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BREAKING: Police Investigating Ballston Death as Homicide

Update at 4:25 p.m. on 3/20/18 — Police have identified the victim as 40-year-old Arlington resident John Giandoni.

Arlington County Police say Friday night’s death investigation in Ballston is now a homicide investigation.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a homicide that occurred in the 4100 block of 11th Place N. on Friday, March 16, 2018.

At approximately 7:35 p.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of a possible death. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a check on the welfare, the male victim was located deceased inside the residence. This remains an active investigation and cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective R. Munizza at 703-228-4171 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

This is the first homicide in Arlington County this year.

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DEVELOPING: Police Conducting Death Investigation in Ballston

Update at 2:50 p.m. on 3/19/18 — The man’s death is now being investigated as the county’s first homicide of 2018.

Arlington County Police are conducting an “active death investigation” in the Ballston area.

A man was found dead just after 7:30 p.m. in a residence on the 4100 block of 11th Place N., said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The scene is about a block away from Washington-Lee High School.

“Police remain on scene conducting an active death investigation,” the department said via Twitter. “There is no known threat to the community. Expect continued police presence in the area as officers conduct the investigation.”

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Record Warm Temperatures — Yesterday’s high temperature of 82 degrees was the hottest it has ever been this early in the year. Records were set at all three D.C. area airports. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]

Fatal Fall in Clarendon — The man who fell from the roof of a building in Clarendon last week died, police confirmed Wednesday. “The subject was transported to the hospital by Arlington County Fire Department medics where he was later pronounced deceased,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The police department is conducting an active death investigation and nothing in the investigation has lead us to categorize the death as suspicious.” [Twitter]

Vihstadt Expands Bipartisan Support — Former Arlington School Board member Sally Baird is the latest Democrat to endorse County Board member John Vihstadt in his reelection campaign. “We both know that maintaining top quality public schools is essential to Arlington’s future, and I’m honored to have her support,” Vihstadt said in a statement.

Photo courtesy James Mahony

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Hospitalized Yorktown High School Student Has Died

The Yorktown High School student rushed to the hospital last Friday died Thursday night. An Arlington Public Schools spokesman confirmed the death.

Police remained at the high school on Friday after the student was found unresponsive in a bathroom at approximately 9 a.m. Initial reports indicated that the injuries were self-inflicted.

Outside the school, students have painted her name and a heart on a large stone, as a memorial.

The following is the letter sent to parents this morning from the school’s principal, Bridget Loft. The full name of the child has been redacted to protect her identity and give the family privacy.

Dear Yorktown Families:

It is with great sadness that I must inform you that one of our 12th grade students passed away last night. She was a valued member of our community who will be greatly missed by all of us. While we are not in a position to release any more details at this time, many students are learning about this through social media. To that end, we shared the news with the entire school this morning and also let students and staff know that counselors are available should they need to talk.

Our counselors and staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning are available to meet with students who need support in dealing with this news. We will also provide additional support for staff

All Yorktown counselors, staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning and the counseling teams from Washington-Lee High School and Wakefield High School have joined us to support our students. They will be available from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday and throughout the coming week to talk with students who may need some added support.

Understanding death, especially the death of a peer, can be a very difficult experience. For that reason, we hope that you will listen to your son or daughter and talk with them about their feelings and reactions to this tragedy. We are taking every step we can to be responsive to the needs of our students and their families. Please keep us informed if there are ways we can further support your child.

Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family and friends during this difficult time. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to call the school office at 703-228-5400.

Sincerely,

Bridget Loft

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911 or the Department of Human Services’ emergency services line at 703-228-5160. CrisisLink also has a 24-hour crisis hotline at 703-527-4077 or 800-SUICIDE, or text 703-940-0888.

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Morning Notes

County Board Approves Affordable Housing Loan — At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Board approved a loan that will help preserve the 294-unit Park Shirlington Apartments as affordable housing. The $6 million loan from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund will allow a pair of developers to buy the complex, rehabilitate it and preserve as much affordable housing as possible. [Arlington County]

Ten Die in Va. Thanksgiving Weekend Crashes — “With overall traffic fatalities already on the increase, the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one… on Virginia’s highways. During the holiday… traffic crashes claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger and a pedestrian.” [Virginia State Police]

Video Shows Helicopter Search of Crane — A video, posted by a Pentagon City resident, shows the Fairfax County Police helicopter using its spotlight to search a construction crane Sunday night, as part of a death investigation that was still ongoing as of Monday evening. [YouTube]

FCC Chair Reports Harassing Signs —  FCC chairman and Arlington resident Ajit Pai is again being targeted at his home by activists who oppose changes to net neutrality and media ownership rules. This time, signs outside Pai’s home have reportedly referenced his children. The Arlington County Republican Committee called the alleged harassment “disgusting.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Education Tech Company Sets Up Clarendon Studios — “Higher education is getting the star treatment… in Clarendon. Headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, [education technology firm] 2U recently revamped the former Henninger Media space off Wilson Boulevard to create a satellite office with eight TV studios, where visiting professors can spend a whirlwind three to four days taping lectures and other multimedia course materials designed to supplement live classroom chats and streaming video.” [Arlington Magazine]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

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Police Investigating Death in Pentagon City

Arlington County Police are continuing to investigate a death in Pentagon City last night.

A person’s body was found in the street on the 700 block of 12th Street S., near the Metro station entrance and the Pentagon Centre shopping center and construction site, around 9 p.m. Sunday night, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

The police department requested the assistance of the Fairfax County Police helicopter in obtaining an aerial view of the scene and investigating how the person died, and the investigation is ongoing as of 4 p.m. Monday, Savage said.

A tipster tells ARLnow.com that they believe the individual fell from the construction crane on the site. A Twitter user reported Sunday night that the helicopter was shining its light on the crane.

Police said on Monday that they could not yet confirm the manner of death.

“This remains an active investigation and next of kin has not yet been notified,” said Savage. “The death is not considered suspicious and there is no threat to the public.”

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DEVELOPING: Detectives Investigating Death at Dunkin Donuts

Arlington County Police are investigating the death of a man at the new Dunkin Donuts in Clarendon.

Police say they were called to the store on the 3000 block of Clarendon Blvd around 9:35 p.m. Tuesday. Upon arriving on scene, officers found a 38-year-old man in medical distress.

The man was transported to Virginia Hospital Center and pronounced dead, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The deceased individual was not an employee, according to Savage.

“The Arlington County Police Department is conducting an active death investigation and cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Savage wrote. “This appears to be an isolated incident and the investigation has not revealed any ongoing threat to the community.”

Police have released few details about what happened. The store was open and serving customers as normal Wednesday morning.

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Morning Notes

Two Arlington Men Finish in MCM Top 3 — Arlington residents Desta Morkama and Kieran O’Connor finished first and third, respectively, in the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon yesterday. Al Richmond, the last remaining “Groundpounder” who has run every MCM since it started, kept his streak alive with a 6:48.35 finish. The race, which begins and ends in Arlington, had its start delayed by 10 minutes due to a suspicious package investigation. [RunWashington, Washington Post, NBC Washington]

No Major Incidents at MCM — Other than the short starting delay, no major incidents were reported at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. Within the county, Arlington law enforcement and the fire department maintained a heavy presence along the course, along with Virginia State Police and other agencies. Arlington school buses were parked at key intersections to prevent anyone from driving onto the course. [Twitter, Facebook, Twitter]

Pedestrian Killed on Memorial Bridge — The Arlington Memorial Bridge was closed for more than three hours Saturday morning after a 47-year-old man was struck and killed by a car on the bridge. The driver remained on scene. Police are seeking additional information about the crash from witnesses. [NBC Washington]

Board Approves Library Renovation Project — Arlington Central Library will be getting $1.7 million in renovations, thanks in large part to a private donation. The Arlington County Board approved the project at its Saturday meeting. Per a press release, the plans include “new meeting rooms, an updated ‘tech-central’ area and a multi-purpose maker lab, a community-based space where people can share knowledge and tools to create together.” [Arlington County]

Roosevelt Memorial Anniversary Event — The National Park Service is holding a family-friendly event on Sunday, Oct. 29 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. The event will feature food including fried chicken and Indian pudding; an address from the former president’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt; a Teddy Roosevelt re-enactor; and a “Teddy Bear story time.” Shuttles will be available from the Pentagon parking lot. [InsideNova]

Library to Launch New Digital Collection — “Arlington Public Library will launch a new digital collection of Arlington women and their achievements in March 2018. The Center for Local History’s (CLH) Community Archives contains many collections pertaining to women’s history and consequently the history of Arlington County.” [Arlington County]

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Police Investigating Death Near Bike Trail

A man was found dead Sunday morning near the Four Mile Run bike trail and the intersection of S. Glebe and W. Glebe roads.

The bike trail is heavily used by those connecting from Shirlington and the W&OD Trail to the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs along the Potomac River. Arlington County Police are investigating the death but do not currently believe it to be suspicious.

“At approximately 11:40 a.m. on October 15, police responded to the area of S. Glebe at West Glebe Road for the report of a deceased male located near the bike trail,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The police department is conducting an active death investigation and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.”

“The preliminary investigation does not lead us to consider this death suspicious,” Savage continued. “This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no threat to the community.”

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Morning Notes

Arlington Man Dies in Motorcycle Wreck — A 68-year-old Arlington man died last month after a motorcycle crash in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Police say Ben Walker, Jr. ran into the back of a car that had just made a U-turn on Indian Head Highway. [Patch]

Pentagon City Hotel Changes Hands — An Orlando-based real estate investment firm has acquired the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Pentagon City for $105 million. Xenia Hotels & Resorts said in a press release that the 365-room hotel is “uniquely positioned” in the market given its direct connection to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [PR Newswire]

Housing Demolitions Continue — The group Preservation Arlington has released its latest tally of demolition permits, reporting that demo permits for 120 single-family homes were applied for in the first nine months of the year. “The pending loss of these homes ‘represents a loss of history, architecture, time, energy and materials,’ the preservation group said in a statement.” [InsideNova]

Virginia’s Halloween Candy of Choice — The most popular Halloween candy in Virginia, according to the website CandyStore.com, is Snickers bars. Hot Tamales and candy corn were second and third, in terms of pounds sold. [CandyStore]

Letter: Possible Names for Schools — In a letter to the editor, a local resident recommended consideration of three African-American women who played notable roles in Arlington County history as potential new names for public schools. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok

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UPDATED: Two Found Dead in East Falls Church Home in Apparent Murder-Suicide

Updated at 9:40 p.m. — Police say the deaths of two people found deceased in an East Falls Church home were the result of an “apparent murder suicide.” More from an ACPD press release:

Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating an apparent murder-suicide in the East Falls Church neighborhood.

At approximately 2:42 p.m. on July 24, police responded to a check on the welfare call in the 2400 block of N. Quantico Street. Inside the residence, arriving officers located two adults deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. The victim, Terry Lynn Matsumoto, 82, of Arlington, VA was pronounced deceased at the scene along with the subject, Masao Matsumoto, 81, of Arlington, VA. The victim and subject were married.

This appears to be an isolated incident and there is no indication of a larger threat to the community. Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances that [preceded] the incident. Final determination of cause of death will be made by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Earlier: Arlington County Police are investigating the deaths of two people in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood.

The investigation is taking place on the 2400 block of N. Quantico Street, two blocks north of Lee Highway. Police found the bodies of two people in a house Monday afternoon.

“Two adults were located deceased inside a residence,” confirmed ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Police do not believe there’s a threat to the community. The investigation is ongoing and police will remain in the area.

So far police have not released the names of the deceased individuals nor have they said whether either of the deaths is considered suspicious, only calling it an “active death investigation” at this stage.

“It’s very strange,” one local resident told ARLnow.com. “We’re kind of a quiet neighborhood.”

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Morning Notes

Crystal City Hotel Worker Sexually Assaulted — A female employee of the Hyatt Regency hotel in Crystal City was sexually assaulted Sunday morning, according to police. A 34-year-old man from Bahrain was arrested following the assault. [WJLA, Fox 5]

Arlington Man Beaten to Death in Brooklyn — An Arlington resident was beaten to death by a 69-year-old man in his Brooklyn home, in what’s being described as a case of self-defense during a home invasion. Rodolfo Rosa, 48, of Arlington, Va., died after suffering severe head trauma during the alleged break-in and the struggle that ensued. [New York Post, New York Post]

ACFD to Hold Fire Camp for Girls — Thursday is the first day of Arlington County’s annual all-girls firefighting camp, which “introduces teens to the male-dominated career of firefighting” and encourages them to pursue a career as a firefighter or paramedic. [Washington Post]

Slow Drivers in Passing Lane to Be Fined — Starting this past Saturday, a new law went into effect in Virginia which makes it illegal to misuse the passing lane by driving slowly in the left lane longer than necessary. Those pulled over for it face a $100 fine. [WHSV]

No Flag Waving at Arlington Cemetery — It is technically illegal to wave an American flag at Arlington National Cemetery. That is an unintended side effect of — or, perhaps, collateral damage from — a 2006 federal law meant to crack down on anti-gay protests during military funerals. [Washington Post]

Photos: Costumes of BlerDCon — “The inaugural BlerDCon… brought out thousands of cosplayers of color from across the country” in Crystal City this past weekend. ESPN’s The Undefeated has photos of some of the attendees. [The Undefeated]

Photo via @kcristol

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Morning Notes

Police Investigating Shooting in DoD Office Building — Arlington County police are investigating a fatal shooting in the Defense Department’s Taylor building, at 2530 Crystal Drive in Crystal City. The shooting happened this morning and initial reports suggest it was self-inflicted.

Lyon Village Profiled by WaPo — “Close to both the Clarendon and Court House Metro stops on the Orange and Silver lines, Lyon Village is the kind of neighborhood where families know their neighbors, children play and parents can walk almost everywhere.” [Washington Post]

ACPD Recruiting for Citizen’s Police Academy — Applications are currently being accepted for the Arlington County Citizen’s Police Academy. The academy “was designed to create a better understanding and communication between citizens and the police through education.” Applicants are subject to background checks before acceptance into the program, which shows the “inner workings” of the police department. [Arlington County]

Arlington Hosts Travel Trade Show Attendees — Arlington County hopes to get a big tourism and economic boost from its promotional efforts during this year’s U.S. Travel Association IPW trade show, which was held in D.C. for the first time. The county, in partnership with the Rosslyn BID, JBG Companies, and Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, also hosted 150 trade show attendees in Rosslyn on Monday. [Arlington County]

Crystal City Startup Gets Big Funding Boost — Arlington-based private detective booking startup Trustify has raised more than $6.5 million as part of its latest fundraising round. The company recently opened a new office in Crystal City. [Washington Business Journal]

Letter to the Editor: Kids Over Dogs — The writer of a letter to the editor of the Sun Gazette newspaper doesn’t understand why, in county government, there seems to be more urgency over proposed changes to a dog park than making sure there is enough land to build new schools to keep up with rising enrollment. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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Man Dies After Glebe Road Moped Crash

An Alexandria man has died after losing control of his moped and crashing into a sign.

The crash happened in rainy weather around 5:40 p.m. Saturday, on S. Glebe Road near ramps to and from I-395.

From an Arlington County Police Department press release:

At approximately 5:40 p.m. on April 22, police were dispatched to the 2400 block of S. Glebe Road for the report of a single-vehicle crash involving a moped. Arlington County Fire Department medics administered CPR before transporting Virgiliro Lopez, 45, of Alexandria, VA to George Washington University Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Detectives from the Critical Accident Team (CAT) responded to the scene. The initial investigation revealed the driver was traveling southbound on Glebe Road when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a traffic sign in the median. The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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

Glebe Road was closed or at least partially blocked for more than an hour following the crash, while police investigated. NBC 4’s Darcy Spencer tweeted the following photo from the scene.

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Man Dies In Arlington County Jail

(Updated at 9:20 p.m.) A man died Thursday afternoon after being found unconscious in his cell at the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Bennie Turner, 40, was released Thursday at 10 a.m. on a court ordered furlough, for an ill family member. He returned from his authorized absence on time at 2 p.m, and returned to his unit just after 2:30 p.m.

Turner was found unconscious in his cell at 4:48 p.m. Deputies and medical staff tried to resuscitate him before the fire department arrived and transported Turner to the Virginia Hospital Center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:36 p.m.

His family was notified of his death late Thursday night.

An autopsy will be conducted by the Medical Examiner’s Office and the death is being investigated by the Arlington County Police Department, per standard procedure.

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