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D.C. Man Gets Jail Time for Riding ATV in Arlington

A D.C. man received a four-year jail sentence after being in a group that rode dozens of dirt bikes and ATVs through Arlington in April.

Stephon Williams, 24, pleaded “nolo contendre” to a charge of felony eluding in Arlington County Circuit Court today, meaning he accepted a conviction as though a guilty plea had been entered but did not contest the charge.

Williams received a sentence of four years, with all but 105 days suspended for three years after his release, meaning he has served his time but this sentence will be taken into account if he offends again. He will also be on supervised probation for three years.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos said in exchange for his “nolo contendre” plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charge of wearing a mask in public.

According to a statement of facts submitted by prosecutors, a group of between 25 and 50 drove on Arlington Blvd and Washington Blvd, near the Pentagon and Pentagon City, then on U.S. Route 1 south into Alexandria on April 9 around 7 p.m.

An officer from the Arlington County Police Department watched the group run through 10 red lights, fail to stop at two stop signs, cross solid double yellow lines multiple times and perform “numerous wheelies.”

Prosecutors said Williams filmed police on his phone as he was riding, but dropped his phone. An officer stopped his police cruiser and retrieved it. Williams was also wearing a GPS ankle bracelet, as he was being monitored by D.C.’s Pretrial Services for an unrelated offense.

A search warrant on the phone, GPS records and cell tower records confirmed Williams travelled the route taken by the group of riders.

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The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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