Press Club

Morning Notes

Aerial view of Rosslyn (staff photo)

County Board Wants Camp Revamp — From County Board Chair Katie Cristol: “More from the Board on expectations for reforming summer camp registration, below. Importantly for this year: 6,000 spots are still open for this summer, and families who need DPR camp can continue to register online or w/ customer service team, [email protected]” [Twitter]

Jobs in Arlington Increase Slightly — “Year-over-year employment within Arlington County improved in the third quarter of 2021, according to new federal data, but lagged the overall national rebound. There were a total of 172,600 jobs recorded in Arlington for September 2021 by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported Feb. 23. That’s up 0.4 percent from a year before.” [Sun Gazette]

New ACPD K9 Graduates — From the Arlington County Police Department: “Join us in congratulating Cpl. Doescher & K9 Wilson on their graduation from basic patrol K9 school, which includes training on conducting building and area searches, advanced obedience and tracking!” [Twitter]

Yorktown Hockey Is Undefeated — “With blowout victories in their final two matches, the Yorktown Patriots completed their first undefeated regular season since 2003 with a 10-0 record in high-school club ice hockey. In its final match, Yorktown blanked Flint Hill, 10-1.” [Sun Gazette]

High School Hoops Update — “Two Arlington teams advanced to the semifinals and another lost in first-round action of the girls and boys 6D North Region high-school basketball tournaments the night of Feb. 22. Moving on are the Washington-Liberty Generals in boys action and the Yorktown Patriots in girls, each Liberty District tournament champions. The Wakefield Warriors (11-10) had their season end with a first-round 69-56 loss to the host Madison Warhawks in a boys game.” [Sun Gazette]

Va. ABC Removes Russian Vodka — “In the spirit of Gov. Youngkin’s call for decisive action in support of Ukraine, Virginia ABC is removing 7 Russian-sourced vodka brands from our store shelves. Russian-themed brands not produced in Russia like Stolichnaya and Smirnoff will not be removed.” [Twitter, Axios]

Nearby: Bailey’s Xroads Arson Suspect Sought — “Fire investigators are seeking the public’s help in identifying a person of interest related to a fire that occurred on Tuesday, February 22, at approximately 6:30 a.m., in the 5600 block of Columbia Pike.” [Twitter, Fairfax County Fire/Rescue]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 43 and low of 31. Sunrise at 6:43 am and sunset at 6:01 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The person or people who lit flags on fire outside of at least three Arlington homes remains at large.

The first such incident happened on 6th Street S. in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, during the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 15, and was caught on video (above). A man can be seen walking up to an American flag hanging outside of a home and lighting it aflame, before running away.

“A witness observed the flag on fire and extinguished it,” said a subsequent Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The suspect is described as a White male, 18 – 30 years old, 5’4″ – 5’11” tall and wearing a dark hooded windbreaker, jeans, white sneakers and carrying a backpack.”

Two similar flag-burning incidents happened in northern Arlington neighborhoods between the late night hours of Oct. 27 and the early morning hours of Oct. 28.

From ACPD crime reports:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Significant), 2021-10284010, 5000 block of Yorktown Boulevard. At approximately 11:30 p.m. on October 27, the Arlington County Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Office and the Arlington County Police Department responded to the report of a destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect lit an American flag on fire that was hanging from a single family home. A passerby extinguished the fire with a garden hose and notified the resident. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Significant), 2021-10284003, 3300 block of N. Brandywine Street. On October 28th, an online police report was filed for vandalism. The reporting party advised that on the morning of October 28, they discovered their American flag and flag pole had been burned overnight. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

In a third incident that night, a resident near the corner of Williamsburg Blvd and N. George Mason Drive that reported her “Keep Virginia Blue” lawn sign was set ablaze, according to the Washington Post and an account on Nextdoor. All three locations are within a few blocks of one another.

There have been no reports of burning flags since then, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. Police and the fire department are continuing to investigate.

“A joint investigation into these incidents is underway by the Arlington County Police and Fire Departments,” Savage said. “As part of the joint investigation, the departments are actively working to determine if the incidents are linked.”

“Anyone with information regarding the incidents is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Tip Line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” she continued. “Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

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A man walked up to an American flag outside of a home in the Arlington Heights neighborhood early Friday morning and lit it on fire.

Arlington County police and fire investigators are now trying to find the suspect, a younger man who was wearing a hooded windbreaker and a backpack at the time. The motive for the crime is unclear.

The incident happened around 3 a.m., in the residential neighborhood several blocks away from Thomas Jefferson Middle School. It’s being investigated as arson.

“The unknown suspect approached an American flag on the victim’s porch and set it on fire,” said an ACPD crime report. “A witness observed the flag on fire and extinguished it. The suspect is described as a White male, 18 – 30 years old, 5’4″ – 5’11” tall and wearing a dark hooded windbreaker, jeans, white sneakers and carrying a backpack. A joint investigation with the Fire Marshal’s Office is ongoing.”

The resident of the home, who did not wish to be named, recounted what happened to ARLnow.

“We awoke to a neighbor banging on our front door and a burning flag, which had spread to the bush in our front yard,” he wrote. “Our neighbor put out the fire with a hose. We then saw the video of the person lighting the flag on fire.”

The video was shared with neighbors on an email listserv.

“No idea,” the resident said, when asked why someone would do this, adding that nothing like this has ever happened before in the area.

Hat tip to Smiley456

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A man allegedly led police on a foot chase in the Westover area after his neighbor found a bullet hole in his apartment.

The bullet hole was reported to police Friday morning, in an apartment building on the 5700 block of Washington Blvd, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

Investigating officers determined that an argument was overheard in the apartment next to that of the victim one week prior. While trying to get in touch with the residents of the adjacent apartment a man exited the building and tried to flee, according to ACPD, but he was detained and a gun recovered.

More from the crime report:

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING (late), 2021-02260074, 5700 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 11:15 a.m. on February 26, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances. Upon arrival, it was determined that on February 20, the victim located a bullet hole inside his residence and later found a bullet fragment. Further investigation revealed an argument was overheard in the adjoining apartment the evening prior to the bullet hole being discovered. As officers were attempting to make telephone contact with those residents, the male subject emerged from the building and fled the scene. Following a foot pursuit, he was detained by officers. A firearm was later recovered. The investigation is ongoing.

Separately, police are looking for a man who lit blankets atop a sleeping victim on fire, according to Monday’s crime report.

The victim was sleeping under an overpass in Arlington when the alleged incident occurred, on Friday, Feb. 19. It was only reported to police this past Thursday morning, when medics were called to treat the victim’s burns. He was taken to a local burn center by ambulance, according to scanner traffic.

The crime report suggests that the victim knows the suspect.

“At approximately 11:45 a.m. on February 25, police were dispatched to an EMS assist” on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road, the crime report says. “Upon arrival, it was determined that on February 19, the victim was asleep underneath the overpass when he was approached by a known suspect who wrapped his legs in blankets and set them on fire.”

“The victim and a witness were able to extinguish the fire and the suspect left the scene,” the crime report continues. “Upon receiving the request for service on February 25, the victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.”

No arrests have been reported so far, and police say the investigation into the incident “is ongoing.”

File photo

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Morning Notes

Shooting Suspect Arraigned — “The man charged with shooting a woman he knew in her Crystal City, Virginia, office on Aug. 28 has had his first court appearance in Arlington County District Court. Mumeet Muhammad was arraigned on three felony counts: aggravated malicious wounding; use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, 2nd offense; and being a violent felon in possession of a weapon.” [WTOP]

Coastal Flooding Discussion — “The Northern Virginia Coastal Storm Risk Management Study will focus on sites in Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, northern Prince William County, and at the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority’s Reagan National Airport–as part of an effort to reduce coastal flood risk to people, properties, and infrastructure.” [MWCOG]

ACPD Wins State Award — “The Arlington County Police Department received top honors in the Municipal 5: 301-600 Officers Category in the 2019 Virginia Law Enforcement Challenge Awards.” [Arlington County]

Arlington’s Lonely Turkey Vulture — “Hallmark doesn’t have a card for it – yet – but the first Saturday of September nonetheless is celebrated as International Vulture Awareness Day. And in Arlington, that means a visit to Long Branch Nature Center and Tippy the resident turkey vulture.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Falls Church Sheriff Vehicle Burns — “At approximately 6 a.m., City of Falls Church Police and the Arlington Fire Department responded to a call for a vehicle fire at City Hall… The vehicle was a marked Sheriff’s cruiser and was totaled in the blaze. An officer near the scene stopped a suspicious person for questioning, and subsequently arrested him.” [City of Falls Church]

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Morning Notes

Woman Arrested for Burning Flag Near W-L High — “A woman was arrested for burning an American flag on an overpass over I-66 in Arlington, police say. Kayla Caniff, 22, was charged with property destruction after police say she burned a flag attached to a chain link fence on the N. Stafford Street overpass, north of the Ballston area, at about 11:55 p.m. Thursday.” [NBC Washington]

County Website Goes Down — The Arlington County website was down for an extended period of time over Labor Day weekend. [Twitter]

Lucky Dog Takes in Pups from Hurricane’s Path — “While Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas — thousands of miles away in Arlington, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue plotted a rescue mission… The Carolinas are projected to be in the storm’s path and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is partnered with a shelter in South Carolina. So the organization’s volunteers met an animal control officer part of the way there to take 19 of the shelter’s dogs.” [WJLA]

APS to Review Westover Tree Plan — “Facing community unrest in Westover, Arlington Public Schools plans to take another look at the potential of saving more trees during construction of a new elementary school on North McKinley Road near Washington Boulevard. Following an Aug. 29 meeting with residents, the school system has directed that ‘before the trees are removed, we have the contractor stake out the site and renumber the trees.'” [InsideNova]

Energy Plan Concerns: Feds and Trees — Arlington County’s impending update to its Community Energy Plan, which sets a net zero carbon emissions goal, is an important step in fighting climate change, some advocates say, though additional action is still needed on the state and federal level. Others, despite supporting the goal, are concerned that achieving it may come at the cost of the area’s tree canopy. [Washington Post, Arlington County]

Arlington’s Many Advocacy Orgs — “My viewing [of the Netflix documentary ‘The Family’] got me thinking of the many newsmaking organizations — of all political stripes — that have long populated our suburb so close to the action of the nation’s capital. Wilson Blvd. and Crystal City alone are home to enough colorful groups to generate a slew of political and public policy contretemps.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Reminder: Be Careful on the Roads Today — It’s the first day of school, kids will be walking to school and there are new traffic patterns around some schools. Arlington County Police are conducting “a high-visibility traffic enforcement campaign in and around school zones and bus stops” today. [ARLnow, Arlington County]

Photo courtesy David Johnson

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Legend Kicks & Apparel appears set to reopen on Columbia Pike almost four months after a man broke into the store, then located at 2617 Columbia Pike, and proceeded to steal merchandise and set a fire.

The new site is just down the street at 2609 Columbia Pike. According to the store’s Instagram page, it will open this Saturday (Aug. 4).

Arlington County police arrested a suspect in connection with the arson and burglary less than a week after the crimes occurred.

Located in the Penrose area, Legend Kicks and Apparel sells items including shoes and customers may also sell or trade merchandise.

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(Updated on 12/23/21 at 11 a.m.) An arrest has been made in connection to the sneaker store arson and burglary on Columbia Pike last Friday (April 13).

[Name redacted], 44, of no fixed address, has been charged with arson, arson while committing a felony, burglary, and grand larceny.

He was arrested while “walking in the area of Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive,” according to police, at about 4 a.m. this morning (April 19).

Legends Kicks & Apparel, the business that was burglarized and set alight, is approximately 360 feet from where the suspected arsonist was arrested.

Patrol officers observed [redacted] and noted that he matched the suspect’s description, according to the Arlington County Police Department. [Redacted] was “found to be in possession of an item of value allegedly belonging to the victim business,” according to an ACPD press release.

On Tuesday (April 17), police released a video showing the suspect walking along Columbia Pike and spilling merchandise along the sidewalk.

[Redacted] is being held without bond.

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The Arlington County Police Department has released surveillance video of a man suspected in an arson case along Columbia Pike.

The man is accused of breaking into the Legend Kicks and Apparel store early last Friday morning, stealing merchandise and then setting the store on fire. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze after being alerted to it by a passerby.

In the video released by police (above), the man can be seen ambling down Columbia Pike after exiting the store. A bag full of apparently pilfered merchandise breaks as he approaches the camera. As the man bends down to pick it up, a portion of his rear end is blurred by police.

Legend Kicks is a relatively new store but had quickly grown a loyal customer base, particularly among younger people.

“They were getting quite a following by ‘sneakerheads’ in the area,” one nearby resident told ARLnow.com. “They had some very valuable stock. It’s such a shame.”

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Morning Notes

Man Charged in Pike Apartment Fire — A 27-year-old Arlington man has been charged in connection with Saturday’s apartment fire on Columbia Pike. Police say Demetrius Antonio Taylor got in a verbal dispute with a woman, assaulted her, lit a carpeted floor mat on fire, pushed an infant in a stroller towards the fire and fled the scene. He faces a litany of charges including arson, felony child endangerment and two counts of assault on law enforcement, after becoming combative in a police department interview room. [Arlington County]

Man Dies in Motorcycle Wreck Following Pursuit — A Woodbridge man died early Sunday morning after crashing his motorcycle while being pursued by Virginia State Police. The pursuit started after a “BOLO” broadcast for a motorcycle seen traveling at a high rate of speed on I-395 in Arlington County. [Potomac Local, WTOP]

ACFD Battles Falls Church Blaze — Firefighters from Arlington County and Fairfax County battled a house fire on Railroad Avenue in the City of Falls Church early Sunday morning. The homeowners were displaced by the fire, which was “mostly confined to the basement.” ACFD provides firefighting services to Falls Church under contract. [Falls Church News-Press]

Northam, Perriello to Mingle With Arlington Dems — Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, will be the featured guest at an Arlington County Democratic Committee happy hour on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Pamplona in Clarendon. Tom Perriello, who lost in the gubernatorial primary to Northam, will be featured at the annual ACDC Labor Day Chili Cookoff at the Lyon Park Community Center on Monday, Sept. 4. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Someone tried to light a door on fire at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses church in the East Falls Church neighborhood of Arlington this morning.

The fire was set using a flammable substance just before 10 a.m., according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Jason Hart. The fire damaged the door — an entrance to the church sanctuary — and some surrounding bushes but did not spread beyond that.

Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office are still on scene this afternoon, gathering evidence.

This is the second such arson case currently being investigated in Northern Virginia, Hart said; a similar fire was recently set at a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County.

Arlington authorities are coordinating the investigation with their Fairfax County counterparts, according to Hart.

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