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by ARLnow.com May 17, 2017 at 4:42 pm 0

Update at 4:20 p.m. — Virginia State Police have issued the following statement about the charge for which Boak was wanted: “The Virginia State Police entered the misdemeanor arrest warrant into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) on behalf of the Virginia Department of Corrections Probation and Parole. The warrant issued to the Probation & Parole Officer on May 2, 2017, in Fairfax City General District Court was for a violation of Code of Virginia 18.2-251.4 – Drugs/Alcohol: Screening Tests/Substitute Sample.”

Update at 9:55 a.m. — The suspect has died, according to an ACPD press release. He was identified as 28-year-old Daniel George Boak of Centreville. Police say he pinned an officer against another vehicle with his truck before the shots were fired.

Earlier: A man has been shot by police and at least two Arlington County Police officers have been injured on the Glebe Road exit of I-395.

The shooting happened just after 4:30 p.m. The suspect was in a black pickup truck that was heading southbound on I-395 when police attempted a traffic stop after a “hit” from a police license plate reader, according to scanner traffic.

Initial reports suggest the suspect was in heavy traffic and refusing to pull over, when officers exited their vehicle and approached. An officer was then struck by the vehicle, at which point a second officer fired shots at the driver, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

The suspect is reported to be in critical condition. Officers attempted life-saving measures on the suspect before medics arrived.

The police officer who was struck suffered a leg injury, according to the fire department Twitter account, and was transported via ambulance to Virginia Hospital Center. The officer’s injuries were described by Savage as “serious but non-life-threatening.”

The officer who fired the shots suffered “minor” injuries, Savage said. At least two additional officers were evaluated at the scene by paramedics, according to scanner traffic.

Traffic is very heavy but still moving on southbound I-395. The Glebe Road exit and at least one lane of northbound Glebe Road is blocked.

“This will be an ongoing investigation,” said Savage. “It’ll be active for a couple of hours, I can imagine.”

The fire department’s mobile command unit and ambulance bus were dispatched to the scene. Coolers of water were brought in due to the hot, mid-90 degree weather weather.

by ARLnow.com May 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm 0

Update at 2:30 p.m. — The fire has been extinguished and Four Mile Run Drive is expected to reopen shortly. The access road is expected to remain closed until the fallen tree is removed.

Update at 2:15 p.m. — Electricity has been shut off to the fallen power lines and firefighters are now working to extinguish the brush fire.

Earlier: A tree has fallen on power lines and sparked a growing brush fire along Four Mile Run Drive.

The incident was first reported by a passerby just after 1 p.m.

Initial reports suggest a large tree fell across the Four Mile Run Drive access road, striking a power line. That sparked a brush fire in the dry grass below, which as of 1:20 p.m. continues to burn.

The fire department cannot extinguish the wildfire around the power line until Dominion Power crews arrive and shut off the power, according to scanner traffic. As of 1:40 p.m. the flames were nearing vehicles parked along the access road.

Residents should expect “a lot of smoke in the area,” according to a police officer on scene. Police have shut down traffic in both directions on the access road near S. Wakefield Street and are preparing to shut down the mainline Four Mile Run Drive.

Photo courtesy Alex Chamandy, John Chandler

by ARLnow.com April 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm 0

After a years-long delay caused by anticipated cost overruns, Arlington County says it’s finally ready to move forward with the second phase of the Long Bridge Park project, including a scaled-down aquatics and fitness center.

The county will be using a design-build approach to keep costs down, according to a press release. Contractors bidding on the project will be able to propose designs incorporating some portion of a “menu” of desired features, provided that the bid stay within budget and retain a number of core elements.

“The new facility will include the core programs that have been the mainstay of the planned aquatics facility and surrounding park improvements,” the county said. “A menu of potential options recommended by the Long Bridge Park Advisory Committee… include advanced energy efficiency, a therapy pool, a 10-meter dive tower and more spectator seats, among other enhancements.”

“We’ve selected design/build as the best way to fulfill the vision for this unique park in the most cost-effective manner,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. “We are eager to move forward and develop conceptual designs that the public will have an opportunity to weigh-in on this fall.”

More from the press release:

Through its design competition, the County plans to narrow the field of firms competing for the contract to three or four finalists. Each will be paid a stipend to submit a proposed concept for the park and facility. The concepts then will be evaluated against the County’s requirements. The public will be able to review the concepts and share feedback. The County Board will approve the final concept.

The budget for the total Phase 2 project, as approved by the County Board in the FY 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan, is $63 to $67 million, the amount of funding originally approved in 2012.  The final total will depend on decisions made during the design process. The budget includes, in addition to the aquatics facility, an extension of the esplanade, rain gardens, public gathering spaces, parking, public art and additional environmental remediation.

The next step is for the County to give firms the opportunity to submit their technical qualifications, which will be evaluated against established criteria.  Firms that qualify will be invited to submit a proposal this summer. Three or four firms who submit design concepts will be invited to participate in the design competition. The public will review the concepts in November 2017, with the Board then selecting the final design. Construction is expected to begin in late 2018.

The first phase of Long Bridge Park was completed in 2011. The park is located at 475 Long Bridge Drive, just north of Crystal City.

by ARLnow.com April 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A severe thunderstorm that ripped through Arlington just after lunchtime has left some debris and damage in its wake.

In Pentagon City, part of the facade and roof of the Macy’s at the Pentagon City mall was damaged and a portion of it fell onto a car. One minor injury has been reported. As of 2:45 p.m., workers were on the roof inspecting the damage.

According to scanner reports, a tree fell on a car near the intersection of Route 50 and Park Drive. The two occupants of the vehicle were shaken up but not injured.

A tree fell into a home on the 1400 block of N. Wakefield Street, a few blocks from Washington-Lee High School, according to a fire department dispatch. The tree caused damage to the front of the house, but did not hit a car parked next door.

A number of other instances of trees and utility lines falling have been reported around the county, including at the intersections of S. Wayne Street and 6th Street S., S. Adams Street and 8th Street S., and 31st Street S. and S. Randolph Street.

As of 2:45 p.m., just over 550 Dominion customers were without power, according to the company’s outage map.

Via Twitter, residents say the storm brought hail in addition to very strong winds.

by ARLnow.com February 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

County Board member Jay Fisette

(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette will not seek re-election this year, capping two decades of service on the Board.

Fisette, who first took office in 1998, is currently the longest-serving Board member. In a phone interview today, he said he has been weighing for months whether to run for another term.

“It’s really a complete honor and a privilege” to serve on the Board, Fisette said. “I still love the place, I’m just ready for a new challenge… a new way of working on the progressive values that we’ve embraced and that I’ve championed here in Arlington, that are at some level threatened at this moment.”

Though he has not decided what exactly to do next, Fisette said it will not be in elected office.

Fisette said he is especially proud of the Board’s long-term vision for Arlington — a “broad commitment to policies regarding the long-term sustainability of the community,” like transportation, housing, land use and the environment.

That was possible, Fisette said, because he “had the luxury, during most of my time here,” to make decisions based on community and professional staff input, and based on what he felt was best for the county.

“I worked really hard to treat people with respect and be fair,” said Fisette. “I could vote my conscience and best judgment with very little [consideration for] political or short term expediency.”

Fisette added that he hopes his successor continues to “stretch and aspire” without becoming “too political at the expense of good policy,” while at the same time emphasizing community engagement and “building toward a consensus.”

So far no candidates have filed to run in the upcoming Democratic County Board caucus, according to the Sun Gazette. With Fisette’s announcement today, a number of Democrats are now expected to throw their hats in the ring for the May 11 and 13 caucus. Whoever wins will face perennial independent candidate Audrey Clement in November.

In an Arlington County press release today (below), Fisette said that as an openly gay man he likely would not have been embraced by many communities like he was in Arlington when he ran for Board in 1997. He was Virginia’s first openly gay elected official.

Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette said today he has decided not to run for re-election to the Board this year.

“I just returned from a trip abroad, where I gave this a lot of thought,” Fisette said. “I have decided that it’s time to find a new platform and seek new ways of protecting and advancing some of the progressive values that are so important to me, values we have championed here in Arlington that are threatened by the current administration. I will not seek a sixth term on the County Board. Stay tuned.”

His nearly 20 years of service on the Board “have been an honor and a privilege,” Fisette said. “I have often said that I am not sure I would have run for office in many other places, yet Arlington always felt like a great fit for me. This community has such a strong tradition of policy-based good government where community involvement is encouraged and matters.”

Arlington, he said, “embraced me as a gay man long before such an endorsement could be presumed, long before it became the norm.” He has fought hard, Fisette said, to ensure Arlington has remained an inclusive and welcoming community.

Fisette, first elected to the Board in 1998, said he has found it “exhilarating to work with visionary Board members, some of the most talented professional staff anywhere, and a deeply civic-minded community to transform Arlington in a way that has made it one of our nation’s most dynamic, desirable places to live,” Fisette said.

“It has been gratifying to help create a vision and then work to actually bring that vision to life – we have proven that you can be both fiscally responsible and progressive. I hope that Arlington continues to aspire and inspire.”

Fisette cited his decades of work on long-term sustainability issues, including smart growth urban planning, strong environmental policies including adoption of the Community Energy Plan, a multi-layered transportation system that includes Metrorail, bus and Capital Bikeshare, and a robust local affordable housing program, as among the accomplishments of which he is most proud.

Fisette’s impact has stretched well beyond Arlington through extensive work in regional and statewide bodies, including leadership roles with the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, Transportation Planning Board, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Virginia Municipal League and Virginia Housing Development Authority.

“I believe in the power of collaboration and regionalism to make a difference,” he said.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed this work and will continue to do so through December,” he said. “And then others will continue the important work of planning and serving our community. Part of the challenge, and the satisfaction that comes from this job, is that the work is never done – that our community can and will always get better.”

Fisette has lived in Arlington since 1983 and has owned a home in Ashton Heights, with his husband, Bob Rosen, since 1987. The couple will stay in Arlington, he said. “We love Arlington and it will always be our home.”

by ARLnow.com February 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm 0

Arlington firefighters are battling a house fire in the Columbia Forest neighborhood, between Columbia Pike and Wakefield High School.

The blaze was reported at a residential property the 1000 block of S. Dinwiddie Street just after 4:15 p.m.

The Arlington County Fire Department tweeted that it is dealing with “heavy smoke and fire” on the property. The fire broke out in the rear of a two story home and, as of 4:35 p.m., has been extinguished, according to scanner traffic.

Police have closed S. Columbus Street at Columbia Pike due to the large number of fire department vehicles in the area.

by ARLnow.com February 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm 0

(Updated at 3:49 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the lookout for a man suspected of robbing a bank in Ballston.

A man entered the Navy Federal Credit Union, on the 800 block of N. Randolph Street, and passed a note to a teller around 11:40 a.m., police said. He then ran off with an “undisclosed amount of money.”

Arlington County police set up a perimeter to try to search for the man but thus far no arrests have been reported. During the search nearby Washington-Lee High School was placed in “secure the school” mode as a precaution, according to scanner traffic.

The suspected robber is described as a white male who was wearing a brown jacket, a brown and cream colored winter hat and sunglasses.

This is not the first robbery at the Navy Federal in Ballston. The bank was the scene of an armed robbery in 2012. Separately, another man in a winter coat and sunglasses robbed a Navy Federal in Potomac Yard and then dumped some of the loot on S. Glebe Road in Arlington on Monday.

Despite the similar suspect descriptions, a police spokeswoman said it’s too early to determine whether the robberies are linked.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect captured on surveillance footage.

On Friday, February 10, 2017, at approximately 11:40 a.m., a male subject entered the Navy Federal Credit Union located at 875 N. Randolph Street in Arlington, Virginia and passed the teller a note, demanding money. The suspect fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.  The suspect did not imply or display a weapon.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’8″ tall. He was wearing a brown north face jacket, a brown and cream colored winter hat and sunglasses at the time of the incident.

The Arlington County Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding this incident contact Detective R. Munizza at 703.228.4171 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com January 31, 2017 at 11:35 am 0

Murder suspect Heber Amaya-Gallo (photo courtesy ACPD)(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A 28-year-old Arlington man has been charged with murder after police say he killed his roommate during a fight.

The charges follow the death investigation yesterday on 7th Road S. in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. It is Arlington’s first reported homicide of 2017.

Police say Heber Amaya-Gallo killed 55-year-old Michael Wiggins after a “verbal altercation between roommates became physical” in an apartment. Amaya-Gallo has been charged with first degree murder and is being held without bond.

As pointed out in the comments section, Amaya-Gallo has been implicated in at least three other violent crimes in Arlington over the past seven years.

From an Arlington County Police Department press release:

Shortly after 2:00 p.m. on January 30, 2017, Arlington County Police officers were dispatched to the 5100 block of 7th Road S. for a death investigation. Arriving officers located 55-year-old Michael Wiggins of Arlington, VA deceased inside the residence. Three subjects were located on scene and transported to police headquarters where they were interviewed by detectives. Heber Amaya-Gallo, 28, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with first degree murder. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond. The other two subjects were determined to be witnesses and have not been charged.

The investigation revealed that a verbal altercation between roommates became physical, resulting in the death of the victim. Official cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. Roeseler of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4182 or [email protected]. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com January 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Update at 11:40 a.m. — Police say the man’s death was a homicide. A suspect has been arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Earlier: Arlington County Police are investigating what they’re calling a “suspicious death” in an apartment building in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.

The body of a 55-year-old man was found in an apartment in one of the garden apartment buildings on 7th Road S. Two people have been detained by police for questioning, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Police are not yet confirming whether this is Arlington County’s first homicide of 2017. That determination will be made by a medical examiner, Savage said.

The apartments are located across from Tyrol Hill Park. School children were playing in the park while police were conducting their investigation Monday afternoon.

by ARLnow.com January 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm 0

Yorktown teacher Thomas Lenihan and note to Yorktown HS families (photo, left, via FCPD)

A history teacher at Yorktown High School, has been charged with indecent exposure by Fairfax County Police after an incident in Tysons Corner Thursday night.

Police say Thomas Lenihan, 38, exposed himself to two teens in the locker room of the Sport & Health Club on Greensboro Drive. He was arrested on two counts of indecent exposure shortly thereafter.

Lenihan will be placed on administrative leave and will not return to Yorktown, families were told in an email, which also encouraged students who may have additional information about Lenihan to come forward.

More on the charges from the Fairfax County Police Department:

Officers were called to the 8200 block of Greensboro Drive, a Sports and Health Club, yesterday around 9:30 p.m. for a report of a man exposing himself to two juveniles in the locker room. The victims, 16 and 17 years old, told employees that a man had watched them in the shower and followed them around the locker room while exposing himself.

Officers located the suspect at the business and identified him as Thomas Lenihan, 38, of Falls Church. Lenihan is currently employed as a teacher in Arlington County at Yorktown High School. He was arrested, taken to the Adult Detention Center and charged with two misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure. He was released on a $5,000 bond.

Anyone who might have witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131, or contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

by ARLnow.com January 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters are on the scene of an apartment fire in the North Highlands neighborhood, near Rosslyn.

The fire was reported on the 1600 block of 21st Street N., in the living room of a second floor apartment, just before 1:45 p.m.

The blaze was quickly extinguished. Firefighters located a dog that had been in the apartment and attempted CPR, but the dog was later pronounced dead, we’re told.

No person was inside the apartment at the time and no injuries were reported. Firefighters are currently ventilating smoke from the building and investigating the cause of the fire.

by ARLnow.com January 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Update at 9:30 a.m. — The suspect has been found hiding under a car in the area of N. Quinn Street and 18th Street N. and has been taken into custody, according to scanner traffic.

Update on 1/19/17 — Virginia State Police have issued the following updated statement regarding the chase and the suspect’s apprehension.

At 8:48 a.m., Wednesday (Jan. 18), Virginia State Police Sgt. C.J. Szupinka was conducting stationary HOV enforcement when he observed a 2005 Ford Focus entering the eastbound I-66 HOV lane at the 71 mile marker. The Ford was in violation of the HOV+2 regulation, as it had only one occupant. Sgt. Szupinka motioned to the driver, John R. Johnson III, to stop. Johnson pulled over in front of the sergeant’s patrol car. But as the sergeant approached on foot, the Ford kept rolling forward and then pulled away and into the mainlines of eastbound I-66. A pursuit was initiated with the Ford reaching speeds of up to 100 mph.

The Ford Focus took Exit 73 and due to its reckless driving and speed, the sergeant discontinued the pursuit for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Minutes later the vehicle was located abandoned on Nash Street near Lee Highway. The keys were still in the ignition and the engine was still running when the sergeant found it. Johnson had fled on foot.

With the assistance of Arlington County Police, State Police set up a perimeter and began searching for the subject by foot and through the use of a Virginia State Police K9 team. At 9:27 a.m., Arlington County Police discovered Johnson hiding under a vehicle in a parking garage near 19th and Quinn streets. Johnson was taken into custody without further incident.

Johnson, 44, of Maryland, was charged with one felony count of eluding police, reckless driving, the HOV violation and driving on a suspended license. He is being held without bond at the Arlington County Jail.

Earlier: Police have swarmed the area around N. Nash Street and the Holiday Inn hotel in Rosslyn to search for a driver who led Virginia State Police on a morning rush hour chase.

Initial reports suggest that state police were pursuing the suspect on I-66 for an HOV violation. The suspect exited the highway at Rosslyn and bailed out near the hotel.

Police are establishing a perimeter as they try to locate the suspect, who’s described as a black male wearing jeans and a gray hoodie.

Photos by Samantha Moore

by ARLnow.com January 10, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

(Updated at 1 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters battled a fire in an apartment building on Lee Highway today (Tuesday) and rescued a dog in the process.

The fire was reported just after noon on the third floor — the top floor — of the apartments at 4356 Lee Highway, just east of the Lee Heights Shops in the Waverly Hills neighborhood.

The fire was on a balcony in the rear of the building, according to scanner reports, and had also spread to the ceiling of the units below.

As of 12:25 p.m., the fire department reported that the fire was out. No injuries were reported, though a dog was rescued from one of the apartments.

County road crews were called in after the fire was out to spread salt on portions of the roadway that had been drenched with water from the firefighting effort.

https://twitter.com/ACFDPIO/status/818878637575389185

(more…)

by ARLnow.com January 6, 2017 at 5:55 pm 0

Arlington County fire truck(Updated at 6:05 p.m.) A large fire department response is arriving at the Pentagon City Metro station for a report of an arcing insulator near the station.

The electrical issue on the tracks was reported by a train operator. A rider said via Twitter that there was a haze and a smell of smoke at the station, which was reportedly being evacuated.

Blue and Yellow line service through Pentagon City is currently suspended. Commuters should expect traffic impacts near the station due to the emergency response.

Arriving firefighters are being told that the insulator is still smoking and that power is being shut down to one of the tracks, according to scanner traffic.

Update at 6:10 p.m. — The “situation has been mitigated,” according to scanner traffic, and fire department units are being placed back in service. Metro riders should expect residual delays and perhaps single tracking once service resumes.

by ARLnow.com December 13, 2016 at 6:55 pm 0

Update on 12/14/16 — The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield, said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The victims’ injuries are reported to be non-life-threatening.

“Mother and child struck were walking in the crosswalk,” Savage said, describing the circumstances of the crash. “[The] vehicle driver reported not seeing the pedestrians.”

Earlier: Washington Blvd is currently closed at N. Inglewood Street due to a pedestrian-involved crash.

Initial reports suggest a 40-year-old woman and a child were struck by a car near the intersection, in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood, just after 6:15 p.m. A caller heard the sound of the crash, saw the woman lying in the street, and called 911, according to scanner traffic.

The woman was reported to have a leg injury and was bleeding from the head, while the child was found sitting on the sidewalk. Both were alert and conscious, but the exact extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

The woman and the child were transported via ambulance to Inova Fairfax Hospital. That’s despite the crash happening not far from Virginia Hospital Center, which is considered less equipped to handle serious trauma patients.

Police remain on scene investigating the crash.There is a crosswalk at the intersection, but it’s unclear where the victims were struck.

Traffic is being diverted at N. Harrison Street and at Patrick Henry Drive.

Image via Google Maps

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