Arlington, VA

A man allegedly left a local restaurant without paying, shoved a restaurant employee, and used anti-Asian slurs, according to police.

The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday along Crystal City’s restaurant row, on the 500 block of 23rd Street S.

Restaurant employees told police they confronted the man after he didn’t pay the bill, but he kept walking away. The man also allegedly pushed an employee to the ground while another recorded the encounter on video.

The alleged assault is being investigated by Arlington County police. The employees, who are of Asian descent, told officers that the man used racial slurs, which has been referred by ACPD to Virginia State Police as a possible hate crime.

More from a police press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating the assault of a restaurant employee and is seeking the public’s assistance identifying the suspect who was captured on cell phone image.

At approximately 5:54 p.m. on May 4, police were dispatched to the 500 block of 23rd Street S. for the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect left a restaurant without paying his bill. Two employees approached the suspect outside the establishment and requested he return to pay. The suspect continued walking away and when one employee began recording him, he pushed the other employee to the ground and ran off towards Richmond Highway. The victim of the assault did not require medical treatment.

During the course of the follow-up investigation by detectives, it was alleged that the suspect used racial slurs towards the employees, an Asian male and female. In accordance with Virginia law, this incident has been reported to Virginia State Police as a possible hate crime.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20’s to early 30’s with dark brown hair, a light brown beard, approximately 5’9″ to 5’11” tall and weighing between 150 to 160 lbs. He was wearing square rimmed glasses, headphones, a black t-shirt, gray and black sweatpants and black sneakers at the time of the incident.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident or who can identify the suspect 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).

Photos via Arlington County Police Department

A man used a cord and then his hands to try to strangle a woman last night in Arlington’s Colonial Village neighborhood, according to police.

The reported attack happened around 7 p.m. on the 1800 block of N. Uhle Street, in the garden-style apartment and condo community between Courthouse and Lee Highway.

“The female victim was walking in the area when the unknown male suspect approached her from behind and tightly put a rope or cord around her neck,” the Arlington County Police Department said today in a press release. “The victim attempted to pull the object loose and fell to the ground with the suspect over her. The suspect then began to strangle her with his hands and stopped the attack when two witnesses arrived in the area.”

The man “fled the scene on foot and a canvas by responding officers concluded with negative results,” ACPD said. “The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.”

Police described the suspect as “a light skin Black male in his late teens to early 20’s, 5’6″ tall with a thin build… wearing frayed blue jeans, a black zip up jacket with red accents on the sleeves, a tan or beige shirt underneath and a black baseball hat.”

“This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” said the press release. “Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

A 39-year-old man from Hyattsville is facing charges after police say he threw a beer bottle, brandished a knife and harassed a group of people in Clarendon.

Police were called to the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd, in the heart of Clarendon’s bar district, just after 11:30 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a man threatening people with a knife.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect was inside a restaurant when he became involved in a verbal altercation with a group of individuals. The suspect then allegedly followed the group to different restaurants while making verbally harassing statements. The verbal altercation continued to escalate, during which a member of the group grabbed the suspect’s cell phone and smashed it on the ground. The suspect then produced a knife.

The alleged drunken fracas continued inside a restaurant, where an innocent bystander was struck and injured by a flying beer bottle.

As bystanders attempted to separate the parties and escort the suspect out of the restaurant, he grabbed a beer bottle and threw it in the direction of the group. The bottle struck a bystander causing a laceration to the head. The bystander was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The suspect then left the scene and entered a separate restaurant where officers located him and took him into custody without incident.

Police say they found ID cards with someone else’s information while searching the suspect. The 39-year-old from Hyattsville, Maryland is now facing charges of Assault and Battery, Simple Assault, Drunk in Public, Identity Theft and Possession of Fictitious ID.

Separately, a 36-year-old Arlington man was charged with Destruction of Property for smashing the suspect’s phone. He was released on a summons.

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Morning Notes

Metro on Modified Snow Plan — “On Monday, February 1, Metrobus will operate on a moderate snow plan. Service on some routes will be suspended and detours will be in effect on selected routes to avoid areas prone to hazardous conditions such as hilly terrain and narrow streets. Metrorail service is expected to operate on a regular weekday schedule.” [WMATA]

Arlington Vaccination Stats Might Be Higher — “Over 140,000 Northern Virginia residents have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Virginia Department of Health data, but that does not include federal employees and current and retired military service members who may have received vaccines through the federal government.” [InsideNova]

Fallen Capitol Officer to Be Buried at ANC — Brian Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol Police officer killed during the Jan. 6 riots, will be lie in honor at the Capitol before being buried at Arlington National Cemetery. “Officer Brian Sicknick’s service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. These honors, accorded to few, are richly deserved by one who gave his life in defense of American democracy,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) said in a statement. [Press Release]

ACPD: Trespasser Kicked Officer — “Arriving officers observed the suspect outside the business, however, he began to flee on a bicycle. As the officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, he got off the bicycle and approached the officer’s cruiser. When the officer exited their cruiser, the suspect began to walk away and ignored lawful commands. The suspect was detained without further incident, however, while sitting on the curb, he became irate and kicked an officer.” [ACPD]

Recounting Presidential Visits to Arlington — “Which of our 46 presidents spent time in Arlington, before or during their tenures? Most, if not all, would have passed through during cross-Potomac travels, and in modern times most visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Pentagon.” [Falls Church News-Press]

COVID Cases Among DCA Construction Crew — “The two-part, $650 million modernization of Reagan National Airport is still expected to be completed this year… While the health crisis hasn’t slowed construction, it has apparently affected the workers building the project. About 63 Project Journey workers have tested positive for Covid-19 since March, and most of those cases, 26, were discovered in December, according to MWAA.” [Washington Business Journal]

It’s February — Today is Feb. 1, the first day of February. Tomorrow is, of course, Groundhog Day.

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Morning Notes

Rent Falling in Arlington — “The median rental price in Arlington for a two-bedroom apartment of $2,032 at the end of the year was down 14.8 percent from March, when the pandemic hit, according to the analysis. Arlington is among of 12 major urban communities that have seen rents fall by more than 10 percent since COVID’s arrival.” [InsideNova, WTOP]

Hotel Guest Arrested for Punching Cop — “Hotel management requested police stand by while they removed individuals from a room for violation of hotel policies. Management advised the guests they would need to leave, and while two of the occupants began to collect their belongings, an argument ensued between them. The dispute continued outside of the room and began to escalate, at which point officers separated the parties. The suspect then allegedly threw an unknown object into the elevator and rushed towards an officer, striking them with a closed fist.” [ACPD]

Compass Apologizes for Rogue Social Post — D.C.-based cafe chain Compass Coffee is apologizing for posting a screenshot of a tweet that said “Republicans are not our countrymen. They are terrorists…” on its Instagram account. “Sorry about this!” Compass said about the post. “Absolutely not what we believe or in line with our values. Currently investigating what / who posted this.” [Twitter]

Bishop Reflects on Capitol Riot — Writes Diocese of Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge: “The mutual respect we must have for law and order was disregarded. Rather than being treated with respect for the inherently noble work with which they are entrusted, police officers and federal agents in and around the Capitol buildings were, in many cases, attacked, injured and harassed in the line of duty. We should all thank them for their courage and service.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Local Nonprofit Has New Leader — “Diana Ortiz, who has more than two decades in the social-safety-net world, has been tapped as president of Doorways, the non-profit safety-net provider. She succeeds Caroline Jones, who departed earlier this year to take a post with the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing.” [InsideNova]

Beyer Staffer Tapped for White House Role — “Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today congratulated his departing Chief of Staff, Tanya Bradsher, who was appointed by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as Senior Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement on the National Security Council… Beyer announced that his Acting Chief of Staff Zach Cafritz, who had previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director, would take over as Chief of Staff.” [Press Release]

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A 26-year-old man from Manassas is in custody in connection to a vehicle tampering incident in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

The arrest was made early Wednesday morning, after a resident reported to police that a man broke into his car and stole cash, and also tried to break into other vehicles.

After the suspect was arrested, police say he struggled with officers and at one point kicked a sheriff’s deputy.

This is the latest such car break-in, amid a two-year increase in vehicle-related property crime.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report, below.

ASSAULT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2021-01060034, 6000 block of Williamsburg Boulevard. At approximately 2:43 a.m. on January 6, police were dispatched to the report of vehicle tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim observed the suspect allegedly inside his vehicle and previously observed him pulling on the door handles to approximately four other vehicles in an attempt to gain entry unsuccessfully. The victim reported that an undisclosed amount of cash had been stolen from the vehicle. A lookout was broadcast and an officer canvasing the area located an individual matching the suspect description and attempted to detain him, however he actively resisted and a brief struggle ensued. With the assistance of additional arriving officers, the suspect was taken into custody. While in booking, the suspect continued to act disorderly and kicked a deputy in the leg. Robert Kimmer, 26, of Manassas, Va. was arrested and charged with Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement, Vehicle Tampering, Obstruction of Justice, Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

A fracas at a local hotel on New Year’s Day prompted a large police response early Friday morning.

The incident happened during some sort of New Year’s Eve party at the Embassy Suites hotel in Crystal City, on the 1300 block of Richmond Highway. Police responded after a report of a fight, and encountered “a large crowd in the lobby of the building and multiple fights in progress throughout the hotel.”

A 21-year-old Dumfries resident was subsequently arrested for allegedly having a concealed gun without a permit.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2021-01010006, 1300 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on January 1, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, officers located a large crowd in the lobby of the building and multiple fights in progress throughout the hotel. While dispersing the crowds, officers made an observation consistent with that of a concealed weapon on the male suspect’s waistband and made contact with the individual. It was subsequently determined that he was in possession of a concealed firearm without a valid permit. Martine Neal, 21, of Dumfries, Va., was arrested and charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon and held on an unsecured bond.

At the same location, nearly two hours later, police responded after two people were reportedly attacked “by a group of approximately ten male suspects.” From ACPD:

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2021-01010038, 1300 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 2:18 a.m. on January 1, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined a verbal dispute occurred between parties inside a hotel room. As the two victims attempted to have the other party leave the room, they were assaulted by a group of approximately ten male suspects. The suspects fled the area prior to police arrival. Both victims suffered minor injuries and were transported by medics to an area hospital for treatment. There is no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

Also in today’s ACPD crime report, a woman who was cleaning a room in a business had to break a window with a chair in order to flee a man who allegedly locked the door, took off his pants and touched her inappropriately.

The name of the business was not specified, but it happened on the 3300 block of Lee Highway, which is home to the Inns of Virginia hotel and several other businesses.

ABDUCTION WITH INTENT TO DEFILE, 2021-01020061, 3300 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 10:20 a.m. on January 2, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Arriving officers located the suspect exiting a room and took him into custody without incident. The investigation determined that the victim was cleaning a vacant room within a business when the male suspect allegedly entered the room and locked the door behind him. The victim then attempted to unlock the door, however, the suspect got between her and the door and re-latched it. The victim attempted to unlock the door several more times unsuccessfully. The suspect began to touch the victim inappropriately, then removed his pants, at which time the victim was able to break a window to an exterior hallway outside with a chair and escape the room. She sustained minor injuries during the incident. Khalil Martin, 27, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile, Burglary with Intent to Commit Larceny/Assault & Battery, Sexual Battery, and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

A woman who was sitting in her car the day after Christmas in Pentagon City was attacked and robbed by a pair of teens, according to Arlington County police.

The victim was in her car, on her phone — on the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street, near the Pentagon City mall — when one of the suspects allegedly climbed in the back of the car, punched her, and stole her phone. The suspect also tried unsuccessfully to steal the woman’s purse, police said.

The teens ran off before officers arrived. The woman suffered what police described as minor injuries.

More from an ACPD crime report:

ROBBERY, 2020-12260096, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 5:47 p.m. on December 26, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside her vehicle using her cell phone when she was approached by two suspects, who opened the rear doors to her vehicle. Suspect One struck her with a closed fist and stole her phone and attempted to steal her purse unsuccessfully, while Suspect Two tampered with items in the vehicle. The victim yelled for assistance, at which point the suspects fled prior to police arrival. The victim sustained minor injuries. Suspect One is described as a Black male in his teens, approximately 5’6″, with a slim build,  wearing a dark colored hoodie, blue jeans, and a black mask. Suspect Two is described as a white male in his teens, approximately 5’6″, with a slim build, wearing a dark colored hoodie, jeans, and a mask. The investigation is ongoing.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested and charged with dragging an Arlington County police officer with his car after being pulled over for speeding on I-66.

The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on eastbound I-66, near Spout Run Parkway, and drew a large police response.

A motorcycle officer pulled over a driver for traveling 88 mph in a 55 mph zone. Then, after smelling marijuana, the officer requested the driver get out of the vehicle and sign the speeding ticket, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

“The driver initially complied but became uncooperative and attempted to enter the vehicle after commanded not to do so,” the department said. “A brief struggle ensued, during which the officer advised he would deploy [pepper spray] if the suspect continued not to comply.”

“The officer deployed their OC Spray in an attempt to gain control of the driver, however he was still able to re-enter the vehicle,” the report continues. “As the suspect fled the scene in the vehicle, he dragged the officer for a short distance. The officer suffered minor injuries and was treated on scene by medics.”

A lookout for the vehicle was broadcast, but police were unable to find it. Then, after using “various investigative tools,” police were able to get in touch with a family member of the suspect, who subsequently turned himself in last night.

“Ahmad Rahim, 33, of Chantilly, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious/Unlawful Wounding of Law Enforcement, Eluding, Reckless Driving, and Obstruction of Justice,” police said. “He was held on no bond.”

Update on 12/17/20 — The officer who was dragged is Officer Adam Stone, a well-liked veteran of ACPD’s Motor Unit. Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage declined to provide additional details about the incident, “to ensure the integrity of the investigation and prosecution.”

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A local teen is in custody and two others are being sought by police after an alleged drug deal led to a serious assault.

The incident happened shortly after 11 p.m. last night in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, near Ballston. Police say an arranged sale of narcotics ended with the victim being beaten with batons by several people.

The victim was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Police searched the area and arrested a 19-year-old suspect while he was walking along the nearby Custis Trail. Two other suspects have been identified and are expected to face charges, police said.

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

MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY MOB, 2020-12140181, 4600 block of 13th Street N. At approximately 11:17 p.m. on December 14, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Arriving officers located the victim, who had sustained serious injuries, and rendered aid prior to the arrival of medics. The victim was transported to an area hospital with serious, but non life threatening injuries. The investigation determined that the victim and three suspects met for the arranged sale of narcotics, and a physical altercation ensued between the parties. The suspects allegedly struck the victim multiple times with batons, causing lacerations. A bystander yelled at the involved parties, at which time, the suspects fled on foot. Officers canvasing the area located Suspect One walking on the Custis Trail, made contact with him, and took him into custody without incident. Anthony Silvers, 19, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding by Mob. He was held on no bond. The other involved suspects were identified and charges are pending.

Also on Monday, a pair of suspects broke into, damaged and stole from four businesses in Clarendon and East Falls Church.

From ACPD:

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY (series), 2020-12140035/0039/0052/0089, 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street/1100 block of N. Hudson Street/ 3000 block of Washington Boulevard. Overnight on December 14, two unknown suspects forced entry to four businesses, causing damage. At approximately 2:27 a.m., the suspects forced entry to business one in the 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street, tampered with items, and stole a safe. At approximately 2:20 a.m., the suspects forced entry to business two, also in the 2100 block of N. Westmoreland Street, and rummaged through items, however, nothing was reported stolen. Between 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m., the suspects forced entry to a third business in the 1100 block of N. Hudson Street and stole a safe and an undisclosed amount of cash. At approximately 2:45 a.m., the suspects forced entry to a fourth business in the 3000 block of Washington Boulevard, and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Suspect One is described as a tall male, wearing a light colored jacket with the hood up, dark pants, black shoes and light colored gloves. Suspect Two is described as a tall male, wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood up, black pants, white gloves, black shoes, and a light colored face wrap. The investigations are ongoing.

Map via Google Maps

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A Metro employee beat a coworker unconscious at the Pentagon station in 2017, after becoming enraged because the victim helped a rider, according to recent court filings about a previously-reported incident.

The day after the March 8, 2017 incident, it was reported by the Washington Post and other local outlets that a station manager assaulted a fare technician, who was “taken to the hospital and evaluated, but was not admitted and did not have visible injuries.” The station manager was arrested, though few other details were released and no motive given.

New information about the attack came to light as a result of a federal lawsuit filed by the victim, as relayed by the Twitter account @unsuckdcmetro, suggesting that the attack was more serious than first reported — and the result of an unusual workplace dispute.

Court filings detail what happened that day between the fare technician, Teshome Workagegnehu, and the station manager, Martin Van Buren.

Plaintiff began working for WMATA as a mechanic in June 2012. On March 8, 2017, he went to the Pentagon train station in Virginia to repair SmartTrip card machines. While he was there, he got into an argument with Martin Van Buren, the on-duty train station manager.

According to plaintiff, Van Buren became upset after plaintiff assisted a customer purchase a SmartTrip card. Van Buren told plaintiff that helping customers was outside of plaintiff’s “responsibility,” and plaintiff disagreed.

Then Van Buren allegedly punched plaintiff in the face, pinned him to the ground, and continued punching him. Plaintiff was taken to a hospital where he stayed overnight. Police arrived at the scene and defendant Van Buren was arrested.

Van Buren was convicted of simple assault, a misdemeanor, in Arlington General District Court in May of that year. He was sentenced to a net of 15 days in jail — 180 days, with 165 suspended — according to court records.

Later, Teshome Workagegnehu alleged that he was improperly denied the ability to sue WMATA. Last week, however, a D.C. federal appeals court affirmed a lower court ruling that he can’t sue because his injuries were work-related and covered by workers compensation.

The appeals court ruling has more details about what happened, saying that Van Buren “swore at and dismissed the customer” who asked for help, before Workagegnehu stepped in.

Teshome Workagegnehu and Martin Van Buren, both WMATA employees, were in a Metro station kiosk in Arlington, Virginia when a customer approached and asked for help with using the SmarTrip vending machine. Van Buren swore at and dismissed the customer. When the customer became flustered, Workagegnehu volunteered to help since he was going to maintain the machines anyway. Van Buren told Workagegnehu not to touch the machines, but Workagegnehu thought he was joking. Workagegnehu helped the customer, performed his maintenance, and then returned to the kiosk. Van Buren told Workagegnehu it was not his responsibility to help customers, and a brief verbal exchange followed as to each person’s job responsibilities.

While the two discussed their job responsibilities, Van Buren suddenly attacked Workagegnehu. Van Buren pinned Workagegnehu to the ground and punched him until he was unconscious. As Workagegnehu awoke, Van Buren said they should stop fighting because they would lose their jobs. But when Workagegnehu stood to leave, Van Buren attacked him again. Several customers and other employees saw the incident. Police arrived and arrested Van Buren, who was later convicted of assault. Workagegnehu sustained severe injuries and required hospitalization.

Workagegnehu was “faced with substantial hospital bills” after the attack, per the court document. He sued after WMATA did not initially approve his workers compensation claim.

The court ordered the workers comp claim paid, but Workagegnehu continued to pursue a suit against WMATA for the assault and the infliction of emotional distress. That was dismissed after the court ruled that the Virginia Workers Compensation Act barred it.

File photo

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