Prosecutors will not seek criminal charges against the Arlington County Police officer involved in the fatal shooting in Buckingham in May, concluding his use of deadly force was justified.
According to the complete investigation report, Officer Michael Laird “acted consistent with ACPD policies governing use of force” and his actions were “justifiable and necessary to defend himself and others present.”
The report includes this policy, which says officers can use force to “bring an incident or non-compliant suspect under control… and/or protect the lives or personal safety of themselves or others” so long as the force used is appropriate for the situation.
The deceased was 54-year-old Alfredo Rials-Torres, who was shot three times by police in the apartment he shared with his mother, 87-year-old Alicia Torres.
After investigating the incident, the Commonwealth’s Attorney concluded the victim attacked police officers without reason and he presented an “imminent danger of serious injury or death” to those present at the scene.
On May 19, the day of the shooting, Officer Laird and two other officers responded to a call reporting a domestic disturbance in an apartment building at 4219 2nd Road N.
The caller reported she could hear an elderly woman screaming in some kind of domestic altercation. In a later interview, she recalled hearing Ms. Torres tell her son, “I’m not your girlfriend and I will never have sex with you.”
The officers arrived at the apartment, where Ms. Torres opened the door. Statements from all three officers at the scene describe Rials-Torres coming to the door shortly thereafter, looking visibly angry and verbally aggressive as he told officers he would not speak with them.
Rials-Torres then attempted to close the apartment door, and an altercation ensued as the officers tried to keep it open. Laird said in a statement they “did not want to be locked out of the room with her being stuck in there with him.”
Laird unsuccessfully tried to use his Taser on Rials-Torres, instead striking and incapacitating one of the other officers on the small landing outside the apartment.
As he prepared to try again, Rials-Torres struck Laird in the face with a metal pole, causing a deep laceration from his mouth up his left cheek. Bleeding profusely, Laird was able to push through the door. Rials-Torres was still swinging the pole wildly, the report says.
It was then that Laird fired his service weapon three times, the first round striking Rials-Torres in the arm and the following rounds in the back as he spun around. The autopsy, conducted by a medial examiner named Dr. Jocelyn Posthumus, concluded one of the shots to the victim’s back caused his death.
In interviews after the shooting, Ms. Torres denied arguing with her son, insisted that he had not assaulted officers, but stated that he was schizophrenic and possibly off of his medications.
The 9-1-1 caller recalled previous and recent problems with Rials-Torres acting aggressively. Another neighbor said she heard arguing on the morning of the shooting and cited incidents when the victim would threaten other residents.
Rials-Torres also had a criminal history and was convicted of felony assault and resisting arrest in 1997.
A serious-looking crash temporarily closed N. George Mason Drive this afternoon, but no serious injuries were reported.
The incident happened around 3:30 p.m., just north of the intersection of N. George Mason Drive and Pershing Drive, in the Buckingham neighborhood.
A driver in a car somehow knocked over a light pole in the center median of George Mason Drive, then drove over a sidewalk and up an embankment before running into a two-story brick apartment building.
The building was not significantly damaged. George Mason Drive was closed while a tow truck driver maneuvered and used a chain to pull the car from the embankment and back onto the street. The road has since reopened.
A second vehicle that was reported to be involved in the crash was pulled over by police one block away from the accident scene.
In a separate incident that happened around the same time, the top of a utility pole with live wires snapped and fell down in the Lyon Village neighborhood, prompting several street closures. From Arlington Alerts:
Due to a pole with wires down the following streets are closed until further notice: Key Blvd at Fillmore, closed on Fillmore; Edgewood at Highland, closed on Highland N; 18/Harvard with no access NB; and Key at Highland with no access NB. Please seek alternate routes for this area.
Police are still not willing to say that the attacks are the work of the same sexual assault suspect, but did say “there’s potential” that it’s a serial attacker.
The latest incident happened just after 8 p.m. on Friday, as a woman was walking down a path with her young child in Lubber Run Park, near N. George Mason Drive and Barrett Elementary School.
The 27-year-old woman saw an apparently intoxicated man approach her as she tried to get back to the busy road. As he neared, she bent down to shield her three-year-old child, and the suspect groped her, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“The victim was able to scream causing the suspect to flee,” according to a crime report. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’7″ tall with a medium build. He was wearing a solid grey t-shirt, black shorts, and black tennis shoes at the time of the incident.”
“From the suspect description provided there is a possibility it could be the same guy, but we’re not willing to suggest that quite yet,” said Sternbeck. “We have not identified or arrested the suspect or suspects involved in the attacks.”
ACPD is advising residents to trust your instincts, be aware of your surroundings, travel in groups if possible and to contact police immediately if you are a victim of a crime.
Arlington County Police are looking into whether pair of sexual assaults over the weekend are linked to a sexual assault in Courthouse last month.
Over the weekend, two women, both in their late 20s to early 30s, were grabbed from behind and tossed to the ground. The crime and the suspect descriptions in both cases are similar to that of the assault in Courthouse on July 24, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“We’re not saying it’s the same guy at this point, but there are some similarities in terms of the attack and the suspect description,” Sternbeck said.
The first attack happened at 8:45 p.m. on Friday. A woman was running alone on the W&OD trail when a man grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground, according to a police report. The woman screamed causing the man to flee.
“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’6″ tall and 140 lbs. He was wearing long gray shorts, a belt, and no shirt at the time of the incident,” according to a police report.
On Saturday, at 11:26 p.m., a 25 year-old woman was walking near the intersection of N. Thomas Street and N. Pershing Street in Buckingham when a man grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground. The man allegedly touched the woman inappropriately, and she bit one of his fingers and he fled, the police report said.
“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, between 5’0″-5’3″ tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was wearing a gray t-shirt and jeans at the time of the incident,” according to police.
On Saturday evening, police say a customer at the CVS in Buckingham went on a name-tag-ripping tirade when he found out the pharmacy was closed.
ROBBERY, 150711067, 200 block of N. Glebe Road. At 7:15 pm on July 11, a subject became irate when told the pharmacy of CVS had closed and assaulted an employee, ripping his nametag off of his shirt. The subject left the store and was seen fleeing in a vehicle. The suspect is described as a white male in his sixties, approximately 5’8″ tall and 145 lbs. He was wearing green shorts, white polo shirt and sandals at the time of the incident.
On Sunday afternoon, a man in Nauck allegedly threw bleach on several people and then threatened them with a pair of knives, following a verbal argument.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING WITH A CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE, 150712030, 2400 block of S. Shirlington Road. At 1:55 pm on July 12, a subject threw bleach on several victims following a verbal altercation. The subject then brandished two knives and made threatening remarks. Darrell Bailey, 24, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with attempted malicious wounding by a caustic substance.
The rest of the daily crime report, after the jump.
An officer fatally shot 54-year-old Alfredo Rials-Torres in his apartment on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. after responding to a 911 call for a domestic disturbance. Two officers and the deceased man’s mother were hurt in the incident.
“The following timeline provides an account of the incident according to officer and witness interviews,” the department said in an email. “The investigation remains ongoing at this time and will be presented to the Commonwealth Attorney in the future.”
10:51:44 – Initial 9-1-1 received by the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) for a possible domestic disturbance. The reporting party informs the dispatcher they hear a female screaming from inside an apartment.
10:54:12 – Two officers are dispatched to scene by ECC for trouble unknown – possible domestic dispute.
10:54:31 – Call changed from trouble unknown to a domestic dispute, older couple in this apartment arguing loudly -possibly drinking
10:55:36 – First officer arrives on scene.
10:56:28 – Second officer arrives on scene.
10:56:39 – Third officer arrives on scene.
· The first two officers make contact with both parties believed to be involved in the domestic dispute at the front door of the apartment.
· Male party becomes confrontational with officers and attempts to slam the door closed.
· One officer places his foot in the door to prevent the door from closing and to avoid losing sight of and contact with the parties involved.
· Male party raises a metal pole in an aggressive manner, prompting an officer at the threshold to deploy his taser. The taser deployment was unsuccessful and the officer is struck in the face with the end of a metal pole by the male party.
· The officer sustains a significant facial injury – a serious laceration.
· A second taser deployment occurred by the same officer. That was also unsuccessful as one of the prongs struck one of the other officers in the arm, temporarily incapacitating him.
· The tased officer retreats to the exterior of the apartment building because he is unable to assist with the situation.
· Physical struggle ensues inside residence with the male party violently swinging the metal pole, prompting the officer to discharge his firearm out of fear for his safety and the safety of others.
· Three shots were fired, each striking the male party in the upper body.
· The third officer enters apartment and secures the scene until arrival of EMS.
10:59:54 – The third officer provides radio transmission w/ situational report, to include injuries to two officers & the parties involved in the domestic disturbance.
11:00:22 – EMS dispatched to scene
11:02:39 – EMS arrives on scene
11:10:22 – EMS transports male party to Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) where he is pronounced deceased by VHC medical staff.
11:18:21 – Injured officers transported to Virginia Hospital Center
(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.
The agents were “executing search warrants as part of a bank robbery investigation,” according to FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin.
The agents arrested Wossen Assaye, Godwin said, suspected of robbing the Apple Federal Credit Union on Sir Viceroy Drive in Alexandria on Friday, March 20. He appeared in federal court in Alexandria today.
The raid happened at an apartment building near the intersection of Carlin Springs Road and N. Thomas Street around 4:00 p.m. Friday. The law enforcement show of force attracted considerable attention from neighbors, who emailed and tweeted ARLnow.com asking for additional information.
“About six suburbans of FBI with military fatigues just pulled into that area where the apartment building is on Carlin Springs and Thomas,” a resident, John Broehm, said in an email shortly after the raid. “There were lots of Arlington sheriffs there too. Although from their demeanor it seemed like it maybe was an exercise. No one seemed to be concerned about anything.”
“FBI turned from northbound Glebe onto Carlin Springs and pulled into the lot at that church between Glebe and Vermont/Park Drive,” Broehm said in a follow-up email, referring to the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington. “The guys in military gear got out and walked across the street to the apartment building where Arlington County Sheriff already was. But they were letting traffic and people go by on Carlin Springs.”
File photo (courtesy of Lucy Brookover)
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) To passersby who don’t speak Spanish, signs for a new restaurant called “Chingon Pollo” on N. Glebe Road in Buckingham wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.
Anyone who speaks the language, however, sees a name that could be construed, at best, as cheeky and, at worst, as profane.
“Chingon” is a Spanish slang term that is often used as a compliment, but it’s a conjugation of the verb “chingar,” which in Mexico roughly translates to the English profanity that begins with “F.” ARLnow.com asked a Spanish speaker how she would interpret the name “Chingon Pollo.”
“Chingar is to f-ck and -on means real big ‘ol, so literally ‘real big ol f-cker’ but figuratively like ‘big f-cking’ something,” she said, declining to be identified. The whole name could mean “like a f-ckload of chicken, or possibly really hardcore badass chicken, but more literally a f-ckload.”
“That is crazy, I can’t believe they can name it that,” she added. The name can also be translated more innocently as “damn good chicken.”
A sign in the window says Chingon Pollo is “opening soon.” The restaurant is located at 237 N. Glebe Road, in the former Tandoor restaurant space. In 2013 Tandoor relocated to Ballston Common Mall.
Hat tip to Desiree Lomer-Clarke
Police say the woman had just left her N. George Mason Drive apartment Thursday afternoon when a masked man forced her back into the apartment, bound her hands and stole her money and cell phone. After the man fled the scene, the woman managed to escape, hail a cab and go to a friend’s house, from which she called police.
From the crime report:
ROBBERY BY FORCE, 150129025, 100 block of N. George Mason Drive. At 2:17 pm on January 29, as a female victim was exiting her apartment she was allegedly confronted by a masked subject. The subject directed back into the apartment, bound her hands together and robbed her of cash and cell phone. Once the suspect fled, the victim ran outside and sought assistance from a cab driver. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ – 5’7″ tall and 190 lbs. He was wearing a black jacket and mask.
Also last week, someone smashed the windows of at least 17 cars in a Rosslyn parking garage, stealing “numerous items” from inside.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 150201014, 1900 block of N. Lynn Street. Between 11 pm on January 31 and 8:30 am on February 1, an unknown subject(s) entered a parking garage and broke into and/or damaged at least seventeen vehicles by smashing a window. Numerous items of value were stolen. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
The incident happened around 3:15 a.m. on the 200 block of N. Piedmont Street. Police say a 40 year old man was walking in the area when he was approached by a suspect who brandished a knife and stole his wallet. A second suspect served as a lookout during the robbery.
The victim called 911, and 49-year-old Arlington resident Lamont Jackson, the alleged lookout, was quickly taken into custody. Police continued to search for the other suspect, calling in the Fairfax County Police helicopter and at least one Arlington K-9 unit.
The suspect was not found, but police were able to identify him as 29-year-old Anthony Robinson, of Arlington.
“Detectives from the Arlington County Police Department’s Robbery/Homicide Unit were able to identify Robinson through their investigations and obtained a warrant charging him with armed robbery,” according to Arlington County Police. “Robinson turned himself in at the Arlington County Police Department on Monday morning, December 22.”
At about 11:00 p.m., Daniel Cabrera, of Hyattsville, Md., was taken into custody after police say he tried to rape the teen on the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. The victim escaped and screamed, and was overheard by neighbors and a police officer. Responding officers apprehended Cabrera at the intersection of N. Piedmont Street and Pershing Drive, after the victim identified him at the scene.
The victim told police Cabrera was “watching” her as she worked in the area on Saturday, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. As the victim walked home from work later that night, Cabrera approached her from behind, pulled her hair and covered her mouth, police said.
“He pulled his pants down and attempted to pull her pants down,” Malcolm told ARLnow.com. “She bit his hand and was able to secure her escape.”
Cabrera was denied bond at a magistrate’s hearing, and is currently being held at the Arlington County Detention Center. Malcolm say Cabrera has no record of sex crimes, but police are asking anyone with information about the incident or similar incidents involving Cabrera, to contact the Special Victims Unit at 703-228-4244.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
The annual Buckingham Community Festival returns this Sunday, closing N. Pershing Drive to make room for daylong activities.
The festival, hosted by the BU-GATA Tenants Association, will feature live performances of folk music and dance, among other activities. It will be held on N. Pershing Drive between N. Glebe Road and Thomas Street from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
In addition to the music and dance, there will be food vendors and children’s activities, like a bounce house and games for the family.
It’s the 14th year of the festival, which is held as an opportunity for the heavily Latino community to come together and celebrate each other’s cultures. Many of the performances will be traditional folk music and dance from a variety of Latin countries.
Pershing Drive will close at 10:00 a.m. to accommodate the festival, and should re-open around 7:00 p.m. Parking in the area will be restricted.
Photo via Google Maps
A car crashed into a building in the Gates of Ballston apartment complex this afternoon just after 1:00 p.m.
According to a witness at the scene, the driver of the car, a blue Dodge Neon, was traveling south on N. Thomas Street when it ran a stop sign at the intersection of N. Henderson Road in Buckingham. When it entered the intersection, a black Audi struck it in the rear driver’s side, after which point the car lost control, mounted the curb, and crashed into the brick apartment building.
The building had some scratches on it but suffered no structural damage, according to an employee of AHC, which owns the apartments. No injuries were reported and the car was towed away just before 2:00 p.m.
Police say Hector Lopez Aguilar, 33, forced his way into an apartment on the 4200 block of N. Pershing Drive and tried to rape a 54-year-old woman.
He allegedly fled the scene when the woman fought back.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ATTEMPTED RAPE, 140328034, 4200 block of N. Pershing Drive. At 2:00 pm on March 28, an unknown subject forced his way into an apartment, assaulted a 54 year-old female victim and attempted to rape her. The suspect fled when the victim fought back. Police located the subject the following day at a nearby apartment. Hector Lopez Aguilar, 33, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with attempted rape and abduction with the intent to defile. He is being held without bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.