Arlington, VA

A Maryland man awaiting trial in the murder of Ballston resident John Giandoni has died in jail.

Jitesh Patel, 43, “was found unconscious in his cell at the Arlington County Detention Facility” early Monday, the county said in a press release late Monday afternoon. “Arlington County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Nurses began immediate resuscitation efforts after finding Mr. Patel, before Fire Department rescue units arrived.”

Patel was pronounced dead by paramedics just after 6 a.m.

Patel has been in jail since July 26, 2018. In a preliminary court hearing, prosecutors said that Patel brutally killed Giandoni, his lover’s ex-boyfriend, after laying in wait in Giandoni’s townhouse.

Giandoni was found dead on March 16 after being strangled, shot and stabbed.

The full press release about Patel’s death is below.

Jitesh Patel, 43, died in the early hours of November 11, after he was found unconscious in his cell at the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Arlington County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Nurses began immediate resuscitation efforts after finding Mr. Patel, before Fire Department rescue units arrived. He was pronounced dead by Medic 110 at 0605 hours at the scene.

Mr. Patel had been incarcerated since July 26, 2018 awaiting trial after being charged with Homicide.

His family was informed of his death this afternoon.

Cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Following standard procedure, the death is being investigated by the Arlington County Police Department. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. King of the Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703.228.4243 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1.866.411.TIPS (8477).

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(Updated at 8:50 a.m.) A man was found dead in a vehicle outside the Clarendon Whole Foods earlier tonight.

Police were dispatched to the store on Wilson Blvd just after 6:30 p.m. “for the report of trouble unknown.”

“Upon arrival, an adult male was located deceased inside a parked vehicle,” police said via social media. “ACPD is conducting a death investigation and there is no known threat to the public.”

Officers erected a tent at the scene while investigating the incident. The parking lot was still closed, blocked off by crime scene tape, as night fell.

The cause of the man’s death has not yet been announced.

“Cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

 ACourtesy photos

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The Arlington County Fire Department was among the numerous agencies assisting with a search for human remains at the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary near Reagan National Airport today.

The search is linked to the discovery of a human skull and other bones along Four Mile Run in Arlington, near the GW Parkway.

“After multiple searches over several days, three (3) human bones to include a skull, were recovered from the creek bed,” U.S. Park Police said on July 19. “The scene spanned approximately 200 yards, suggesting that the bones may have washed into the area during heavy storms.”

During that search, a D.C. fire department cadaver dog was injured and airlifted to an emergency vet. That dog, K-9 Kylie, was recently released for full duty and was back searching around Roaches Run today, according to a video posted by D.C. Fire and EMS (below).

Today’s search also involved divers, but did not turn up anything and has since been called off, according to reporters on scene. More via social media:

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(Updated at noon) A missing man found dead in Arlington was an Arlington Career Center employee, the school system says.

Haley Garcia, 28, was last seen Sunday in the Lincolnia area, Fairfax County Police said in a social media post Tuesday afternoon. He was considered an endangered missing adult “due to mental and/or physical issues.”

FCPD said Tuesday night that Garcia had been found dead in Arlington. No cause of death was given.

Garcia was a former student at and an employee of the Arlington Career Center. A Facebook profile said the Arlington native also worked as an auto technician at a local car dealership.

The following email was sent to Career Center staff last night.

Dear ACC Family,

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of a member of our Career Center family.

We received notice this evening, that our beloved Haley Garcia, one of our security resource assistants, passed away unexpectedly. He had been a member of the Career Center family since high school as an Auto Tech student and later as an assistant in the Auto Tech program for many years. He loved the Career Center with all his heart and considered it his second home. He took care of all of us and always thought first of how to encourage others.  He will be deeply missed.

We do not have any other details to share at this time, and our thoughts go out to his family and friends. We respect their wishes for privacy at this difficult time.

APS Employee Assistance Program staff and counselors will be onsite tomorrow morning at ACC from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to provide support as we process this loss. We all should expect and try to understand that there will be a variety of emotions and responses to what has occurred, so the most important thing we can do is to support one another.

Funeral arrangements are not yet available and we will pass along more information when we have it. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need support.

Margaret Chung
Principal
Arlington Public Schools
Arlington Career Center

Arlington County Police say Garcia’s body was found during a search on the 2600 block of 9th Road S., between the Career Center and Columbia Pike. From ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage:

At approximately 4:26 p.m. on July 23, police responded to the 2600 block of 9th Road S. to assist Fairfax County Police with attempting to locate a missing and endangered adult. Upon arrival, the individual was located deceased. Based on the preliminary investigation, the death does not appear suspicious and there is no ongoing threat to the public related to this incident. The department is conducting a death investigation and cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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Morning Notes

Developer May Build Second Metro Entrance — “A plan submitted by developer JBG Smith to Arlington County could see the company put in charge of building the second Crystal City Metro station entrance, a long-sought-after project that would increase access to the station. If approved, the new entrance would be built along Crystal Drive near 18th Street.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Glebe Road Crash Yesterday Morning — “Police say the crash was caused by a driver attempting to merge onto southbound Glebe from 16th Street S. striking another vehicle heading southbound. No significant injuries were reported.” [Twitter]

Company Opens New HQ in Ballston — “Armor Express, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance protective solutions for the Domestic and Federal Law Enforcement markets, Department of Defense and First Responders, today announced the grand opening of its new corporate headquarters in Arlington, VA.” [Globe Newswire]

Video: Olli on Fort Myer — New videos show the Olli autonomous shuttle driving around Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. [Twitter]

New Funding for 9/11 Victim Fund — “U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded the passage of a bill to continue providing financial support to those who suffered physical harm or families of those who were killed as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or ensuing debris removal efforts.” [Press Release, NBC News]

Nearby: Boy Dies at McLean Construction Site — A boy died after a ditch collapsed at a large excavation site in McLean, near the Arlington border and Jamestown Elementary. The boy was reportedly working to build a sewage line at a new residential development. [Tysons Reporter, NBC 4]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Morning Notes

(Updated on 07/22/19) Office Vacancy Rate Dropping — “The commercial vacancy rate in the County continues to improve. The vacancy rate as of the second quarter of 2019 stands at 16.6%, down nearly 5% from its historic high of 21% in 2015. Arlington Economic Development also announced it successfully closed 26 deals in FY 2019, representing 7.2 million square feet of office space and 43,000 jobs.” [Arlington County]

County Adopts New Bathroom Policy — “The Arlington County government has adopted what amounts to a […] policy for government-building restrooms and locker rooms. The policy, outlined to County Board members on July 16, will formally allow any individual to use a male or female restroom ‘that corresponds with gender identity or expression,’ county staff said.” [InsideNova]

Human Remains Found Near GW Parkway — Human remains, in a skull, have reportedly been found near the GW Parkway and Reagan National Airport, in the same area where a D.C. cadaver dog was hurt earlier this week, prompting a medevac flight. The dog is now recovering from serious injuries. U.S. Park Police are investigating the source of the remains. [Fox 5, Washington PostWTOP]

New Provost, Plans for Marymount — “Marymount is proud to welcome the university’s new Provost, Hesham El-Rewini, Ph.D., P.E., who officially begins his duties on campus this week… ‘We have bold plans for the future of Marymount as we strive to become an elite Catholic institution that is nationally recognized for innovation,’ said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University.” [Marymount University]

GoFundMe for Westover Residents — A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to benefit residents of Westover whose homes were damaged by flash flooding last week. So far more than $8,000 has been raised. [GoFundMe]

Big Crane Assisting With DCA Project — “A 250 ft. crane is being used to lift and put steel into place for a new 14-gate concourse that will replace Gate 35X” at Reagan National Airport. [Twitter]

Pentagon City Apartment Sold for Big Bucks — “Dweck Properties Inc. has picked up another multifamily property in Pentagon City, not far from where Amazon.com Inc. is settling into its second home. A Dweck affiliate paid $117 million July 9 for the Park at Pentagon Row, a 299-unit apartment building at 801 15th St. S.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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The man who was shot in the parking garage of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall has died, police say.

In a press release, Arlington County Police say the shooting happened during an attempted robbery. The man who died was wearing a mask and brandished the gun, demanding the cell phone of a man inside a car, police say; a struggle ensued and the alleged, would-be robber was shot.

The deceased robbery suspect’s name has not yet been released. Police say they have not filed charges against the victim of the robbery attempt “at this time.”

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a fatal shooting that took place in the Pentagon City area of Arlington on the afternoon of July 1, 2019.

At approximately 1:43 p.m. on July 1, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired in a parking garage in the 800 block of Army Navy Drive. The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was inside of his vehicle when he was approached by a masked subject displaying a handgun. The subject brandished the firearm and threatened the victim demanding his cell phone. A physical struggle ensued between both parties outside of the vehicle, during which the firearm was discharged.

Arriving officers located the suspect suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and immediately began to render aid. He was subsequently transported to an area hospital with life threatening injuries and later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

The identity of the decedent is being withheld pending proper identification and notification of next of kin.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. No charges have been sought at this time.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Arlington County Police are investigating two fatal pedestrian-involved crashes that happened last week.

The first occurred Wednesday morning at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive. The victim, a 77-year-old Arlington resident, died Thursday, police announced over the weekend.

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team (CAT) is investigating a now fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Wednesday, June 12 at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Four Mile Run Drive.

At approximately 9:27 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of an accident with injury involving a pedestrian. Officers and medics arrived on scene and located the female victim suffering from serious injuries and rendered aid. The pedestrian was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. The preliminary investigation indicates that the victim was crossing the westbound lanes of Columbia Pike against the walk signal when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and detectives interviewed multiple witnesses.

The pedestrian, identified as Martha Saltos, 77, of Arlington, Va. was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. She later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on June 13.

Anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective S. Lafley at [email protected] or 703-228-4052. Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

The second fatal crash happened Friday night, on N. George Mason Drive near Virginia Hospital Center. A 66-year-old Arlington man died from his injuries after being struck by a vehicle.

Also from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred in the 1700 block of N. George Mason Drive.

At approximately 10:51 p.m. on Friday, June 14, police responded to the report of a crash involving a pedestrian. The pedestrian, identified as Robert Bramwell, 66, of Washington D.C., was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it is believed that the pedestrian entered the roadway outside the crosswalk and did not have the right-of-way at the time of the crash. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

This remains on ongoing investigation and anyone with additional information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective T. Parsons at [email protected] or 703-228-4172. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

Police Nab Sex Assault Suspect — “Following a tip from a member of the public, the suspect has been identified as Wondimagegn Azemach, 19, of Riverdale, Maryland. He has been charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile and Sexual Battery.” [Arlington County]

Fire at Ambar in Clarendon — A small fire temporarily closed Ambar restaurant in Clarendon during prime brunching time on Saturday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Board Approves Va. Square Development — “The Arlington County Board today approved a plan to replace aging commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road, in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, with a seven-story apartment building that will include 16 affordable units and achieve LEED Silver energy efficiency.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Sinkhole Work Continues — “The repairs to a crumbling section of the George Washington Parkway between Turkey Run Park and the Capital Beltway are now expected to continue through most of the summer. The long-term repairs to a failed drainage inlet will keep at least one right lane on the parkway closed for 10 weeks once the contractor is ready for work, the National Park Service said Friday. Engineers have determined that a 60 year old brick drainage structure buried deep under the parkway needs to be replaced.” [WTOP, Press Release]

Fire Victim Identified — The person killed in an apartment fire in the Ashton Heights neighborhood last week “has been identified as Brian Green, 50, of Arlington. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.” [Arlington County]

Football Team Joins Arlington Chamber — “Welcome new member @Redskins! We are thrilled to have you as part of our membership at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.” [Twitter]

County Kicks Off Census Effort — Arlington County and its Complete Count Committee (CCC) are gearing up for the 2020 Census – working toward the goal of counting every Arlingtonian… It’s not too early to get acquainted with the Census and what to expect next year.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) One person has died after a fire in Ashton Heights, near Ballston, Tuesday morning.

First responders were dispatched to a garden-style apartment on the 3800 block of 5th Street N at 7:44 a.m. today where they found an unconscious man in the living room, the Arlington County Fire Department said in a statement at 1:30 p.m. today.

“There was no fire evident when firefighters arrived, but the reporting party told firefighters it smelled like something was burning in the building,” said the department. “Firefighters on the back of the building identified the source of the smell as a first-floor apartment. They forced entry and found a small fire on the stove at the rear of the apartment that was quickly extinguished.”

The department said firefighters located the apartment’s smoke detector — but the early warning device lacked a battery.

By the time they found the man, the apartment had filled with smoke, department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow at 11:15 a.m.

The man was rushed to a local hospital as medics performed CPR, according to O’Bryant. He was later pronounced dead.

Authorities are not yet releasing the man’s name, as they work to notify next of kin. He was only identified as an adult male.

As is standard for a fatal fire, the fire marshal’s office and Arlington County Police are jointly investigating the cause of the fire and the man’s death.

See the full department press release below:

At 7:44 a.m. on Tue., June 11, firefighters from the Arlington County Fire Department and Ft. Myer Fire Department, and officers from the Arlington County Police Department, were dispatched for a possible structure fire at a two-story apartment building in the 3800 block of Fifth Street North.

There was no fire evident when firefighters arrived, but the reporting party told firefighters it smelled like something was burning in the building. Firefighters on the back of the building identified the source of the smell as a first-floor apartment. They forced entry and found a small fire on the stove at the rear of the apartment that was quickly extinguished.

Upon searching the residence, firefighters located an unconscious adult male in the living room. The occupant was immediately removed from the apartment and resuscitative efforts initiated by Fire/EMS personnel. Responders continued to treat the patient en route to the hospital where the patient was later pronounced deceased.

The fire was contained to the room of origin and did not affect any other residences in the building. There was a smoke detector installed in the apartment, but it did not contain a battery.

Investigators from ACFD Fire Prevention Office and ACPD responded and are working collaboratively to investigate the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. No further information is available at this time.

Photo via ACFD/Twitter

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Morning Notes

Body Found in Submerged SUV — “Authorities were working Monday night to recover a body inside an SUV submerged in the Potomac River [near Roosevelt Island]… D.C. Fire & EMS said they found tire tracks leading into the river and divers were able to locate the SUV by 6 p.m. Monday. Sources confirmed to News4 that a body was trapped inside.” [NBC Washington]

Clarendon Beer Garden May Open Next Month — “The 22,000-square-foot space, dubbed The Lot… [is] anticipating an early June opening, pending final permit approvals, with plans to incorporate drinking games, picnic seating, and tacos.” [Eater]

UMD Coming to Crystal City? — “The University of Maryland is scouting out potential sites in Crystal City, where it could potentially help to feed Amazon.com Inc.’s long-term plans to hire at least 25,000 workers to support its second headquarters. The state’s flagship university is in the market for between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet to support the growth of HQ2, according to sources familiar with the situation.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Mosque Security Measures — “Members of an Arlington, Virginia, mosque are being trained on how to respond to an active shooter. Worshippers are learning how to take security measures to protect themselves and save the lives of others. The training follows mass shooting at houses of worship around the world.” [Voice of America, Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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