Arlington County and Pentagon police are responding to two Noodles and Company restaurants in Arlington due to bomb threats.
According to initial reports, someone phoned in multiple bomb threats to the Noodles and Company restaurants at 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City and 1201 S. Joyce Street on Pentagon Row.
The restaurants have been evacuated, we hear, and bomb-sniffing dogs from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency are en route to sweep the area.
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.
Clarendon Update: PD responded to report of possible suspicious individual with a bomb. Police and K9s swept train with negative results.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 25, 2016
Orange Line: No longer single tracking. Residual delays continue in both directions due to earlier police activity at Clarendon.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) April 25, 2016
POLICE ACTIVITY: Police on scene at Clarendon metro investigating suspicious person. More info to follow.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) April 25, 2016
Orange Line:Trains are single tracking btwn Clarendon & Ballston due to police activity at Clarendon. Expect delays in both directions.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) April 25, 2016
The incident happened around 8 a.m. on Friday, Arlington County Police said today, after a Starbucks employee found a threatening note on the floor.
“Business was being conducted as usual when officers arrived,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said. “K9s swept the store periodically throughout the day with negative results. There is no suspect description.”
The Starbucks was reported to be on the 1100 block of S. Joyce Street, at the Pentagon Row shopping center. Friday (April 1) was April Fool’s Day.
Update at 6 p.m. — Arlington County Police have issued the following statement about today’s incident.
Staff at Bishop O’Connell High School contacted an Arlington County Police School Resource Officer after they received a bomb threat that was telephoned to the school. After the school was evacuated, canine resources from the US Park Police, WMATA Metro Transit Police, and Pentagon Force Protection Agency assisted Arlington County Police canine in conducting a thorough and systematic search of the school.
Students were able to be evacuated by school staff with the assistance of Arlington County Police Officers and they were sheltered in nearby Tuckahoe Elementary School, who was having a Parent-Teacher conference day.
There was no evidence of any explosives or hoax devices and the school was deemed clear a short time later.
It appears that this bomb threat may be related to similar threats in the region based on their nature and timing. We will work closely with the other affected jurisdictions to investigate these incidents.
Update at 2 p.m. — Students are now being allowed back into Bishop O’Connell.
Update at 1:10 p.m. — The evacuated students from the high school have been moved from the football field to Tuckahoe Elementary School, across the street. K-9 units from Metro Transit Police, U.S. Park Police and Pentagon police have arrived on scene to aid in a sweep of the school.
Update at 1:05 p.m. — Tuckahoe parents were sent a text message saying the school was being secured in connection with the Bishop O’Connell incident and evacuation.
In addition to O’Connell and George Mason High, evacuations are also underway due to threats received at five other schools in Northern Virginia, NBC 4 reports: Herndon High School in Herndon, McLean High School in McLean, The Potomac School in McLean, Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn and Falls Church High School in Falls Church. (We’ve since updated this list as NBC 4 corrected its article.)
Earlier: Bishop O’Connell High School is being evacuated due to a bomb threat, ARLnow.com has learned.
Police and K-9 units are en route to the private Catholic school.
The evacuation was reported just minutes after another local high school — George Mason High School in Falls Church — was evacuated due to a bomb threat.
George Mason High School is being evacuated following receipt of a bomb threat this morning. MORE: https://t.co/4YWmBzYdDn
— FCCPSAlert (@fccpsalert) March 4, 2016
Arlington Police HQ Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat — The Arlington County Police headquarters in Courthouse was evacuated for several hours Saturday night after police received an “automated phone call” that made a bomb threat. Bomb-sniffing dogs got a “preliminary hit” but a sweep of the building came up empty. [WJLA]
Arlington’s MLK Tribute — Arlington County held its 47th annual tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday. County Board members were among those in attendance, honoring Dr. King. [WTOP]
Tax Bills Could Be Going Up — Unless the Arlington County Board lowers the property tax rate, the tax bill for the average homeowner will be going up to a record $6,011. The average assessed value of residential properties in Arlington increased 2.8 percent year-over-year. [InsideNova]
Tour of Ballston Tech Office — Ballston-based cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect has grown to more than 100 employees and is continuing to expand. The company’s “hip headquarters… comes complete with some beautiful design work and creative Star Wars-centric accents.” [DC Inno]
(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) Yorktown High School students, faculty and staff were evacuated after the school received a bomb threat.
Shortly after noon, the school received a call from a “computerized-automated voice” that said “I have a bomb on me,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Students were evacuated to the school’s stadium while K-9 units from Arlington, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the CIA searched the school.
The dogs did not find anything suspicious, but officers were posted by each of the school’s entrances as students re-entered Yorktown, Sternbeck said. Students and teachers were allowed back in around 1:35 p.m.
Arlington Public Schools sent the following notes to parents about the situation:
At approximately 12 p.m. today, Yorktown High School received an automated telephone bomb threat. As a precaution, all students and staff have been evacuated. Police have responded and are currently doing a search of the building. Everyone is safe and we will provide an update as soon as we have more information.
A short time ago, Arlington Police completed their search and have given the all clear. Students are now moving back into the building and classes are resuming. We appreciate everyone’s fast response and cooperation as well as the support of our Arlington County Police Department.
Yorktown High School was not the only Virginia school to receive a bomb threat. Approximately 10 minutes after Yorktown received the bomb threat, a school in Prince William county received the same phone call, Sternbeck said.
Arlington schools do not receive bomb threats very often, he said.
“We get them at malls more frequently than at schools,” Sternbeck said.
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.
Updated at 2:40 p.m.: The Arlington County Police Department has cleared the scene. It is re-opening roads in the area, and shoppers and employees will soon be able to re-enter the mall.
Earlier: The Pentagon Centre Mall is under evacuation this afternoon as the Arlington County Police Department investigates a bomb threat.
The ACPD brought bomb-sniffing dogs to the complex that includes a Best Buy and Costco to evaluate the threat, received at 12:21 p.m., police said. Several streets in the area are shut down, plus the South Hayes Street entrance to the Pentagon City Metro station. Pentagon Police are assisting with the investigation.
Police have yet to find anything but continue to search, ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said. Officers are sweeping the entire center, including the large Costco parking lot.
“It’s going to take a while to do a full sweep just because of the sheer size of the center,” Sternbeck told ARLnow.com.
The bomb threat was called in to the mall’s front desk, Sternbeck said.
A bomb threat was phoned into the Pentagon City mall on Christmas Eve, according to the latest Arlington County weekly crime report.
The bomb threat was called in around 1:00 p.m., just before a “black lives matter” protest at the mall. It’s unclear if the threat was in any way connected to or in response to the protest.
BOMB THREAT, 141224021, 1100 block of S Hayes St. On 12/24/14 at 1304 hours, unknown suspect called in a bomb threat to the Pentagon City Mall. Nothing suspicious found in garage area and mall did not evacuate.
PROTEST, 141224033, 1100 block of S Hayes St. On 12/24/14 at 1432 hours, approximately 15 individuals protested at Pentagon City Mall. No arrests made.
Also in the crime report, an armed robbery occurred in the Rosslyn / Courthouse area. The incident happened early last Monday morning.
ROBBERY,141229005, 1800 block of N Wilson BL. On 12/29/14 at 0330 hours, an unknown suspect displayed a handgun while demanding cigarettes and cash. Suspect description is black male, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans.
The rest of the weekly crime report, after the jump.
Update at 11:50 a.m. — All lanes are now back open.
Update at 11:35 a.m. — The Key Bridge is being reopened, D.C. police said via Twitter. Traffic is currently flowing from the D.C. to Virginia side of the bridge, but so far the inbound lanes have not reopened. NBC Washington is reporting that the closure was due to a phoned-in bomb threat.
Earlier: Police have closed the Key Bridge to vehicle and pedestrian traffic due to police activity on the D.C. side.
No word yet on when the bridge might reopen.
Earlier: The Drewry Mental Health and Substance Abuse Center at 1725 N. George Mason Drive has been evacuated due to a bomb threat.
The bomb threat was phoned in by an adult female caller around 12:30 this afternoon, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A total of five bomb-sniffing dogs — two from Arlington and three Alexandria — were brought in to sweep the building for any possible explosives. Two of the dogs got a “hit” on a spot within the center, according to scanner traffic, prompting the evacuation.
Arlington bomb squad units are currently on the scene investigating.
Police have shut down George Mason Drive in both directions between 16th Street and 20th Street. Buses are being rerouted as a result.
In addition to clients and staff of the Drewry Center, children have been evacuated from the NVFS Head Start Child Development Center on the premises. The Drewry Center is adjacent to Virginia Hospital Center, but the hospital is still open for normal business, according to Arlington County.
(Updated at 12:05 a.m.) Police are now clearing the scene at Ballston Common Mall after a phoned-in bomb threat.
Three separate bomb threats were phoned in to authorities: one to Prince George’s County dispatchers, one to Arlington, and one directly to the mall, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. It’s not clear if the threats all were made by the same individual.
Mall security has informed stores of the threat but decided not to evacuate, Sternbeck said. Police officers and two K-9 units searched inside and outside the building but found nothing.
“We want to be very thorough in our sweep and… in deeming it safe,” said Sternbeck during the search. “If we did find something we deemed legitimate we would have the authority to bring everyone out [of the mall].”
Dozens of shoppers and workers on their lunch break could be seen carrying on normal daily business inside the mall during the incident. One lane of Wilson Boulevard was partially blocked by police vehicles outside the mall. As of 11:50 a.m., most of the police response was packing up and starting to clear the scene.
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Police are questioning a “person of interest” in connection with a bomb threat at the Sheraton National hotel on S. Orme Street this afternoon.
The building was evacuated around 1:45 p.m. after a bomb threat was phoned in to the hotel. The caller claimed a bomb had been planted on street level and was going to detonate at 3:00 p.m., according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Police shut down S. Orme Street between Columbia Pike and Southgate Road (the entrance to the Marine Corps’ Henderson Hall) as a precaution.
The bomb threat was called in to the hotel on the first day of the Human Capital Management Defense conference. Dozens of attendees of the conference, along with other guests and hotel staff, were evacuated. Scheduled speakers at the conference include a number of Department of Defense and U.S. government officials. There’s no indication the bomb threat was connected with the conference, according to Sternbeck.
Sternbeck said officers stopped a “person of interest” — a guest at the hotel — for questioning after the individual was pointed out to police by hotel staff. That individual is still being questioned, but the evacuees have now being let back into the hotel and S. Orme Street has been reopened.
At least a half dozen bomb sniffing dogs were on scene to assist with a search for any type of explosive device. Pentagon Police and Virginia State Police were also on scene. Sternbeck said the basement, garage and ground floor of the hotel were swept by K-9 units. The floor the person of interest was staying on was also swept, he said.
Bomb Threat in Rosslyn — A bomb threat called into Argosy University (1550 Wilson Blvd) around 6:00 last night prompted a large police response. Traffic issues were reported in the Rosslyn area while authorities cordoned off the building and investigated the threat. Eventually, the all-clear was given and the building was reopened.
Arlington’s Top Employers, Past and Present — Arlington County has seen significant turnover in its list of the top local employers over the past decade. Companies like MCI/Worldcom, Qwest and The Hecht Co. made the county’s top 20 employers list in 2002. In 2011, those companies are off the list, while companies like Boeing, The Nature Conservancy and Booz Allen Hamilton are now on the list. [Washington Business Journal]
CivFed Wants Board to Keep Sign Powers — The Arlington Civic Federation wants the County Board to continue exercising discretionary power over signage in the county. A rewrite of the county’s sign ordinance is underway, and is expected to delegate most sign decision-making away from the Board, in favor of more administrative decisions by county staff. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Wins Tourism Award — Arlington County has won a 2011 Shining Example Award from the Southeast Tourism Society in the “Tourism for Tomorrow” category. The award specifically honored Arlington’s electric Mobile Visitors Center, which serves visitors at six different Metro stations, five days per week. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Mark C. White
Update at 12:15 p.m. — The scene has been cleared and employees are being allowed back into the office.
Earlier: Arlington County’s bomb squad is investigating some sort of bomb threat inside an office building in Courthouse.
Initial reports suggest the threat was made to the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, at 2111 Wilson Boulevard. Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Arlington County Police Department and Virgina State Police are on the scene. Americans for Prosperity employees have been evacuated, but employees in other offices have been allowed to remain.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) has been the source of some controversy recently. Among other incidents, the group was accused of sending error-filled ballots to Democrats in Wisconsin during a contentious election this month.
David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch, the original founders of AFP’s predecessor organization, have been major supporters of numerous conservative causes. The New Yorker has reported that Americans for Prosperity provides organizational and financial support to the Tea Party movement.