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by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Police car lightsA pizza delivery driver’s car was stolen while he was making a delivery in Courthouse yesterday afternoon.

Working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police say there were able to locate the vehicle in D.C. and take the suspect into custody.

From an ACPD crime report:

GRAND THEFT AUTO, 160428031, 1400 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 1:10 p.m. on April 28, a pizza delivery vehicle was stolen while the driver was on a delivery. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in Washington D.C. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Warrants were obtained for grand larceny auto for James Lee Thomas III, 38, of Washington D.C.

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Historic marker in Fairlington

Cooley Joins DJO Football Staff — Former Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley has joined the Bishop O’Connell High School football staff as the offensive line and tight ends coach. Cooley, who currently co-hosts the afternoon drive radio show on ESPN 980, is shifting to a morning slot at the station, thus allowing him to coach. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Arlington Tech Light on Female Students — Only 21 percent of incoming freshmen at the new Arlington Tech high school program are female. That number is “not high enough,” an administrator told community members. [InsideNova]

North Arlington Road Closure — N. Sycamore Street is scheduled to be closed from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today between Little Falls Road and 27th Street due to water service installation work. [Arlington County]

Architect Chosen for Gondola Study — Portland, Oregon-based ZGF Architects has been selected to conduct the feasibility study for a gondola system between Rosslyn and Georgetown. ZGF, which also has offices in D.C., worked on the preliminary concept for the Portland Aerial Tram, which opened in 2006. [Georgetowner, Urban Turf]

Real Estate Firm Raises $100,000 for Free Clinic — McLean-based Stewart Commercial Realty has helped to raise more than $100,000 for Arlington Free Clinic’s dental program. The program provides dental care to low-income, uninsured Arlington residents. The company held a fundraiser for the program in Courthouse last weekend. [Facebook]

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 4:20 pm 0

A man robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of N. Quaker Street and Fern Street, just across from Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood, this morning.

The man passed a note to a teller shortly before noon, Alexandria Police said in a press release (below). He was wearing a gray coat, dark pants and a “Brooklyn Nets” hat.

Other bank customers can be seen lined up behind the man in one of the surveillance photos released by police.

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank located at 1711 Fern Street. On Thursday, April 28, at 11:40 a.m., a man entered the bank and passed the teller a note. He demanded money, the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.

The suspect is described as a male with a medium complexion, approximately 5’6″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a baseball cap, glasses and a gray coat. Investigators believe this is the same suspect from the bank robbery on April 18, 2016.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of this bank robbery.

Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Christine Deibes at 703.746.6819.

Update at 5:50 p.m. — The same bank robber struck in Alexandria 10 days ago, says the FBI.

FBI bank robbery wanted poster

by Tim Regan — April 28, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 2:46 p.m.) What happened to the Columbia Pike Streetcar project? What can be done about crowded local schools? How can we incorporate affordable housing and public amenities into future development?

These were just a few questions answered during last night’s ARLnow Presents: Hot Topics on the Pike discussion at the Celtic House Irish Pub (2500 Columbia Pike).

The first half of the night was filled by a discussion among our opinion columnists — Mark Kelly (The Right Note), Peter Rousselot (Peter’s Take) and Larry Roberts (Progressive Voice) — on countywide issues.

The first question of that discussion, asked by host Amanda Fischer, was whether the columnists felt like the streetcar project’s cancellation was the right decision and what the county’s biggest transit priorities should be in 2016.

“I believe the cancellation of the streetcar was the right decision,” Rousselot said. “[The] most important one coming for Arlington is the Columbia Pike corridor and premium bus service.”

“On the regional level, this was going to be connected to other projects,” Roberts said. “[If you go to the] Pearl District in Portland, you will see everything that could have been in Columbia Pike.”

Kelly said the project, overall, had a “common sense problem,” and added that he was “pleased” when the project got the ax.

He added that he thought the county’s number one transit priority should be exerting its influence “to get to real reforms for Metro.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — April 28, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Potomac River calm (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Residents Supportive of Cemetery Expansion Plan — The military held a meeting yesterday to reveal preliminary plans to expand Arlington National Cemetery and realign Columbia Pike. Local residents were generally supportive of the plan and the need to expand the cemetery. [Washington Post]

Arlington Woman Turns 100 — The Sunrise senior living community in Arlington has celebrated the 100th birthday of a resident, Kathleen Hanawalt. Hanawalt celebrated the event with her daughter-in-law and two grandsons. Hanawalt’s husband died in 1969. [InsideNova]

Endorsements for Gutshall, Talento — Arlington County Board challenger Erik Gutshall has picked up a trio of endorsements from state lawmakers. State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Del. Alfonso Lopez and Del. Rip Sullivan have endorsed Gutshall in his primary challenge against County Board Chair Libby Garvey. Meanwhile, School Board candidate Tannia Talento has received the endorsement of School Board member Reid Goldstein. [Blue Virginia, InsideNova]

Sexual Assault Awareness Event at the Pentagon — All branches of the military were represented at a recent event to raise awareness of and combat sexual assault in the military. “Walk-a-Lap for a Survivor” was held in the Pentagon courtyard on April 20. Also participating in the event were members of Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families. [Pentagram]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by Tim Regan — April 27, 2016 at 3:40 pm 0

Police car (file photo)(Updated to correct a typo at 4:17 p.m.) Police arrested a man who allegedly masturbated near two people, then chased them down S. Walter Reed Drive early this morning.

A man and a woman spotted Isaiah Dasilva-Schmitt, 24, masturbating on the 900 block of S. Walter Reed Drive around 3:55 a.m. this morning, authorities said. The man approached the victims, had a “brief conversation,” then began to chase them, according to police. The man and woman eventually outran Dasilva-Schmitt, and officers arrested him a short time later.

From an ACPD crime report:

MASTURBATING IN PUBLIC, 160427006, 900 block of S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 3:55 a.m. on April 27, a male and female victim witnessed a male subject masturbating in public. The subject approached the vicitms and they had a brief conversation. The subject then began to chase the victims until they eventually lost sight of him. Officers conducted a search around the area and located the subject. Isaiah Dasilva-Schmitt, 24, of Arlington VA, was charged with masturbating in public and was held on a secured bond.

Police are also on the lookout for a man who grabbed a woman’s buttocks late last night:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 160426061, 800 block of N. Pollard Street. At approximately 10:45 p.m. on April 26, a female victim advised that her buttocks was grabbed by an unknown male subject as he passed her on the street. The suspect is described as a black male in his 20-30’s, approximately 6’0″ tall and weighed 180 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt and tan pants at the time of the incident.

Additionally, authorities are searching for a burglar who forced his way into a locked storage area:

LATE BURGLARY, 160426019, 1000 block of N. Fillmore Street. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on April 19, an unknown male subject forced entry into a locked storage area and stole numerous items. The suspect is described as a white male, 30-50 years old. He was wearing a light colored shirt and long pants.

Photo courtesy of ACPD

by Tim Regan — April 27, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Calderon, Ramon mugshot (photo courtesy ACPD))A police tip earlier this month led to the arrest of a man suspected of slashing another man in the face after an argument last June, police announced this morning.

According to the authorities, a tip received through Arlington County Crime Solvers led to the arrest of 24-year-old Ramon Calderon on April 14.

Calderon is suspected of brandishing a pocket knife, then cutting another man across the face at the Gunston Middle School soccer fields in June. The attack caused “a fairly large laceration,” on the victim’s face according to police, and resulted in significant bleeding due to a cut minor artery. The man was rushed to George Washington University Hospital, where he received 60 stitches.

Police said last June that the two men were arguing about the “worth and importance of a college education” before the attack, but they did not specify whether the suspect was arguing for or against the value of higher education.

Photo courtesy ACPD

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2016 at 8:45 am 0

Glencarlyn forest (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Report: Toddler Left in Car Suffered Burns — The Annandale man charged in the death of his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter was watching TV and drinking beer as the child sat forgotten in his car, NBC 4 reports. He was also driving on a revoked license. The girl had a body temperature of 107 when she was rushed to the hospital and had second-degree burns from the car seat. [NBC Washington]

Park Aides Get Banning Powers — Park ranger aides in Arlington now have the legal authority to ban people from parks. The County Board voted earlier this month to add aides to the list of county personnel with powers of attorney for the “Park Safe” program. Offenders who violate the ban — which is typically levied on those who repeatedly violate park rules — can be charged with criminal trespassing. [InsideNova]

Moon Bounce Opportunity — Arlington County will be holding a “Fitness Day in the Park” at Alcova Heights Park on Saturday. The event will include games, nutrition and fitness demos, an inflatable rock wall and a moon bounce. [Arlington County]

Festival Argentino in Arlington — The 2016 Argentine Festival will be held at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater (125 S. Old Glebe Road) on Saturday, May 14. The event will feature traditional food, exhibitions, music and dance. Tickets are $20 in advance. [Festival Argentino USA]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — April 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm 0

Front end loaders clearing snow during the January 2016 blizzard (Flickr pool photo by Starbuck77)Arlington County says it spent $6.5 million on snow removal operations, equipment and supplies this winter.

That’s nearly $4 million more than was spent the previous winter, when the county almost ran out of salt due to a succession of snow storms.

The total roadway snow removal expenditure — the figures quoted here do not include removing snow from bus shelters or sidewalks — for Fiscal Year 2015 was only $2.7 million, according to Arlington County. As of April 25, the FY 2016 bill was $6.5 million, about $5 million of which was associated with the cleanup from January’s Snowzilla blizzard, as the county revealed last month.

Why was this year’s bill so much higher? It’s mostly attributable to equipment rental costs, we’re told.

“The majority of this cost increase was associated with heavy contract equipment used during the January 22-29, 2016 blizzard,” explained Mike Moon, Chief Operating Officer of Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services.

“The amount of contract equipment deployed for this event far exceeded the requirements for the previous year and cost more than $4.0 million,” Moon continued. “With more than two feet of snow, heavy contract equipment was needed for the effort, which included hauling snow in our commercial corridors (Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City).”

Last month Arlington said that it can potentially recoup $2 million from federal disaster assistance funds, though the reimbursement process is a lengthy one.

Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said in March that the county is considering changes to its snow removal efforts in the wake of January’s blizzard. Among the changes being considered is the purchase of additional heavy equipment and a new snow melter.

Flickr pool photo (top) by Starbuck77

by ARLnow.com — April 26, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City

Watch Caps Practice in Ballston Today for Free — The Washington Capitals will be preparing for their playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins this morning at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. The Caps’ practice starts at 10:30 a.m. and it’s free to attend and watch. The Iceplex, the Caps’ administrative and training home base, is owned by Arlington County and leased to the Capitals. [Arlington County]

Garvey Turns 65 — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey celebrated her 65th birthday yesterday. Garvey’s reelection campaign wasted little time in using the occasion to ask for donations of $65 as “a special birthday gift.” [Reelect Libby]

Yorktown’s Efforts to Narrow Achievement Gap — Yorktown High School has been working with the Minority Student Achievement Network, a project of the University of Wisconsin, to help it narrow the school’s achievement gaps. The program at Yorktown specifically focuses on minority boys, a relatively small group at the school. [University of Wisconsin]

by ARLnow.com — April 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm 0

(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) A man has been struck by a car on 10th Street N. in Clarendon.

The crash happened around 6:45 p.m., on 10th Street N. at the N. Garfield Street intersection, just west of Washington Blvd.

Initial reports suggest a driver in an SUV struck the man as he was in the marked crosswalk. The man, said to be in his 20s, was bloodied but conscious and alert when paramedics arrived. He was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A nearby resident said the intersection is dangerous because drivers speed up as they turn onto 10th Street from Washington Blvd.

“This is what I’ve feared for the longest time and why I’ve repeatedly complained to be county,” said Anne McKenna. “It is a notoriously horrible intersection.”

McKenna said she was instrumental in getting Arlington County to install bright crosswalk signs at the crossing two years ago, but they’ve had little impact on driving behaviors.

“No cars ever stop in that crosswalk and… there is no enforcement,” she wrote in an email. “I’ve never seen ONE law enforcement/code enforcement person in that intersection.”

Police are investigating the crash, but McKenna said the driver, who remained on scene after the crash, was allowed to drive off. Police charged the driver with failure to yield, a minor traffic infraction.

“No arrest or any justice for pedestrians,” McKenna said. “Huge blood stain in street.”

This is the second significant pedestrian crash in Arlington in the past two weeks. Last week a teenage girl was struck and seriously injured while walking in a crosswalk on Washington Blvd in Ballston.

Arlington County is conducting a pedestrian and bike safety campaign this week.

Editor’s note: Citing a witness, an earlier version of this article mistakenly identified the victim as female. Police say the victim was a man.

by ARLnow.com — April 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm 0

Ryan Coles (photo courtesy ACPD)Arlington County Police have arrested a 27-year-old Arlington man in connection with an April 19 stabbing in the Nauck community.

Police say Ryan Coles was taken into custody on Saturday by ACPD’s tactical unit. He has been charged with malicious wounding and is being held without bond.

The stabbing took place at 1:45 p.m. on a weekday afternoon, following “a physical altercation between two individuals.” The victim was reported to have suffered severe injuries.

From an ACPD press release:

On April 19, 2016 at approximately 1:45 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to an assault with a weapon in the 3200 block of 24th Street S. The investigation revealed that following a physical altercation between two individuals, a male victim was stabbed. The victim was transported to George Washington University Hospital with severe injuries.

After reviewing evidence in this case, detectives from the Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit developed a suspect description. On April 23, officers from the Tactical Unit took the suspect into custody without incident. Ryan Coles, 27, of Arlington VA was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was held on no bond.

Anyone with information about this incident and/or who may have observed anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — April 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

Nova Armory in Lyon Park

Update at 5:00 p.m. — A copy of the lawsuit can be downloaded here.

Lyon Park gun store Nova Armory is suing 64 people who spoke out against its recent opening, including local residents and lawmakers.

Nova Armory claims that opponents “conspired to destroy the business, harassed the owner and landlord and mailed death threats,” reports the Washington Post. The business is suing the 64 people in Richmond Circuit Court, seeking $2.1 million for “lost revenue and damages.”

The lawsuit makes good on threats the store made in March.

“The actions of these local crazies against our business is approaching the level of ‘tortious interference,'” the store said in a press release at the time.

Among those reportedly being sued are the seven state lawmakers who signed a letter of opposition to the store’s landlord, plus County Board member Christian Dorsey and School Board member Barbara Kanninen.

“We’ve told our lawyers to concentrate on any actions in which we are deprived of our civil liberties by these so-called public servants — they’ll regret any abuse of their authority,” the March press release said.

The Lyon Park Citizens Association tells ARLnow.com that neither it nor its attorney is aware of any legal action against the civic association, which held meetings and votes in response to residents’ concerns about the store.

This morning, before news of the lawsuit was confirmed, John Goldener, president of the civic association, called any such action “a flagrant abuse of the legal system.”

“Our focus is and has always been communication and community,” Goldener said. “If Mr. Pratte’s focus, however, is on generating frivolous lawsuits to frighten residents and artificial controversy to drive sales, then we have grossly misjudged his intentions and stated commitment to become a part of our community.”

by ARLnow.com — April 25, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters rescued a man who fell into a trench just in front of Fire Station No. 4 in Clarendon this afternoon.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m., in the middle of 10th Street N., where utility work associated with an apartment construction project appears to be underway.

A man — reported to be a construction worker — fell 8 feet into a trench in the street, according to scanner traffic. An ACFD technical rescue team extricated him from the trench. He was transported via ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.

Portions of 10th Street N. were closed during the rescue. Lane closures are still in place for the construction activity.

by ARLnow.com — April 25, 2016 at 12:35 pm 0

Police car (file photo)A delivery driver was arrested in the Ballston area Saturday morning and charged with assaulting police and a local residents.

The incident started around 6:45 a.m., when a resident on the 700 block of N. Tazewell Street started filming the driver and called police with a noise complaint, all as part of “an ongoing dispute [regarding] the time of deliveries.”

A verbal dispute between the resident and the driver ensued, leading the driver to punch the resident in the face, according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

When police arrived, the driver was confrontational and struck at least one officer, Savage said. From and ACPD crime report:

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 160423017, 700 block of N. Tazewell Street. At approximately 6:48 a.m. on April 23, officers were dispatched to a noise complaint regarding an ongoing dispute between the time of deliveries. The victim was recording the incident when they were struck in the face by the subject. The subject became combative when officers arrived on scene but subsequently was taken into custody. Roderick Watt, 41, of Wilkes Barre Pa, was charged with assault on police (2 counts), obstruction of justice, and assault and battery. He was held on a secured bond.

A second incident of an assault on police happened later that night, in the Nauck neighborhood, according to the crime report.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 160423049, 2400 block of S. 24th Road. At approximately 10:42 p.m. on April 23, officers conducted a traffic stop in regards to a suspended license. During the stop, the passenger became combative, pushed an officer to the ground, and fled on foot. Officers were able to apprehend Justin Murray, 31, of Alexandria VA. He was charged with assault on police, obstruction of justice, possession of marijuana(second offense), and failure to identify to law enforcement. He is being held without bond.

Also Saturday night, according to police, two drunk men were arrested after they both grabbed the buttocks of a woman and then started fighting. The incident started as all three were leaving an establishment near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive.

The men were both charged with sexual battery and being drunk in public, according to the crime report.

SEXUAL BATTERY, 160423043, 4800 block of S. Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:40 p.m. on April 23, officers responded to the area for reports of two males fighting. When officers arrived on scene a female advised that her buttocks was grabbed by both suspects. . Carlos Rivas Martinez, 22, of Arlington VA, was charged with sexual battery and drunk in public. He was held on an unsecured bond. Lorenzo Rivas Martinez, 20, of Arlington VA, was charged with sexual battery and drunk in public. He was held on a secured bond.

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