A 29-year-old Arlington man has been charged in the death of a three-month-old girl last fall.
Jerard Hargrove is charged with homicide and child abuse after a medical examiner this month determined that the child died from a blow to the head.
The child died in the hospital on Oct. 8, 2022, after being found unresponsive at a residence in the Columbia Forest neighborhood a month earlier, on Sept. 1. The medical examiner’s finding brings the number of homicides in Arlington last year to two.
More, below, from an Arlington County police press release.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is announcing charges have been obtained in a 2022 infant death investigation. Jerard Hargrove, 29, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Homicide and Child Abuse/Neglect (x2). He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.
At approximately 7:22 a.m. on September 1, 2022, police were dispatched to the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street for the report of cardiac arrest involving a 3-month-old female infant. Upon arrival, Mr. Hargrove reported he was home with the infant when he located her unresponsive. Medics treated the infant on scene before transporting her to an area hospital. The infant remained hospitalized and died on October 8, 2022.
A death investigation was then initiated by the Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit. In April 2023, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death a homicide with cause being complications of blunt force injury to the head. Indictments for Mr. Hargrove were subsequently presented to and returned by a grand jury.
The identity of the deceased is being withheld in accordance with Virginia Code § 19.2-11.2 which limits Virginia law enforcement agencies from directly or indirectly identifying deceased juvenile victims of a crime.
This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information regarding 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 reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). For additional community resources and contact information, visit our website.
Police are investigating the death of a man found in a vehicle on a quiet residential street near Marymount University.
Police say the man’s death “does not appear to be suspicious” but they’re still looking into the circumstances.
“At approximately 6:56 a.m. on March 27, police and fire were dispatched to the 2700 block of N. Wakefield Street for the report of a cardiac arrest,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Alli Shorb tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, the unresponsive adult male was located inside a vehicle. Medics pronounced him deceased on scene and ACPD is conducting a death investigation.”
“Based on the preliminary investigation, the death does not appear suspicious and there is no ongoing threat to the community related to this incident,” Shorb continued. “The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death. The investigation is ongoing.”
The man was in his 30s, Shorb said.
A local tipster told ARLnow that the man had crashed into a parked car in the early morning hours but was not discovered deceased until later in the morning. The tipster added that the man was not a resident of the immediate neighborhood.
Police have so far declined to confirm those additional details.
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A march against drugs drew a large crowd of parents and community members to Wakefield High School, where a student died this week.
Sergio Flores was found unconscious in the bathroom Tuesday morning and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died Thursday and his death is being investigated as a possible overdose.
Latino parents, mostly mothers, planned the march as a way to show love and support for their children.
Classes were canceled for Wakefield students today (Friday) after the overdose this week and a lockdown Thursday prompted by a possibly armed trespasser. Arlington County police have since arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the trespassing incident.
Still, parents marched, carrying signs saying “Your community is here for you!” and “Queremos lo mejor para nuestros hijos,” Spanish for “We want the best for our children.”
The idea came from a community meeting held by community activists Elder Julio Basurto and Janeth Valenzuela — who wear many hats, but this time, were organizing under their organization, Juntos en Justicia. They have been advocating for more attention to opioids in Arlington Public Schools for more than a year through the organization.
Attendance swelled and other community members, as well as some School Board and County Board members, joined the march.
“It was very scary for me to read the student involved in the drug incident has died,” said Green Valley resident Frederick Craddock. “That just gives you an example: It’s in our neighborhood schools. It’s in the home somewhere, so then parents have a big role. It’s all got to come together. Maybe this will raise more awareness of the issue.”
Rebecca Brunner said three generations of her family have attended Wakefield. The high school needs police officers returned and the school system needs to be more transparent, she said.
“Don’t tell us there’s a medical emergency when a child ODed. Tell us the truth so we know what to tell our children, we know how to talk to them, we know to tell them, ‘don’t take anything,'” she said. “Fentanyl is out there.”
“Yesterday, I’m getting a video from inside the school of the SWAT team coming through the doors with assault rifles and they’re telling us, ‘Oh, we might have a possible trespasser,'” Brunner continued. “Yeah, something way more than that is going on.”
(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) The teen found unconscious in a Wakefield High School boys bathroom Tuesday after an apparent overdose has died.
“The Arlington County Police Department is conducting a death investigation following the teen’s passing yesterday at the hospital,” ACPD said in a statement this morning. “The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.”
The name of the student was not given but he was identified in an online fundraising campaign and by a speaker at last night’s Arlington School Board meeting as Sergio Flores. He was reported to be 14 years old in the initial fire department dispatch on Tuesday.
A GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his funeral has raised more than $22,000 as of publication time.
“We want to give Sergio Flores the memorial he deserves, to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes,” said the page. “Sergio was a sweet caring person, he was someone who showed what real love was either family or friend wise.”
“He was someone that made everyone laugh he always had jokes he always wanted to put a smile on his friends and families face,” the page continued. “He would always be dancing with music or no music. Even if he wasn’t having a good day he always tried his best to make people happy and smile and you will be watching over all your friends and family… we love you fly high little one️.”
In recent months numerous parents and advocates have sounded the alarm to ARLnow about opioid use and overdoses in Arlington’s public schools, including middle schools and high schools.
Arlington police responded to Arlington Public Schools buildings seven times for reported overdoses between January and October 2022, according to ACPD stats. APS has been trying to combat a twin epidemic of opioid use and mental health crises among students, leading to what is now at least three student deaths since Christmas.
Still, some parents say there is more the school system should be doing. A parent march is planned in front of Wakefield High School at noon today, though classes were cancelled after yesterday’s lockdown for a potential armed trespasser.
“Say his name. Sergio Flores,” Judith Davis, Wakefield High School PTSA president, said during blistering remarks at last night’s School Board meeting. She accused APS of a “lack of leadership and inaction.”
Every single one of you in this room has been told by parents, teachers, students, PTSAs, and community leaders that we will have someone die at Wakefield. Since we came back from Covid, that has been the constant conversation and you all failed to address it. After what happened Tuesday, the only two people who contacted parents, students or PTSA were (Chief of Staff) Stephen Linkous and (School Board member) Mary Kadera, while her mother was dying. Entirely unacceptable. Stop celebrating your collective lack of performance and lack of leadership. It resulted in a loss of life. Every one of you knew this day would come. Say his name. Sergio Flores. He died. This kid is not going back to his family. The action items you claim were already happening are not in place at Wakefield. Lack of leadership and inaction is what resulted in what happened on Tuesday and what happened today. Where is the accountability for what happened? Do better. Stop celebrating yourself and talk to the community. Talk to parents. Talk to students.
Four other teens were treated by medics at Wakefield on Tuesday, at least some of whom were believed to have drug-related symptoms. Medics were also dispatched to the school yesterday, during dismissal, for a possible student overdose, according to dispatch recordings.
Police are asking the public for any additional information about Tuesday’s fatal overdose.
“This remains an active investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” said ACPD. “Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”
(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) Arlington County police are investigating after two people were found dead in a hotel room this afternoon.
Initial reports suggest that police were called after a guest failed to check out on time at the Inns of Virginia hotel, at 3335 Langston Blvd, and officers then found a man and a woman unresponsive in their room. Medics pronounced them dead on the scene.
Police are now trying to determine what happened, but so far there is no indication that the deaths are being considered suspicious.
“ACPD is conducting a death investigation in the 3300 block of Langston Boulevard,” police spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to ARLnow. “At approximately 12:33 p.m., police were dispatched and located an adult male and female deceased inside a hotel room. Based on the preliminary investigation, the deaths do not appear suspicious and there is no apparent ongoing threat to the public. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.”
Arlington County has seen an elevated level of opioid overdoses over the past few years.
In August 2020, two people were found dead of a suspected overdose in the Buckingham neighborhood. Then, in December 2021, two people were found dead in Ashton Heights of “narcotics-related” causes.
Arlington County police are investigating the death of a man found unresponsive in a park along Columbia Pike.
Police were called around 10 p.m. Friday night for a man lying on the ground and not moving near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive, which is also in proximity to the bike trail.
The man, who was in cardiac arrest and not breathing, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
While a cause of death has not been released, police are calling the man’s death suspicious. A helicopter was called in from a nearby police agency to search the area, along with officers on the ground.
No arrests have been announced and police are asking the public for additional information about the case.
More from ACPD:
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a suspicious death which occurred on the evening of December 9, 2022.
At approximately 10:03 p.m., police were dispatched to Columbia Pike at S. Four Mile Run Drive for the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, officers located an unresponsive adult male in the park. Medics performed lifesaving measures before transferring him to an area hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.
The circumstances that preceded the death remain under investigation. Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Police remain on scene investigating and an aerial search of the area was conducted with the assistance of a police helicopter. Expect continued police activity in the area.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 10, 2022
A man who was charged in connection to the death of Darryl Becton in Arlington County jail in 2020 has been found not guilty.
Antoine Smith was charged in September 2021 with the misdemeanor of falsifying a patient record.
Smith worked for Corizon Correctional Health, the jail-based medical provider at the time of Becton’s death, which has been sued multiple times across the nation for inmate deaths allegedly connected to inadequate care.
When reached by phone, Smith’s attorney declined to comment on the outcome of the case.
The charge was levied against Smith as part of a year-long investigation into the circumstances surrounding Becton’s death at the Arlington County Detention Facility.
In the wake of his death, the Arlington branch of the NAACP called for an independent investigation. The jail, meanwhile, cut ties with Corizon and updated its protocols.
One month later, Becton’s family filed a $10-million wrongful death lawsuit against Arlington County Sheriff Beth Arthur, the elected official who oversees the jail and the Sheriff’s Office, as well as Corizon and four medical staffers, including Smith.
The suit alleges that medical staff did not treat and properly monitor Becton’s drug withdrawal symptoms or high blood pressure, despite being aware of his condition and the risks associated with it.
The lawyer for the case did not return a request for comment on how the not-guilty verdict for Smith impacts the lawsuit.
Becton was the fifth person — and the fourth Black man — to die in the facility while in custody in five years, according to the Arlington branch of the NAACP. Since then, the number of people who have died in the detention facility has risen to seven, prompting the Arlington County Board to pledge greater oversight over how the jail is managed.
For the NAACP, the charges against Smith were never its focus.
“Even had Mr. Smith been found guilty of that charge, it would not have answered the central question: why did Mr. Becton die?” Arlington NAACP President Julius “JD” Spain told ARLnow. “The NAACP remains committed to helping our entire community understand how this avoidable tragedy happened, so we can work together to ensure it never happens again.
“We will continue to advocate for a better public safety system that reduces the reliance on prisons as means of solving social problems, and advances effective law enforcement,” Spain continued.
The verdict does raise a host of questions about who supervises jail-based healthcare providers and their employees, and where was that supervisor when Becton died, Spain said.
“So, finally, why did it take this unnecessary and tragic death, seven in seven years, to ultimately cause the Sheriff’s office to find a new contractor?” Spain said. “To date, no one has been held accountable. Is it a toxic work environment, fear of retaliation, or improper management of personnel? Every day that passes without an answer, trust and confidence in leaders and the justice system erode.”
The jail has taken some corrective steps to improve its treatment of inmates, including hiring a quality assurance manager, planning to buy a new medical tracking device and updating health check protocols.
These actions led Virginia’s Jail Review Committee, part of the Board of Local and Regional Jails, to conclude that “no further measures are necessary” and close its investigation into the Arlington jail last month. Its investigation found evidence suggesting the jail had broken state regulations in Becton’s death, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
(Updated at 9:30 a.m.) Someone died in Lacey Woods Park, prompting a police investigation.
The park at 1200 N. George Mason Drive, west of Ballston, includes wooded trails, athletic fields and courts, and a popular playground. Police tape could be seen across the entrance to one of the trails.
Arlington County police tweeted just before 8 a.m. that “there is no known threat to the community related to this incident.” Police are still on scene investigating the circumstances of the person’s death.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that “the death does not appear suspicious.”
“Cause and manner of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” she said.
Firefighters were dispatched to the park around 9:15 a.m. to assist with a cleanup at the scene.
ACPD is conducting a death investigation in the 1200 block of N. George Mason Drive. Based on the preliminary investigation, there is no known threat to the community related to this incident. Expect continued police activity in the area. https://t.co/6yFgVl84oz
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 30, 2022
(Updated at 10:20 p.m.) Arlington County police are conducting a death investigation after an apparent fall from a high-rise condo in Ballston.
Numerous police units could be seen Monday afternoon and evening around The Continental condo building at 851 N. Glebe Road, near the Westin hotel and the P.F. Chang’s restaurant. A photo sent by a reader shows a tent set up by police in an alley next to the building.
Police first responded to the scene shortly after 3:30 p.m. Initial reports suggest that someone had died and an investigation was underway on the ground and on the 17th floor of the building.
“ACPD is conducting a death investigation in the 800 block of N. Glebe Road,” police department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed Monday night to ARLnow. “This appears to be an isolated incident and the preliminary investigation has not revealed an ongoing threat to the community. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause and manner of death.”
Savage also confirmed a report that someone had been led away in handcuffs, but said it was on a drug charge.
“An adult female was arrested on a narcotics charge,” she said. “Officers remain on scene investigating.”
No other details were immediately available. A resident of the building said they were kept in the dark about what exactly was happening.
“They are not telling residents anything,” the resident told ARLnow.
The Arlington County Detention Facility has implemented several measures in response to the death of an inmate in 2020.
The jail has hired a quality assurance manager, planned to buy a new medical tracking device and has updated health check protocols, according to a document that summarizes corrective measures it has taken.
A wrongful death lawsuit filed by Darryl Becton’s family alleges that medical staff at the Arlington lockup did not treat and properly monitor Becton’s drug withdrawal symptoms or high blood pressure, despite being aware of his condition and the risks associated with it.
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office took a number of preventive measures following the death. One was a special directive to instruct staff to place all inmates self-reporting or expecting to experience withdrawals in the Medical Unit of the jail, according to the summary document obtained by ARLnow.
The office also hired a quality assurance manager in April, whose job is to oversee all contractors providing medical, food, phone and other services to people held in custody. Cristen Bowers is currently the manager, according to a press release.
The jail cut ties with its medical provider Corizon in October 2021 and signed a new contract with Mediko that was finalized in February.
Other actions taken include directing staff to check the vitals of those going through withdrawals every four hours instead of eight. The office is also planning to buy a medical device system that will “track heart rates and alert workstations” if an inmate’s heart rate is abnormal. The office plans to have the purchase funded in during the current fiscal year, which runs through next July.
These actions led Virginia’s Jail Review Committee, part of the Board of Local and Regional Jails, to conclude that “no further measures are necessary” and close its investigation into the Arlington jail last month. Its investigation has found evidence suggesting the Arlington jail had broken state regulations in Becton’s death, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
However, not all of the jail’s remedial actions were made public. Two policies made in the immediate aftermath of Becton’s death are redacted in the summary obtained by ARLnow, with the Sheriff’s Office stating disclosure “would jeopardize the safety or security” of law enforcement officers, the public and buildings.
The Times-Dispatch requested documents from the board related to the investigation and the corrected action plans but release of the action plans were denied, and other documents provided were redacted, according to the Times-Dispatch. The board’s executive director told the paper it wanted to “protect the ‘privacy’ of people who die in jails, and their families.”
In response, Becton’s family, who is suing the sheriff and Corizon, along with individual Sheriff’s Office and Corizon employees, called for the board to release the details of its decisions and the jail’s corrective action plan, according to a statement from NAACP’s Arlington branch.
By not publishing its suggestions for improvement with the public or “the larger jailed and incarceration community,” the board is “not allowing transparency in the process,” Becton family’s attorney Mark Krudys told ARLnow.
He says the family did not know about the content of the board’s investigation or the jail’s action plan.
The Becton family’s lawsuit has now moved to U.S. District Court upon a request from Sheriff Elizabeth Arthur and a deputy who was also sued, according to a docket report. In October 2021, a Corizon nurse was charged with falsifying patient records by the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office. The criminal case is still ongoing.
Despite the corrective actions, another Arlington jail inmate died in custody this past February. Of the seven people to have died in custody at the jail over the past seven years, six have been Black, according to the NAACP.
Man Convicted of Crystal City Shooting — “A convicted murderer has been found guilty on four charges for shooting and wounding his ex-girlfriend in her Arlington, Virginia, office in 2019. Mumeet Muhammad forced his way into the woman’s office, in the 1500 block of Crystal Drive in Crystal City, and shot the woman on Aug. 28, 2019. Muhammad also was shot by police.” [WTOP]
Body Found Near Roosevelt Island — “A death investigation was underway Wednesday after a body was found in the Potomac River, D.C. police said. Authorities said the body was found in the water between Teddy Roosevelt Island and the Virginia shoreline under the footbridge pedestrians use to access the island… Officials with knowledge of the investigation said the body was heavily decomposed.” [NBC 4, Twitter]
GW Parkway Chase Leads to Lawsuit — “A D.C. police captain sued the District on Tuesday, alleging he was retaliated against after trying to stop a high-speed pursuit last month that ended with a car overturning on the George Washington Memorial Parkway, causing injuries and bringing rush-hour traffic to a halt.” [Washington Post]
Task Force: Expand County, School Boards — “Increasing the size of the Arlington County Board and School Board by at least two members is among the recommendations of the Arlington County Civic Federation’s task force on local governance, which on April 12 delivered the first of what are expected to be two sets of proposals to be voted on by the organization in June.” [Sun Gazette]
PSA: Steer Clear of River Near Chain Bridge — From D.C. Fire and EMS: “The river knows no boundaries. All this holds true for the District. One slip off the rocks can lead to a fall into a deceptively calm looking river actually laden with treacherous currents and hidden rocks that quickly pull you under. Especially the case around Chain Bridge.” [Twitter]
Lease Change Scores Big Bucks for County — “Arlington County Board members on that date voted 5-0 to support a change in technical aspects of the lease that guides the relationship between the county government, which owns substantial parcels in the Courthouse area, and the developer JBG Smith, which holds ground leases and owns the buildings on some of those very same parcels… By making the changes, which staff say carry little risk to the county government or taxpayers, the Arlington government coffers would receive somewhere in the area of $10 million to $12 million in a one-time payment from JBG Smith.” [Sun Gazette]
ARLnow Article Confuses Chicago Suburbanites — From the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Police Department: “The incident was reported by Virginia news outlets with the headline ‘Barricade situation in Arlington Heights.’ News reports were then shared on social media using the #ArlingtonHeights. We understand this created some confusion and concern for our residents. The Arlington Heights Police Department would like to clarify the above incident occurred in Arlington County, Virginia.” [Facebook]
It’s Thursday — Rain and storms in the afternoon and evening. Southwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. High of 76 and low of 59. Sunrise at 6:34 am and sunset at 7:45 pm. [Weather.gov]