Arlington, VA

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A teenager was allegedly behind the wheel of a car that struck a 10-year-old girl and killed her dog in Arlington’s Donaldson Run neighborhood.

Police confirmed this morning that “the suspected driver has been located.”

Photos sent to ARLnow on Monday show police behind a black Chrysler 200 sedan, with temporary Virginia tags, matching the description of the vehicle involved in the Friday afternoon crash. The photo was taken near Yorktown High School, at the intersection of Yorktown Blvd and Little Falls Road.

“The investigation is ongoing and charges are anticipated at a later date,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “In accordance with Virginia law, the suspect’s identity is not releasable due to age.”

Video sent to us by the victim’s family (below) shows the car quickly driving up N. Upshur Street around the time of the incident. The victim’s mother posted publicly on Facebook about how “our world was split open” as a result of the crash.

“Some reckless and selfish person in a black sedan racing down a quiet Donaldson Run residential street hit my 10-yr old daughter and our puppy at the corner of N. Upshur St. and N. Vermont St.,” she posted on Friday. “She did what she always does. Look left and right conscientiously.”

“The car hit our little Peanut leaving him in a pool of blood while she was luckily able to leap out of the way,” the mother continued. “In that moment, he could’ve ripped apart our world even further and killed her. It’s gut-wrenching enough that the sweetest puppy we’ve ever had was simply murdered. Gone in an instant. The driver didn’t blink an eye. Didn’t stop.”

Though the girl’s injuries were considered minor at the time, she was subsequently hospitalized over the weekend after an onset of lower body pain, ARLnow has learned.

Photos courtesy anonymous

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(Updated on 5/31/20) Arlington County Police are investigating an apparent hit and run that claimed the life of a dog Friday.

Around 1:45 p.m. police were dispatched to the area of N. Upshur Street and N. Vermont Street, in the Donaldson Run neighborhood, for a report of a girl and a dog struck by a driver.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that the juvenile victim was crossing the street while walking her dog when they were struck by a vehicle,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The juvenile suffered minor injuries and did not require transport to the hospital. The dog died on scene.”

The deceased dog was covered in a white sheet, in the middle of the intersection, while police documented the scene and interviewed the girl, her father, and witnesses.

The driver kept going after the crash and is currently being sought by police, Savage said.

The father of the girl who was struck emailed ARLnow to share the description of the vehicle and ask for the public’s help in locating it and identifying the occupants.

“The car was a black sedan possibly with a green pinstripe, with a male driver and a female passenger, both in their 20s,” he wrote. “It had temporary tags and was in the neighborhood between 1:15 and 2 p.m. We are asking that if you live in Donaldson Run and know of anyone who drives a car with that description to contact the police.”

A video of the car, as seen on a Ring doorbell camera, was sent to ARLnow.

On Sunday, ACPD released several photos of the car via social media.

Map via Google Maps. Photo (4) via Facebook.

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(Updated at 5 p.m.) A 26-year-old Arlington man has been arrested after police say he tossed two dogs to their death from his apartment balcony in Courthouse.

The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. Monday. Police received a call about the dogs being thrown off a fifth floor apartment balcony at the Meridian building at 1401 N. Taft Street. According to police dispatches at the time, someone — possibly the building manager — had rushed the dogs to a local vet before officers arrived.

Police arrived on scene and arrested an apartment resident, who now faces animal cruelty charges.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ANIMAL COMPLAINT, 2020-04280069, 1400 block of N. Taft Street. At approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 27, police were dispatched to the report of an animal complaint. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect allegedly threw two dogs off the balcony of a residence. Prior to police arrival, the dogs were located and transported to area animal hospitals, where they succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced deceased. Officers made contact with the suspect at his residence and took him into custody without incident. Zachary Hanson, 26, of Arlington, Va. was arrested and charged with Cruelty to Animals (x2). He was held on no bond.

A police spokeswoman tells ARLnow that one of the dogs was the suspect’s, while the other belonged to someone he knew.

“One belonged to the suspect, the other belonged to someone known to the suspect,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “To best protect the identity of the victim, we will not release additional information related to their relationship.”

“What preceded the incident is under investigation,” Savage added.

Court records show that Hanson — no relation to the well-known singer who was born in Arlington — has a preliminary hearing scheduled in Arlington General District on Aug. 28. The charges against him are both Class 6 felonies that generally call for 1-5 years in prison if convicted.

Photo via Google Maps

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An older couple from South Carolina is trying to find the new adoptive owner of their dog, who’s likely somewhere in Arlington or Northern Virginia.

Janice and Chuck Davis gave Bullets, their rat terrier, up for adoption in late October. They were forced to call animal control on Bullets because he had violent tendencies that had become difficult to manage, Janice said. He was then picked up by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, which has its headquarters in Arlington.

Bullets had a difficult life prior to his adoption by the South Carolina couple, which led to behavioral issues.

“We had [Bullets] for four years and he had been abused [before we adopted him],” said Janice. “Every time he felt threatened he bit us. We’re getting up in our age and we had an incident with him so we turned him in to animal control.”

However, the dog had left a lasting impression that the Davises did not fully realize until Bullets was gone.

“My husband didn’t realize how attached to the dog he was,” Janice said.

In their four years together Bullets and Chuck, who’s 80, developed a routine. They would get in Chuck’s truck and ride around their property in Florence, South Carolina together. The two would then sit in the car and keep an eye out for deer.

When Chuck was at home, he would sit down in his recliner and motion for Bullets to come and sit on his lap. Chuck would spread out a certain blanket, and Bullets would jump on.

Despite the good times, the Davises made the difficult decision to give Bullets up. They quickly regretted it, but by the time Chuck went to get Bullets back, he had already been taken to the Lucky Dog shelter.

Now, the couple is hoping to find the new owners of their dog, if for nothing else than to give Bullets his blanket.

Chuck “is missing this dog terribly and would just like to know if the new owner is pleased with [him] and if he is doing fine,” said Janice. “He would like to send the new owner Bullets’ favorite blanket.”

“We just want to make sure he is in a good home,” she added.

If Bullets’ new owner is reading this, email us at [email protected] and we can connect you with the couple 

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Morning Notes

Pentagon City Redevelopment on Pause — “Brookfield Properties has suspended plans to launch a major redevelopment of the Transportation Security Administration’s headquarters in Pentagon City once the federal agency moves to its new home in Springfield in mid- to late 2020… it’s a reflection of the new reality that Amazon’s HQ2 has created in the neighborhood.” [Washington Business Journal]

Vote on Add’l Speeding Fine This Weekend — “Currently, a ticket for going 10 mph over the speed limit in a residential zone is about $80. The additional fine would bring that ticket to $280. ‘People drive like maniacs around here. It’s about time they got some punishment,’ Arlington resident Jack Feegel said.” [NBC 4]

Arlington Resident Helps Return Lost Dog — “A lost dog was reunited with its owner thanks to a passing motorist, who noticed something unusual on their way to work, and a fellow driver farther along the road. Dashcam footage shows the unnamed motorist, from Arlington, Virginia, driving to their workplace in Silver Spring, Maryland, on January 13.” [Daily Mail]

ACFD Responds to Calls in Maryland — It’s rare for the Arlington County Fire Department to respond as mutual aid to an incident in Maryland, but it happened Wednesday morning, with several units dispatched to Prince George’s County. [Twitter, Twitter]

Arlington Tourism Tax May Be Made Permanent — “The Arlington County government looks ready to get a major present from the new Democratic majority in the General Assembly. The state Senate has passed and sent to the House of Delegates a measure that removes the sunset provision on Arlington’s authority to impose a 0.25-percent surcharge on hotel taxes to support tourism promotion.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: No Streetcar in Georgetown — “Plans to extend the DC Streetcar to Georgetown have been effectively scrapped. The District Department of Transportation is halting all work on the project ‘for the foreseeable future,’ according to documents submitted to the D.C. Council.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Rex Block

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You’re probably not taking Fido to play in the creek in sub-freezing weather, but you’ll want to nix any such plans at the Shirlington dog park for the next couple of days.

Arlington County crews braved freezing weather on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to repair an 8-inch sewer line that failed and sent sewage spewing into Four Mile Run, near the Barcroft neighborhood, for the second week in a row.

“The Department of Environmental Services advises to avoid all contact with Four Mile Run south of 7th Street due to a sanitary sewage release,” said an Arlington Alert message on Sunday afternoon. “Blockage was removed from the same pipe after a release last week. Crews on scene investigating pipe’s condition.”

As of Tuesday morning, the department said repairs had been completed. All people and pets, however, should avoid Four Mile Run downstream of 7th Street S. until at least Wednesday night.

As a result of the sewage release, a planned MLK, Jr. Day of Service trash cleanup along the stream has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 1.

Photo via Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services

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(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) The Animal Welfare League of Arlington reopened today, but its dog kennels remain closed after a disease outbreak.

The shelter near Shirlington said Thursday it was dealing with parvovirus, described as “a highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs.”

Parvo “affects dogs’ gastrointestinal tracts and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact and contact with contaminated feces,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. It causes dehydration, is potentially deadly, and can only be cured by the dog’s own immune system.

“Out of an abundance of caution, our dog kennels are CLOSED until further notice due to parvovirus,” AWLA said via Facebook. “The affected dogs are being treated and we are currently deep-cleaning our kennels. We will update you all on the situation in the coming days. Our cat room and small companion animal room will remain open as usual for adoptions.”

AWLA spokeswoman Chelsea Jones said the shelter hopes “not to alarm the public or stop people from coming in to adopt.”

“We do expect the dog kennels to be open tomorrow,” Jones said.

Dog Kennel Update – now that we have finished a thorough deep clean and cared for the affected animals, we wanted to…

Posted by Animal Welfare League of Arlington on Friday, November 8, 2019

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A new group is pushing the county for more space dedicated to its four-legged residents in Rosslyn’s growing neighborhood.

R-Dogs, LLC was one the groups at last week’s Cider Fest — the new group set up a table to hand out treats and dog waste bags, while advocating for a new dog park.

“R-Dogs is working with Arlington County and Rosslyn BID to build a top of the line park to be renamed Rosslyn Community Park,” the group said in a statement to ARLnow. “The new park will include a dog park with separate areas for large and small dogs. A separate area will also be built for individuals in the community to sit, socialize and enjoy watching their dogs play.”

The seven-member group has yet to pick a spot for the park, but for now is calling for a temporary, gated one to be set up in the western half of Gateway Park at the corner of N. Nash Street and Lee Highway.

In its application to the county, R-Dogs is also proposing the park incorporate several features, such as:

  • A shaded shelter with benches
  • Separated sections for large and small dogs
  • Drinking fountains (for humans and dogs)
  • A water misting station for dogs to cool off under
  • A water-washing station
  • A raised seating area with the area underneath “sealed off to prevent dogs from hiding and being difficult to impossible to catch.”
  • A bulletin board

The group argues in the application that Gateway Park is an ideal location for a dog park because it’s lightly used, in need of repairs, and it’s not close to homeowners who might be bothered by barking.

The land on which the park sits is owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and managed by the county. It’s situated next to Key Bridge Marriott site redevelopment (1401 Lee Highway) which plans to add 451 housing units and renovate the hotel.

“Parks, and especially dog parks, are a magnet to draw the community together, increase housing values, and attract new businesses and builders,” the group wrote in its application.

John Hummel, president of the North Rosslyn Civic Association, wrote in a letter of support that North Rosslyn has “witnessed a gradual but significant loss of walkable green space” in recent years and Gateway Park’s state of disrepair means some residents don’t feel comfortable using it.

“While NRCA has no idea of the design nor expected lifetime of this Temporary Dog Park, NRCA is in support of improvement of Gateway West to provide an attractive walkable space where residents can safely meet neighbors, chat, and let dogs run unleashed,” wrote Hummel.

The group held a public meeting last month to review the architectural plans for the site, per an Instagram post, and is asking for signatures of support for the project.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development did not immediately respond to requests for more information.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Rooftop Bar Reopens — After being shut down by county building inspectors, Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill in Courthouse reopened Tuesday evening, just in time to watch the Nationals sweep the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, to advance to the first World Series in D.C. since 1933. [Twitter]

Housing Still Hot Near HQ2 — “The median sale price for all home types in the 22202 [zip code, which includes the Pentagon City and Crystal City area] jumped nearly 40% in September compared with the same time last year, reaching $685,000… That makes it nine straight months of home price appreciation for the 22202 area. Arlington County as a whole saw a modest 12% year-to-date increase, $590,000 for all home types.” [Washington Business Journal]

Retail Job Fair Next Week — “Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Washington D.C.’s international shopping destination, invites job seekers to attend its Retailer Job Fair on Tuesday, October 22. From 11 a.m.-7 p.m., candidates can visit the Metro and First Levels to pick up applications, meet with store representatives and apply onsite.” [Press Release]

DCA Fee to Help Pay for Expansion Project — “Project Journey, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s $1 billion capital improvement effort well underway at Reagan National Airport, will be paid for in part by airline passengers. At its meeting Wednesday, the MWAA board will be asked to approve the submission of a new Passenger Facility Charge application… The $4.50 fee is collected by airlines as part of their airfare and remitted to the airport of origin.” [Washington Business Journal]

Caps Dogs Star in Arlington Photoshoot — “In the 2020 Capitals Canine Calendar, you will see 12 months of Washington ice hockey players posing with dogs of all sizes, ages and bark levels… There was plenty of four-legged mischief during the October shoot at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Nearby: New Restaurant in Arlandria — “The new Taqueria Senora Lola is now open at 3901 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria. Owner Oswaldo Salinas said the restaurant — adjacent to Salinas’ other eatery, Lilian’s Restaurant, opened two weeks ago and had a grand opening event this past Saturday.” [ALXnow]

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Morning Notes

Woman Arrested for Burning Flag Near W-L High — “A woman was arrested for burning an American flag on an overpass over I-66 in Arlington, police say. Kayla Caniff, 22, was charged with property destruction after police say she burned a flag attached to a chain link fence on the N. Stafford Street overpass, north of the Ballston area, at about 11:55 p.m. Thursday.” [NBC Washington]

County Website Goes Down — The Arlington County website was down for an extended period of time over Labor Day weekend. [Twitter]

Lucky Dog Takes in Pups from Hurricane’s Path — “While Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas — thousands of miles away in Arlington, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue plotted a rescue mission… The Carolinas are projected to be in the storm’s path and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is partnered with a shelter in South Carolina. So the organization’s volunteers met an animal control officer part of the way there to take 19 of the shelter’s dogs.” [WJLA]

APS to Review Westover Tree Plan — “Facing community unrest in Westover, Arlington Public Schools plans to take another look at the potential of saving more trees during construction of a new elementary school on North McKinley Road near Washington Boulevard. Following an Aug. 29 meeting with residents, the school system has directed that ‘before the trees are removed, we have the contractor stake out the site and renumber the trees.'” [InsideNova]

Energy Plan Concerns: Feds and Trees — Arlington County’s impending update to its Community Energy Plan, which sets a net zero carbon emissions goal, is an important step in fighting climate change, some advocates say, though additional action is still needed on the state and federal level. Others, despite supporting the goal, are concerned that achieving it may come at the cost of the area’s tree canopy. [Washington Post, Arlington County]

Arlington’s Many Advocacy Orgs — “My viewing [of the Netflix documentary ‘The Family’] got me thinking of the many newsmaking organizations — of all political stripes — that have long populated our suburb so close to the action of the nation’s capital. Wilson Blvd. and Crystal City alone are home to enough colorful groups to generate a slew of political and public policy contretemps.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Reminder: Be Careful on the Roads Today — It’s the first day of school, kids will be walking to school and there are new traffic patterns around some schools. Arlington County Police are conducting “a high-visibility traffic enforcement campaign in and around school zones and bus stops” today. [ARLnow, Arlington County]

Photo courtesy David Johnson

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Spike likes playing frisbee, playing with a chew toy, and sniffing out explosive chemicals in Reagan National Airport.

The black labrador retriever is one of four — soon to be five — explosives detection canines patrolling the airport. This morning (Monday), Spike led a public demonstration at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint to show off his nose and teach the public about airport bomb dogs for National Dog Day.

Daniel La Rose, Spike’s handler, says the daily grind of ensuring the safety of the travelling public is made better for Spike by making sure every activity feels fun and rewarding.

“It has to be interesting for the dog,” La Rose said, “he needs to feel productive.”

Activities include searches throughout the airport, and sometimes aboard aircraft and checked baggage areas. A lot of the work is what La Rose calls “cutting the wake” — walking past crowds as the dog sniffs through the wafted scents, kind of like going through the wake of a boat.

The dogs smell in ingredients, Daniel La Rose said. A lot of lotions, makeup and perfumes share some chemical elements with explosives, so La Rose warned that passengers wearing heavy perfume for their plane trip may attract the attention of explosives dogs.

Spike needs frequent stimulation. La Rose said it looks easy, but the daily job is a lot of work finding ways to keep the dog constantly positive and active.

Sometimes the Spike will be taken through areas where dummies are planted for the dog to find, to keep him training and to earn playtime with La Rose. The dogs work for play, La Rose explained, not treats. Every day is a game of hide and seek, with a few minutes playing with a tennis ball or a loving pat on the head the reward for a job well done.

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