Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Fire Outside Shirlington Apartment BuildingUpdated at 9:30 a.m. — “ACFD working to extinguish a dumpster fire near an apartment building at 3000 S. Randolph Street in Shirlington. ‘Smoke conditions’ reported in portions of the building.” [Twitter, Twitter]

The Cost of Renaming Washington-Lee — “It will cost taxpayers about a quarter of a million dollars to change ‘Lee’ to ‘Liberty’ on the name of Arlington’s oldest public high school. School officials have released an estimate of $224,360 for the name change, with about two-thirds of the total for ‘soft costs’ (uniforms, athletic equipment and the like) and the remainder ‘hard costs’ such as signage.” [InsideNova]

Local Teen Gets Celebrity Shoutout — “When [H-B Woodlawn student] Cole Goco, 17, sits down to draw his comic Billy the Pop, every line and contour is decisive. He uses pen, after all. And, after five years, hundreds and hundreds of strips published regularly to a blog, two self-published comic books, a dedicated following, and — most recently — the recognition of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s safe to say Goco knows what’s doing.” [DCist]

Rosslyn Startup Gets Another Investment — “Frontier Capital, a Charlotte-based growth equity firm focused exclusively on B2B software, today announced a strategic growth investment in Phone2Action, a digital advocacy platform that connects citizens to lawmakers.” [BusinessWire]

Bomb Squad Investigates Suspicious Car at DCA — “A portion of the daily parking lot at Reagan National Airport was closed [Wednesday] morning after suspicious contents were spotted inside a parked car. Authorities checked out the car ‘out of an abundance of caution’ and nothing hazardous was found, per an airport spokeswoman.” [Twitter]

Local Pedestrian, Bicycle Crash Reduction Effort Honored — “The Arlington County Pedestrian Bicycle Crash Reduction Campaign aims to reduce bicycle and pedestrian-involved traffic crashes through the coordination of education, engineering and enforcement… Arlington County saw a seven percent decrease in pedestrian crashes and a 29 percent reduction in bicycle-related crashes in 2018.” [Virginia DMV]

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Update at 3:30 p.m. — The “all clear” has been given after the bomb squad inspected and “disrupted” the device. It’s unclear if it was determined to have been hazardous or, perhaps, just misplaced.

Earlier: Arlington’s bomb squad is responding to the Long Branch Creek neighborhood to investigate a suspicious object in a condominium parking lot.

Police were called to the Olde Factory condos on S. Meade Street, between S. Glebe Road and Gunston Park, shortly before 2:30 p.m., for a report of a suspicious device — possibly a pressure cooker — left in or around the parking lot.

While the bomb squad investigates the object, students from nearby Gunston Middle School and other pedestrians are being kept away from the scene by Arlington County police, according to scanner traffic. Police are encouraging the public to avoid the area altogether.

The parking lot is across the street from the busy Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

File photo

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An unexpected find by a Lyon Park resident prompted a police and fire department response on the 200 block of N. Barton Street last night.

The resident called the authorities after finding a military mortar shell in his or her basement. Police, firefighters and the county’s bomb squad responded to investigate.

Eventually, it was determined that the object was indeed an old World War II mortar shell, but that all of the explosives has already been removed.

“Nothing illegal or dangerous about it, but [the] homeowner turned it over to [the] bomb team anyway,” a fire department spokesman said via text message.

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Arlington County’s bomb squad investigated a suspicious package near Reagan National Airport early Thursday afternoon.

The suspicious package was located in the arrivals area, near Baggage Claim 9. Traffic in the area was temporarily halted while the bomb squad investigated.

The package has since been determined to not be hazardous and the area around it reopened.

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Bomb squad called to incident at Yorktown High School (file photo)Arlington’s bomb squad is on scene at the Americana Hotel in Crystal City for a suspicious package investigation.

Police requested the bomb squad respond to the hotel, at 1400 Jefferson Davis Highway, just before 5:45 p.m. to investigate several suspicious packages. Additional fire department units were requested to the scene around 6 p.m.

Police were initially called to the hotel for a suspicious person.

“There was a report [that a] male subject was acting suspiciously,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “He had left the scene prior to police arrival.”

The man “left some packages behind in a hotel room,” Savage said. “In an abundance of caution, the ACFD Bomb Squad is going to investigate the packages.”

Update at 7:20 p.m. — The scene has been cleared, police said via Twitter.

File photo

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ACPD K9 unitNormal service is starting to resume at the Clarendon Metro station after an earlier bomb scare.

Around 7:30 a.m., police and bomb squad units responded to the station for a report of a suspicious person who might have had explosives.

Bomb-sniffing dogs swept a Metro train at the station but did not find anything. The scene has since been cleared, although Metro riders should expect residual delays.

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Morning Notes

Runners lined up for the 9/11 Memorial 5K Run on Saturday (courtesy photo)

Suspicious Vehicle Investigation at Pentagon — An SUV hopped a curb and ran into a pole at the Pentagon’s south parking lot Sunday morning. All three occupants of the vehicle were reportedly sleeping when police arrived, but then tried to drive away. Arlington’s bomb squad helped to check out the vehicle, which was deemed suspicious due to loose wires seen hanging out of it. [MyFoxDC, ABC News]

Va. Advances Potential I-395 Express Lane Plan — Virginia transportation officials are getting closer to announcing a plan to extend the I-95 Express Lanes up through I-395. Arlington officials previously filed suit to block a similar state plan to convert the I-395 HOV lanes to High Occupancy Toll lanes. [WTOP]

APS Students Named National Merit Semifinalists — Ten Arlington Public Schools students have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. [Arlington Public Schools]

Arlington to Seek Route 1 Name Change — Arlington County plans to seek permission from the state to change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway in Arlington, according to County Board Chair Mary Hynes. However, one local state lawmaker says it’s highly unlikely that the Republican-controlled state legislature would okay the removal of Confederate leaders from local road names. [Washington Post]

Woman Dies in GW Parkway Wreck — A woman died early Sunday morning in a single-vehicle crash on the GW Parkway. The crash happened after the woman drove off the southbound side of the parkway, between Route 123 and Spout Run, and struck a tree. [WJLA]

Candlelight Vigil for Wakefield Student — A candlelight vigil is planned tonight for Lucas Guajardo, the Wakefield High School student who died Friday. The vigil is being organized by students and is planned to take place at 7:30 p.m. on the George Mason Drive side of the school. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Guajardo’s family with funeral expenses. The junior, who was a running back on the Warriors’ football team, was found dead by his older brother Friday afternoon after an apparent suicide. [TwitterGoFundMe]

Suicide’s Lasting Impact on SurvivorsBryan Price, a former Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy, shot and killed himself on May 17. His wife found Bryan’s body and says his decision to end his own life has torn her family apart. “If he had any clue what this would put us through… I honestly don’t think he could have done it,” Tara Price told a local TV station. [WHSV]

Courtesy photo

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Police car (file photo)Lee Highway was closed for nearly two hours last night after a man told police he had a bomb.

The bizarre incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Police received a call from a “concerned citizen,” reporting that a man was walking down the road with his pants around his ankles.

The man failed to comply with the commands of responding officers who tried to stop and question him, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Instead, he began walking down the middle of Lee Highway, shouting obscenities, daring police to shoot him and saying he had a bomb in his backpack, Sternbeck said.

Eventually, the man dropped the backpack in the middle of the roadway and was then taken into custody. Police shut down Lee Highway between N. Lexington Street and Sycamore Street while the county’s bomb squad evaluated the backpack. No bomb was found, and the road reopened after an “extended” closure, said Sternbeck.

The man has been charged with resisting arrest, assault on police and making a bomb threat, we’re told.

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Update at 2:45 p.m. — The package has been determined to be safe and the scene is being cleared.

Police, firefighters and the Arlington County bomb squad are staging at the corner of N. Courthouse Road and 13th Street in response to a suspicious package.

According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, a maid in the Arlington Court Suites hotel on Courthouse Road found a small canister labeled “explosives.” It was brought to the hotel parking lot, where the bomb squad is examining it now.

“They’re taking all precautions as necessary,” Sternbeck said. “Until the canister has been deemed a non-threat, the area will remain closed.”

Authorities believe the canister might have been used in a training exercise by the Dept. of Defense, which rented out the hotel over the weekend. Courthouse Road is currently shut down between 13th Street and Route 50.

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(Updated on 10/14/13) Arlington police and the county’s bomb squad responded a possible pipe bomb in the Arlington Heights neighborhood Sunday afternoon.

Just before 3:00 p.m., an off-duty police officer was asked for directions by a driver in a vehicle with New York tags. The officer noticed drug paraphernalia in the vehicle and called in backup, according to a fire department official.

The car was stopped and the driver detained on the 100 block of S. Highland Street. Officers then noticed a pipe with two caps on each end in the back of the stopped vehicle, the official said. Believing that the device could be a pipe bomb, the street was shut down between Arlington Blvd and 2nd Street S. and the bomb squad was called in.

A robot was used to inspect the device, and a technician in heavy protective gear attempted to defuse it. After a second technician inspected the vehicle, the bomb squad performed a controlled detonation. The robot was dispatched again, after which it was determined the pipe was empty. The driver of the car was interviewed and now faces a drug charge.

Residents in the area were asked to shelter in place in their homes during the incident.

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Arlington bomb squad on the scene of a suspicious device in Courthouse (file photo)Update at 6:00 p.m. — Nothing hazardous was found inside the truck, according to a fire department spokeswoman. The scene is being cleared and roads reopened.

Arlington County police and bomb squad personnel are on the scene of a suspicious vehicle in the county-owned surface parking lot in Courthouse.

An Arlington sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspicious truck earlier this afternoon while walking from the area near the movie theater to the jail. It’s described as a Hertz rental truck.

Two adult men who were inside the truck are being questioned by police. The bomb squad is preparing to open the back of the truck to see what’s inside. It’s expected to be another hour or two before the scene can be cleared.

Police have shut down parts of N. Courthouse Road, 14th Street and 15th Street near the scene. The county’s Emergency Operations Center has been evacuated.

File photo

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