Arlington, VA

A man was arrested early Sunday and charged in a pair of robberies in the Crystal City area.

Police say 41-year-old Christopher Uglialoro first robbed a business at knifepoint on the 1800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, around 1:45 a.m. He then robbed another nearby business, on the 400 block of 23rd Street S., around 2:15 a.m., according to police.

In each incident, police say Uglialoro acted disorderly, damaging items and throwing merchandise. He was located and arrested “without incident” shortly after the robberies, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The 400 block of 23rd Street S. is home to a 7-Eleven store. Police typically do not identify the victims of crimes and in this case did not say which businesses were robbed.

More from ACPD:

ROBBERY, 2019-06160036, 1800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. At approximately 1:46 a.m. on June 16, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect allegedly entered the business and began acting disorderly and tampering with items. When an employee approached him, he produced a knife, and demanded cash. The suspect then stole an undisclosed amount of cash and continued to tamper with and damage items inside the business before fleeing prior to police arrival. Officers canvased the area and located the suspect based upon the description provided in a lookout. The suspect was positively identified and taken into custody without incident. Christopher Uglialoro, 41, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Robbery.

ROBBERY, 2019-06160046, 400 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 2:15 a.m. on June 16, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject inside a business. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect allegedly entered a business, went behind the counter and began throwing merchandise. When confronted by an employee, the suspect became irate and threatened the employee, before grabbing merchandise and fleeing the scene prior to police arrival. Officers were already in the area canvasing to locate a suspect in a separate robbery case (2019-6160036), when a lookout was broadcast. The suspect in the prior robbery case was subsequently determined to be involved in this case. Christopher Uglialoro, 41, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Robbery.

The rest of the week’s crime report, after the jump.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Loses Top Economic Development Official — “Christina Winn, one of the lead Arlington officials tasked with luring Amazon to the county, is taking over as Prince William County’s top economic development official.” [Washington Business Journal]

Marymount Prez Wants to Double Enrollment — “Irma Becerra hit the ground running the moment she took over the Marymount University presidency… her chief goal is as straightforward as it is ambitious: Double the school’s size in the next five years.” [Washington Business Journal]

18th Street Headache — “As they wrap up the demolition of the Clark St. bridge over 18th [Street S. in Crystal City], the eastbound side of 18th will be closed Thursday and Friday this week.” [Twitter]

Howell Gets Fall Challenger — “It’s an uphill battle, to be certain, but Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance president Arthur Purves will take on, as a Republican, seven-term incumbent state Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) in the Nov. 5 election. The district snakes from Howell’s home turf of Reston eastward into portions of Arlington.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Treasurer Leads State Association — “Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava was sworn in as the President of the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV) at the association’s annual conference in Arlington.” [Press Release]

Boeing’s Space HQ Moving Out of Arlington — “Boeing will move its space headquarters from Arlington, Va., to the Florida Space Coast as it pursues a number of rocket and spacecraft programs, including one that would launch astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle retired in 2011.” [Washington Post]

Townhomes Proposed for Crystal House Property — “The proposed expansion of the Crystal House apartment complex is getting a little larger, with 21 townhomes now part of plans at the Crystal City property… The company has already filed for permission to add 798 units across four new buildings on the 29.8-acre site.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Design of Potomac Yard Metro Revealed — “The city of Alexandria, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Potomac Yard Constructors, the private joint venture picked to build the station, have submitted a design for an upcoming evaluation by the city’s Board of Architectural Review. The station design calls for a stone base, a metal canopy and metal louvers, a glass curtain wall and exo-skeleton system, a standing seam metal roof and roof skylight panels. There will be bathrooms on the eastern side, between a set of elevators and an electrical room.” [Washington Business Journal]

Photo courtesy Celia Slater

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Arlington County Police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman in Crystal City this morning.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, in a commercial building on the 1500 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, police said. A man followed a woman inside and elevator and “then inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted the victim before witnesses entered the area, causing the suspect to flee the scene on foot,” per a police press release.

Police are now looking for the suspect and asking for the public’s help in locating him. They released surveillance video of him in a nearby underground walkway (below).

The full ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking the public’s assistance identifying and locating a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim in the Crystal City neighborhood.

At approximately 8:39 a.m. on June 13, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown male suspect followed the female victim into a commercial building in the 1500 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. The suspect cornered the victim inside an open elevator, preventing her from leaving. The suspect then inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted the victim before witnesses entered the area, causing the suspect to flee the scene on foot.

The suspect, who was captured on surveillance video, is described as a black male, approximately 6’0″ tall with an athletic build. He was wearing a black shirt, dark pants, and sneakers at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident is asked to contact Detective S. Gomez of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703.228.4173 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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Blerdcon — a comic convention highlighting black nerd culture — is returning to Crystal City and fans of the ’90s anime Cowboy Bebop may recognize a familiar voice.

The convention is scheduled for the Hyatt Regency (2700 Richmond Highway) from Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14.

Guests highlighted at the convention include Estelle, a musician and who has a leading role in the Steven Universe cartoon show, and Beau Billingslea, who voiced Jet Black in the English dub for the seminal anime Cowboy Bebop.

The event celebrates both the creative talents of black nerds, a subculture emerging at the intersection of science-fiction/fantasy fandoms and the black experience in America that has historically struggled with a sense of isolation in both communities.

In addition to a focus on the black nerd cultural experience, the event description highlights the convention’s intersectionality with “LGBTQ, the disabled, POCs and the international community.”

Weekend passes to the convention are $55.

Photo via Blerdcon/Facebook

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Two months after opening, Fiona’s Irish Pub (567 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City has closed — possibly for good.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will be closed today, Sunday, June the 9th,” said a notice on the bar’s door. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

But the establishment has not reopened and the pub’s website says it has closed permanently.

Earlier today a local beer vendor who had worked with the pub and staff at another nearby restaurant milled around outside the establishment swapping theories in the absence of any official reason. The timing coincided with the permanent closure of the pub’s other location at 5810 Kingstowne Center, though Covering the Corridor, a local blog, reported a representative said the Arlington location would remain open.

It was a sudden closure for a restaurant that had faced a series of delays, opening in April after missing a planned opening before St. Patrick’s Day. The closure also comes nearly a year after King Street Blues, another restaurant from the same owner, closed in Crystal City.

Fiona’s enjoyed favorable online reviews, though some noted a lack of customers.

Why Fiona is closed, and whether the Arlington location’s demise is permanent, remains unknown. The location was formerly home to long-time local bar Tortoise and Hare.

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Virginia Tech announced today that it will build its latest campus in Potomac Yard, just across the border from Arlington in Alexandria and within close proximity to Amazon’s HQ2.

The university will be building a 15 million-square-foot, graduate-level “Innovation Campus” on a 15-acre property near the Regal movie theater, across Potomac Avenue from the Potomac Yard shopping center. The property is being developed by Lionstone and JBG Smith, which recently inked its deal with Amazon.

The campus was part of the state’s pitch to woo Amazon and joins the university’s other Northern Virginia facilities in Ballston and the West Falls Church.

“The first class of Innovation Campus master’s degree students will enroll in the fall of 2020 in existing space adjacent to where its new academic buildings will eventually be built,” the university said in a press release. “When complete in about 10 years, the campus will enroll 750 master’s candidates and hundreds of doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows.”

Virginia Tech President Dr. Tim Sands said today (Monday) that he was “extremely pleased” about the location and its proximity to Amazon’s headquarters across Four Mile Run.

“It is the ideal location to support Virginia Tech’s bold plan to develop new tech talent, disciplines, programs, and human-centered research that will shape the economic future of the commonwealth and beyond,” he said.

“The campus’s strategic location, on 15 acres just south of the Four Mile Run stream that separates Alexandria and Arlington, positions Virginia Tech and its future partners near the nation’s capital, diverse industries, and leading tech companies, including Amazon and its HQ2 project,” the university noted in its press release.

“The campus will include academic classrooms, incubator space for new startups and research and development, offices for industry collaboration, and convening space for alumni events,” the press release said. “The development plans call for public open space and ground-floor retail, knitting the campus into the fabric of Alexandria.”

The campus will ultimately be part of a 65-acre mixed-use development, with the planned redevelopment of the big-box shopping center.

Amazon’s arrival renewed a funding push for Potomac Yard Metro station project as well as a proposed second entrance to the Crystal City Metro station earlier this year, though fluctuating cost estimates have made the details of the Potomac Yard project murky.

Development officials in Arlington and Alexandria previously hoped Potomac Yard and Crystal City would help attract Amazon. During an August Bisnow event, they noted that even with Four Mile Run drawing a municipal boundary between the two neighborhoods, developer JBG Smith owned large properties throughout the two regions and transportation projects made the area a prime spot for large-scale commercial development.

“If we can’t get it, we turn around and ask the next Fortune 100 company about their expansion plans,” Stephanie Landrum, president and CEO of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, said of the Amazon selection process at the time.

During a Sunday event in Arlington about using tax revenue from Amazon to preserve affordability and equity in the area, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said he was “excited” about the new campus and what it can do for the region.

Wilson added that Sands is “under extreme pressure” from Commonwealth leaders to diversify the stream of tech workers in the state.

“And we said, here are we,” Wilson said of Alexandria. “We are a school system of 62 percent free and reduced lunch and 32 percent English language learners. We can help you do that.”

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Morning Notes

Ray’s the Steaks Closing — “Washington will soon lose a carnivorous institution. Ray’s the Steaks, an unfussy Arlington chophouse that’s operated in the neighborhood for 17 years, will close after service on Saturday, June 15, says chef/owner Michael Landrum.” [Washingtonian]

DOJ Announces APS Settlement — “Today the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced a settlement agreement with Arlington Public Schools that will bolster English language services to the district’s approximately 5,000 students who are not proficient in English.” [Dept. of Justice]

Flags Fly Half Mast for Va. Beach — Flags at Arlington County buildings are flying half mast in honor of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting. [Twitter]

Parking Is Point of Contention for Redevelopment — “Some surface parking at the Crystal House apartments is set to stick around, even as the Crystal City property gets redeveloped — and that’s worrying Arlington planners reviewing the project.” [Washington Business Journal]

‘Move Over’ Month in Arlington — “Move Over Awareness Month, recognized each June, is a statewide safety campaign designed to reduce the risk of injury or death to emergency personnel by raising motorist awareness of Virginia’s Move Over law.” [Arlington County]

New Priest for Arlington Cathedral — “Effective Thursday, June 27, 2019 and in accordance with the clergy appointments made by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington. the Very Reverend Patrick L. Posey, V.F., will be leaving his current position as Pastor of Saint James Catholic Church in Falls Church, to become the new Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More in Arlington.”

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Kora — an Italian eatery at 2250 Crystal Drive in Crystal City — seems closed, but with no visible indication of whether the closure permanent or not.

In addition to the doors being locked and the website saying “closed,” staff at Jaleo — the tapas restaurant next door — said the restaurant had been closed for at least a couple of weeks.

Kora bills itself as a restaurant, bar and lounge, with a menu offering various pizzas and pastas. The restaurant was founded by Morou Ouattara, a quasi-celebrity chef who also owns Lily and the Cactus in D.C.’s NoMa neighborhood.

The restaurant was most recently in the news this past January when it, along with several other Crystal City restaurants, offered free food for federal employees affected by the shutdown.

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(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) The Armed Forces Cycling Classic is returning to Arlington this weekend, prompting several road closures.

Teams will compete in a series of races sponsored by the the Boeing Company on Saturday, June 1, to win the “Crystal Cup.” The teams will then return on Sunday, June 2, for a chance to win the “Clarendon Cup.” This series marks the 22nd year for the annual event.

This Saturday, the race will open with an all ages “Challenge Ride” from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at 2100 Crystal Drive along a 10 kilometer track. Afterwards, the event will shift gear to line up the day’s professional and amateur races.

ACPD said police will close several streets in Crystal City and Rosslyn from 4:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, including:

  • Crystal Drive, from S. 15th Street through S. 23rd Street
  • Wilson Boulevard, from N. Kent Street to the Route 110 ramp
  • Route 110, from Rosslyn to Crystal City
  • S. Clark Street, from S. 20th Street to S. 23rd Street
  • S. 20th Street, from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
  • S. 18th Street, from Crystal Drive to S. Bell Street
  • S. 23rd Street from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
  • Crystal Drive (West side), from S. 23rd St to the Central Center Parking Garage
  • S. 12th Street and Long Bridge Drive

Competitors will roll into the Clarendon Cup Cycling Classic on Sunday. Professional teams will race 100-laps around a 1 kilometer area. Police said they plan to close the following roads from 4:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accommodate the event:

  • Wilson Blvd, from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Blvd
  • Clarendon Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Fillmore Street
  • Washington Blvd, from Wilson Blvd to N. Highland Street
  • North Highland Street, from Wilson Blvd to Washington Blvd
  • North Garfield Street / N. Fillmore Street, from Wilson Blvd to Washington Blvd

Organizers recommend attendees park at the Crystal City underground at 1600 Crystal Drive but warn them to remove bicycle roof racks from vehicles before driving down into the parking garage.

The county said in a press release that parking near both races is limited, and is encouraging attendees to use Metro or ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Metro-goers can access the Armed Forces Cycling Classic from the Crystal City Metro station, and the Clarendon Cup race via the Clarendon Metro station. Both stations are open during Metro’s summer shutdown south of Reagan National Airport.

For both events, police are warning drivers to keep on the lookout for additional road closures and “no parking” signs in around the events.

Flickr pool photos by Michael Coffman

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(Updated at 10:50 p.m.) The annual Rolling Thunder rally is coming to an end, but first a final big motorcycle gathering is planned this weekend.

Locals have a love-hate relationship with Rolling Thunder, which means increased traffic and noise along local roads and highways, plus road closures and other disruptions over Memorial Day weekend. In an ARLnow poll, however, most people said they either enjoy or do not mind the rally.

Rolling Thunder — which helps bring attention to American military Prisoners of War, Missing in Action and veterans issues — has for years used the Hyatt Regency hotel in Crystal City as its home base over the weekend. Bikers typically start to arrive on Friday before departing on Monday.

As in the past, this year’s schedule of events includes a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Friday and the main event — a rally in the Pentagon parking lot — on Sunday. During the day, the bikers hang out on the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial.

A number of road closure are planned around the Pentagon for the Sunday rally. Per Arlington County Police:

The following closures will be implemented from 7:00 a.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m.:

  • Washington Blvd. (Route 27) will be closed from I-395 to the Memorial Bridge.
  • Route 110 southbound from Iwo Jima to I-395 will be opening and closing intermittently
  • I-395 North Exit 8B will be CLOSED

In addition, Arlington National Cemetery will only be accessible from southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway or northbound Route 110.

ACPD says drivers should also expect numerous rolling road closures Saturday for a separate veterans motorcycle ride and memorial service.

The Arlington County Police Department will implement multiple road closures on Saturday, May 25, 2019, resulting in traffic disruptions, to accommodate escorts of Vietnam veterans groups.

  • From approximately 7:50 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., I-66 Eastbound will be closed at N. Sycamore Street to allow police to escort 400 veterans of the Vietnam War to travel by motorcycle to Arlington National Cemetery. The escort will proceed east on I-66, south on Route 110, west on Washington Boulevard and exit onto Columbia Pike to Southgate Road. Significant travel delays can be expected along this route during this time period.
  • From 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., traffic in the Crystal City area may experience delays as another veterans group is escorted through the area.

Motorists should expect large numbers of motorcyclists in Northern Virginia and the entire Washington Metropolitan area throughout the weekend.

The Rolling Thunder organization says its mission will continue despite the annual event coming to an end.

“The organization will continue to bring awareness to the public, in years to come, with regional demonstrations,” Rolling Thunder said in a press release.

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The Arlington County Board voted to fund several transportation projects this weekend that officials had used to woo Amazon during the tech giant’s search for its second headquarters.

On Saturday, County Board members approved using $33,850,000 in state funds on the projects. The vote comes after Board members and state legislators pledged millions in transportation upgrades near Amazon’s HQ2 site as long as the company meets certain job creation and space occupancy benchmarks.

Per a staff report to the Board, the projects include:

  • $18,850,000 to expand the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway to the Pentagon City, adding 1.1 miles of dedicated bus lanes. The state previously pledged $46.6 million for the project.
  • $10,000,000 for the Army-Navy Drive Complete Street project, which aims to redesign the roadway for easier bike and pedestrian access between the Pentagon, Pentagon City, and Crystal City.
  • $5,000,000 to help build an east entrance at Crystal City Metro station, a project the county has postponed before for lack of funds.

The Board’s vote authorizes the Department of Environmental Services to receive the $33,850,000 from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and apply it to the county’s fund for transportation capital projects. The matter was passed as part of the Board’s consent agenda for the Saturday meeting.

Metro stations and transit featured prominently on the maps that developer JBG Smith used to pitch Arlington on building its headquarters in the area. Officials are hoping an eastern Metro entrance could also better connect passengers using the Crystal City VRE station, which itself is set for upgrades.

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