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by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2015 at 11:35 am 8,519 0

ACPD arrest of sexual assault suspect (mug shot vs. sketch)

Arlington County Police have announced an arrest in a series of sexual assault cases that have had the community on edge since mid-summer.

Police say a 19-year-old Arlington man has been arrested and charged with two counts of attempted abduction in connection to at least three sexual assault cases. The man was arrested early this morning and has confessed to multiple attempted sexual assaults, according to police.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department arrested and charged a 19 year-old subject early this morning with two counts of attempted abduction with the intent to defile for his role in multiple sexual assault incidents. Melvin Perez Bonilla, 19, of Arlington, VA is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Bonilla confessed to multiple sexual assault attempts in the county during questioning at police headquarters and is believed to be responsible for a similar attack that occurred in August. Police are awaiting DNA analysis results from the state lab for that incident for confirmation of his involvement.

The initial attack occurred July 25, 2015 in the 1900 block of N. Scott Street at approximately 1:20 a.m. as the 25 year-old victim was walking alone in the Clarendon area. A second attack took place August 8, 2015 in the 1900 block of N. Highland Street at approximately 2:45 a.m. as a 29 year-old year victim was walking alone. A third attack occurred on September 29, 2015 in the 1200 block of N. Quincy Street at approximately 10:20 p.m. on a 23 year-old female victim as she was walking home.

The victims in each of these attacks assisted detectives by providing details of the events and the description of their assailant. A composite sketch based upon a victims’ description had previously been released. Detectives assigned to the Special Victims Unit and investigators assigned to the Tactical Unit worked with Metro Transit Police to obtain surveillance video and other information to identify the suspect. Tactical Unit officers took Bonilla into custody when they observed him exiting a Metro Bus in the Courthouse area in the early morning hours of October 7, 2015.

“Our officers have taken a dangerous individual off the streets and the community should feel a little safer knowing he is behind bars,” comments Daniel J. Murray, Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations Division for Arlington County Police Department.

Anyone who has information regarding these incidents or concerning Bonilla is asked to call Detective Icolari at 703.228.4240 or email [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2015 at 12:15 am 3,935 0

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) A VDOT worker is in critical condition after being struck by a car on I-395 Tuesday night.

The crash happened around 10:20 p.m., on southbound I-395 near the Ridge Road overpass. According to initial reports, the worker was setting out traffic cones to warn drivers of an accident ahead when he was struck by a vehicle.

The man was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Weather may have been a factor — it was raining at the time of the crash.

On Wednesday afternoon, Virginia State Police issued the following statement about the crash.

Virginia State Police are investigating a pedestrian crash that occurred late Tuesday evening (Sept. 29) in Arlington County.

At 10:16 p.m., Virginia State Police were on scene of a traffic crash in the right southbound lane of Interstate 395, less than a mile south of the Ridge Road overpass. Safety Services Patrol Supervisor Mike Musgrove responded to the scene to assist the trooper by blocking oncoming traffic and directing traffic safely around the crash scene.

At approximately 10:23 p.m., a 2005 Toyota Matrix traveling south on I-395 lost control and ran through the traffic cones and flares ( that were set up as a perimeter to direct oncoming traffic around the initial crash). The Matrix struck Musgrove, who was standing next to his safety services patrol vehicle. The Matrix then struck the safety truck and guardrail.

Musgrove was transported to GW Hospital in Washington, DC, where he is currently being treated for life-threatening injuries. Musgrove is a VDOT contract employee. His vehicle emergency lights were activated at the time of the crash.

The driver of the Matrix, Charles R. Hepburn II, 39, of Alexandria, Va., was not injured in the crash. Hepburn was charged with reckless driving.

No one from the initial crash was injured in the incident.

Both crashes remain under investigation.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2015 at 10:45 am 8,098 0

(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Clarendon.

A man robbed the TD Bank at 3101 Wilson Blvd around 10:30 a.m. The suspect “approached the teller and passed her a note indicating he had a weapon,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect was handed cash, though no weapon was seen during the robbery.

No customers were in the bank at the time of the robbery, Sternbeck said.

The man fled the scene and dropped cash around the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Herndon Street, police say. Officers are investigating a report that the man tried to pay a witness $200 to drive him to D.C.

Officers were also canvassing the neighborhood behind the bank with canine units looking for the suspect based on witness statements, Sternbeck said.

The description of the suspect is a 5’5″ black male who was wearing a Kangol hat and a light, short sleeve button down shirt with a collar.

by ARLnow.com — September 3, 2015 at 11:30 am 5,054 0

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) Arlington County Police are executing a search warrant on the house of David Black, the ex-husband of murder victim Bonnie Delgado Black.

Police arrived at the house near Pentagon City early this morning, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Black was at the house at the time but has since left, and is so far not in custody and not charged with a crime, Sternbeck said.

“We have an active police presence at this time at David Black’s residence,” said Sternbeck. Police are searching for “potential items at the residence that could contain forensic evidence that can assist us in the investigation.”

Bonnie Black was found stabbed to death in her Aurora Highlands home the morning of April 17, after a neighbor saw her children wandering around outside the house. Black, who was 42, worked as a psychologist and did contract work for the FBI.

Bonnie Black’s ex-husband’s house is also in Aurora Highlands, several blocks away from the murder scene. Police this morning could be seen searching the ex-husband’s garage and removing two bikes, including one with a child carrier attached. The bikes were later taken away as evidence by police.

So far no one has been charged in the murder, a fact that has caused concern in the community. David Black remains a “person of interest” in the case, Sternbeck said.

“I’m very happy to see some action taking place,” neighbor Lynn Primo told reporters. “We’re all very concerned… this man continues to live here and the whole neighborhood believes he has something to do with [the murder].”

Primo said she has seen Black coming and going from the house, but has not observed any unusual activity.

The couple’s children are in the custody of Bonnie Black’s family, but David Black still has visitation rights, according to Sternbeck.

by ARLnow.com — August 26, 2015 at 9:05 am 1,072 0

Update at 10:05 a.m. — The leak has been stopped, according to scanner traffic. Residents who had been evacuated are being allowed back into their homes.

The Arlington County Fire Department is on the scene of a large gas leak in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, near Pentagon City.

The leak was reported around 8:45 a.m. on S. Grant Street, between 18th and 19th Streets, a block from Arlington Fire Station No. 5.

Initial reports suggest a six-inch gas line below the street is actively leaking gas.

Washington Gas crews are on the scene and trying to figure out how to shut off the gas. Roads in the immediate vicinity are being shut down.

by Heather Mongilio — July 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm 9,114 0

"No Guns" sign outside of former Curves studio.NOVA Firearms will not be moving to Cherrydale after all.

The gun store had leased a space at 2105 N. Pollard Street, causing outcry from members of the community. However, the store’s would-be landlord said today that he has reached an agreement with NOVA Firearms to cancel the lease.

The debate over the gun store heated quickly with County Board candidates speaking out against it and the National Rifle Association coming out in support. Petitions were launched for and against the store, accumulating thousands of signatures. Conservative media outlets ran articles in support of James Gates, the Marine Corps veteran who co-owns the store, drawing national attention.

Community members — and owners of businesses in and around the small shopping center the gun store was to open — took their concerns directly to landlord Kostas Kapasouris.

Kapasouris was open to those concerns, said Bill Hamrock, the co-owner of Bistro 29, which would have been across the street from the gun store. (The restaurant is co-owned by Kapasouris.)

“He knew right away and it wasn’t going to work from the community, but the business owners let him know as well,” Hamrock said.

Kapasouris said that it was all his decision to cancel the lease.

“I don’t want to have a gun store,” he said to ARLnow.com. “I thought it wasn’t a good store.”

Kapasouris said that he decided against having a gun store after the lease was signed and that NOVA Firearms — which has an existing location in McLean — was told of his decision when the store’s owners recently visited the space.

“Listening to the neighbors and the community, the landlord came to an agreement with the proposed gun store and they will not be opening in Cherrydale,” Hamrock said.

Hamrock said other business owners in the area were pleased with the decision to pull the gun store, as just the idea of having such a store was causing them to lose business.

“I had several customers showing me Facebook [posts] that were telling people not to come to the restaurant,” Hamrock said.

Instead of a gun store, Hamrock thinks that the storefront — formerly occupied by Curves fitness studio — could be leased to a small, noncontroversial retail shop or a café.

“It seems perfect for a bakery or small coffee shop,” he said.

Reached via phone, NOVA Firearms co-owner Rachel Dresser declined to comment on the news until she could speak to Gates. Last month, Dresser told ARLnow.com that backing out of the store was “not an option given the money we’ve already invested.”

by ARLnow.com — July 6, 2015 at 5:10 pm 4,791 0

(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a reported bank robbery in the Waverly Hills neighborhood.

The robbery was reported around 5:00 p.m. at the Capital One Bank, at 4700 Lee Highway.

Initial reports suggest a man dressed in all black and armed with scissors robbed the bank and ran off with cash. He was last seen heading westbound on Lee Highway.

The man had a t-shirt wrapped around his face during the robbery, according to scanner reports. He was reportedly wearing a black shirt, black pants and white socks with holes in them, but no shoes.

A witness, Bryan Hudzina, was walking his dog in the area at the time of the robbery. He told ARLnow.com that he saw the man run by him, behind the bank.

“As I’m walking… we turn around at the corner of the back of the bank [and see] a gentleman wearing all black, covered face, carrying something,” Hudzina said. “[He] ran to the side of me and headed down toward the back side of the buildings.”

Police officers and K-9 units are searching the surrounding neighborhoods for the suspect. Detectives are talking to employees and witnesses, and processing evidence at the bank.

by ARLnow.com — May 19, 2015 at 11:05 am 17,671 0

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) A man is dead after being shot by Arlington County Police in the Buckingham neighborhood.

Police say officers responded to the 4200 block of 2nd Road N., at the Gates of Ballston apartment complex, just before 11:00 a.m. for an anonymous report of a domestic dispute. Officers arriving on scene heard screaming inside an apartment and entered it.

An officer-involved shooting followed. An adult male suspect was shot fatally — scanner traffic indicates he was shot twice in the chest — by police, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

An officer sustained what is described as a serious facial laceration. He’s currently undergoing surgery at Virginia Hospital Center but is expected to survive, according to Sternbeck.

Additionally, another officer suffered an injury after being tased, and a woman who was in the apartment suffered minor injuries, Sternbeck said.

Police and medics administered aid to the wounded suspect on scene but he was subsequently pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center. Neighbors say the man who was shot was a middle-aged Ecuadorian man who lived with his mother and was known for occasional angry outbursts.

Late Tuesday afternoon, police identified the deceased suspect as 54-year-old Alfredo Rials-Torres.

Police are conducting an investigation on scene, photographing and processing evidence. Second Road North is closed to traffic and is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time, but police are allowing residents back into their apartments.

After the shooting the female occupant of the apartment was brought to police headquarters and was being interviewed by investigators.

This was the second shooting on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. in the past three years. In March 2012 a man was shot twice and seriously injured by a ski-mask-wearing assailant.

by ARLnow.com — May 11, 2015 at 9:05 am 8,558 0

Fire response outside Rosslyn Metro 5/11/15 (photo via @WashingtonFlack)Update at 12:15 p.m. — Service has returned to the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, but trains are single tracking between Clarendon/Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom.

Metrorail service is suspended between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom due to a reported arcing insulator outside the Foggy Bottom station.

Firefighters were originally called to the Rosslyn station around 8:20 a.m. for a report of smoke in the station.

The station was evacuated but first responders only found a slight odor of smoke, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.

Having not found any smoke or fire in Rosslyn, Arlington firefighters are currently scaling back their initially large response. However, Arlington police remain on scene, assisting with crowd control.

Large crowds of commuters seeking alternate means of transportation have been reported outside the Rosslyn station and other Arlington stations along the Orange Line.

Photo (top) via @WashingtonFlack

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2015 at 4:45 pm 3,989 0

(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) Arlington County Firefighters are on the scene of a two-alarm house fire near Ballston.

Smoke and fire was showing from the second floor and roof of a home near the intersection of 15th Street N. and N. Abingdon Street, in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, according to firefighters on the scene. A second alarm has been called.

The flames have since been extinguished and crews are checking for additional hotspots.

Firefighters have also reported that a dog was rescued from the house. Witnesses said the owner also owned two cats, but firefighters on scene said they could not confirm whether cats were inside.

The fire broke out right as neighborhood children returned home from school. While several fire trucks, engines and emergency vehicles were parked on the narrow street, children were running around the scene, albeit out of harm’s way.

No other residents were believed to be in the house.

Video (above) courtesy Allan Yankosky/1411 Media, Inc.

by ARLnow.com — April 17, 2015 at 11:05 am 14,662 0

(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Police are investigating what they’re describing as a “very suspicious death” inside a house on the 1100 block of 18th Street S., in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, two blocks from the RiverHouse apartment complex.

Police say a 42-year-old single mother was found dead inside the home this morning. So far, they’re not releasing any details about the manner of death.

Police were originally called to the house at 7:50 a.m., when a neighbor saw the woman’s children wandering around outside the house.

The woman had a 3-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, who are now in the custody of Child Protective Services, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Sternbeck said there had been a history of domestic violence at the residence, and that the woman had taken out a restraining order against a man who also lives in Arlington. Police are in contact with that man but he’s not currently in custody, according to Sternbeck.

Next of kin have been notified, police said.

Property records show that the house is owned by a woman named Bonnie Delgado. On Facebook, an Arlington resident by the same name, who matches a description given by a neighbor, appears to also have a young son and daughter.

Neighbors confirmed to NBC 4’s Pat Collins that Delgado — who was in the midst of a divorce but went by her married name, Dr. Bonnie Black, professionally — is the victim. She was a psychologist who did contract work for the FBI.

So far, police have not officially released the victim’s name. However, police have confirmed that Delgado’s ex-husband, who lived a few blocks away on 21st Street S., is being questioned at Arlington police headquarters. His truck was towed from the scene, NBC 4 reported. He has not yet been named a “person of interest” in the case.

Like other houses in the neighborhood, the trash cans had been pulled to the curb in front of the victim’s home. As a result of the investigation, solid waste collection has been postponed in the neighborhood until Monday, according to the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services. Police could earlier be seen searching trash cans in the area.

Streets around the murder scene are expected to remain cordoned off by police tape for much of the remainder of the day.

The last reported homicide in Arlington County was in December, in the Westover neighborhood.

by ARLnow.com — April 15, 2015 at 5:30 pm 15,417 0

(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) One lane of Chain Bridge was blocked during tonight’s evening rush hour due to a grim discovery near the bridge.

An apparent dead body was spotted by hikers about 150 yards north of the bridge this afternoon. The body is said to be located on the rocks, close to the Potomac River.

Arlington County firefighters responded to the scene, and the fire department’s technical rescue team rappelled down the cliffs to access the body. A D.C. fire boat and a U.S. Park Police helicopter also assisted in the recovery operation.

At about 6:40 p.m., a member of the Arlington County Police Department was rappelling down the cliff, with assistance of a technical rescue team member, to investigate the scene, a police source told ARLnow.com.

Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed a “large emergency response” at the scene, on the Virginia side of Chain Bridge, and said that crews are likely to remain on scene for an extended period of time.

One lane of the bridge was open in each direction at the accident scene, with heavy traffic reported on both the Virginia and D.C. sides of the bridge.

Photos viewed by ARLnow.com, taken from a distance, show that the victim was a light-skinned male. He appeared to be bleeding from the head and holding a dark object in his hand.

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2015 at 10:10 pm 13,578 0

Fatal accident on N. Glebe Road (photo courtesy @ArlingtonVaPD)

(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) One person is dead following a three-car accident on N. Glebe Road near Marymount University tonight.

Arlington 911 dispatchers received a call for a serious crash at the intersection of Glebe and Old Dominion Drive around 8:30 p.m. Friday. Paramedics arriving at the accident scene found one victim lying in the middle of the road, suffering traumatic injuries.

That person was pronounced dead on the scene, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm.

Initial reports suggest that a pickup truck headed northbound rear-ended a Jaguar at the intersection, and that the pickup truck driver was ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the pickup was found dead, but the driver of the Jaguar suffered only minor injuries and did not require transport to the hospital, we’re told.

It’s believed that there were no other occupants of either vehicle, Malcolm said. A third vehicle, in the southbound lanes, was reportedly struck by the Jaguar after it was rear-ended. No one in the third vehicle required hospitalization, according to Malcolm.

Arlington detectives and the county’s critical accident team are currently investigating the crash. All lanes of Glebe Road are closed at the scene, and are expected to remain closed for several hours. Westbound Old Dominion Drive is closed, and eastbound traffic is being diverted onto southbound Glebe.

The victim is a man in his late 40s, Malcolm said. Early in the investigation, his body was still lying on the roadway, covered with a sheet.

Photo courtesy @ArlingtonVaPD

by ARLnow.com — March 13, 2015 at 11:40 am 4,493 0

Barbara Donnellan speaking before the Arlington County Civic Federation(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan announced her retirement Friday morning.

In an email to county employees (below), Donnellan — the top executive in county government — said she would step down June 30.

Pending the selection of a new, permanent county manager, Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz will serve as acting county manager.

Donnellan was first named county manager in 2010, after beginning her career in Arlington County government as a budget analyst in 1983. She was the Arlington’s first permanent female county manager.

Schwartz, a 30-year Arlington resident, has served in county government since 2005. He was the county’s Chief Financial Officer before being named Deputy County Manager.

Donnellan’s resignation, while somewhat unexpected, comes at a time when some local leaders have been privately questioning the county government’s ability to effectively execute large-scale projects. Such grumbles were exacerbated by the cancellation of the county’s delayed and increasingly expensive streetcar project.

In a press release (below, after the jump), County Board Chair Mary Hynes praised Donnellan’s leadership.

“Barbara has been the consummate professional County Manager,” Hynes said. “She has kept her eye on the needs of Arlingtonians — residents and businesses — and given her heart, her intellect, and her passion to serving this community for more than 30 years. All five County Board members are tremendously grateful to her.”

Donnellan’s letter to county staff:

It has been my honor and pleasure to serve Arlington County since 1983. From my various seats – including budget analyst, finance director, director of libraries, County Manager – I have had the privilege of being part of, and helping to build, our community. And we have a lot to be proud of.

I have served Arlington County with great pride for more than three decades. While I feel in my heart that I could lead this organization for many more years, it is the right time for me to retire and start a new chapter in my life. My last day will be June 30, 2015.

Any success that I have had throughout my Arlington career has only been possible thanks to you. You are energetic, thoughtful, smart professionals who dedicate yourselves to helping to build our community. My gratitude to you is boundless.

The County Board has named Mark Schwartz as Acting Manager; he will do a great job and I know you all will support him as you have supported me.

We have an excellent leadership team in place and I have every confidence that I will leave Arlington in great hands. I will honestly miss the laughter and joy that we all shared each day, while accomplishing much for the community. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all that you do for our community.

I’ll be on the job for another couple of months and I hope to see you around the County. I have built deep connections in Arlington over many, many years, and I will undoubtedly be seeing you around Arlington in the years to come. I hope our paths cross again, and often.

Best regards,

Barbara M. Donnellan
County Manager

After the jump, Arlington County’s press release about Donnellan’s resignation.


by ARLnow.com — March 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm 7,943 0

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Arlington County Police were involved in a vehicle and subsequent foot pursuit through the Lyon Park and Courthouse neighborhoods this afternoon.

The pursuit started around 12:20 p.m. According to initial reports, an officer trying to make a traffic stop on Route 50 at 10th Street N. was dragged when the driver took off.

Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the suspect, a D.C. resident, was pulled over for a red light violation. Police found a gun in the suspect’s car after taking him into custody.

The chase went through Lyon Park and ended following a foot pursuit at Fairfax Drive and N. Barton Street, next to Rocky Run Park in Courthouse. The suspect’s car blew out its two right tires and crashed into a squad car. He consequently took off running in the neighborhood and was caught soon afterwards.

Sternbeck said that initial reports that the officer was dragged were slightly overblown. He was leaning into the Chrysler Pacifica when the suspect took off, and was carried for about five steps before he could disengage. The officer didn’t suffer any injuries, Sternbeck said, just “muddy boots.”

N. Barton Street was blocked off between Fairfax Drive and 11th Street for about two hours. Police officers and a K-9 conducted searches for an item the suspect might have thrown out of the car during the pursuit, but Sternbeck said he didn’t know if anything was recovered.


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