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Man arrested for randomly pepper spraying people on Columbia Pike

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(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) A local man is in jail after police say he sprayed four people with pepper spray along Columbia Pike for no apparent reason.

The incident happened around 11:30 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday) near the Bob & Edith’s diner at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Wayne Street.

According to police, the man first struck the driver of a car that was waiting at the intersection, then sprayed the driver and another occupant “with what was believed to be pepper spray.”

The 38-year-old suspect then assaulted a woman who was walking in the area and sprayed her and another woman with the chemical irritant, according to police.

Three of the victims were taken to a local hospital, while the suspect was taken into custody “without incident,” police said.

More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-07270109, Columbia Pike and S. Wayne Street. At approximately 11:35 a.m. on July 27, police were dispatched to the report of an assault that had just occurred. The investigation determined the male suspect allegedly approached a vehicle at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Veitch Street, struck the driver and sprayed both of the vehicle’s occupants with what was believed to be pepper spray. The suspect continued along Columbia Pike where he approached two female victims walking in the area, assaulted one and sprayed both with what was believed to be pepper spray. A lookout was broadcast and officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. Medics responded to the scene and evaluated the four victims with three being transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries considered non-life threatening. Wade Westmoreland, 38, of No Fixed Address was charged with Malicious Wounding by Caustic Agent (x4) and Assault and Battery (x2). He was held without bond.

Court records show the suspect, Wade Westmoreland, was previously released on his own recognizance after an arrest in May 2021.

He was charged with destruction of property and multiple counts of assaulting police and obstructing justice after police say he jumped on the hood of a stopped car in the Ballston area, smashed the windshield, and later “became physically combative with officers.”

Westmoreland was charged with failure to appear in court in May of this year, in connection with the case.

He’s due back in court for the latest and the previous in September and October, respectively. He was previously charged in Arlington with vehicle theft in 2017 and public intoxication in 2021, according to court records.

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