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A man who worked as an assistant at Carlin Springs Elementary School is facing sex assault charges.

Police say Jonathan Zapata, a 30-year-old Arlington resident, sexually assaulted a female family member under the age of 18 over the course of two years from 2016-2018. He was arrested this morning in the Buckingham neighborhood and is facing two felony sex offense charges.

Arlington Public Schools has placed Zapata on administrative leave from his instructional assistant position, police said in a press release.

“The preliminary investigation has not uncovered evidence of inappropriate contact with children at the school,” the Arlington County Police Department said. “Anyone with information about Mr. Almanza Zapata that may be pertinent to this case and/or who has had past inappropriate encounters with him is asked to contact Detective S. Gomez at 703-228-4173 or [email protected]

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is investigating a suspect charged with sex offenses and is seeking additional information and possible victims. Jonathan Almanza Zapata, 30, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Forcible Sodomy and Aggravated Sexual Battery. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 10:36 p.m. on September 26, police were dispatched to a residence in the Douglas Park neighborhood for the late report of a sexual assault. Upon arrival, officers met with the female juvenile victim who reported that the suspect allegedly inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted her during incidents believed to have occurred between September 2016 and June 2018. Following an investigation by the Special Victims Unit, warrants were obtained for the suspect and he was taken into custody without incident this morning in the 4300 block of N. Pershing Drive. The suspect is known to the victim and this is considered a domestic-related incident.

Arlington Public Schools has placed Mr. Almanza Zapata on administrative leave from his position as an instructional assistant at Carlin Springs Elementary School. The preliminary investigation has not uncovered evidence of inappropriate contact with children at the school. This remains an ongoing and active criminal investigation. Anyone with information about Mr. Almanza Zapata that may be pertinent to this case and/or who has had past inappropriate encounters with him is asked to contact Detective S. Gomez at 703-228-4173 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Two more overnight car break-in sprees have been reported, this time in the Courthouse and Douglas Park areas.

Following some 18 cars being broken into in the Arlington Forest neighborhood early Monday morning, a thief of thieves struck early Tuesday morning along several blocks in the Courthouse area, just blocks from police headquarters.

Police say nine vehicles “were found to have had their door handles removed and the air bags stolen.”

More from the Arlington County Police Department:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08030034/08030041/08030057, 1800 block of N. Scott Street/1200 block of N. Scott Street/1300 block of N. Scott Street/1200 block of N. Taft Street. At approximately 5:30 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. The investigation revealed that in total, nine victim vehicles were found to have had their door handles removed and the air bags stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

On Monday morning, another series of thefts was reported along S. Four Mile Run Drive near the Dept. of Motor Vehicles office.

Three cars were broken into, including one from which a cell phone and credit cards were stolen. A Honda Civic was also stolen from the area.

From ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO/GRAND LARCENY AUTO (SERIES), 2021-08030065, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 8:33 a.m. on August 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 11:00 p.m. on August 2 and 8:00 a.m. on August 3, the unknown suspect(s) entered into and rummaged through approximately three vehicles and stole a cellphone, wallet and credit cards from one victim vehicle. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that another victim vehicle was stolen from the area. The vehicle is described as a 2014 Honda Civic bearing VA license plate VXK8836. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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When the COVID-19 began to shut down the world, Arlington resident Allegra Jabo was one of many who spent their newfound time working on puzzles.

“When everything first shut down for the pandemic and we were all inside waiting for the few weeks to be over, we started working on the puzzle we had bought for our canceled beach trip,” said Jabo.

As time progressed, people began finishing their puzzles and were looking for new ones. Jabo was one of these people, despite being in a small group of enthusiasts who had been swapping puzzles — so she decided to go bigger.

Jabo owns a business called The Science Seed, which offers a program designed to introduce science to preschool and early elementary school children. Before the pandemic, she was using the entryway of her home as a swap spot for her business. When her business shut down, along with schools, Jabo decided to turn her entryway into a swap spot for puzzles.

She called it the Douglas Park Little Free Puzzle Library, similar to the Little Free Book Libraries seen around Arlington and the rest of the country.

“At first, I was worried about maintaining our puzzle supply as we became more popular, but with so many people having time on their hands to clean out their houses, we continue to receive lots of donations,” said Jabo. There are now over 300 puzzles at Jabo’s house — all donations from other residents — and donations are still being accepted.

“To donate, [people] can drop off in the drop-off corner of our entryway,” said Jabo. “If they know of any missing pieces, they can put a Post-It on the box to let me know so I can add that information to the library note taped to the box.”

As the pandemic wanes and more things reopen, Jabo’s business will need her entryway back so she’s been looking for a new place to move the puzzle library.

“I do not plan on simply abandoning the library,” said Jabo. “I am actively working on finding a permanent home for the library and hope to move it into a community center or library branch.”

She said the experience of running the puzzle library has been both rewarding and surprising.

“The library’s success has been a surprise, and the many notes of gratitude I get online and in Post-It form have been truly lovely to receive during this crazy year,” said Jabo. “A woman visiting the other day told me the library has been her favorite part of the pandemic. It has been very rewarding and I’m grateful I’ve been able to do something seemingly so small to bring a little joy to puzzlers during this time.”

The Douglas Park Little Free Puzzle Library can be found at 1706 S. Lowell Street and is open 24/7 for puzzlers of all ages. More information and updates can be found on its Facebook page.

Photo courtesy Allegra Jabo

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The Arlington County Board has approved road improvement projects on three arterial streets and two neighborhood streets.

The arterial street projects involve Americans with Disabilities Act improvements to bus stops and ramps, improvements to crosswalks, and other changes to S. Arlington Ridge Road, N. Carlin Springs Road and Military Road — at an estimated cost of $550,000.

More from a county staff report:

The work proposed for the intersection of South Arlington Ridge Road and South Lang Street will provide a safer pedestrian crossing to Gunston School and provide ADA compliant bus stops. The improvements at the intersections of North Carlin Springs Road and North Edison Street and North Wakefield Street will deliver ADA compliant bus stops and installation of a RRFB (rectangular rapid flashing beacon) at the North Edison Street intersection. The project planned for the intersections of 36th Road North and North Marcey Road with Military Road will include ADA compliant bus stops and realignment of the intersection for North Marcey Road for improved vehicle movement.

The Board also approved two “Neighborhood Complete Streets” capital projects, including:

  • New sidewalk, curb ramps, and paving along 13th Street S. between Walter Reed Drive and Glebe Road, in the Douglas Park neighborhood
  • Curb extensions and improved bus stops along 7th Road S. in the Arlington Mill neighborhood

The 13th Street project has the goal of a safer pedestrian experience on a street commonly used by cut-through traffic, with an incomplete sidewalk. The 7th Road S. project aims to create “pinch points” to reduce vehicle speeds, on a stretch where speeding and crashes are problematic. Both projects have an approximate cost of $600,000.

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Police are looking for a man who allegedly exposed himself to a woman he asked for directions.

The incident happened this past Friday night in the Douglas Park neighborhood. Arlington County police say the man pulled over to ask for directions, then exposed himself to the victim after the walked over to help.

He was driving a gray, two-door sports car at the time. Police were not able to determine the make and model of the vehicle based on the victim’s description.

More from an ACPD crime report:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2020-06120210, 1400 block of S. George Mason Drive. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 12, an officer was approached by the victim in need of assistance. It was determined that the victim was walking in the area when the male suspect pulled up next to her in his vehicle and asked for directions. When the victim approached the vehicle to assist the driver, she observed the male suspect lean towards her and expose himself. The suspect then fled in his vehicle. The suspect is described as a white male, with short blonde hair, approximately 6’1″-6’3″, 190-220 lbs., wearing a blue polo shirt and khaki pants. The vehicle is described as a gray, two-door, sports car. The investigation is ongoing.

Also on Friday, a separate indecent exposure incident was reported in the Virginia Square area, near W-L High School and Quincy Park.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2020-06120104, Washington Boulevard at N. Quincy Street. At approximately 10:42 a.m. on June 12, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was inside his residence when he looked out the window and observed the male suspect coming in and out of the bushes multiple times, while touching himself inappropriately. He attempted to confront the suspect, who fled on foot prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male in his late 40’s or early 50’s, approximately 5’8″, with a white beard, wearing a long sleeve khaki shirt with a blue t-shirt underneath, khaki pants, and a gray hat. The investigation is ongoing.

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Morning Notes

Coronavirus Cases at Arlington Nursing Home — “Rossie Bratten, a 21-year-old Virginia resident, is calling on nursing homes to be more transparent about COVID-19, claiming an Arlington facility caring for his mother never informed the family of positive cases at the site. Bratten claims they only called to be told their mother had tested positive.” [Fox 5, YouTube]

Construction Continuing at DCA — “The coronavirus pandemic has slowed air travel to a trickle, but it has not hindered Project Journey at Reagan National Airport. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reports that the new 14-gate north concourse at Reagan Airport remains on schedule to open in July 2021.” [Washington Business Journal]

Bullet Hole Found in Roof of Douglas Park Home — “At approximately 2:31 p.m. on April 13, police were dispatched to the report of a missile into occupied dwelling. Upon arrival, it was determined that contractors performing maintenance on the victim’s house located a hole in her roof and recovered a bullet in the crawl space. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.” [Arlington County]

Sen. Ebbin Lauds Signing of Marijuana Bill — “The prohibition on cannabis has for too long had life long impacts on Virginians and disproportionately affected communities of color. Thank you @GovernorVA for signing my and @C_Herring’s bills to decriminalize marijuana.” [Twitter]

County Observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month — “Arlington County’s Project PEACE is recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) with virtual observances and daily online opportunities. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, survivors of sexual assault need support, champions and affirmation of their stories and voices.” [Arlington County]

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A 20-year-old man was arrested earlier this week after getting mad at someone honking at him.

The incident happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Police say 20-year-old Lizama Gamez of Falls Church was driving on S. Thomas Street in Douglas Park when an oncoming driver beeped their horn.

Gamez then “allegedly pulled alongside the victims and became irate, yelling at them and brandished a firearm,” notes an Arlington County Police crime report. “Arriving officers located the suspect vehicle in the area and the suspect was positively identified.”

Gamez is facing two misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm, as there were two people in the other vehicle at the time, police said. He has since posted bail, court records show, and was due in court for an arraignment this afternoon.

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(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a major vandalism spree in the area of Columbia Pike.

Police say nearly two dozen parked cars had their tires slashed over the weekend. It happened on the 4500 and 4600 blocks of S. Four Mile Run Drive and the 1100 block of S. Thomas Street, just south of the Pike in the Douglas Park neighborhood.

So far, police have no suspect description, only saying that the “investigation is ongoing.”

“Officers canvased the area for surveillance and witnesses with negative results,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Anyone who witnessed suspicious activity in the area on Friday evening into Saturday morning or has any information related to the investigation is asked to contact police.”

More from a crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY – VEHICLE (series), 2019-05110081/05110088/05110096, 4600 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive/4500 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive/1100 block of S. Thomas Street. At approximately 7:28 a.m. on May 11, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 8:30 p.m. on May 10 and 6:30 a.m. on May 11, the tires of approximately 22 vehicles parked in the area were slashed. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

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A burglar tried to break into a home in Douglas Park early Monday morning, at one point picking up an axe and rapping it against a glass window, according to police.

A resident was inside the home on the 4200 block of 16th Street S. at the time and called police. A suspect was soon located and arrested by officers. No one was hurt.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

BURGLARY, 2019-04080006, 4200 block of 16th Street S. At approximately 12:45 a.m. on April 8, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male victim was inside his residence when he heard his screen door open. Upon investigating, he observed a male suspect inside the screened-in porch of his residence. The suspect allegedly attempted to open the door leading directly into the residence and then proceeded to knock on the door’s window pane with an axe located on the victim’s property. Arriving officers canvased the area and located a subject matching the description provided by the victim. Darrell Graham, 53, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Burglary. He was held on no bond.

Also in this week’s crime report were a pair of reported robberies.

ROBBERY (late), 2019-04060062, 1300 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 5:50 a.m. on April 6, police were dispatched to the late report of a robbery. Upon arrival, the male victim reported that at approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 5, a known suspect approached him and asked for the beverage he was drinking. When the victim refused, the suspect struck him and stole the beverage. The victim declined medical treatment. The suspect is described as a black male in his 40’s with black hair. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY (late), 2019-04030059, 4200 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 8:20 a.m. on April 3, police responded to the late report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 6:40 a.m. on March 28, the victim observed the known male suspect attempt to steal his friend’s bicycle. When the victim attempted to intervene, the suspect brandished a knife and threatened him. The suspect fled the scene on the bicycle. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 15-18 years old, with a slim build, wearing all black clothing and a black baseball hat. The investigation is ongoing.

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(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) Arlington’s newest craft beer bar “Rebellion on the Pike” is opening this week.

An employee said it would be open Monday evening, though a phone for the business was not answered as of 5 p.m. A Facebook post from Monday afternoon says the bar was open over the weekend and will be “back open tomorrow after a good day of rest and restocking.”

Silver tables and chairs sit under the string lights of its outdoor patio area. Inside, black and brown wood furnish the bar. The bar is open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weeknights and from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Located at 2900 Columbia Pike across from the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, the Rebellion’s menu features a variety of sandwiches like “The Ronnie” which stuffs 1/3 pound of smoked pork on ciabatta with an Alabama white sauce and bourbon picked slaw, and the “Rebel Yell” with smoked turkey breast, bacon, tomatoes, and white American cheese on sourdough.

Rebellion also serves wings, salads, a variety of pork sandwiches, and “communal grub” like fried pork belly bites, and poutine with house beer cheese, per the menu.

The bar will feature 24 draft lines of craft beer, according to social media posts. A full drink list of the beers, wines, and spirits was not available in time for publication.

As of today (Monday), the bar’s website says it’s hiring.

Brian Westlye founded Rebellion and is the COO of the hospitality company that’s managing the bar. Westlye said in February he was “hopefully” opening by March 1, though most new restaurants in Arlington end up being beset by varying degrees of delays. Rebellion quietly opened its doors and served its first customers last week as part of a soft opening.

Wesley founded the first “Rebellion” in D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood. That location serves up a sizable whiskey list as well as burgers, beer, and cocktails.

Rebellion replaces “Brickhaus” which closed last year after owner Tony Wagner said it “never took off the way we expected and hoped it would,” after delays from a lengthy permitting approval process.

Last two photos via Facebook

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(Updated at 5:15 p.m. on 12/12/18) An Arlington man is now facing several charges after he was allegedly spotted drunkenly stumbling in the road with a child, then fought with police officers who dragged him out of his home.

Arlington Police believe 45-year-old Stuart Behrens was “highly intoxicated” as he walked in the road along the 3600 block of 12th Street S. around 9 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 9).

Witnesses told police that he was walking with a child, before heading to a home in the Douglas Park neighborhood.

When officers arrived at the residence, police say Behrens refused to open the door. Officers forced their way inside, and as they attempted to arrest Behrens, “he actively resisted and refused to walk,” police say.

“As the officers carried him out, he kicked one officer multiple time[s],” the police said.

Police successfully managed to get him into a county cruiser, and subsequently charged Behrens with abuse and neglect of a child, assault on police, and obstruction of justice.

He’s now set for a hearing on those charges in Arlington General District Court on Jan. 16.

More details from an county crime report, which was updated after the original publication of this article.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2018-12090212, 3600 block of 12th Street S. At approximately 8:53 p.m. on December 9, police were dispatched to the report of a highly intoxicated male with a child stumbling in the road. Witnesses, who earlier observed the suspect allegedly passed out on the sidewalk, directed arriving officers to a residence where the male suspect was located inside. Despite repeated requests, the suspect refused to open the door and allow responding officers to check on the welfare of the child. While speaking to the suspect through a mailslot, officers observed him drop the child on the floor then walk up a steep set of stairs holding the child by the shirt. The suspect again refused lawful commands to open the door and allow officers to check on the welfare of the child. The officers forced entry into the residence, secured the child and took the suspect into custody. While attempting to escort the suspect out of the residence, he actively resisted and refused to walk. As the officers carried him out, he kicked one officer multiple time. The officers regained control and secured the suspect in the cruiser successfully. Stuart Behrens, 45, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Abuse and Neglect of a Child, Assault on Police, and Obstruction of Justice.

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