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Investigators Searching Fire Bomb Suspect’s Apartment

by ARLnow.com October 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm 6,727 37 Comments

Arlington County Police, the county bomb squad and FBI agents are on the scene at the Woodbury Park Apartments, on the 2200 block of 11th Street N. near Clarendon, searching the apartment of Leon A. Traille, Jr.

Video of the search, courtesy of Fox 5, can be found below. So far, there’s no indication that the apartment building has been evacuated, but the investigators are still on the scene. Bomb technicians entered the apartment via the window.

Traille is facing a federal arson charge after police say he tried to fire bomb the Ballston Common Mall food court. He was arrested several hours later while eating lunch at Courthouse Plaza.

Social media accounts linked to Traille, along with public records, suggest he’s an out-of-work computer programmer who has previously lived in Georgia, Oregon and New York City.

Courtesy photo
DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

  • Confused

    I thought he was of no known address…?

    • anon

      well now its known

      • Confused

        Thanks, Captain Obvious.

        • anon

          welcome mate

    • haters

      Oh. Never mind.

  • fixed!

    so glad we coukd fix that for the peanut gallery

  • Right of Center

    And I bet everyone thought he drives around in a vehicle with MD tags

    • b0rk

      That or DC. Let’s be equal opportunity here.

  • jackson

    But now the tirades against the homeless will stop… for about 3 seconds.

    • Louise


    • novasteve

      So great, now it’s terrorism isn’t of hobos. I’m so relieved.

    • ArlingtonWay

      Well, in that I am pretty sure this is a subsidized apartment, the comments probably won’t stop. I’m happy to have my tax dollars pay for housing for a violent mentally ill person from Georgia to live here. Seriously. Its a better use of money than a lot of the nonsense they spend on here — bocce ball courts and double priced pools. At least its helping a human being.

      • jackson

        You and Steve will be very happy somewhere your taxes aren’t used for things you don’t like, if you can find such a place on this planet.

        • ArlingtonWay

          Exactly. How dare I complain about certain uses of my tax dollars? How unlike the Arlington Way.

          • Chuck


        • Halo

          I found a place.
          It is called the mantle, a highly viscous layer between the earth’s crust and the outer core. It was actually cooler there this summer than here.

  • novasteve

    I’m curious about a “federal” arson charge? I don’t see any indication he crossed state lines. Why are there federal arson charges in an attack on private property in Virginia?

    • Ben

      I think because it was “a place of public use” kicked it up to a federal charge.


      Come on lawyer!

      • novasteve

        I still don’t see how a “place of public use” would make a crime not involving interstate commerce a federal offense.

        • LPS4DL

          Here’s a suggestion. Instead of sitting in SW VA asking loaded questions, why don’t you go find out why the Feds have made these charges?

          • novasteve

            i’m in sw va?

          • YTK

            Maybe the SW means “SomeWhere”

  • P.D.

    @novasteve: If you read the pdf that ARLnow linked on http://www.arlnow.com/2012/10/19/ballston-mall-molotov-cocktail-suspect-charged/ (under the 12:35 update), section 10 states that Traille “did unlawfully and maliciously attempt to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, and building or other real or personal property used in interstate or foreign commerce…”

    I guess the rationale is that Ballston Mall is used for interstate and/or foreign commerce, and so a crime committed there falls under federal jurisdiction.

    • novasteve

      But only arson? What about a robbery or other homicide in a mall? What’s so special about arson?

      By that definition setting fire to a car would be a federal offense. Even a grocery bag.

  • Seeing it like it is

    The US Coast Guard has offices above the Ballston Cochargesmmons Mall in the same building. So this was a firebomb which went off within a co-located space. Thus the Federal investigation and following charges.

    • novasteve

      He didn’t target the federal stuff though. He targetted the food court.

    • Telling It Like It Is

      Your source for this is….?

      Because the USCG doesn’t rent space in the food court. The bars maybe, but not the food court. Thus, no jurisdiction for the feds by using “occupied by a fed agency.”

    • CW

      I’m definitely going to start calling it the “Ballston Cochargesmmons Mall”.

  • tumblebum

    There is almost no crime that the feds cannot deem under their jurisdiction. All a matter of technicalities. The deciding factor is almost always a matter of how high profile it is. Press conferences, raid jackets bearing the agency name, etc. All very useful when it’s time to justify budgets.
    Cynical? Yes.
    Accurate? Yes.

  • MDP

    18 USC 844(i) of the United States Code sets forth federal laws against use of explosives against business properties involved in interstate commerce. It’s likely the mall would be deemed a business property involved in interstate commerce, so I think that’s how you can resolve the federal jurisdiction question.

    • novasteve

      That means that using an explosive any ANY store would be a federal offense.

      • Rob

        That’s right.

  • J

    And? No one is saying it wouldn’t be. It’s called prosecutorial discretion.

  • L

    Why exactly are we arguing about why a certain type of charge was filed against this man? I was in that food court when this happened, and I can tell you now that regardless, this man should rot in prison. There were children in that open area, not more than 10 feet away from where the bottle was thrown. I was 10 feet from where that bottle was thrown. We are insanely lucky that it didn’t go off and kill or seriously injure someone. Who cares why certain types of charges were filed? The fact is, he tried to kill people. That’s all that should matter.

    • WeiQiang

      because steve asked.

  • Jason

    If he was sucssesfull like this guy in LA was think about how that could have turned out: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/10/long-beach-police-investigating-case-of-man-set-on-fire.html

  • justin

    When are they going to bulldoze the mall?


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