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DEVELOPING: Police Looking for Armed Suspect Who Threatened Fellow Metro Rider

Police are searching the area around the Courthouse Metro station for a suspect who reportedly threatened another rider on a Metro train with a weapon.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. Arlington County Police and Metro Transit Police are on the scene, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. According to initial reports, the suspect was armed with either a gun or a knife and is still at large.

A photo (below) shared by a Twitter user and retweeted by the account Unsuck DC Metro shows a police officer with a gun drawn and a woman with her hands in the air at the station.

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DEVELOPING: ART Warns of Ongoing Delays Due to ‘Mechanical Issues’

Arlington Transit bus riders could see delays across several routes over the course of the next week.

Unspecified “mechanical issues” are causing the delays, according to an ART service alert issued today (Monday). ART did not list specific routes that will be impacted, noting only that the routes will operate “at reduced frequencies” and that it will issue alerts about upcoming delays “as needed.”

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services, which oversees ART, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the nature of the mechanical issues. ART buses have on occasion suffered brake failures, leading to significant crashes, though it is unclear whether this week’s delays are in any way related.

So far, buses on ART Route 77 between the Courthouse Metro station and ART’s Shirlington station have recorded several delays, and some departures have been canceled entirely, according to county service alerts.

“Staff is currently working to quickly resolve these problems but we anticipate service disruptions on ART routes throughout the week,” ART wrote in the alert. “We apologize for the inconvenience as we work to ensure the safety and reliability of our fleet.”

ART opened a new, $17.6 million “light maintenance facility” on S. Eads Street last fall, and the county is planning to someday open a “heavy maintenance facility” in Springfield, after the County Board approved the purchase of a site there for $4.65 million.

File photo

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UPDATED: Body Found Along Potomac

Update at 10:45 a.m. — The body of a deceased adult male was found in the Potomac River near Daingerfield Island just before 6.30 p.m. last night, according to D.C. police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

“MPD Harbor Patrol units were dispatched to the area of Daingerfield Island on the Potomac River to assist in the search for an alleged missing person,” Sternbeck said. “Upon arrival, we were notified that an Arlington County Fire [water rescue unit] located a deceased adult male in the water. The District’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner recovered the individual and is working to correctly identify the decedent.”

Sternbeck said he was unable to confirm whether the deceased individual is someone sought in a missing person case in Arlington until the body has been identified and next of kin notified.

Earlier: A search operation was underway Tuesday evening for a missing person along Four Mile Run.

An Arlington County Fire Department spokesman said that the department is assisting police in a search for a “possible missing person” and confirmed that water rescue equipment was used in the search.

According to scanner traffic, a police helicopter provided assistance from the air.

A tipster characterized the search as a “body recovery” along Four Mile Run near the intersection of S. Glebe Road and S. Arlington Ridge Road, but there is no official word yet about what, if anything, was found.

An Arlington police spokeswoman deferred to D.C. police for comment, saying that the Metropolitan Police Department was the primary law enforcement agency handling the search. ARLnow.com is waiting to hear back from an MPD spokesman.

Last night firefighters rescued a person stranded in high water along Four Mile Run near today’s search site.

Photo via Google Maps

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UPDATED: Bomb Threat Prompts Evacuation of Marymount University

Update at 3:15 p.m. — The all clear was given around 1:30 p.m. and Marymount’s campus was reopened, according to police. The threat that prompted the evacuation was posted on social media, according to the university.

Earlier: One suspect has been taken into police custody after a bomb threat prompted the evacuation of Marymount University.

Bomb dogs are sweeping the north Arlington campus “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the Arlington County Police Department. Students and others on campus have been evacuated to a nearby park.

The threat comes on both April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday. The university is closed through Tuesday due to the Easter holiday, according to an academic calendar.

ACPD is asking the public to avoid the area as the investigation continues.

More via social media:

https://twitter.com/FilmItFreddy/status/980482323635474432

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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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State Bill Would Provide Big Tax Breaks to Arlington Country Clubs

A state bill targeted at helping country clubs in Arlington would cost the county more than $2 million in tax revenue, an internal county report says.

HB 1204, patroned by Fairfax and Prince William County Del. Tim Hugo (R), passed the House of Delegates last week by a vote of 65-33-1. The bill would “reserve to the Commonwealth the power to classify golf courses as land dedicated to open space for assessment and tax purposes,” according to an internal Arlington County fact sheet.

More from the bill’s summary:

Requires the assessing official in any county that experienced at least a 14% increase in population from 2010 to 2016 to specially and separately assess real property that is devoted to open space and contains at least five acres based on the actual physical use of the property, if requested to do so by the owner. The measure is effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2018.

The bill only would apply to Arlington and Loudoun counties, we’re told, and it would primarily affect the tax assessments of two entities: Army Navy Country Club and Washington Golf and Country Club, both in Arlington.

The country clubs are currently suing the county, challenging their respective assessments. Arlington assesses each based in part on their potential value as developable land, meaning that the assessments — and yearly tax bills — are much higher than if the clubs were assessed only on the basis of their current use.

Army Navy Country Club, near Pentagon City, was assessed at $149 million this year, and paid $1.5 million in taxes last year, according to county records. Washington Golf and Country Club, located along N. Glebe Road near Marymount University, is assessed at $79 million and paid about $839,000 in taxes last year.

The internal county report says that the country clubs are both currently assessed as “large acreage parcels,” valued at about $12 per square foot. By comparison, some residential property near WGCC is assessed at nearly $100 per square foot. Should the legislation pass, the assessed value of the clubs is expected to drop to around $0.50 per square foot, costing the county nearly $2.4 million.

“This is a bad bill for Arlington County government and for Arlington County property owners,” said County Board Chair Katie Cristol, adding that it would set a “damaging precedent.”

The Virginia Municipal League is opposing Hugo’s bill, which is currently being considered by the state Senate. In an email, the organization urged localities to take action.

“Notwithstanding the arguments posed by the bill’s proponents, the measure shatters existing state policy,” the email said. “If approved, nothing will prevent future General Assemblies from giving away local tax dollars and disregarding land use and tax policy decisions that belong to local governments. And, for the record, HB 1204 does not obligate the Commonwealth to reimburse local governments for the resulting lost revenues.”

The state Senate’s Finance Committee is expected to discuss the legislation at a hearing Tuesday morning.

At its meeting Saturday, two County Board members supported advertising a higher property tax rate, based on the risk of lost tax revenue from the bill. A majority of the Board, however, voted against raising the rate.

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DEVELOPING: Police Investigating Fall from Clarendon Building

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) A person fell from a Clarendon building and suffered critical injuries Tuesday afternoon.

Arlington County police are investigating the fall to determine if it was an accident or intentional.

Initial reports suggest a man fell about eight stories onto the plaza below, in front of the Oby Lee cafe at 3000 Washington Blvd. Shoes and other personal effects could be seen in the taped-off portion of the plaza, which was being photographed by investigators.

The man was transported to a local trauma center with life-threatening injuries, a police spokeswoman said, adding that “there is no known threat to the community.”

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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UPDATED: Yorktown High School Student Rushed to Hospital

Update at 4 p.m. — Arlington County Police released the following press release Friday afternoon.

At approximately 9:00 a.m. on February 9, police responded to Yorktown High School for the report of a CPR in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a student was located unresponsive in a restroom. Arlington County Fire Department medics transported the student to Virginia Hospital Center in critical condition. [Redacted]

This remains an active investigation however, there is no known threat to the school community. The Arlington County Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding this incident 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).

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, you are not alone. Help is available through the Crisis Link Hotline at 703-527-4077.

(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A letter has gone out to Yorktown High School families this morning after a student was found collapsed in a restroom at the end of first period.

A school nurse attended to the student while staff contacted emergency services. Passerby told ARLnow.com that a large number of emergency vehicles were parked outside the school but that the streets weren’t closed off.

Bridget Loft, Yorktown’s principal, wrote that a student has been transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Initial reports from police suggested the medical condition could be life-threatening.

The student’s family has been notified, and additional counselors are available on-site for distressed students.

Loft noted in her letter that the school had been placed on a “modified secure” status. Police are investigating the incident and will be present at Yorktown throughout the day.

Here’s the full letter that was sent out this morning to families:

Dear Yorktown Families:

I wanted to let you know that a student was found at the end of first period collapsed in a restroom. Our school nurse responded and staff immediately called 911. The Arlington County Fire Department arrived to provide medical aid to the student who was eventually transported to the Virginia Hospital Center. While this was happening, the student’s family was notified, and the school was placed on modified secure the building status.

At this point, I don’t have any other details to share. Our main focus at this time is on the student and family. Once details that we can share are available, we will pass them along.

We will have additional counselors available in the office, should your student need to talk with someone. I want to ensure you that there is no risk to students and staff, but we also wanted to let you know that police will remain at the school throughout the day to investigate what happened.

I want to thank our students and staff for the way that they handled the incident this morning. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the school at 703-228-5400.

Sincerely,

Bridget Loft, Principal

File photo

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DEVELOPING: Track Fire at Pentagon City Metro

Update at 1:15 p.m. — Repairs were completed and normal service resumed before noon, Metro says.

Update at 9:45 a.m. — All Blue and Yellow line service between National Airport and the Pentagon has been suspended due to “unscheduled track repairs.” The Pentagon City and Crystal City stations are being evacuated, Blue and Yellow line service is being run in two separate segments, and a shuttle is being established.

A large fire department response is on scene at the Pentagon City Metro station due to a track fire.

The apparent insulator fire is on one of the track at the station, producing light smoke. As of 9:15 a.m., the station was not being evacuated, but trains were being offloaded.

The Arlington County Police Department is helping to direct traffic in the area.

Trains are currently halted but Metro is preparing to single-track through the station, according to scanner traffic.

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UPDATED: SWAT Team Arrests Man in Crystal City Parking Lot

Update at 3:25 p.m. — The charges have been posted in Friday’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

NARCOTICS VIOLATION (Significant), 2018-01040111, 2200 block of S. Clark Street. At approximately 3:30 p.m. on January 4, police executed a narcotics search warrant and one suspect was taken into custody. Jacob Hill, 36, of Fairfax, VA was arrested and charged with manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute a controlled substance and transporting a controlled substance.

Earlier: A man was arrested by a heavily-armed SWAT team in the middle of Crystal City today, to the surprise of residents and office workers who watched it happen.

It happened around 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot behind the WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City (2221 S. Clark Street). Video and photos posted to Twitter show three dark SUVs filled with heavily-armed law enforcement personnel surrounding a man in a light-colored SUV. Damage is visible on the light SUV’s windshield as the man surrenders to police.

In a brief statement, the Arlington County Police Department confirmed that they were involved in the arrest and that it was drug related.

“Arlington County Police executed a narcotics search warrant in the 2200 block of S. Clark Street,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “A diversionary device was utilized and one suspect was taken into custody. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing at this time.”

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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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DEVELOPING: Police Searching for Robbery Suspect Near Rosslyn

Police are searching for a strong-arm robbery suspect who fled from officers in Rosslyn this morning.

The incident started just after 9 a.m. near the intersection of N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway.

According to scanner traffic, the suspect is a panhandler who robbed another homeless man in October. He was spotted in Rosslyn this morning and led police on a brief foot chase. The suspect reportedly dodged a Taser and then outran police as he he fled into the woods along I-66.

The suspect is described as a white male with a shaved head, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Police are setting up a perimeter and bringing in a K-9 unit and the U.S. Park Police helicopter to search for the suspect.

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Large Power Outage Reported in Ballston Area

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) More than 2,000 Dominion customers are without power in the Ballston area this Election Day afternoon.

The outage was first reported just before 3:45 p.m. Some 2,063 Dominion customers in Ballston, Virginia Square and Ashton Heights are without electricity.

Police are also reporting traffic signals to be dark at the busy intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street, causing some traffic tie-ups. In a tweet, the police department advised drivers to treat all non-operating traffic signals as a four-way stop.

No word yet on what caused the outage. Dominion is listing a preliminary restoration estimate of 8-11 p.m.

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaPD/status/928001587443847168

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DEVELOPING: The Track Is On Fire Outside of the Rosslyn Metro Station, Again

For at least the second time this week, a large contingent of Arlington County Fire Department vehicles has descended on the Rosslyn Metro station for a report of a track fire.

Initial reports suggest there is an arcing insulator somewhere in the tunnel between the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom stations — a seemingly persistent problem that has not been resolved by Metro’s extensive SafeTrack maintenance catch-up program.

Since a woman died on a Yellow Line train that filled with smoke near the L’enfant Metro station in 2015, ACFD sends the cavalry — a full “transportation incident” response — every time there is a report of smoke in a tunnel or fire on the tracks.

Shortly after arriving on scene, firefighters determined that there was no smoke in the Rosslyn station and that Metro’s emergency maintenance team would be taking the lead in resolving what was described as a minor track fire. Most fire department units are going back to their stations.

N. Moore Street is closed in front of the Metro station as a result of the emergency response. Metro riders should expect delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines.

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UPDATED: SWAT Team Responds to 911 Call Reporting Hostage Situation, Finds Nothing

(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Numerous Arlington County Police officers, SWAT team members and the county bomb squad were on the scene of an incident in the Radnor/Fort Myer Heights neighborhood Thursday morning.

Police were spread across several blocks, in the area of several apartment buildings and the Quarterdeck restaurant. Several roads were closed in the area.

A resident described the incident to ARLnow.com as a “possible hostage situation.” Later Thursday morning, police confirmed that they had received a 911 call from an individual falsely claiming to be holding a family hostage.

More from an ACPD press release:

At approximately 6:05 a.m. on August 17, the Emergency Communications Center received an anonymous call from a subject claiming to be holding a family hostage in the 1200 block of Ft. Myer Drive. Due to the elevated level of threat by the caller, the Arlington County Police Emergency Response Team and Arlington County Fire Bomb Squad were deployed. Members of the SWAT Team made contact with the occupants of the residence and during the course of the investigation, it was determined that no crime had occurred. A protective sweep of the residence was conducted with negative results. The all clear was given at approximately 8:48 a.m.

Reporting false information to the police is a crime. The investigation into the identity of the caller is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this investigation should call the Arlington County Police Department at 703-558-2222. Tips can also be provided anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

The incident may be a case of “swatting,” which is defined as “the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly identified today’s day of the week as Wednesday instead of Thursday.

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