Board Shelves Pike Housing Proposal — “Arlington County Board members on Oct. 17… [removed] from consideration a staff proposal to change rules governing affordable housing on Columbia Pike. Board members, who had weathered intense community skepticism of the proposal when it first was heard in June, had placed the proposal back on their October agenda, and had recommendations from both the Planning Commission and county manager to approve it. But when critics again suited up to do battle, board members threw in the towel.” [InsideNova]
Another Top Bond Rating for County — “For the 20th year in a row, all three credit ratings agencies have reaffirmed Arlington County’s debt ratings of Aaa/AAA/AAA — the highest possible rating. Arlington is one of just 48 counties in the United States, and one of nine in Virginia, to receive this designation.” [Arlington County]
Amazon Donates to Antiracism Effort — “Amazon.com Inc. has donated $100,000 to Arlington County’s antiracism initiative. The company, which is setting up a headquarters in the Northern Virginia county, made the donation Oct. 14 and the county board will vote on whether or not to accept the funds on Tuesday.” [Washington Business Journal]
New Sculpture at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery — “A new sculpture honoring military women and military working dogs was unveiled outside Arlington National Cemetery. The life-size bronze sculpture called ‘The Pledge’ is being placed at the Women In Military Service For America Memorial, located at Arlington National Cemetery’s entrance.” [WTOP, DCist]
Arlington Woman Featured as Face of COVID — “One of those laid off was Serenety Hanley, whose career in digital communications included a stint in the White House under President George W. Bush. The 45-year-old single mother was let go from a retail job in March and now makes a living by shopping for Instacart… Hanley said she still can barely make ends meet.” [Thomson Reuters Foundation]
Va. Ventilator Usage Declines — “The number of Virginians being treated on ventilators for COVID-19 fell to a new low Monday, and case levels also declined somewhat from recent trends. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reported that just 81 patients were being treated statewide on ventilators, down from 95 the day before and the fewest since the association began publicly reporting COVID-19 data in early April.” [InsideNova]
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A group of armed robbery suspects managed to flee into D.C., eluding a phalanx of Arlington police cruisers after being chased across the county.
The incident started around 7:30 this morning. Officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of S. Ross Street, near The Wellington apartments and Columbia Pike, for a report of a person robbed at gunpoint and assaulted by four people he knew.
The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries and was brought to a local hospital. The suspects fled before officers arrived, but were later spotted in the area, according to Arlington County Police.
While Arlington officers typically will not give chase if a suspect in a vehicle flees from a run-of-the-mill traffic stop or minor crime, per department policy, in this case a pursuit was apparently authorized.
The suspects — described as “two Black males and two Black females in their early 20s” — drove down Columbia Pike, S. Glebe Road, Route 50 and I-395, trailed by a growing line of police vehicles. Video shows one officer unsuccessfully trying to disable the vehicle with a Stop Stick, a device for deflating tires.
Undeterred, the suspects kept going and crossed over the 14th Street Bridge into Southeast D.C., where the chase was called off. The pursuit lasted 13 minutes, according to Dave Statter, who produced a video (below) showing the chase as it progressed through Arlington.
Police say the robbery was “not a random attack” and are asking anyone with tips to call 703-228-4180.
(2) This is a combination of traffic-cam & my video. You'll see an Arlington officer use a tire deflation device on Route 50. The chase went from Columbia Pike to Glebe Rd to Route 50 to Washington Boulevard to 395 to 695. pic.twitter.com/13a0P9zXvb
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 16, 2020
The full police press release is below.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating an armed robbery that led to a vehicle pursuit on the morning of October 16, 2020.
At approximately 7:31 a.m. on October 16, police were dispatched to the 1200 block of S. Ross Street for the report of a burglary just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was robbed at gunpoint and assaulted by four acquaintances inside of his residence. The suspects stole his property and fled the residence prior to police arrival. The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital.
Officers canvassing the area located the suspects in a vehicle and a pursuit was initiated, which was ultimately terminated in Southeast Washington, D.C. The suspects are described as two Black males and two Black females in their early 20’s.
The preliminary investigation indicates this is not a random attack. This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Arlington County Police are investigating a robbery and an attempted robbery that happened along the Columbia Pike corridor over the weekend.
In both incidents, the victims were pushed to the ground while walking, by a man who then tried to steal their belongings.
The first incident happened just before 8 p.m. on Saturday, north of the Pike in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. The suspect was armed with a gun and ran off with the victim’s phone.
From an ACPD crime report:
ROBBERY, 2020-10100188, 800 block of S. Frederick Street. At approximately 7:50 p.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he was approached by the male suspect from behind. The suspect grabbed the victim, pulling him down, and demanded money. When the victim declined, the suspect produced a firearm, assaulted the victim and stole his phone, then fled on foot. The victim sustained minor injuries. The suspect is described as a Black male, 5’10”, thin build, wearing black clothing and a black mask. The investigation is ongoing.
The second incident was an attempted robbery in Barcroft Park, south of the Pike. It happened at almost exactly the same time as the first incident, but a day later.
ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 2020-10110170, 4200 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 7:51 p.m. on October 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking on a path through the park when the suspect approached her from behind, pushed her to the ground, and attempted to steal her backpack unsuccessfully. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5’8″, wearing a black hoodie with the hood up and dark jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
Also over the weekend, two police officers were injured in two separate incidents involving unruly suspects Saturday morning.
VEHICLE TAMPERING/RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE (significant), 2020-10100028, 2400 block of S. Oakland Street. At approximately 1:22 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of a tampering with auto. Arriving officers observed three suspects inside of a vehicle matching the description previously provided in a lookout. The suspects allegedly exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot when police approached them. Suspect One was stopped as they exited the vehicle. Suspect Two was located in the area by additional arriving officers, and, while attempting to place her in handcuffs, she actively resisted and a brief struggle ensued, during which she bit an officer. The officer sustained minor injury. While taking Suspect Two into custody, Suspect Three was observed by officers in the area and taken into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the vehicle the suspects fled from was previously reported stolen out of Fairfax County. A petition for Assault and Battery on Police was obtained for juvenile Suspect Two. Additional petitions will be sought for all three juvenile suspects.
ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2020-10100104, 4700 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:34 a.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between the suspect and victim escalated, at which point the suspect allegedly pushed the victim and threw an object at the victim’s vehicle. As the victim attempted to move his vehicle away from the scene while calling police, the suspect chased after the car and threw a cup at it. Arriving officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. The victim was not injured. While officers were attempting to place the suspect into a transport vehicle, he actively resisted and became aggressive, then kicked the door of the vehicle, causing it to strike an officer in the head. The officer sustained minor injury. John Hemphill, 52, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police, Assault and Battery, Obstruction of Justice and Destruction of Property. He was held on no bond.
APS Modifies Back-to-School Plan — “To better serve our students, we are announcing updates to the return-to-school plan, including revisions to the elementary and middle school hybrid/in-person instructional models and adjusted student groupings.” [Arlington Public Schools]
More on Silver Line Attack — “The woman was riding the train with her young child at about 11:35 a.m. Tuesday when a man assaulted her, tried to remove her clothing and exposed himself, Metro Transit Police said. The attack occurred between the McLean and East Falls Church stations.” [NBC 4]
CPRO May Get New Name — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has been known by the name – and the acronym CPRO – for nearly 35 years. But plans are now in the works to provide a new name to describe the organization’s current mission. The renaming process ‘will probably happen over the next few months,’ CPRO executive director Kim Klingler said.” [InsideNova]
Rose Bush Auction This Weekend — “Hosted by Arlington Rose Foundation… Our auction with sound system will be held outdoors, where it is easy to social distance, in the lovely rose garden at Columbia Gardens Cemetery, 3411 Arlington Boulevard.” [ARLnow Events]
Adult, Two Kids Struck By Driver in Falls Church — ” At approximately 11:01 a.m. on October 7, City of Falls Church Police were dispatched to the report of pedestrians hit by a vehicle at the intersection of W Annandale Road and W Broad Street. Three victims – an adult and two minors – were transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.” [City of Falls Church]
An Arlington man was arrested last night after police say he accidentally fired a bullet into the apartment below his.
The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on the 3800 block of Columbia Pike, a couple of blocks west of S. Glebe Road.
The suspect was “engaged in a dispute with a group of people,” police said. “When the suspect allegedly went inside to retrieve his firearm, it discharged and a bullet entered the residence below.”
Police were called when the downstair resident “observed a stray bullet come through the ceiling.” No one was hurt.
The 36-year-old suspect is facing a number of charges, including “possession of a firearm by a foreign national.”
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2020-09270168, 3800 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on September 27, police were dispatched to the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he heard noise and observed a stray bullet come through the ceiling. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect was engaged in a dispute with a group of people behind a residential building. When the suspect allegedly went inside to retrieve his firearm, it discharged and a bullet entered the residence below. Officers located the suspect outside his residence and took him into custody without incident. No injuries were reported. Jose Gomez, 36, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Discharging a Firearm or Missile in/at an Occupied Building, and Possession of a Firearm by a Foreign Alien.
Amazon Buys Hotel Next to HQ2 Site — “Amazon.com Inc. has purchased the Residence Inn by Marriott in Pentagon City with plans to demolish it and expand its second headquarters, the company tells the Washington Business Journal. Acorn Development LLC, an Amazon subsidiary, paid $148.5 million for the building and its 1.5-acre site at 550 Army Navy Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]
Changes for Missing Middle Housing Study — “Staff from the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development (CPHD) presented to the County Board a revised Missing Middle Housing Study Scope and Charge, which was shaped by community feedback and informed by research.” [Arlington County]
Optimists Now Meeting in Person — “While many other service organizations across Northern Virginia have curtailed operations or moved to an online-only presence due to the public-health situation, the Optimist Club of Arlington is back with in-person meetings. The local club… resumed its twice-monthly meetings in July at Washington Golf & Country Club, with appropriate precautions.” [InsideNova]
Robo Mower Snatched, But Then Returned — “Though not a tale of high crimes and misdemeanors, the brief disappearance Tuesday morning of ‘Shultzy’ the robotic AutoMower caused a degree of excitement for one Maywood family.” [Patch]
ACFD Touts First ‘Whole Blood’ Use — “Crews responded for a person that suffered serious injuries after a long fall on Monday. Medics quickly administered whole blood, helping to stabilize the patient’s vital signs. This was the first use of our innovative whole blood program implemented earlier this month.” [Twitter]
Today: Virtual Pike Progress Luncheon — “Support our community with this year’s virtual ‘luncheon’ benefit! While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Columbia Pike, the region and indeed the world, our community is still strong.” [ARLnow Events, CPRO]
Purple Lounge is resuming operations after reaching a settlement with Virginia ABC for the restoration of its liquor license.
Six people have been shot in violence linked to the business at 3111 Columbia Pike since last September, including a double shooting late last month and a triple shooting, in which one person was killed, in June. The continued violence, complaints from neighbors, and repeated code violations led Virginia ABC to suspend Purple Lounge’s license to serve alcohol earlier this month.
As a result of a settlement this week the business can resume serving alcohol — but with a number of restrictions.
The restrictions include “stopping all sales and consumption of alcohol at 12:45 a.m.,” “closure of the business no later than 1:00 a.m. and no reopening sooner than 8:00 a.m.,” and keeping four certified security guards on duty — including in the violence-prone parking lot — when the lounge is open at night.
In a press release Wednesday night, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said the county would have preferred the business been fully closed by Virginia ABC. She noted that further violations, however, could result in a permanent loss of Purple Lounge’s ABC license.
More from the county press release:
Today, Arlington County officials were informed of a settlement agreement reached between the management of the Purple Restaurant and Lounge and the Virginia ABC. Arlington County is not a party to this settlement.
“We are very disappointed that ABC did not fully close or revoke the liquor license for The Purple Lounge. We view the result in this matter as only a partial step towards ensuring our community’s safety, which is our primary concern,” Libby Garvey, Chair of the Arlington County Board noted. “The restrictions now in place, if followed, at least offer a path forward. The penalties for failure to adhere to the restrictions include permanent loss of licensure. Our police and public health officials will work closely with Virginia ABC to ensure that this settlement is strictly followed. Our staff will be conducting regular visits and monitoring activity inside and outside of the Purple Lounge to ensure full compliance.” Community members who observe behaviors believed to be outside of the negotiated agreement are urged to contact Virginia ABC or the Arlington County Police Department.
On September 1, following a series of disturbing events at the Purple Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge (Purple Lounge), the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (“ABC”) issued an Order of Summary Suspension, temporarily suspending its alcohol licenses.
After an investigation, Virginia ABC cited two violations against the Purple Lounge relating to its failure to take reasonable measures to prevent violence on the property, and the Purple Lounge’s adverse effects on neighboring properties. A formal hearing was scheduled to occur on September 16-17th regarding the status of the Purple Lounge’s liquor license as a result of these charges. Possible outcomes ranged from full reinstatement of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses, partial reinstatement of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses with restricted hours, or full revocation of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses.
(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) A fast-growing, fast-casual restaurant chain from Southern California appears to be coming to Columbia Pike.
The company describes itself as “fast-casual modern Mediterranean food franchise specializing in healthier, faster, fresher, lighter and tastier customizable bowls, baguette and pitas.”
“Our food is always made fresh and served quickly using organic, sustainable, and locally grown ingredients whenever possible,” says the Hummus Republic website.
The website lists four locations in Southern California, and more than a dozen planned throughout the state and in Ohio, New Jersey, Boston and Seattle. The Arlington location at 952 S. George Mason Drive is listed as “under construction.”
There’s no word on when the restaurant might open.
— Chris Slatt (@alongthepike) September 16, 2020
Photo via Hummus Republic/Facebook. Hat tip to Chris Slatt.
Cinthia’s Bakery II has closed shop in Arlington amid road construction and the pandemic, but will continue to serve local customers at its original Bailey’s Crossroads location.
The restaurant announced the closure of its second location (5037 Columbia Pike) on its Facebook page this week. A sign in the window says it closed on Aug. 31.
“Cinthia’s 1 will open normally 7 days a week at 5860 Columbia Pike, Falls Church,” the sign adds. The driving distance between the two locations is just six minutes.
In addition to the pandemic hurting local restaurants, there has been ongoing construction and detours along Columbia Pike, in front of Cinthia’s Bakery II.
In January, a bakery employee told WJLA that the business saw “a significant drop off in the number of customers and an increase in empty tables due to construction.”
Staff photos by Jay Westcott. Hat tip to @bgannon97.
(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) Columbia Pike was blocked in both directions between S. Highland Street and Walter Reed Drive Tuesday evening due to a significant police incident.
A police spokeswoman tells ARLnow that three officers were attacked by a combative person inside a business. DCist identified that business as the Virginia ABC store, reporting that police were called after a drunk man stumbled in and started angrily yelling at employees and other customers.
“At approximately 6:25 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a fight inside a business in the 2900 block of Columbia Pike,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Arriving officers made contact with the suspect, who was combative and assaulted three officers.”
The officers called for backup, leading to the large emergency response. Nearly a dozen police vehicles and two ambulances could be seen on traffic cameras.
“The officers are being transported to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life threatening,” Savage said. “The suspect was taken into custody and is being transported to an area hospital for evaluation.”
The closed portion of Columbia Pike reopened around 7:45 p.m.
On Wednesday morning, ACPD released more information about the incident in its daily crime report.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, 2020-09080136, 2900 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 6:25 p.m. on September 8, police were dispatched to the report of an intoxicated male inside a business who was allegedly acting disorderly after being refused service. Shortly after the initial call, the reporting party updated that the suspect was now fighting with customers inside the business and was threatening employees. Arriving officers located the male suspect outside the business. When officers attempted to handcuff the suspect, he became combative, actively resisted and assaulted three officers. During the struggle, two officers suffered head injuries and one officer was kicked and struck by the suspect. Officers were able to gain control of the suspect and take him into custody. The suspect was not injured. The officers were transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. As a precaution, the suspect was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. Once medically cleared, Daniel Michael, 45, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding on Law Enforcement (x2), Assault and Battery on Police, Assault & Battery (x2). He was held on no bond.
Two men in their late teens are facing felony charges police say they robbed a store on Columbia Pike over the weekend.
The robbery happened around 1 p.m. on Saturday, according to county police. An Arlington Alert sent that afternoon said it happened at 2340 Columbia Pike, which is the address of Wireless Rxx — a computer and phone repair shop and retailer that was struggling early in the pandemic.
According to police, three young male suspects entered the store and started trying to smash the display counter with rocks — when that didn’t work, they allegedly reached over the counter, stole merchandise, and then started throwing items at store employees before fleeing.
Two of the suspects were located by officers further west on Columbia Pike. Both were arrested, including one taken into custody after a foot chase, police said. Despite an extended search of the area, the third suspect was able to get away.
More from an ACPD daily crime report:
ROBBERY, 2020-09050122, 2300 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 1:03 p.m. on September 5, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that three male suspects entered a business and attempted to smash a glass display counter with rocks they had concealed in their clothing. When that was unsuccessful, the suspects allegedly reached over the counter and stole merchandise. The suspects then threw merchandise at store employees and attempted to strike one employee before fleeing the scene on foot. A lookout for the suspects was broadcast to responding officers. Units canvassed the area and located two of the suspects in the 2700 block of Columbia Pike. One suspect fled on foot from officers and, following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into police custody. Delonte Roach, 18, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Felony and Eluding Police. Raymontae Ford, 19, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit Felony and Obstruction of Justice. Both suspects were held without bond. Suspect Three remains outstanding and is described as a young Black male, medium height with a skinny build.