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U.S. Park Police helicopter over the Potomac (file photo)

Arlington police got an assist from their Park Service counterparts on an armed robbery Monday morning.

The incident happened in the Crystal City area around 7:15 a.m. According to a crime report, a man with a gun stole cash from an unnamed business, then fled on foot.

The U.S. Park Police helicopter was called in and the suspect was located across the river in East Potomac Park, where he was arrested. He was armed with a BB gun, police determined.

More from ACPD:

ROBBERY, 2022-11280044, 2400 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 7:16 a.m. on November 28, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business, approached the counter, brandished a weapon, and demanded money from the employee. The suspect then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. A perimeter was established and the area was searched with the assistance of the U.S. Park Police Helicopter. The suspect was located near East Potomac Park in Washington D.C. and taken into custody without incident. During a search of his person incident to arrest, a BB gun was recovered. [The suspect], 31, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged in Arlington County with Armed Robbery, Possession of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Possession of a Firearm while Active Subject of a Protective Order. He is being held by U.S. Park Police on separate charges.

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Morning Notes

Fall colors in Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by Jeff Vincent)

Robbery at Pentagon City Mall — “1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 3:39 p.m. on November 22, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business, allegedly concealed merchandise and attempted to leave without paying.  The suspect was then confronted by two loss prevention officers, during which he attempted to push past them. A brief struggle ensued, and the suspect was detained by the loss prevention officers.” [ACPD]

Arrest in Arlington After D.C. Shooting — “A woman is injured after a man shot at her car on Interstate 295 in D.C. on Sunday, police say. The woman was driving on DC-295 at Exit 5C at about 1 a.m. when a man in a white truck with a California license plate shot at her car… Shortly after the incident, at about 1:15 a.m., a car that matched the suspects car’s description was pulled over in the 2300 block of 24th Road S in Arlington.” [NBC 4]

‘Project Winter Cheer’ Seeks Support — “Offender Aid and Restoration is seeking support for its ‘Project Winter Cheer’ initiative, which supports children and families impacted by incarceration during the holiday season… The program aims to provide each child with a $50 gift card, which will be presented along with a note from their parent letting them know that the gift is coming from them and wishing them love during the season.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy and breezy throughout the day. High of 54 and low of 41. Sunrise at 7:07 am and sunset at 4:49 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Jeff Vincent

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File photo

An Arlington man is behind bars after police say he shot someone in the Green Valley neighborhood.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning following what police described as a dispute between two people who knew each other. The shooting was only brought to the attention of law enforcement after the victim showed up at Virginia Hospital Center with a gunshot wound.

The suspect was arrested later Sunday on the 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road, just south of Columbia Pike.

More from an Arlington County Police Department press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged a suspect following a shooting investigation in the Green Valley neighborhood. Kareem Parker, 40, of Arlington, Va. has been charged with Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Use of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 1:49 a.m. on November 27, police were dispatched to Virginia Hospital Center for the report of an adult male who had self-reported to the hospital with a gunshot wound. He was treated by medical personnel for injuries considered serious, but non-life threatening. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

The preliminary investigation indicates the known suspect and victim became involved in a dispute in the area of S. Monroe Street and S. Lowell Street, during which the suspect allegedly discharged the firearm, injuring the victim. During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect and obtained warrants for his arrest. He was subsequently located in the 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road and taken into custody without incident.

The events preceding the shooting remain under investigation. This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no indication of an ongoing threat to the community.

Anyone with information that may assist 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).

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Arlington police car at night (file photo courtesy Kevin Wolf)

Airbag theft has been an ongoing problem this year in Arlington, but police just put two alleged thieves behind bars.

The arrests happened early Sunday, after three vehicles were damaged and two had airbags stolen along the 2100 block of Columbia Pike, two blocks east of Bob & Edith’s Diner.

Police say they were able to locate the suspects in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood based on a description of their vehicle given by someone who called to report the thefts. The suspects, ages 25 and 43, are now facing a variety of charges.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Series), 2022-11130036, 2100 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:03 a.m. on November 13, police were dispatched to the report of larcenies from auto just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined unknown suspect(s) had allegedly smashed the windows of three vehicles, stole airbags from two of the vehicles and fled the scene in a white sedan. A lookout was broadcast based on information from the reporting party and officers located the suspect vehicle at 28th Street S. and 26th Street S. Officers conducted a traffic stop and the two vehicle occupants were taken into custody without incident. Upon a search of Suspect One incident to arrest, a glass breaking tool was located. Upon a search of the suspect vehicle, burglarious tools, a radar detector and air bags were recovered. [A suspect], 25, of Manassas, Va. was arrested and charged with Destruction of Property (x3), Tampering with Auto (x3), Grand Larceny (x2), Possession of Burglarious Tools, Possession of Stolen Items with the Intent to Sell, Conspiracy to Commit Larceny (x2), Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Possession of Radar Detector. [A suspect], 43, of Manassas, Va, was arrested and charged with Destruction of Property (x3), Tampering with Auto (x3), Grand Larceny (x2), Possession of Burglarious Tools, Possession of Stolen Items with the Intent to Sell and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny (x2).

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Eric Welch (photo courtesy ACPD)

A Pentagon police officer accused of dealing cocaine has a prior criminal conviction in Arlington.

Eric Welch, 33, was arrested near an apartment complex along Columbia Pike on Oct. 28, “after detectives observed him purchase narcotics for distribution,” according to Arlington County police. He’s now out on bond and expected back in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 28.

This is not the federal police officer’s first run-in with Arlington police and courts.

Welch was previously charged with assault and destruction of property after an early morning incident along S. Four Mile Run Drive in late 2018.

“At approximately 2:15 a.m. on December 15, 2018, police were dispatched to the 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive for the report of an assault just occurred,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect, female victim and female witness were traveling together in a cab. As they arrived at the suspect’s residence, he became aggressive and exited the cab prior to paying.”

“A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect allegedly reached into the cab, took the driver’s cell phone from his hand and slapped the female victim,” Savage continued. “He then threw the driver’s phone, causing damage. The suspect fled the scene prior to the arrival of police. The Magistrate issued warrants for Assault & Battery, Destruction of Property and Procure a Vehicle with Intent to Defraud for Eric Welch, 29, of Arlington.”

In 2019, Welch pled guilty to an amended charge of disorderly conduct and was given a six month sentence, with the entire sentence suspended. Two other charges, including destruction of property, were dropped.

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency tells ARLnow that Welch has been an officer there since February 2015 and he was placed on administrative leave after his recent arrest. An agency spokesperson declined to provide specific information on disciplinary action after his 2018 arrest.

“When a police officer is arrested, it is standard procedure for the arresting police department to notify the officer’s department,” said PFPA’s Jacqueline Yost. “We have nothing to add on the arrest, beyond the Arlington County release and court records. We do not comment on personnel matters.”

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Response to fight at the Pentagon City mall (photo courtesy Alan Henney)

Groups of teens were behind some chaotic scenes in Arlington over the weekend.

The latest Arlington County Police Department crime report has three separate items involving groups of juveniles. The first two incidents happened in Pentagon City, at or near the mall.

The first happened late Friday afternoon, when a group of suspects allegedly threatened a security guard during a shoplifting attempt. Three suspects — ages 18 and 19 — were arrested on assault charges.

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2022-10280198, 1200 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 4:21 p.m. on October 28, police were dispatched to the report of an assault by mob. Upon arrival, it was determined a Loss Prevention Officer observed a female subject allegedly conceal a pair of sunglasses before confronting her and recovering the merchandise. A group of male suspects with the female subject then approached the Loss Prevention Officer and allegedly made verbal threats while at least one of the suspects displayed a knife. No injuries were reported. The suspects fled the scene prior to the arrival of police and responding officers located three suspects in the area. Suspect One ignored the commands of officers, resisted arrest and was taken into custody with the assistance of additional arriving officers. During a search of Suspect Two incident to arrest, a folding knife was recovered.

The crime report notes that “all three suspects were released on unsecured bonds.”

That night, police responded to Washington-Liberty High School for a report of four teens sneaking into the football game against McLean (W-L won 43-13), running through the stands and twice pushing someone to the ground. The bike-riding, ski-mask-wearing suspects fled the scene and police are still investigating.

From ACPD:

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2022-10280255, 1300 block of N. Stafford Street. At approximately 9:10 p.m. on October 28, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, it was determined four unknown juvenile suspects climbed a fence and entered the stands of the stadium. As the suspects were running through the stands, they knocked the male [victim] to the ground twice before fleeing the scene. The victim refused medics on scene. The suspects are described as males wearing black hoodies and ski masks and riding bicycles. The investigation is ongoing.

The next day, around 5:30 p.m., a report of groups of teens fighting inside the food court at the Pentagon City mall drew a large police response.

One girl who was wanted in D.C. was arrested and now faces additional charges after allegedly assaulting police.

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2022-10290193, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 5:32 p.m. on October 29, police responded to the report of a fight involving groups of juveniles inside a food court. Responding officers separated the groups and no significant injuries were reported related to the fight. During the course of the investigation, one juvenile was determined to be wanted out of Washington D.C. and she assaulted officers as they attempted to detain her. She was taken into custody and petitions for Assault on Police were obtained.

The police response to that incident was noted on social media.

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Eric Welch (photo courtesy ACPD)

A Pentagon police officer has been arrested by Arlington County police and charged with selling cocaine.

ACPD says it received a tip about “a suspect possibly distributing cocaine in Arlington County” and subsequently caught the officer, a 33-year-old Alexandria resident, buying “narcotics for distribution.” He was arrested on the 1300 block of S. Scott Street, which corresponds to The Wellington apartment complex along Columbia Pike.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged an off-duty Pentagon Force Protection Agency police officer following a narcotics investigation. Eric Welch, 33, of Alexandria, VA was arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance while Armed. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Organized Crime Section detectives initiated a narcotics investigation after receiving information regarding a suspect possibly distributing cocaine in Arlington County. During the course of the investigation, detectives identified Welch as a suspect and obtained evidence confirming involvement in narcotics distribution. He was taken into custody on the afternoon of October 28 in the 1300 block of S. Scott Street after detectives observed him purchase narcotics for distribution. A firearm was recovered at the scene. A search warrant was subsequently executed at the suspect’s residence in Alexandria which resulted in the recovery of additional quantiles of narcotics and firearms. As a result, City of Alexandria Police charged Welch with Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance (x2) and Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substance while Armed.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line 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).

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Damaged vehicle in the Clarendon area (screenshot via YouTube)

(Updated at 3 p.m.) Arlington County police have arrested a 37-year-old Maryland man after a week-long spree of vehicle vandalism.

Police announced this afternoon that the suspect was arrested last night and found with a BB gun in his car. The arrest, which appears to have taken place at the 7-Eleven parking lot at 201 S. Glebe Road, happened after police say they were able to identify a “possible suspect vehicle.”

Dozens of cars were damaged, with windows shot out, during the spree that started last Thursday and stretched across various neighborhoods throughout the county. Many of the incidents took place in the Clarendon and Ballston neighborhoods.

A possible motive for the vandalism was not given. The suspect does not appear to have any recent prior criminal charges in Arlington, according to court records.

Police also said Friday that ten additional damaged cars were reported yesterday, adding to the 81 previously reported in the vandalism series.

“On October 27, police took 10 additional reports in a destruction of property series in which a suspect damaged the windows of parked vehicles with a BB gun,” an ACPD crime report said.

The police press release about the arrest is below.

The Arlington County Police Department is announcing the arrest of a suspect in a destruction of property series in which numerous vehicles were damaged in neighborhoods across Arlington. Luis Tavares Sanchez Manuel, 37, of Capitol Heights, MD is charged with twelve counts of Destruction of Property and is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility. Additional charges are anticipated.

Late last week, police began investigating a destruction of property series in which a suspect discharged a BB gun at the windows of parked, unoccupied vehicles causing damage. During the days that followed, additional incidents occurred during overnight hours in various neighborhoods across the County.

During the course of the investigation, police spoke with witnesses and reviewed crime scene evidence which led to the identification of a possible suspect vehicle. On the evening of October 27, a patrol officer observed the suspect vehicle traveling on S. Walter Reed Drive. The driver proceeded to a business in the 200 block of S. Glebe Road where officers took him into custody as he was exiting his vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, a BB gun was recovered.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line 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).

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Police activity at S. Glebe Road and 2nd Street S. (photo courtesy Amy H.)

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Arlington County police blocked of a busy street near elementary and middle schools this morning to arrest a wanted suspect.

The arrest happened on the 3600 block of 2nd Street S., near Alice West Fleet Elementary School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School. The street was blocked to traffic at the intersection with S. Glebe Road, next to the 7-Eleven.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow that a suspect wanted out of Loudoun County was arrested and that this was not a barricade situation.

Passersby described a “heavy police presence.”

“Police are there and people in green camo/body armor with [rifles],” one tipster said.

In a social media post, police said “there is no ongoing threat to the community related to this incident.”

Later Wednesday, the man who was arrested was identified in a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office press release as a 20-year-old Arlington resident.

The suspect, Joshua Patino, is accused of abducting a juvenile victim at gunpoint yesterday.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has charged an Arlington man with multiple felony offenses, including abduction.

Yesterday evening, shortly before 8:00 p.m., deputies responded to the 25000 block of Hartwood Dr., Chantilly, for a report of an abduction. The preliminary investigation revealed that the juvenile victim was forced into their car at gunpoint by a man wearing a mask.

Detectives discovered that the suspect was known to the victim, and detectives worked closely with the Arlington County Police Department to locate and arrest him shortly after 9:00 a.m.

The suspect has been identified as Joshua Patino, 20, of Arlington. Patino has been charged with Abduction, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Brandishing a Firearm, Preventing the Summoning of Law Enforcement, Unlawful Use of a Mask, and Assault and Battery. Patino is currently awaiting extradition back to Loudoun County.

“These efforts by our detectives and the Arlington County Police Department illustrate the value of collaboration and partnerships among law enforcement in Northern Virginia.  I want to thank the Arlington County Police Department for assisting us in quickly apprehending this dangerous individual,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman.

The exact relationship between Patino and the victim, as well as the victim’s age, was not given.

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(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A suspect fired gunshots at police in Arlington, sparking a high-speed chase down Route 50 that ended in the West Falls Church area of Fairfax County.

The incident started around 7:45 p.m. when Arlington County police were notified that a suspect that had fled from Prince George’s County police was entering the county, per scanner traffic.

The suspect was said to be driving a Honda Civic, similar to that involved in a gun brandishing incident with sheriff’s deputies in Courthouse this morning. During that incident, a man stopped in a crosswalk near police headquarters and flagged down deputies, before fleeing when the deputies saw a gun in his lap.

Around 8:10 p.m. an officer radioed that shots were being fired at police, reportedly on the 600 or 700 block of S. Wakefield Street in the Barcroft neighborhood, north of Columbia Pike. The suspect then drove down 4th Street S. and up George Mason Drive near the National Guard Bureau before getting on Route 50 and fleeing towards Fairfax County at high speeds, with a large contingent of Arlington police and Virginia State Police in pursuit, according to scanner traffic.

The suspect reportedly drove the wrong way down Route 50 while trying to avoid traffic and caused a crash at Route 50 and Annandale Road in Fairfax County, before getting out of the car and beginning a foot chase, during which more shots were fired at police, near a Shell gas station at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road, according to scanner traffic.

The suspect is now in custody and a gun with an extended magazine was found by officers, Fairfax County police confirmed. There are no reports of officers injured.

“Tonight, an individual who recklessly discharged a firearm at police officers on more than one occasion and in the vicinity of community members is in custody due to the courageous and professional efforts of members of the Arlington County Police Department, the Fairfax County Police Department, and the Virginia State Police,” Arlington police chief Andy Penn said at a press conference in Fairfax County, near where the chase ended.

Penn confirmed that police believe tonight’s suspect was the same that deputies encountered this morning. Arlington police obtained warrants for the suspect — on charges of eluding, brandishing and hit and run — after the morning incident, Penn said.

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File photo

A 54-year-old Arlington woman was arrested after an apparent road rage dispute escalated to violence.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. around the intersection of King Street and S. Chesterfield Road, near the Wendy’s and a short distance from Wakefield High School.

Police say a dispute among drivers ended with the suspect cutting off the victim, pepper spraying him when they both got out of their cars, and then driving off before returning and continuing to argue. The suspect was arrested by police nearby. She is charged with Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE, 2022-09150074, 5000 block of Chesterfield Road. At approximately 8:25 a.m. on September 15, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival, the male victim was being treated on scene by medics for non-life threatening injuries. The investigation determined the victim and suspect had been driving in the area of King Street and S. Chesterfield Road when they became involved in a dispute. The victim continued driving and the suspect allegedly followed and cut him off. Both drivers then exited their vehicles and the suspect allegedly pepper sprayed the victim before driving away. The suspect immediately returned and another verbal dispute ensued. Arriving officers locate the suspect in the area and took her into custody without incident.

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