Police say that a man smashed in the glass door of the Shell service station at 5630 Lee Highway around 6 a.m. on Aug. 19. He was seen on camera placing cartons of cigars and cigarettes into a cardboard box.
The suspect then fled westbound Lee Highway, police said.
“The suspect is described as a black male with an athletic build and had chest length dreadlocks,” police said in a press release today. “He was wearing a black v-neck t-shirt, denim jeans and dark sneakers at the time of the incident. In one of the surveillance images, a tattoo is captured on the subject’s upper right arm.”
Anyone with information about the robbery or suspect can contact Detective James Stone at [email protected] or at 703-228-4245. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Middle School to Hold ‘Road Show’ — Thomas Jefferson Middle School Principal Keisha Boggan and administrators will be holding a neighborhood meet and greet this coming Tuesday. The “TJMS Road Show” will feature “hot dogs, drinks, music, and good conversation,” with four stops in the Barcroft, Westmont Gardens, Fillmore Gardens, and Oakland Park/Lyon Park areas. The first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 8. [Arlington Public Schools]
Homeland Security Renews Ballston Lease — In a bit of good news for commercial real estate in Arlington, the Dept. of Homeland Security has renewed a 120,435 square foot lease on its office at Two Ballston Plaza (1110 N. Glebe Road). [CityBizList]
MONA Sponsors Backpacks — The group Mothers of North Arlington has sponsored 18 backpacks for children at the local shelter Doorways for Women and Families. “Many of MONA’s 2800 members donated items for 18 backpacks for children from age 1 to 18,” the group said in a press release. “The backpacks included all the usual school necessities (paper, pencils, glue, crayons, binders, lunch box, etc.); some also had scientific calculators, umbrellas, digital watches, and diapers for the youngest recipients. Each backpack was stocked with $75-100 in gift cards to Target for school clothes (nearly $1,600 in total).”
Arlington Man Killed in Fairfax County Crash — A 51-year-old Arlington man died yesterday afternoon in a crash in Fairfax County. Virginia State Police say Jerry Knight was riding a moped on an I-66 exit ramp when he was struck by a vehicle and killed. Police are seeking information on the striking vehicle and its driver. [Patch]
Photo courtesy @jbester
The temporary housing of buses is one of the topics on the agenda for a Sept. 1 community meeting, said county spokeswoman Catherine Matthews. The meeting will also discuss street parking, the upcoming Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run planning study and Jennie Dean Park.
“The meeting on September 1 (with residents from Nauck, Shirlington and Fairlington) will really just be to communicate about and implement some community planning efforts and address some outstanding neighborhood concerns,” Matthews said in an email.
County officials will attend the meeting to answer questions about any of the agenda items, Matthews said.
Buses will be housed at LaPorte property until 2017, when the new facility at the corner of S. Eads and 32nd Streets is expected to be finished, she said.
“In terms of parking buses here, the County does not foresee any major changes or delays to existing traffic patterns. All of our ART buses are CNG (compressed natural gas) powered and run on natural gas, making these buses cleaner and quieter in operation,” Matthews said.
Construction to build the new ART facility begins Sept. 9 and is expected to last 18 months, according to the project’s website. The new two-story facility will have spaces for bus maintenance, bus washing, a gas station and parking.
The meeting will also discuss planning efforts for the Jennie Dean Park and Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run area. Both projects are in preplanning phases, Matthews said.
The Shirlington Crescent-Four Mile Run Planning Study is planned for 2015, according to the project’s website, and will look at the land use in the area.
“The goal will be to develop a vision and long-term planning guidance for the area, which includes primary industrially zoned properties,” Matthews said in an email. “We will be examining potential land use changes, transportation improvements; and environmental issues, given the proximity of the Four Mile stream.”
At the same time, the county will also be creating a master plan for Jennie Dean Park, but the project is still in the early stages, she said.
Washington Blvd Temporarily Closed — Westbound Washington Blvd is temporarily closed at N. Evergreen Street from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today for water service installations. Traffic will be rerouted around the closure, which is several blocks from Virginia Hospital Center. [Twitter]
Arlington Bagel Shop Named Best in Va. — Brooklyn Bagel in Courthouse has the best bagel in the Commonwealth of Virginia, at least according to Tripping, an online vacation rental search engine. [Tripping]
Tough Talk for Park Supporters — At a time when Arlington’s burgeoning student population is creating a need for more and bigger schools, supporters of parks in Arlington have been opposing the creation of new schools in existing or potential future parks. County Board Chair Mary Hynes says that those who want to see more and more parkland in Arlington may be disappointed. “Their stance seems to be that we should put all our money into buying more land and use it as little as possible… [but] land is our scarcest resource.” [Falls Church News-Press]
AT&T Injected Ads on DCA Wi-Fi — AT&T has acknowledged that for a period of time, it injected popup ads onto websites visited by users of its free Wi-Fi networks at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport. [Recode, Web Policy]
Locket Found in Ballston — Someone found a silver locket hanging from a tree in Ballston. The finder is offering to return the locket to its rightful owner. [Reddit]
Photo courtesy James Mahony
(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) A video on Reddit shows a man allegedly stealing a bike from a porch of home on Key Blvd in Lyon Village.
The video was originally uploaded last week but was posted on a Reddit thread yesterday, with the comment that the thief had not been caught as of that morning.
The video, captured by a home security camera, shows a man with long hair and wearing a backpack, short sleeve graphic t-shirt and pants and sneakers. The camera catches him glancing at a window in the house and then sneaking up the porch. He then walks off the porch with a bicycle.
“Took this video from the listserv. I have seen numerous bikes left on porches/children’s bikes left on front lawns overnight around the neighborhood. Hopefully this video proves that no neighborhood is invincible to theft and that everyone should lock up (if for some reason you decide to leave your bike outside),” the poster said.
Asked about the video, Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said: “We did receive an online report, however, this was the first our detectives had seen the video.”
The 1-395 overpass above S. Glebe Road will now be known as the Trooper Jacqueline Vernon Memorial Bridge.
Vernon was the first female and black Virginia State Trooper to be killed in the line of duty. She was hit by a commuter bus on I-395 as she stopped a car for an HOV lane violation in 1988. She was 32 years old.
“She was a great person,” said Charles King, III, one of Vernon’s former classmates and coworkers. “I was privileged, and I thank God I got to meet her and she passed through my life.”
The dedication of the overpass, which is near where Vernon was killed, comes almost 30 years after her death.
The bill to dedicate the bridge was brought by Del. Robert Krupicka, who represents the 45th District in the House of Delegates and by Sen. Barbara Favola, who represents the 31st District in the state Senate.
‘This naming of the bridge is also a way to say thank you to our troopers,” Krupicka said.
Vernon was a good trooper and known as someone who had her coworkers’ backs, said Col. W. Steven Flaherty, who was her supervisor.
“I remember them saying after boxing class, ‘we don’t want to get in the ring with [Vernon], so she certainly held her own there,” Flaherty said.
The bridge’s dedication was “personal” to him as someone who knew Vernon. He considers all of the officers under him to be his kids, he said, and Vernon was one of them.
“Now as people pass up and down on 395, they’ll come to know her as well,” he said.
It is one way that people recognize and thank the troopers for their service, Flaherty said.
Virginia State Troopers were joined by Vernon’s family during the dedication. The naming of the bridge was something that both the family and troopers asked to see happen.
“Now when I look around I can say the day is done,” said Vernon’s brother Ronald Vernon. “The struggle is done. It is time to rest. Sleep well, my sister.”
Update at 2:35 p.m. — Flanagan was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital at 1:30 p.m., authorities said. Following the shooting this morning, he sent a suicide note to ABC News.
Update at 12:35 p.m. — Virginia State Police has issued the following statement:
“Shortly before 11:30 a.m., Virginia State Police spotted the suspect vehicle headed eastbound on Interstate 66. With emergency lights activated the Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. Minutes later, the suspect vehicle ran off the road and crashed. The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound. He is being transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The male driver is believed to be the same male subject who shot three people this morning in Franklin County during a television news interview.”
Update at 11:50 a.m. — WDBJ reports that Flanagan has shot himself on I-66 in Fauquier County (see below).
Earlier: The suspect in the murder of two television journalists near Roanoke this morning may be heading for the D.C. area.
A lookout for the suspect, Vester Lee Flanagan II, was broadcast to Arlington County Police earlier this morning. The lookout said the suspect was armed and dangerous and believed to be heading to the D.C. area.
An ARLnow.com reporter also overheard officers talking about the suspect and the possibility he may be heading to the area at a public event this morning.
According to various news reports, Flanagan is the suspect in the shooting death of WDBJ7 photographer Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker during a live television broadcast this morning.
Flanagan is reported to be a former WDBJ7 reporter who went by the name Bryce Williams. Just after 11 a.m., a Twitter account associated with Flanagan posted accusations of workplace mistreatment along with two horrific first-person videos of the shooting.
Flanagan is described as a black male, 6’3″ tall and weighing 250 lbs. He was last seen driving a gray, 2009 Ford Mustang according to the police lookout, but some reports suggest he might have since switched vehicles.
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
— NBC PHOTOG (@bforte22) August 26, 2015
Update at 10:05 a.m. — The leak has been stopped, according to scanner traffic. Residents who had been evacuated are being allowed back into their homes.
The Arlington County Fire Department is on the scene of a large gas leak in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, near Pentagon City.
The leak was reported around 8:45 a.m. on S. Grant Street, between 18th and 19th Streets, a block from Arlington Fire Station No. 5.
Initial reports suggest a six-inch gas line below the street is actively leaking gas.
Washington Gas crews are on the scene and trying to figure out how to shut off the gas. Roads in the immediate vicinity are being shut down.
Police say a man walked up to a 31-year-old woman on Columbia Pike near S. Courthouse Road at 9:35 p.m. and asked for directions. The suspect then allegedly groped and kissed the woman before running off.
“When the victim looked down at her phone the male subject touched her inappropriately and kissed her on the cheek,” according to a police report. “The suspect is described as a Middle Eastern male in his twenties, approximately 5’4″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and blue jeans at the time of the incident.”
Police do not believe this incident is related to a series of a half dozen sexual assaults that have been reported within the past month.
Arlington No. 3 on ‘Walkable’ List — Arlington is the third most walkable “mid-sized city” in the U.S., according to rankings from real estate firm Redfin. The top ranked locales on the list were Jersey City, N.J. and Newark, N.J. “Many of the cities on the list are considered suburbs of the nation’s largest cities, proving that one need not live in the center of a major city in order to enjoy a walkable lifestyle,” said a press release. [Business Wire]
Income Needed to Buy a Home — Want to buy a house in the D.C. area? In order to afford the median sales price of a home in the region — $403,800 — you’ll need a household income of $86,595. The median sale price of a home in Arlington last month was $622,500. [InsideNova]
Police are still not willing to say that the attacks are the work of the same sexual assault suspect, but did say “there’s potential” that it’s a serial attacker.
The latest incident happened just after 8 p.m. on Friday, as a woman was walking down a path with her young child in Lubber Run Park, near N. George Mason Drive and Barrett Elementary School.
The 27-year-old woman saw an apparently intoxicated man approach her as she tried to get back to the busy road. As he neared, she bent down to shield her three-year-old child, and the suspect groped her, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“The victim was able to scream causing the suspect to flee,” according to a crime report. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’7″ tall with a medium build. He was wearing a solid grey t-shirt, black shorts, and black tennis shoes at the time of the incident.”
“From the suspect description provided there is a possibility it could be the same guy, but we’re not willing to suggest that quite yet,” said Sternbeck. “We have not identified or arrested the suspect or suspects involved in the attacks.”
ACPD is advising residents to trust your instincts, be aware of your surroundings, travel in groups if possible and to contact police immediately if you are a victim of a crime.
The Bungalow Sports Grill closed in June but a replacement is already in the works. The owners of Copperwood Tavern, another Shirlington restaurant, are planning a new sports bar called “Dudley’s Sport and Ale.”
Dudley’s will open in the 12,000 square foot Bungalow space at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive), but amazingly the owners also planning a big addition. The sports bar will have a 3,000 square foot rooftop bar — a first for Shirlington.
In a separate post, Gardner said Washingtion Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo has joined his ownership team. Gardner’s company also owns a trio of D.C. bars: Irish Whiskey Public House, Orange Anchor and the soon-to-open Union Social.
Dudley’s is hoping to open early next year, according to its Facebook page.
Arlington Inmate Dies — A 48-year-old convict died early Saturday morning in the Arlington County Detention Facility in Courthouse. The man, who had a “history of medical issues,” was found unresponsive in his cell and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. [Arlington County]
More Sequestration Could Hit Virginia Hard — Virginia, and in particular Northern Virginia, is bracing for more sequestration cuts to the Defense Department, which are set to take effect in five weeks. Virginia’s two U.S. Senators are pushing for new budget legislation to replace the sequester. [Washington Post]
Cemetery Superintendent Removed — One year after taking the position, Arlington National Cemetery superintendent Jack E. Lechner has been given the boot. The Army says Lechner’s job performance was unsatisfactory. [Washington Post]
DAK Chicken Opens in Shirlington — DAK Chicken, a Korean-style chicken restaurant, welcomed customers on Friday for its soft opening. In addition to chicken wings the new Shirlington eatery offers other Korean and Asian-fusion dishes like kimchi, bulgogi and ramen. [Northern Virginia Magazine, Facebook]
Arlington Company Makes Fortune List — Courthouse-based Opower has made Fortune Magazine’s inaugural “Change The World” list. Opower is ranked No. 45 on the list of 51 companies “that have made a sizable impact on major global social or environmental problems as part of their competitive strategy.” How long Opower remains in Arlington remains a question: the company is currently considering a move to the District. [Fortune]
The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, on the 2200 block of Fairfax Drive.
According to police, the man entered his brother’s bedroom while he was sleeping, locked the door and then pressed the knife against him while making threatening remarks. The brother then tried to defend himself and was stabbed three times, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The victim was rushed to George Washington University Hospital and is expected to survive.
The suspect remained in the apartment and was taken into custody by police.
“Pablo Rivera Pena, 21, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and abduction,” according to the crime report. “He was held without bond.”
So far there’s no word on a motive.
Motorcycle Ride Arrives This Afternoon — The annual America’s 9/11 Ride will arrive in Arlington around 3 p.m. today. The ride is escorted by police and features hundreds of motorcyclists. The bikers are arriving at the DoubleTree Crystal City hotel and touring the Pentagon this afternoon, before departing for New York City at 7 a.m. tomorrow.
Arlington > D.C. in Home Prices — The median home sale price in Arlington is now more than $100,000 higher than in the District of Columbia. A year ago, the median sale price in Arlington was $490,500, compared to $499,900 in D.C. [Washington Business Journal]
Preservation Board Delays Reevesland Action — The Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board has deferred consideration of changes to the Reevesland farmhouse until November. Arlington County is seeking to make a couple of changes to prepare the house for sale. [InsideNova]
Tablet Changes Coming — We’ve heard your feedback and are making some changed to the ARLnow experience for tablet users. Chief among those changes: full articles will now once again be displayed on the homepage if you own an iPad or other tablet. That change is expected to take place within a few days.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman