Update on 3/1/23 — Charges against the suspect were dropped, with certain conditions, as part of a deferred disposition deal with prosecutors.
A man who allegedly tried to force his way into a locked down middle school after claiming to be armed is facing charges.
Alexander Sentayhu, 25, thought there was an active shooter in Thomas Jefferson Middle School after, police say, he received text messages from relatives inside this past Friday afternoon. The school had been secured and locked to the outside due to a robbery at a 7-Eleven store nearby.
Sentayhu went to the school to pick up his relatives, “believing there may possibly be an act of violence occurring inside,” Arlington County police said.
“Upon finding the school locked, the suspect called the Emergency Communications Center indicating he was armed and requested access to the school,” police said. “At approximately 12:51 p.m., the suspect kicked the door, breaking the glass, and continued to try to force the door open. He was unsuccessful in gaining entry and left the scene prior to the arrival of officers.”
Sentayhu spoke at a White House press conference with Vice President Kamala Harris in April, highlighting the issue of medical debt, according to news reports. ARLnow previously reported on an online fundraiser for Sentayhu in early 2020, after he incurred steep medical costs while suffering a significant heart issue.
The news reports on the press conference noted that Sentayhu served in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Sentayhu turned himself in Friday night and was charged with Destruction of Public Property. He was released on bond but may face additional charges, police said.
In a press release Monday evening, the police department assured residents that it is well prepared to respond to incidents of active violence in schools, while pledging to work with Arlington Public Schools to communicate with families and residents about such incidents.
A parent told ARLnow on Friday that students and parents were initially panicked when the school was abruptly secured without explanation. It happened amid anxiety about school violence following the May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
More from an ACPD press release, below.
An Alexandria man has been arrested after damaging property in an attempt to gain entry into Thomas Jefferson Middle School during a school lockdown. Alexander Sentayhu, 25, was charged with Destruction of Public Property and turned himself into police on the evening of June 10, 2022. He was subsequently released on an unsecured bond. The investigation into the incident is ongoing and additional charges may be sought at a later time.
At approximately 12:21 p.m. on June 10, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury involving a weapon inside a business in the 200 block of S. Glebe Road. In the interest of public safety, responding officers requested Thomas Jefferson Middle School be placed on a secure status due to its proximity to the business. Shortly after, the suspect arrived to pick up his relatives who are students at the school. Upon finding the school locked, the suspect called the Emergency Communications Center indicating he was armed and requested access to the school. At approximately 12:51 p.m., the suspect kicked the door, breaking the glass, and continued to try to force the door open. He was unsuccessful in gaining entry and left the scene prior to the arrival of officers.
During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect and made telephone contact with him. The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect received text messages from a relative inside the school stating they were in lockdown and responded believing there may possibly be an act of violence occurring inside.
This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Response and Communication During a Reported Active Violence Event
We understand community concerns regarding reports of active violence incidents, however, the incident that occurred at Thomas Jefferson Middle School could have had a tragic outcome. An unidentified individual attempting to force entry into a locked school could be perceived as an active threat.
The top priority of the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) remains the safety and security of our community. In the event of an active violence incident reported at a school, ACPD along with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners will respond to address any threat and investigate the incident.
Arlington Public Schools (APS) and ACPD will communicate to the school community, as well as the broader community regarding the incident. Updates will include a request to avoid the area to allow public safety response, location of reunification with students/guardians, and other critical information. Updates will come through ACPD’s twitter account, Arlington Alert and APS School Talk.
Maintaining Police Operational Readiness
The ACPD is committed to maintaining operational readiness by training and equipping officers to effectively respond to any reported public safety threat in Arlington County. Over the last 20+ years, ACPD has developed a number of programs to better prepare officers to respond to reports of active violence. The current approach began in 1999, with the development of a training program after the tragedy at Columbine High School. Over the years, ACPD has continually updated and expanded the tactics and training of these programs to address changes by offenders.
In January 2013, ACPD formed the Tactical Training Unit (TTU) to ensure consistent training throughout the agency as we prepare and equip officers to take immediate action to stop the threat during an active violence event; provide medical care as quickly as possible; and to effectively command and control the scene in conjunction with Arlington County Fire and EMS personnel. TTU training integrates the disciplines of Active Violence Response, Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, Control Tactics, Firearms, General Tactical Instruction and Taser. As part of their preparedness training, patrol officers respond to no-notice mock training scenarios and practice responding to various incidents. ACPD participates in the Arlington County High Threat Response Program which is designed to ensure an integrated response to active violence events by police, fire and other County/Regional entities which is reinforced through collaborative training.
Additionally, ACPD works in conjunction with Arlington Public Schools and Public Safety Communications and Emergency Management on emergency response to reports of active criminal incidents, to include family reunification. ACPD is also a member of APS’ threat assessment team and safety audit committee.
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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve