Join Club
Police looking for evidence where shots were fired along S. Wakefield Street in Barcroft (file photo)

(Updated 5:32 p.m.) A man accused of shooting wildly at law enforcement following a destructive, high-speed chase through Arlington and Fairfax County accepted a plea bargain on Wednesday.

Ricardo Singleton, 29, admitted in Arlington Circuit Court to firing a gun from his car while fleeing authorities — a pursuit that prosecutors claim ended after a gunfight in Fairfax County.

Singleton’s plea calls for him to spend no more than two years behind bars in exchange for pleading guilty to felony eluding and shooting a firearm from a vehicle. The 17 months he has already spent in jail following his Oct. 6, 2022 arrest would apply toward his total time behind bars.

Virginia sentencing ranges are between one and five years of imprisonment for felony eluding and one to 10 years in prison for shooting from a vehicle. Both crimes also come with an alternative penalty of one year behind bars or a $2,500 fine, or both.

However, the sentencing guidelines — a recommendation set by the Virginia Sentencing Commission based on factors such as criminal history — are more lenient in this case, Singleton’s attorney, Adam Krischer, said in an email. Singleton’s sentencing guidelines are between one day and six months of imprisonment.

There is no agreement regarding suspended time, the amount of time Singleton would serve if he violated the terms of his release. His sentencing is set for May 3.

Although Singleton may only have up to seven more months behind bars in Arlington, he still faces charges in Fairfax County. He is scheduled to appear for a four-day trial beginning on May 20 for several alleged crimes, including reportedly opening fire on officers in a foot pursuit at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road.

In Fairfax, Singleton faces two counts of assault of a law enforcement officer, one count of attempted maiming and one count of using a firearm in commission of a felony.

Singleton’s confrontations with law enforcement began many hours before his eventual arrest, according to a timeline of events compiled by the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

A sheriff’s deputy approached the suspect after he reportedly made an illegal U-turn outside the Arlington County courthouse around 8:45 a.m. The timeline describes Singleton then pointing a firearm at the ceiling of his vehicle before speeding away, disregarding orders to stop and striking another vehicle. That evening, police spotted the suspect and pursued him through Arlington — a chase during which Singleton, by his own admission, fired multiple shots from his driver’s side window.

Law enforcement caught up to the suspect along Route 50 in Fairfax County after he reportedly struck so many vehicles, authorities were still tallying up the number when they hosted a press briefing several hours later.

Bystander footage released by the Fairfax County Police Department shows a man running out of a vehicle and turning backwards with a gun as police pursue him. The muzzle flashes and gunshots can be heard.

A Fairfax officer returned fire and was legally justified in doing so, a use-of-force review found.

Singleton was arrested after his gun reportedly jammed.

The suspect originally faced a slew of charges for his actions in Arlington: three counts of assault on law enforcement, two counts of eluding police, brandishing, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, reckless handling, endangerment and damage exceeding $1,000.

A judge dismissed most of these allegations after not finding probable cause, sources previously told ARLnow. The Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office altered Singleton’s charges in response to this ruling and a grand jury returned an indictment in December.

Prior to the plea bargain, Singleton faced an additional charge of shooting a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. Prosecutors dropped this charge as a condition of the agreement.

2 Comments

An online fundraiser is underway for the family of a man who lost his life in a house fire in the Chain Bridge Forest neighborhood.

The fire broke out Monday morning at a home on the 4000 block of Ridgeview Circle in McLean, near the Arlington border. While battling the blaze, firefighters found a man deceased in a second floor bedroom.

The victim has since been identified as Dan Easley, a father of three who was in his 40s.

A GoFundMe campaign for his family was launched Tuesday and has already raised more than $10,000. More, below, from the campaign’s description.

On Monday, December 11th, a fire destroyed a family’s home in our McLean community and a devoted young father to three elementary and middle school aged children lost his life.

As we mourn the tragic loss of Dan Easley, we want to stand together as a neighborhood & regional community to support Dan’s three amazing children – Owen, Harper and Nathan.

Please consider making a donation to support their Mom Emily as she navigates this new chapter for them and so they don’t have to worry about the near-term and beyond. Let’s stand together as a community and offer the Easley’s our support and comfort as the children mourn the loss of their Dad and his house with most of their childhood belongings. Your thoughtfulness, kindness and generosity mean so much.

The cause of the fire, which is being investigated by Fairfax County’s police and fire departments, has yet to be revealed.

A large fire department and police response is on scene at a fatal house fire in McLean, near the Arlington border.

The fire was reported around 9:15 a.m. on the 4000 block of Ridgeview Circle, in the Chain Bridge Forest neighborhood just south of the GW Parkway.

First arriving firefighters reported a column of smoke rising in the air and requested a second alarm, which included numerous fire department units from Arlington.

Firefighting operations were still in progress an hour after the initial dispatch, with white smoke rising from the garage, though the bulk of the fire was knocked down within 30 minutes. Much of the interior of the two-story home appears scorched, despite the front of the main roof remaining intact.

An SUV could be seen parked in the driveway of the home. Fairfax County police confirmed just before 10:30 a.m. that a man was found dead in a bedroom and an investigation is now underway.

0 Comments
Former Arlington Education Association President Ingrid Gant delivered remarks during a press conference in September 2021 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Fairfax County prosecutors are taking a step back from pursuing the embezzlement charges levied against former Arlington teachers union president, Ingrid Gant.

That decision, however, does not mean the case against Gant — who was ousted in the spring of 2022 after a 6-year tenure — is closed. The Fairfax County Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney says Gant’s case is serious and they are keeping their options open.

“Due to the scale of this alleged embezzlement, prosecutors are continuing to investigate the facts of this case and potential steps forward,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Deputy Chief of Staff Laura Birnbaum tells ARLnow.

Gant, 54, of Woodbridge, was arrested earlier this year and charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from the Arlington Education Association (AEA). An accounting firm discovered the alleged mishandlings after a 6-month audit and notified Fairfax County police detectives. They found Gant provided herself with multiple bonuses and used debit cards for unauthorized purchases.

Prosecutors dismissed the charges without prejudice, meaning they can refile charges at any time, explains June Prakash, the Arlington Education Association president who replaced Gant, noting Virginia does not have a statute of limitations for felonies.

“Nevertheless, this dismissal shows up as ‘final’ on the court docket because, when later charges are filed, it will be assigned a new case number in the court’s system,” she said.

Sources familiar with financial cases say that investigations are often time-consuming because prosecutors have to sort through a high volume of bank records and other documents to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a defendant committed a crime. This standard of proof is higher than what is required to arrest or charge someone with a crime.

With so many records to review, gathering evidence can take longer than court proceedings afford prosecutors. To avoid missing court deadlines, prosecutors will sometimes decline to prosecute in the short term, leaving open the option to re-file the same charges later, once all the necessary preparation is completed.

Prior to Gant’s ouster, union members said the organization had effectively stopped operating as the collective bargaining process was gaining speed. No one answered the phone, the website was down for two months and a key meeting leading up to an executive board election was canceled, raising doubts among members about the election’s fairness.

An attorney for the Virginia Education Association said in a memo that the Arlington union’s finances were in disarray and not communicated to members. Local leaders admitted the disorganization in a memo to members, saying AEA began the 2021-22 fiscal year without a budget and owed $732,000 in dues to the state and national unions.

Fairfax is handling Gant’s case because AEA headquarters is located in the Bailey’s Crossroads neighborhood of Fairfax County, just over the Arlington border.

2 Comment
A rendering of a bus rapid transit station pulled from a similar project in Seattle (via Northern Virginia Transportation Commission)

One day, a new bus rapid transit line could connect East Falls Church to Alexandria and Tysons Corner.

But the planning effort for the bus line, Envision Route 7, needs more studies and outreach, according to Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, or NVTC, which is leading the planning effort.

Although it received federal and state funding, NVTC appealed to the jurisdictions served by the bus line — including Arlington — for additional local funding to advance that work. This weekend, the Arlington County Board approved chipping in $70,000 over two years.

The bus rapid transit line would run between the Mark Center in Alexandria and the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons, mostly making stops along Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads and the City of Falls Church. Along the way, it will briefly pass through Arlington via the East Falls Church Metro station.

Envision Route 7 route (via NVTC)

Envision Route 7 is now in its 10th year of planning and its fourth planning phase.

During this phase, NVTC will study traffic and environmental impacts and conduct extensive public outreach.

To do that work, it received $2 million in federal funds, requiring $500,000 in non-federal match. It then received $500,000 this fiscal year from the state Department of Rail and Public Transportation, requiring local match of $500,000.

Arlington previously contributed into earlier planning stages, which helped to decide on using bus rapid transit along the corridor.

0 Comments

An arrest has been made following a July crash in Lyon Village in which the driver allegedly fled the scene with two small children.

The crash happened around 10 p.m. on N. Bryan Street, in the aftermath of severe storms.

“Around 10:05 pm, a black Porsche SUV went screeching down N. Bryan St. in Lyon Village at a high speed,” a resident told ARLnow at the time. “[It] crashed into a light pole and took the entire pole down across N. Bryan, hit a stop sign which got attached to the undercarriage of the Porsche, then did a sharp left turn into 16th Street where the car came to a stop.”

“Then I heard a little girl screaming ‘Daddy, Daddy!’ It was heartstopping,” she continued. “I ran outside at the sound of the collision and heard the girl screaming. When I got there, the car was still running, all the doors were open, but no one was in it. Neighbors were pouring out of their houses to see what had happened.”

“At least three witnesses reported that the man got out of the Porsche and told his children (apparently 2 young children) ‘Run with me,’ she said. “Then they took off running down 16th Street towards Courthouse.”

Among the destinations that could be seen on the wrecked Porsche’s navigation system were Le Diplomate restaurant in D.C. and a home in Vienna, Virginia. Yesterday, ARLnow’s sister site FFXnow reported that a 42-year-old Arlington man is facing charges here and in Vienna for the crash and for allegedly making false statements to police.

From FFXnow:

The Vienna Police Department got a report on July 30 from a supposed resident who said his vehicle had been stolen out of his garage on Battle Street SE sometime between midnight on July 29 and 9 a.m. on July 30.

“A resident left his vehicle unsecured in the garage with the keys inside overnight,” police said in a summary from its recap of the week of Aug. 4. “Due to a storm and power outage, the garage door was unable to close. The following day, the resident discovered the vehicle was stolen.”

The VPD noted at the time that the vehicle was later located in another jurisdiction.

A subsequent investigation, however, linked the vehicle to a crash in Arlington County where the driver fled the scene with two children, according to an update in the VPD’s latest recap, which covers the week of Sept. 8-14.

“Investigation revealed the driver was the owner of the vehicle who made the stolen vehicle report the following morning,” Vienna police said.

Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed to FFXnow that the suspect is also facing charges here.

“As a result of the investigation into the circumstances of the crash, warrants were obtained on September 7 for [the suspect], 42, of Arlington, VA for Child Neglect (x2) and Hit and Run of Unattended Property (x2). He was taken into custody by the Town of Vienna Police Department.”

2 Comments
Virginia State Police vehicle (photo by John Calhoun/JC Photography)

An Arlington truck driver was seriously hurt after his tractor-trailer suffered a mechanical problem and was struck from behind.

The crash, at 12:30 a.m. last Tuesday along the Beltway near Eisenhower Avenue, killed the 51-year-old driver of the Mercedes that struck the truck.

More from a Virginia State Police press release:

At 12:30 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 12, 2023), Virginia State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in Fairfax County.

A tractor-trailer was experiencing mechanical issues that caused it to rapidly slow in speed while traveling east on I-495 near Exit 174. A 2003 Mercedes Benz traveling in the eastbound lane was unable to stop in time and struck the rear of the stopped tractor-trailer.

The driver of the Mercedes, Martin Warner Jr., 51, of Alexandria, Va., did not survive the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a 36-year-old Arlington, Va. resident, was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries. He was wearing a seat belt.

The crash remains under investigation.

2 Comment
Three people were shot outside Taco Baja in Merrifield on Aug. 26 (via Google Maps)

A man suspected of shooting two people outside of a taco restaurant in Merrifield was arrested in Arlington.

Arlington’s SWAT team arrested the 25-year-old man Sunday night at an address a block away from Wakefield High School.

“The suspect was taken into custody without incident by members of the Arlington County SWAT team in the 5000 block of S. Chesterfield Road on the evening of August 27,” and Arlington County police spokesperson tells ARLnow.

The arrest follows a shooting outside of a restaurant located along Route 29 just inside the Beltway.

More from our sister site FFXnow:

A man from Falls Church has been arrested for allegedly firing a gun into a crowd outside Taco Baja (7716 Lee Highway) in Merrifield.

Police say their investigation indicates that Jorge Armando Melendez Gonzalez, 25, approached a group of men standing outside the restaurant early in the morning on Saturday (Aug. 26).

“During the encounter, the suspect was assaulted by one of the men and the suspect opened fire into a crowd of people who were standing in front of the business,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “The suspect then fled the area on foot.”

Police were called to 7716 Lee Highway at 1:51 a.m. for the reported shooting, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

Upon arriving, officers found two adult men in the parking lot with gunshot wounds. One of the men had been shot in the arm, while the other was shot in the abdomen, the FCPD says. Both men were taken to a hospital, one of them with injuries that police initially said were life-threatening.

Police identified a third victim when Inova Fairfax Hospital called 911 at 3:39 a.m. to report that a man had walked in with a gunshot wound to the arm, according to FCPD and the police scanner.

“Officers were able to determine the victim was related to the earlier shooting,” the FCPD said. “The victim’s injuries were considered non-life threatening and he was treated and released from the hospital.”

“Jorge Armando Melendez Gonzalez has been charged with three counts of Felony Malicious Wounding and three counts of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony,” Fairfax County police said in a press release. “He is being held at the Adult Detention Center on no bond.”

“Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting,” the press release adds. “Anyone who may have information about this shooting is asked to call 703-246-7800, option 5.”

A Washington-Liberty High School senior was killed in a double homicide yesterday in Fairfax County.

Braden Deahl, 18, was a standout soccer player on the W-L varsity team who had committed to play at St. Mary’s College of Maryland earlier this month, according to an athletics website.

Deahl’s death was announced in an email to W-L families this afternoon.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that one of our seniors, Braden Deahl, died on Monday,” wrote principal Tony Hall. “Braden was a beloved member of the Washington-Liberty family, and impacted the lives of many of our students and staff members. He brought much joy to all who knew him, especially his soccer teammates and fellow 12th graders. We all deeply feel his loss.”

Shortly thereafter, Fairfax County police announced that Deahl was one of two young men killed at an apartment complex near Tysons on Memorial Day.

“On May 29, 2023 at 3:37 p.m., officers responded to an apartment building in the 2200 block of Pimmit Run Lane in Falls Church for a man who had been shot. Jonas Skinner, 20, of Ashburn, was found in the laundry room of the apartment building with a gunshot wound to the upper body,” wrote FCPD. “Officers found three additional individuals in the parking lot suffering from stab wounds to their upper body. Braden Deahl, 18, of Arlington County, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”

The other two stabbing victims are expected to survive, though one remains in the hospital.

In a press release, below, FCPD said the killings appear to have been drug-related. A teenager has been arrested and charged with robbery resulting in death.

Detectives believe a drug related robbery led to the fatal shooting of one man and the fatal stabbing of another. Police have charged one juvenile in connection to this crime and anticipate more updates to follow.

On May 29, 2023 at 3:37 p.m., officers responded to an apartment building in the 2200 block of Pimmit Run Lane in Falls Church for a man who had been shot. Jonas Skinner, 20, of Ashburn, was found in the laundry room of the apartment building with a gunshot wound to the upper body. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel declared Skinner deceased at the scene.

Officers found three additional individuals in the parking lot suffering from stab wounds to their upper body. Braden Deahl, 18, of Arlington County, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The other two victims were taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries not believed to be life threatening. One of the juveniles remains hospitalized.

During a search of the area, K9 officers located a significant amount of marijuana nearby believed to be connected to the homicide. All individuals involved are believed to be known to each other and this is not a random act of violence.

Earlier today, a 17-year-old was charged with robbery resulting in death.

Police anticipate more announcements in this case.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death in the coming days.

Deahl is at least the second Arlingtonian to be murdered outside of the county’s borders so far this year. A Yorktown High School grad was killed in a D.C. hotel room in April.

The full letter from Hall to Washington-Liberty families is below.

Read More

A report from Fairfax County’s top prosecutor recounts the eventful day this past October that led to a wild chase of an armed suspect.

The Oct. 6 incident started that morning when a driver made a U-turn in front of Arlington County police headquarters and brandished a gun at a sheriff’s deputy, later fleeing and striking a parked car.

It ended that evening with a car chase, gunshots being fired by the suspect along a residential Arlington street and along Route 50 in Fairfax County, and the suspect’s ultimate arrest after his gun reportedly jammed.

A detailed timeline of events was compiled by Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, in a document released publicly late last week. The use-of-force review ultimately determined that a Fairfax officer who fired shots at the suspect acted properly.

Descano’s report is below.

REPORT ON OCTOBER 6, 2022, OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING

On October 6, 2022, Ofc. Chiz of the Fairfax County Police Department (“FCPD”) shot at Ricardo Singleton after a multi-hour series of events that began in Arlington, Virginia. At approximately 0845, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office (“ACSO”) Deputy Daley witnessed a Silver Honda Civic making an illegal u-turn on the pedestrian crosswalk outside of the Arlington Courthouse. The driver — later identified as Ricardo Singleton — waved at Deputy Daley to get his attention and then brandished a firearm with an extended magazine, pointing the firearm towards the ceiling of the vehicle. Both Deputy Daley and ACSO Deputy Zajkowski witnessed this brandishing. At the same time, a marked Arlington Police cruiser driven by Lt. Tabibi of the Arlington Police Department (“APD”) drove up behind Singleton’s vehicle and pressed his airhorn because Singleton’s vehicle was blocking traffic. Singleton rapidly drove away on Courthouse Road and then eastbound on 15th Street. Deputies Daley and Zajkowski entered a marked ACSO cruiser and followed Singleton’s vehicle. Singleton’s vehicle eventually pulled into the county owned parking garage and stopped next to the cruiser driven by Deputy Daley. Deputy Daley exited the cruiser, approached Singleton, and observed a firearm with an extended magazine on his lap. Deputy Daley drew his weapon and gave direct commands to Singleton to keep his hands raised. Singleton put the vehicle in drive and fled south on North Uhle Street. The Deputies pursued with lights and sirens activated, but they lost sight of the vehicle, which was driving at a high rate of speed, disregarding stop signs. APO received a report that Singleton struck another vehicle and continued to flee the scene.

Read More

2 Comment
County Board Chair Katie Cristol in 2022 (via Arlington County)

Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol is stepping down early to take a new job.

Cristol has been selected as the first permanent CEO of the Tysons Community Alliance (TCA), the organization announced this morning. TCA is the successor to the former Tysons Partnership, intended to spur the continued residential and economic growth of the Fairfax County community.

Cristol, who had previously announced that she would not be seeking reelection this year, will be stepping down on July 4 in order to take the new job, the county just announced. A new Board member will be appointed after she leaves.

Though she’ll be working to boost one of Arlington’s primary economic development competitors, Cristol says she’ll remain an Arlington resident.

From a county press release:

Board member Katie Cristol has announced that she will be stepping down from her role on the Arlington County Board, effective July 4, 2023.

“Though arriving a little sooner than anticipated, this transition is every bit the same opportunity to share my deep gratitude to the Arlington community: For the privilege to represent you and for the partnership in achieving new policies, directions, and plans for our shared future,” Cristol said. “In my nearly seven and a half years in office, I have developed an immense appreciation for the dedication of Arlington’s appointed and elected officials and its civic, neighborhood, philanthropic, and private sector leaders. Though I will miss our collaborative partnerships, I feel great optimism about the County’s future under their stewardship.”

Board member Cristol was elected to the County Board in November 2015 and served as the Board’s chair in 2018 and 2022. During that time, she led in advancing human services and sustainable regional public transit networks through partnerships such as Arlington’s Project PEACE, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board, and the Virginia Municipal League. Cristol is ending her tenure early to become the Chief Executive Officer of Tysons Community Alliance, a new non-profit public-private partnership promoting equitable economic growth and community development in the Tysons area.

“My colleagues join me in thanking Katie Cristol for her tireless service and expert leadership as a Member of the County Board.” Chair Christian Dorsey said. “She has been a trusted colleague and a distinguished leader on regional bodies representing Arlington. Her contributions to our collective efforts to increase opportunities for all Arlingtonians to thrive, while dismantling and reforming systems that cause them harm, have been profound and will have a lasting impact on our community. We will miss her over the last half of this year, yet we wish her well in her upcoming leadership opportunity and are grateful for her service on behalf of us all.”

Cristol adds that, as she transitions from the County Board, “I am looking forward to continuing to serve our dynamic Northern Virginia region in my new role and to maintaining the title most important to me: Arlington resident.”

Pursuant to Virginia Code 15.2-705, the Arlington County Board must fill Board member Cristol’s vacancy by appointment within 30 days of her departure date of July 4. The Board will hold a public hearing to appoint a new member who will serve the remainder of Cristol’s term, which ends on December 31, 2023.

Cristol is in her second term on the Board, after first being elected in 2015. She previously worked as an education consultant.

In a statement released on social media, Cristol called her early departure from the Board “more than a little bittersweet.”

The Tysons Community Alliance press release is below.

Read More

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list