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Crime Report: Armed Robbery Fail

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2012 at 10:45 am 4,744 47 Comments

The would-be victim of an armed robbery in Ballston managed to get away thanks to some dirt.

The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. A 6’2″ tall, 250 lbs man with a .45 caliber handgun tried to rob a victim at gunpoint, according to police, but his robbery was foiled when the victim threw dirt in the suspect’s face.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 11/30/12, 1100 block of N. Taylor Street. At 9:30 pm on November 30, a suspect allegedly attempted to rob a victim at gunpoint. The victim was able to throw dirt at the suspect and run away. The subject fled the scene in the opposite direction. The suspect is described as a black male in his late 30’s, approximately 6’2″ tall and 250 lbs. He had a full beard and was wearing a shiny black shirt and black pants. The weapon was described as a black .45 caliber handgun.

Also in the crime report, a man wearing a black leather jacket, white hat and white gloves allegedly punched a woman in the face and took her cell phone in Crystal City.

ROBBERY, 12/01/12, 2100 block of S. Jefferson Davis Highway. On December 1 at 7:35 pm, a victim was allegedly punched and then robbed of her cell phone by an unknown subject. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 30 years old. The subject was wearing a black leather jacket, a white hat, and white gloves during the incident.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.

ROBBERY, 12/02/12, 1200 block of S. 23rd Street. Between December 1 at 11 pm and December 2 at 8 am, an unknown subject entered a residence through the garage. The subject stole two cell phones, a wallet, and money. There is no suspect description.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 11/28/12, 4300 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At 7 am on November 28, two male employees got into a verbal dispute at work. The verbal confrontation escalated and the suspect poured a bucket of boiling water onto the victim in addition to hitting him several times. A fellow employee separated the two males and the police were called. The victim was taken to Medstar where he was treated for burns. James Anthony Muse, 55, of Arlington, Va. was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. Muse is currently being held without bond.

SEXUAL BATTERY, 11/28/12, 2700 block of N. Greenbrier Street. At around 7:45 pm on November 28, an unknown suspect inappropriately touched a young woman while she was running on the Yorktown High School track. The suspect has been described as a 40 year old Hispanic male with a muscular build. During the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a blue muscle shirt and dark shorts.

SEXUAL BATTERY, 11/30/12, 10 block of S. Glebe Road. At 4:25 pm on November 30, a victim was shopping in a store when a suspect inappropriately touched the victim and whispered vulgar comments in her ear. The suspect was holding the victim against him for several minutes until the victim was able to break free. Police located the suspect nearby. Laurence Allan Watkins, 40, of no fixed address was arrested and charged with abduction and sexual battery. He was held without bond.

BURGLARY, 11/30/12, 2900 block of N. Key Boulevard. At 3:42 pm on November 30, a burglary was reported at a vacant home. An unknown subject(s) broke through the east side door. No items have been reported missing at this time. There is no suspect(s) description.

INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT, 11/30/12, 3700 block of N. 27th Street. At 11:00 am on November 30, police responded to an industrial accident. A worker was struck by one of the trusses of a crane while working on an unfinished roof and fell 40 feet onto the ground. The victim sustained several broken bones and was transported to George Washington Hospital for treatment. The injuries do not appear to be life threatening.


11/29/12, VA WZB3442, 1999 Honda Civic, Red, 3900 block of N. Fairfax Drive
12/01/12, VA XAU7165, 2001 Mercedes-Benz, Gold, 500 block of N. Oxford Street

  • kung_fubar

    “The subject was wearing a black leather jacket, a white hat, and white gloves during the incident.”

    It’s also reported he may have been humming “Billy Jean” and that sections of the sidewalk were lighting up under his feet as he ran away.

    • Quoth the Raven

      I was actually thinking the exact same thing, but your post was a heck of a lot funnier than mine was going to be. Well done!!

    • Kenny Powers

      I chuckled out loud on that one.

    • ko

      well played

  • sunflower

    The would-be victim threw dirt at a 6’2″ tall, 250 lbs man with a .45 caliber handgun? sheesh—extremely brave or extremely foolish…..

    • ArlingtonSSR

      Wow yeah. Scary. It takes time to get down, grab dirt, and then aim/throw it. Plenty of time for the perp to shoot. The victim must have had reason to believe the perp wouldn’t shoot.

      • dirtboy

        I actually have a concealed carry permit for dirt. I always have some on my person.

        • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.


      • MrMeow

        Certain politicians have stated that if you’re being robbed, you should do nothing, and it’s a reason to deny them guns, in fact, one in particular has said that criminals are probably better trained with guns, so you shouldn’t have one.. So in that case, if you probably have better odds suriviving using a gun then throwing dirt, should throwing dirt at criminals be discouraged given they might get pissed off and shoot you?

        • Douglas Parker

        • BoredHouseWife

          nah, you just toss the desired item at them and run away in a zig zag pattern

        • iiandyiiii

          No idea what you’re saying here. In general, if a man is pointing a gun at you and just asking for money, you’re probably better off giving him money than taking any other action.

          • MrMeow

            The sad reality is that in some cases even if you comply, they kill you anyways. People get killed over coats and shoes. It’s better to be armed.

  • CW

    The victim was able to ascertain the caliber of the weapon pointed at him? Is he a firearms expert, or was he able to sneak a pair of dial calipers into the muzzle when the suspect wasn’t looking?

    • BBMS

      And also got a pretty detailed description of the assailant. Probably someone with some sort of military or law enforcement background.

  • Mick Way

    The victim could tell the difference between a .45 and, say, a .40 S&W or even a 9mm in the dark? Sharp cookie.

    I’m assuming .45 is generic for a semi-auto pistol versus a revolver?

    • MrMeow

      Maybe it was clearly an M1911?

      • BBMS

        “Clearly” telling the difference between a 1911 and a Hi Power is still a pretty nifty feat in the dark in a shoot situation.

        • MrMeow

          At least they didn’t call it an “assault pistol” or whatever the gun ignorant people say these days.

      • WeiQiang

        … a Desert Eagle and the victim has a stygmatism?

    • internet tourettes

      Generally, the more detailed the description, the more likely the crime a fabrication. If you were really in danger, you would have so much adrenalin in your system you would not be able to spell you last name let alone pass on insightful observations on such subtle details. But the Perp could have gotten all “Dirty Harry” on him and made some sort of speech including the name and model number of his gun (not).

      • Tumblebum

        Bingo! Kewpie doll is yours.

  • MC 703

    The ol’ “Goodwill Store Whisper, Fondle and Abduct”

    • Manual Steve

      Laurence was out on bail for a previous DIP

  • grammar nazi

    The use of “fail” as a noun rather than “failure” reminds us that we’re on the Internet.

    • hipster dufus

      Attempt at trendy lingo fail

      • drax


  • Jon

    Seriously. what’s happening to N. Arlington? Ballston USED to be a nice area.

    • Arlinghood

      Welcome to the 99% homeboy

    • YTK

      Nice? when? Even before it was built-up it was a pretty gnarly place to be. The MetroBus staging area was at an old strip mall next to a large garbage-strewn vacant lot.

    • rob42


    • Well…

      I wonder if it’s really that much worse or it’s being perceived as worse because we now have sites like ARL.now that report such incidents. I’d like to see some statistics on the crime rate in the area over the last 10 to 15 years.

      • Well…

        My response was supposed to be a reply to Jon’s post above. I guess it didn’t get put in the right place.

      • Curious George

        Back in 1995 Ballston looked somewhat light industrial. A lot fewer people lived here so fewer people to rob. Ironically the Ballston Mall seems to be thriving. Also not very attractive for the homeless as nobody was around to notice them so no feel-good services.

        I have been walking daily in the area between Clarendon and Ballston so I think I have a reasonably honest perspective on the area.

        • drax

          Agree. In ’95, Ballston looked roughly like Lee Highway in the process of being torn down to build Ballston.

    • torsionbar

      Its true, it did used to be. Metro station + major bus station + homeless people + seven-eleven is like a perfect storm. Those four things all on the same block is a guaranteed recipe for crime, it’s like a welcome mat for thugs and criminals.

  • MrMeow

    I know it might piss off a certain segment of Arlington, but I recommend people get a CCW if they fear for their safety in Arlington.

    • Curious George

      Or perhaps some 10% pepper spray. Less hesitation to use it as the consequences for the user are much lower.

      A dead mugger is a good thing but the hassle for the victim should be be a consideration.

      • MrMeow

        I’m guessing that criminals might build up an immunity to pepper spray eventually and so it might not be as effective in stopping them. Might piss them off and they might want to shoot you…

        • Captain_Obvious

          is that the next step in evolution ?

        • Curious George

          That’s why we need to stop the practice of catch and release and instead follow a policy of eat what you catch. With pepper spray they are already pre-seasoned.

  • Obama Groupie, “word, yo”


    I think it’s very interesting that when you cut & pasted the police report, you managed to erase the RACE, and approximate age, of the attacker, even when it was clearly stated in the police report. In other crime reports, you didn’t seem to “forget” the race of the alleged criminals.

    • We did not and have never deleted suspect description information from a police report.

    • drax

      WTF are you talking about? Every suspect description in the ArlNow article for suspects who haven’t already been arrested includes race.

    • torsionbar

      Silly you, age and race don’t help to identify a perp. That doesn’t narrow it down at all! Besides, the mere mention of someone’s age or race is ageist and racist. If you want to catch the guy, his attire is of the utmost importance. Because you know, criminals never change their clothes. Understanding the criminal wardrobe is key to solving these kinds of cases.

    • Coombuyah

      Um…the only reason you know the race and approximate age of the gunman is BECAUSE ArlingtonNow posted the full crime report in big print for all to read. In the short synopsis up top, AlrNow also left out fact the man had a “full beard”…where is the outrage they seemed to “forget” the facial follicle status of the attacker too?

      Instead of looking for more non-issues to get all hot and bothered about, perhaps you should flick that little chip right off of your shoulder.

  • Parkington

    North Arlington, go figure…


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