FBI Seeking Man Who Touched Girl at Cemetery — The FBI’s Washington Field Office is searching for a man who “inappropriately touched a girl as the two stood in a crowd during a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.” [NBC Washington]
Task Force Recommends ‘Fleet Elementary’ — The task force charged with recommending a name for the new elementary school being built next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School has settled its choice: “Alice West Fleet Elementary.” Fleet was the first African-American reading teacher in Arlington’s public school system. The task force did not recommend transferring the name of Patrick Henry, a slave owner, from the current school, which will be transferring its students to new new school when it is complete. [InsideNova]
Bicyclist Group Calls Out Biking Bullies — In a blog post, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is calling out aggressive male riders who yelled insults at a female bike commuter on two separate occasions on the Mt. Vernon Trail. “This sort of behavior is totally unacceptable,” the group said. [WABA]
Mt. Vernon Trail Upgrade Complete — The National Park Service has completed an upgrade to a portion of the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs through the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot. The upgrade includes a new crossing and speed table across the parking lot and the widening of the trail. [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Sells Bonds at Low Interest Rate — Arlington County solds $185 million in bonds at a relatively low 2.5 percent interest rate. “The interest rate we received today is one of the lowest we’ve ever received,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. “However, it is slightly higher than the rate we received last year.” [Arlington County]
Tight Race in Va. Gov. Primary — The two candidates battling it out in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary are in the midst of a tight race. The race between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello is being portrayed as a contest between an establishment figure (Northam) and a progressive darling (Perriello). Primary voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 13. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The incident happened around 8 a.m. this past Thursday, on the 3000 block of N. Harrison Street, not far from Yorktown High School. Police say a middle-aged man in a silver car asked the boy where he was going and whether he wanted a ride.
More from an ACPD crime report:
ENTICEMENT(Late), 2017-05250276, 3000 block of N. Harrison Street. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on May 25, police were dispatched to the report of an enticement. The investigation revealed that at approximately 8:00 a.m. on May 25, a juvenile male was walking in the area when an adult male subject in a silver four-door sedan pulled alongside him. The subject asked the juvenile where he was going and if he wanted a ride. When the juvenile responded no, the subject drove off in an unknown direction. The subject is described as a white male between 40-60 years old with gray hair. The investigation is ongoing.
Photo via Google Maps
The incident happened Monday around 4 p.m., near the Costco and Best Buy parking lot. Police say a 10-year-old girl was approached by a man after being dropped off by her school bus.
“The victim described the suspect as speaking with a British accent as he offered her candy and reported to have dogs inside his van,” police said in a press release. “When the victim refused, the suspect grabbed her backpack and jacket before the victim was able to escape. The suspect fled the area by vehicle.”
From the press release:
The suspect is described as a white male, possibly in his 20’s with black hair and wearing a black shirt and possibly red pants at the time of the incident. His vehicle is described as a white van with a sliding side door.
Police have increased patrols in the area. Anyone with information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident is asked to contact Detective K. Bercovicz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703.228.4235 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
The four incidents date back to April 7. Two incidents in April involved a man who tried to lure children to his home and then his truck. Two incidents in May involved a suspicious man in a vehicle — first a pickup truck, then a different type of vehicle — who drove by and ogled children who were walking home from school.
It’s unclear if the same suspect was involved in all four cases.
“The Arlington County Police Department is actively investigating these incidents,” ACPD said in a press release this afternoon. “Officers will continue conducting extra checks in the area of these incidents and there will be additional police presence during school dismissals.”
Both May incidents were reported to the police department well after they occurred, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. Police are asking members of the public to report such occurrences as soon as possible.
“If anyone has information on the identity of the suspect(s) or the vehicle(s), please contact the Arlington County Police Department at 703.558.2222 or Detective Saundra Lafley at 703-228-4052,” said the press release. “Detective Lafley can also be reached by email at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”
The full description of the incidents from ACPD is below.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 7, an unknown male subject approached two children, a male and female, in the 5200 block of 8th Road S. and enticed them to accompany him home. The children refused. The subject then left the area in a dark colored, black or blue, pick-up truck. The female juvenile has noticed the unknown male subject watching her on three separate occasions. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall and weighed 160 lbs. He was wearing a black North Face sweater and blue jeans.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on April 19, an unknown male attempted to entice several children into his vehicle in the 5200 block of 30th Street N. The vehicle is described as an older model, navy blue pick-up truck with several dents and scratches. It was reported that the truck had a ladder on top of it and numerous tools in the bed. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 40-50 years old, with medium length hair and was wearing a blue tattered tank top.
At approximately 3:25 p.m. on May 23, two female juveniles were walking in the 200 block of N. Park Drive when a dark blue pickup truck drove beside them as they were walking. The juvenile victims caught up to another pedestrian in the area and the vehicle drove off. The suspect did not speak to the victims. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with light complexion and black hair.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on May 25, a female juvenile victim was walking in the 1300 block of N. Stafford Street when a vehicle passed her traveling in the same direction. The vehicle slowed and appeared to be waiting for her. The juvenile victim turned around and walked in the opposite direction. The juvenile victim reported seeing the vehicle in the area on two additional occasions. On one occasion, the driver sounded his horn to gain the attention of the female victim and her friends. On another occasion, the vehicle was parked and the driver appeared to be watching her. The male subject is described as a heavy set Hispanic, Middle Eastern or Italian male, possibly in his 50’s with thinning black hair, big lips and small rimmed sunglasses. He was driving a newer model light blue, dark blue or black model sedan.
The first occurred around 4:15 p.m., within a block of Wakefield High School. Police say a 28-year-old Arlington man was arrested after a 15-year-old girl witnessed him masturbating in his car.
From an Arlington County Police crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 160419045, 1900 block of S. George Mason Drive. At approximately 4:15 p.m. on April 19, while a female victim was walking she witnessed a male subject masturbating in his vehicle. Fredy Lisandro Guzman, 28, of Arlington VA, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure. He is being held on a secured bond.
A block away from Yorktown High School, around 7 p.m., police say a man in a pickup truck tried to lure some children into his vehicle.
At this time, police do not believe this incident is connected with a similar one that occurred earlier in the month in the Arlington Mill neighborhood.
ENTICEMENT, 160419051, 5200 block of 30th Street. At approximately 7:00 p.m. on April 19, an unknown male in a vehicle attempted to entice several children into his vehicle. The vehicle is described as an older model, navy blue pick-up truck with several dents and scratches. IT was reported that the truck had a ladder on top of it and numerous tools in the bed. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 40-50’s. He was wearing a blue tattered tank top.
Update at 4:35 p.m. — ACPD issued the following press release about the incident Wednesday afternoon.
The Arlington County Police Department would like to make the public aware of an enticement incident of three children on April 19, 2016.
The Arlington County Police Department is currently investigating an attempted enticement of three children, ages 8-11, while they were outside playing hide and seek yesterday evening. The incident occurred in the 5200 block of N. 30th Street around 7:00 p.m., when a male suspect driving an older model navy blue pickup truck approached the children and attempted to lure them into his vehicle. The children were all able to run away and seek immediate assistance.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 40-50 years old, with medium length hair and was wearing a blue tattered tank top.
If anyone has information on the identity of the suspect, please contact the Arlington County Police Department at 703.558.2222 or Detective Saundra Lafley at 703.228.4052.Det. Lafley can also be reached by email at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Later Tuesday night, along Columbia Pike, a woman was startled to find a man watching her in the bathroom stall next to hers.
PEEPING TOM, 160419021, 900 block of S. Highland Street. At approximately 11:38 p.m. on April 19, a female victim observed a male subject watching her in the restroom stall next to hers. The suspect fled the scene on foot. The suspect is described as a black male in his 30’s, approximately 5’10-6’0″ tall and weighed 170-200 lbs. He was wearing a white button up shirt, striped tie, tan pants, and dark shoes.
The alleged incident took place at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, on the 5200 block of 8th Road S., in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. The children refused to follow the man and were unharmed.
From an ACPD crime report:
An unknown male subject approached two children, a male and female, and enticed them to accompany him home. The children refused. The subject then left the area in a dark colored, black or blue, pick-up truck. The female juvenile has noticed the unknown male subject watching her on three separate occasions. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall and weighed 160 lbs. He was wearing a black North Face sweater and blue jeans.
Ahmad El-Khatib, 31, was arrested Sunday morning at a friend’s apartment building on the 800 block of N. Randolph Street. Police say El-Khatib had been out with friends in D.C. Saturday night and came back to his friend’s building.
Around 3:40 a.m., a 13-year-old boy who was sleeping in the club room of the building was awakened to find a stranger touching him in appropriately, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The teen immediately fled the room and reported the incident to a family member, who was working as the building’s overnight concierge.
The concierge reviewed surveillance footage and found that the incident had been caught on video, Sternbeck said. Later that morning, when El-Khatib was leaving the building, an employee identified him as the suspect in the video and called police. El-Khatib was arrested on scene, said Sternbeck.
El-Khatib, an Annandale resident, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault and is being held without bond.
El-Khatib is listed as the “founding director” of the NUR Center, an Islamic education, recreation and cultural center with locations in Loudoun County and on Carlin Springs Road in Falls Church. The center offers Montessori classes for ages 3-9, along with after school activities for ages 5-12 and youth day and summer camps.
Also on the NUR Center website, El-Khatib is listed as the coach of a martial arts team based at Abingdon Elementary School, in Arlington’s Fairlington community. On his LinkedIn profile, he’s listed as the “program director” of the NUR Center and a company called Arlington Day Camps LLC.
A website for Arlington Day Camps has the following biography for El-Khatib:
Ahmad El-Khatib has directed art, fitness, and enrichment camps in the DMV area for over 10 years. His programs have been offered at Fairfax County Rec Centers, Sport and Health Clubs, Abingdon Elementary, Drew Model School, Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy, and Randolph Elementary. In 2010, he founded the NUR Center, a Montessori School and After-School recreation center for children and adults. His working partnerships with local schools gave him the ability to establish strong relationships with some of the areas most extraordinary teachers. In September 2013, with the support of his staff and community, he established Arlington Day Camps in an effort to provide quality and affordable camps during school holidays and teacher work days.
A phone number listed for El-Khatib went straight to a full voicemail box. An employee at the NUR Center in Loudoun County did not have any information on El-Khatib’s arrest, and an email to the company has not been returned. Attempts to reach Mary El-Khatib, who’s listed as a NUR Center co-founder and a former Arlington Public Schools teacher, were also unsuccessful.
Patrick Joseph Friedel, 29, will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession and production of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today.
Friedel admitted to meeting five underage girls over the internet and, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office, exchanged sexually explicit images with them, using “persuasion, including sending depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and coercion, including threats to post images online and tell parents.”
According to a signed affidavit by the Department of Homeland Security agent assigned to the case and acquired by ARLnow.com, Friedel used social networking apps Kik and MeetMe with the username “gthoya” to find victims and persuade them to send him sexually explicit images and videos.
Law enforcement found approximately 500 images or videos on Friedel’s computer of minors engaging in sex acts or other lewd behavior, according to the affidavit. The majority of the media was sent to Friedel directly at his request. At least six of the images or videos were of children under the age of 10 engaging in sex acts with adult males, but agents believe Friedel acquired them from other sources online.
Friedel engaged in sexual activity with one of the girls with whom he had contact three times, taking pictures and videos of the incidents. According to Friedel’s plea agreement, the images “included sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.” The victim was 15 years old at the time.
The affidavit states Friedel rented a Zipcar to drive to the victim’s house, pick her up, and engage in intercourse and “oral and anal sodomy” in the back seat. On a separate occasion, Friedel picked her up and brought her to his home in Arlington, where he filmed their sexual encounters. On the videotape, the agent states, he instructs her to perform sex acts to him and “slapped her on the head” when she did not do as instructed.
Friedel is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24.
The full press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office is after the jump.
Arlington Probation Officer Charged — A 40-year-old Arlington County probation officer has been charged with the aggravated sexual battery of a 10-year-old girl in Woodbridge. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the crime. [NBC Washington]
No Democrats to Run Against Van Doren — Nancy Van Doren is the lone Democrat to file to run for the Arlington School Board seat being vacated by Noah Simon. She’s expected to be confirmed as the Democratic endorsee on Aug. 6. [InsideNova]
Verizon Outage Reported — A widespread Verizon FiOS and wireless data outage was reported in the D.C. area Sunday night through Monday morning. [CBS Local]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The alleged incident took place at 5:00 p.m. this past Monday, on the 1000 block of S. Cleveland Street.
“A subject was seen masturbating in his car in front of a daycare as children were playing in the front yard,” according to the ACPD crime report. “Police arrived on scene and took the suspect into custody.”
The suspect — identified as 38-year-old Alberto Sanchez Jr of New Haven, Conn. — has been charged with “taking indecent liberties with children.” He was held without bond.
(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) The Alexandria woman whose infant died after being locked in a hot car for six hours on a sweltering July day pleaded guilty today to felony child neglect.
Zoraida Magal Conde Hernandez, 32, submitted an Alford plea, meaning she accepts the verdict without technically admitting guilt in the case. Hernandez and Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos agreed to two years and six months of probation, and, barring a violation, a dismissal of charges after that.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Molly Newton said Hernandez, after dropping two other children off at their summer activities in Alexandria, forgot that her 8-month-old son was strapped in his car seat when she drove to her job at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and locked her car in the parking lot.
Newton said it was only when she picked up her 3-year-old daughter on July 5 at 3:30 p.m. did she notice the baby was purple and not breathing. Hernandez then drove to Inova Alexandria Hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead from hyperthermia with an internal temperature of 108 degrees.
“It has been a very difficult case for everyone involved,” Newton told the judge. “We’ve always believed the case has been a crime. The reaction from the community has not been such.”
Newton said that sympathy for the mother in similar cases has led to acquittals despite the evidence. Stamos said after the plea hearing that, in some jurisdictions, Hernandez’s crime wouldn’t bring charges. It’s unusual, Stamos said, for a felony case to “be adjudicated without a finding of guilt.”
“Clearly there are strong views on either side of this,” Stamos said. “It was difficult for the arresting officer, the medical examiner and the physicians involved.”
Stamos said an incident of a child dying in a hot car hadn’t happened in Arlington in 28 years. If Hernandez had been found guilty by a jury, she could have been incarcerated for anywhere from one day to five years. Newton said that, because Hernandez was incarcerated for two weeks before and after her bond hearing, the Commonwealth’s Attorney felt further incarceration wasn’t necessary.
“We want her to be accountable,” Newton said. “By entering this plea, she is. She has done everything we have wanted her to do.”
Hernandez’s other four children are still with Child Protective Services in Alexandria, and her case is making its way through that city’s administrative and court system, Newton said. Hernandez didn’t noticeably react during the proceeding, which took a little less than a half hour, even when Newton read the prosecution’s account of July 5’s event.
Photo via ACPD
The incident happened around 6:00 last night. Police say Arlington resident Jose Sanchez, 56, was seen masturbating behind a shopping center on the 4800 block of Columbia Pike, while watching children at a nearby playground.
Sanchez was apprehended by Arlington County Police and charged with indecent exposure. Detectives are now trying to determine whether Sanchez could be linked with other, similar cases.
“Our Special Victims Unit will be reviewing similar cases from the past to see if this individual is related to any of those,” police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told ARLnow.com.
Photo courtesy ACPD
The Alexandria woman accused of fatally locking her 8-month-old son in a hot car earlier this month had her bond set at $25,000 in Arlington County Circuit Court on Thursday morning.
Zoraida Magal Conde Hernandez, 32, reached an agreement with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to have supervised visits with her four other children. She is not allowed unsupervised contact.
The Alexandria Department of Community & Human Services agreed to allow the supervised visits and to conduct a mental health evaluation, complete with a risk assessment, before Conde Hernandez is allowed back in her home.
Conde Hernandez was arrested July 6 after police say she forgot her child in her car, in the sweltering heat, for six hours while she was at work . The car was parked on the 200 block of S. Glebe Road.
She “noticed the baby was left inside his car seat when she arrived at a daycare to pick up one of her other children,” according to the Arlington County Police Department. “The baby was unresponsive and she immediately drove to Inova Alexandria hospital, where the child was pronounced dead a short time later.”
Hernandez is charged with felony child neglect. Her case was appealed to the Circuit Court for the bond hearing, and the next steps will take place in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Photo via ACPD
Police say 19-year-old Paul Noland, who lives with his parents in Alcova Heights, lured the boy into this pickup truck around 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, on the 3600 block of 8th Street S. Noland is accused of showing the boy — who lives in the neighborhood — child pornography on his iPad, then touching him inappropriately.
The boy’s parents were outside doing yard work at the time of the incident, police said. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/21/13, 3600 block of S. 8th Street. At 8:00 pm on May 21, a child reported he was sexually assaulted and shown child pornography by a male neighbor. Paul Jaquet Noland, 19, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery. He is being held without bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Miguel Angel Pinedo-Valdivia, 50, has been charged with Attempted Forcible Sodomy in connection with an incident on Thursday, April 11. Police say Pinedo-Valdivia, who has ties to residences in Arlington County and Maryland, picked up a 17-year-old boy outside a restaurant on the 4100 block of Columbia Pike, offering the boy potential work.
“The victim, being in the country only a few months, was tricked into a back seat of a vehicle thinking he had an offer of employment,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Pinedo-Valdivia drove his Mercedes sedan into Maryland, where he engaged in “aggressive sexual advances…. and inappropriate touching” of the boy, according to Sternbeck. The man then drove back into Arlington County, where he again tried to sexually assault the 17-year-old, Sternbeck said.
“After numerous unsuccessful attempts to sexually assault the victim, along with additional pleas to stop, the suspect then allowed the victim to exit the vehicle,” said Sternbeck.
Investigators believe Pinedo-Valdivia may have assaulted other young immigrants, and are asking for any victims to step forward.
“Information revealed in the investigation indicates that there are potentially other victims and police believe Pinedo-Valdivia could be targeting the Hispanic immigrant population,” police said in a press release. “Anyone who has information about this suspect or has information on additional victims is asked to call Detective Hermes Molina at 703.228.4208 or email [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”