

  • James in EFC

    The dog should have been on a leash – could have been hit if the car was or wasn’t speeding. Was hit by a police cruiser but could have just as easily been hit by a neighbor, a visitor, or even the dog’s owner.

    That being said, I hope this puts a little pressure on ACPD to follow the laws a bit more closely. I routinely see police cruisers speed down certain “residential streets” (follow one on Quincy one day and clock them). I’ve also seen them turn on their lights to go past red lights because they don’t want to wait and then turn them off a few seconds past the intersection. That’s VERY dangerous and askind for trouble.

    I’ve seen much worse by police in other jurisdictions but nevertheless, hopefully ACPD takes this seriously. It could easily have been a toddler that ran into the street instead of a dog.

    • CW

      The cops around here drive like spastic maniacs. Last week I was on my bike at the corner of Lee and Adams waiting to cross Lee when I see a cop in one of the ACPD pickup trucks flying down Lee throw on his lights and siren and absolutely blow through the light at Cleveland going full speed. He then turns his lights off and comes to a complete stop for the red light at Adams like any other law abiding citizen. WTF? Did his medicine just kick in during those 5 seconds?

      • CommonCents

        I hate to add logic into an argument based solely on absurd assumptions– but perhaps he or she was heading to an emergency call, and the call got downgraded while they were on the way. False alarms happen all the time. People just love to hate on the police because they’ve gotten a ticket at some point– it’s funny, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone complain about the firetrucks going 70mph stopping for none of the lights, and we rarely have fires… I’m sure they’re fully justified in their actions, but no one ever seems to accuse them of running red lights “cuz they feel like it”. All the dollars and no cents. Now go ride your bicycle and for God’s sake wear a helmet.

        • CW

          I knew that my anecdote would certainly fall victim to the “oh it was an aberration” argument, but as someone who spends an hour or more out on the roads daily I can say that I see more bad driving out of ACPD than I could keep track of. Of course despite the sample size being in the hundreds of incidents and hours, that statement too will be discarded as too unscientific, so I’m not even going to try.

          And yes, helmet all the time, I shudder every time I see someone without one. I hope the guy who was on here a couple months ago arguing that helmet use does not reduce cycling injuries comes back.

          • SomeGuy

            I’m waiting for the commenter who claims that you aren’t trained to recognize erratic driving, so your comment is baseless. I.e., defer to police expertise on their own driving habits. I.e., whatever they want to do is okay, and your good sense means nothing without a badge to back it up.

        • Rick

          Fire trucks report to vehicle accidents….

        • Rick

          Last time I checked we have plenty of those around these parts.

        • James in EFC

          A slight difference in the police vs fire truck argument. I have seen plenty of fire trucks drive through intersections, of course and I have no idea where they are headed or if it’s legitimage. But there *is* a difference!

          – When doing so, the fire trucks I have seen use their sirens which can be heard from quite a distance away
          – The fire trucks also have their ligths on from start-to-finish…they don’t just turn them on 30 yards from the intersection when they encounter a red light they don’t feel like stopping for.
          – Fire trucks are big, red, and much more easily seen to other vehicles and pedestrians than police cruisers.

          • James in EFC

            Sorry – I meant “legitimate”

      • Mary-Austin

        Just a few days ago I saw a cop turn is lights on to go through the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed during rush hour ( very dangerously going the wrong way up Columbia Pike).
        He then turned them off immediately and then pulled into Dunkin Donuts a couple blocks up…no joke.
        I thought about reporting it but figured it was pointless.

        • Tabs

          I saw a cop pull someone over at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed, in the middle of rush hour. Only, she didn’t pull the person over, she stopped in the middle of the intersection and left her ve-hick-ul blocking traffic. I don’t know what to call that other than obtuse.

  • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

    The police can do whatever they want. Remember. . . they refer to us a “civilians.”

    • nom de guerre

      And they refer to dogs as “canines, or K-9.”

      • Marc

        I think that the point G Clifford was trying to make is that police officers are civilians as well. Unless you are a member of the armed forces or militia of a country, you are a civilian. The only ACPD officers who are not civilians are the ones who are in a reserve military component, the National Guard, or the Virginia Defense Force.

        The funny thing is that the odds of a random person in Arlington not being a civilian is higher than the odd of a ACPD officer not being a civilian.

        • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

          Thank you Marc. Spot on.

        • drax

          So what should police officers call non-police officers instead of “civilians”?

          • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

            I believe they were referred to as citizens in the old days before the police became paramilitary.

          • drax

            Well, that’s fine, except aren’t the police “citizens” too? Now you’re back to the same problem.

          • Marc

            And that is exactly the point. Police are “citizens” they are not distinct and separate from the rest of the population. There is no need to draw a distinction between police and everyone else. Police officers not acting in the line of duty, are subject to all the laws, rules, and regulations the same as all other citizens.

            There is no reason to draw a distinction and if you actually get to know police officers, you’ll find that most don’t draw a distinction, but the higher up the chain of command you go, the more likely you will find the portion that does draw such a distinction, and that really is a problem.

          • drax

            Except they are police. I’m not going to call out “citizen!” when someone grabs my wallet and runs.

            What should the police call those they serve? I get your point, but you’re not getting the much simpler point – what word should they use?

          • bob

            Citizens of? Anywhere? Quite presumptive to assume anyone around these parts is a citizen of any particular country, especially this one…

  • DSS10

    I wonder if the police man got a ticket for excessive speed. He should have received one in that he was unable to avoid hitting the dog even if he was driving the speed limit (this would be the rational that the police use to issue a ticket when there is an accident with no one at fault ……).

    • Narlington

      When was the last time the neighborhood got its radar unit tested to make sure its accurate. 40 mph and the dog was still able to walk and only had minor injuries. I question the neighbors on the plus side the police officers speed will be much slower when that neighborhood has an emergency call.

    • Andrew

      At 10pm at night? Do we know how long he had to react? Did the dog run out between parked cars?

      • Whitney Wilson

        As far as I can tell, there is no need to believe that someone was necessarily “at fault” for the accident. The dog got out, ran into the street, and was hit. Sometimes an accident is just an accident.

        What is more difficult to understand is why the officer didn’t stop to render assistance, unless he or she didn’t realize that the dog was hit.

        • Arlington, Northside

          The story says the officer did stop…
          “Arlington County Police Spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says their investigation determined the officer was not at fault. He says the officer followed protocol by stopping and calling his supervisor and waiting on the scene.”

          • Whitney Wilson

            Thanks AN. My apologies to the officer. If s/he stopped, then s/he did the right thing.

    • ThisGuy

      failure to control speed to avoid collision. Its a real ticket and he should have received it.

      • Arlington, Northside

        His speed had zero to do with it, the dog running into the front of his car was the reason for the accident. I am all for calling out ACPD when warranted, this is not one of those times.

        • CW

          I think what ThisGuy is trying to point out is that that ticket, failure to control speed, is given as a blanket citation to just about anyone doing anything who hits something. My understanding is that, if you are going 5 miles an hour and an asteroid lands in the road in front of you and you hit it, they COULD write you up for that ticket because of the langauge in the statute that says the limit is the limit but lower speed can be warranted due to road conditions, etc. Thus you would have been going faster than appropriate for that situation.

          I probably mangled that; real lawyers feel free to clean up my mess.

          • Westover

            Unless a human is hurt, the driver is drunk or someone does something dumb right in front of a cop that causes an accident, tickets are VERY rarely issued in Arlington County and through most of the Commonwealth.

          • CW

            Thanks for the local info – that’s one of those things (application of the letter of the law) that seems to vary a lot by region. I’ve heard of places where that ticket is issued almost always.

            Though correct me if I’m wrong, I think they still could give it if they wanted to, no?

  • CrystalMikey

    I love the ACPD generalizations. Keep up with the ignorance people!

    • CW

      I think that there is a difference between generalization, which would be like saying without reason something like “everyone who lives in Crystal City must enjoy being bored all the time”, and the sharing of personal experiences, which is what is going on here. Yes, it turns into generalization when the same thing is seen over and over again (aka statistical regression), but what is being described is based upon the firsthand accounts of what the police would call “witnesses” which, last time I checked, were valid in a court of law.

  • Rick

    Off the top of my head, the Wine Shop promotion violates ABC rules by not allowing a discount to be enjoyed by everyone.

  • IP678

    They see me cranin’

  • novasteve

    how come no mention of the Boeing 787 that’s supposed to land at DCA?

    • Narlington

      the plane was going to fast to report on. I blame the ACPD

      • CW

        I can handle the poor word choice and lack of capitalization, but if you keep leaving your prepositions dangling like that, you’re going to lose them.

    • WeiQiang

      Did it land?

      • Josh S

        There was one?

  • Ken

    Arlington law enforcement hasn’t received any media scrutiny, let alone criticism, for at least a decade.

    • Arlington, Northsidw

      Nothing major that they have done to warrant it, other than the HUGE blow up over the ticket quota LAST MONTH.

  • soarlslacker

    Is there a quota for hitting residents and pets and not offering them aid and medical care after hitting them?

  • Terri

    Police Chief received the criticism for his ticket-writing policy. This is the first time any criticism has been directed at anyone in L.E. for less-than-stellar performance in at least a decade.

  • Roquer

    For a longtime I have thought the reason that Arlington has very little crime is because the police are doing a great job. Arlington is closest to Washington, DC of any Va jurisdiction yet has the lowest crime rate. I have now changed my mind since the CBS news aired that an Arlington police car hit a dog! And this was a news story on night time news! No, ACPD didn’t get involved in some heinous action. NO, no spectacular crime wave was stopped, or bank robber apprehended. No, CBS news reports that a cop car hit a dog and may have been speeding. And this is so awful that Arlnow has repeated the story. I have to figure that the reason for low crime in Arlington has to be that the criminals in this area figure that anyone who complains on the cops for hitting a dog just HAS to be too stupid to have money!

  • Joe

    Do we know that the dog wasn’t a terrorist?

  • Just Me

    I hope the officer didn’t just stand there and then drive off.

    I don’t think he or she was going 40mph or the dog would be dead and now do these people thing the car was going 40mph when no one saw it happen? The dog got out of its home and ran into the street and was hit by a car, if it was not a police car it would not be news. If fault is anywhere is with the owner for having the door open so the dog could get out.

    I do agree the police to drive over the speed limit but so it I.


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