Struggling Skyline Sold — Vornado has taken its properties in Skyline off of its balance sheet after the 2.6 million-square-foot, half-vacant complex sold at a foreclosure auction last week. The cancelled Columbia Pike streetcar project would have run to Skyline, with Fairfax County set to pay 20 percent of the project’s cost. [Washington Business Journal]
More on ‘Pop-Up’ Hotel — The inauguration will be the big test for WhyHotel, the “pop-up” hotel in the new Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. Developer Vornado sees this as an experiment that could yield temporary revenue while a building is leased up. Arlington County planning commissioner Erik Gutshall says the county could benefit from additional tax revenue and a more lively streetscape. [Washington Post]
Arlington = NYE Destination? — Travelers coming to the D.C. area for New Year’s Eve should consider staying in Arlington due to its proximity to the District and lower hotel rates, says an article on “last minute deals for New Year’s Eve hotels.” [Travel + Leisure]
Transracial Adoption in Arlington — Arlington is “a fantastic community in which to raise a transracially blended family,” says the father of (now grown) adopted children from Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. [Arlington Magazine]
Clarendon Post Office Murals — A local man has written a 44-page book on the artist who painted seven New Deal-era murals in the Clarendon post office. [Washington Post]
Reporting Issues to the County — Arlington County is reminding residents that they can report out-of-sync traffic signals, crosswalks with broken buttons and other non-emergency service requests via an online form. [Twitter]
Two men armed with guns tried to rob a jewelry store in Lyon Park last night, according to police, but wound up empty-handed and in jail.
Police say Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria and Alexander Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico tried to rob Sacramento Jewelers on the 2700 block of Washington Blvd just before 5:45 pm.
“Two masked suspects brandishing firearms entered a jewelry store and attempted to restrain one of the employees,” according to an Arlington County Police Department press release. “A struggle ensued between the employee and the suspects, causing the suspects to flee the area by vehicle.”
Police got a quick break in the case when someone noticed a suspicious vehicle stopped along I-395 shortly after the robbery “and provided critical information” that ultimately led investigators to the suspects, who were arrested in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County just before midnight.
Both Cruz and Ruiz are being held in the Arlington County jail without bond.
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged two suspects for their role in an armed robbery. Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria VA and Alexander Serpa Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico were arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery, abduction, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and use or display of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. Both suspects are being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.
At approximately 5:44 p.m. on December 7, officers were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery in the 2700 block of Washington Boulevard. The investigation revealed that two masked suspects brandishing firearms entered a jewelry store and attempted to restrain one of the employees. A struggle ensued between the employee and the suspects, causing the suspects to flee the area by vehicle.
During the course of the investigation, a witness driving on I-395 noticed a suspicious vehicle and provided critical information to the Emergency Communication Center. Utilizing the information provided by the witness, evidence located at the scene and information obtained during witness interviews, detectives developed suspect descriptions. Officers from the Arlington County Police Department’s Tactical Unit and the Fairfax County Police Department took the two suspects into custody in the Alexandria portion of Fairfax County.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) The northbound lanes of I-395 are partially blocked just past Glebe Road, approaching the Pentagon, after a police chase ended in the middle of the highway.
Initial reports suggest the car was being chased for an assault on law enforcement, possibly as a result of the car ramming a Fairfax County Police cruiser.
Fairfax County Police and Virginia State Police officers chased the car up I-395 until it reportedly lost control and was boxed in by several police cruisers. The chase ended around 12:25 p.m. Arlington County officers trailed the chase and helped to assist with traffic control, according to scanner traffic.
Three occupants of the car were instructed to come out with their hands up, and were arrested at police gunpoint without further incident. No word yet on what charges they may face.
As of 12:35 p.m., one lane of northbound I-395 had reopened to traffic after being completely blocked for a short time.
Update at 11:30 p.m. — The chase started when officers tried to pull over the car in connection to a theft from a department store in Tysons Corner, according to Fairfax County Police.
Around 11:40 a.m. today (Tuesday, December 6), the Tysons Urban Team (TUT) team was investigating a larceny case at a department store in Tysons Corner Center. The suspects fled in a car. Officers located it nearby and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit traveled out of Fairfax County. Virginia State Police and Arlington County Police assisted us.The pursuit ended along I-395 and Washington Street. Initial information determined three people were taken into custody.
The shooting occurred on Dolley Madison Boulevard (Route 123), near the entrance to the GW Parkway, around 4 a.m.
“Preliminary information suggests that this incident stemmed from an altercation between several people at a party somewhere in Arlington County earlier in the night,” Fairfax County Police said in a press release. “One group left the party in a vehicle and when they reached Dolley Madison Boulevard and Kirby Road, another vehicle pulled alongside and fired several shots, striking two occupants in the first vehicle. The unidentified suspect vehicle then fled the scene.”
“Little is known about the two victims at this point, other than they drove themselves to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries,” the press release continued. “There is no suspect or vehicle description at this time.”
The Fairfax County Police helicopter assisted with the response to the shooting, but was unable to locate the suspects. Police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting call them at 703-691-2131 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477
Fairfax Wants Arlington’s Tourism Dollars — Fairfax County wants Arlington’s crown as the biggest tourism center in Virginia. “It’s our goal to beat out Arlington, and we’re going to continue giving it all we’ve got,” said Fairfax’s tourism chief, who is pushing for the county to build a new convention center. [InsideNova]
Free House in South Arlington — Here’s some truly affordable housing: a historic, all-steel Lustron house is being offered for free in south Arlington, to anyone willing to haul it away. [Twitter]
Super Pollo Wins Commuting Competition — Super Pollo in Ballston has won a county-sponsored competition “designed to encourage the Hispanic workforce to use modes of transportation other than driving alone when commuting to work.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Update at 7 p.m. — All roads are back open again.
Update at 6:30 p.m. — Route 50 is closed in both directions again, according to WTOP and Fairfax County Police.
Update at 6 p.m. — Route 50 has reopened to traffic in both directions, WTOP reports.
Meanwhile, Metro commuters also had to deal with delays during this evening’s commute. A disabled train at the Courthouse station prompted single tracking and serious delays on the Orange and Silver lines.
Westbound Route 50 has been closed at N. Manchester Street, near Kenmore Middle School, due to a bank robbery investigation in Seven Corners.
The robbery was reported this afternoon at the TD Bank at 6198 Arlington Blvd. Initial reports suggest that the suspect told bank employees he had a bomb, then left a suspicious package in the bank before fleeing the scene.
Route 50 is closed near the bank, as Fairfax County police and the bomb squad investigate. Arlington County Police have closed westbound Route 50 at N. Manchester Street, not far from the county line, and as of 5:15 p.m. had also shut down access to westbound Route 50 from Glebe Road.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) July 5, 2016
— Jackie Bensen (@jackiebensen) July 5, 2016
Update at 6:05 p.m. — Charges have now been filed in the case.
Fairfax County Police are investigating the death of a two-year-old girl who was found in the back of a car in Pentagon City.
Medics were called to the front of the Pentagon City mall, on the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street, around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a child who was unresponsive in the back of a car and was being administered CPR. The girl was later pronounced dead.
An investigation determined that the girl had likely died in Annandale after being left in the back of the car all day by a caretaker.
From the Fairfax County Police Department:
Our initial investigation has determined that a male acquaintance of the child’s mother was supposed to drop three children off at two locations on the morning of April 20. It appears he dropped off two older children, ages 10 and 15, and then returned to the home in Fairfax County, not realizing that the two-year-old remained on the back seat of the car. Sometime later, the acquaintance got back in the car to pick up the children’s mother. When he arrived at her location in Arlington County, he looked in the back seat area of the car and saw the child. When he discovered that she was unresponsive, he immediately called 911.
So far, no charges have been filed in the case. The two older children are staying with a relative pending the results of the investigation.
“As detectives continue their investigation, they will consult with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County for a determination of criminal liability,” said police.
Arlington School Administrator Dies — Kathleen Meagher, the director of secondary education for Arlington Public Schools, has died at the age of 53 as a result of a scuba diving accident. Meagher, who joined APS in 2014 after serving as a school administrator in Palo Alto, Calif., was vacationing with her partner in St. Kitts and Nevis, in the Caribbean. [Washington Post, Daily Democrat]
TSA May Stay in Arlington After All — A judge’s ruling has opened up the door to the Transportation Security Administration potentially keeping its headquarters in Arlington. The TSA is currently headquartered in Pentagon City, and was set to move to Alexandria, but may now be able to consider the Stafford Place complex in Ballston, from which the National Science Foundation is moving in 2017. [Washington Business Journal]
Difficult Primary for Poll Workers — Arlington County elections officials are preparing for what might be a challenging primary. With intense interest in the presidential primary, turnout is expected to be heavy. There are 13 Republicans and three Democrats that have qualified for their respective primaries. And a loyalty pledge that’s being mandated by the Republican Party of Virginia may cause confusion and animosity at the polls. [InsideNova]
Va. DMV to Allow Smiling, Sort Of — The Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles is lifting its ban on smiling in driver’s license photos, kind of. New rules will allow smiling, but only without showing teeth. [WJLA]
A Streetcar Named Regret in Fairfax Co. — A Fairfax County official is still lamenting Arlington’s cancellation of the Columbia Pike streetcar project. Supervisor Penelope Gross said the streetcar “was going to be important to maintain the viability of Skyline.” The streetcar was to run through the Skyline section of Fairfax County, improving prospects for the vacant and partially-vacant office buildings there. Fairfax County is currently trying to figure out what to do about so much vacant office space. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Update at 1:55 p.m. — Fairfax County Police say they’ve determined that the shots fired call was the result of an active shooter drill. Road closures are being lifted and police are clearing the area.
Wakefield High School and Claremont Elementary are in a heightened state of security due to an investigation into shots fired across the county line.
Fairfax County Police say they’re investigating a shots fired call from the area around Skyline Towers and the Target on Route 7. The address is reportedly that of a federal law enforcement office.
“We are investigating a report of shots heard at 5109 Leesburg Pike,” FCPD said in a tweet. “Nothing confirmed. No suspect, no victims located at this point.”
Wakefield and Claremont have been placed in “secure the school” mode, according to scanner traffic. Arlington County Police have also shut down the intersection of George Mason Drive and Route 7, preventing traffic from entering Fairfax County.
Tweets from during the incident:
@ARLnowDOTcom A bunch of FPS vehicles just went tearing out of a nearby office with lights and sirens going.
— Loopy Smith (@jonzie5647) October 15, 2015
— Jack Hogan (@ousooners28) October 15, 2015
— Daniel Kaniewski (@dankandc) October 15, 2015
Fairfax County Police say the man exposed himself to employees on two occasions, in the dressing rooms of Springfield Town Center stores, while shopping for lingerie.
From a FCPD press release:
Detectives charged a 52-year-old Arlington man with indecent exposure at a shopping mall dressing room and have connected the suspect to a similar incident last month.
Allen Jones, 52, of Longfellow Street in Arlington, reportedly exposed himself to a clerk at the [JCPenney] at Springfield Mall around 11:15 a.m. on Monday, October 5. The suspect was shopping in the women’s underwear section of the store and requested assistance from the clerk as he shopped and tried on the items. The incident reportedly took place in the changing room. The clerk immediately contacted police and store security.
Upon investigation, detectives linked the suspect to a previous incident on September 18 where the suspect similarly reportedly exposed himself to a clerk at a women’s lingerie store (Soma) in the Mall. The suspect was charged in connection with that event as well.
Jones was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Detectives are seeking anyone with information or who may have had similar encounters with the suspect. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Crime Solvers electronically by visiting www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES(274637)** or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
ITT Tech Protest Only Included One Student — A protest outside ITT Tech’s shareholder meeting in Rosslyn earlier this week reportedly included only one person who had actually been a student at the for-profit school. The rest were from advocacy groups and a labor union. [Inside Higher Ed]
New Food Delivery Service Comes to Arlington — DoorDash, an online food delivery business that promises to get food to your door in 45 minutes or less, has launched in Arlington. DoorDash joins similar food delivery services like Seamless and Eat24 in entering the Arlington market. [WUSA 9]
Arlington Teacher Recognized at the White House — Arlington Career Center teacher Thomas O’Day was one of 10 educators nationwide to be honored as a 2015 Career and Technical Education Innovator. O’Day, who has been teaching television production at the career center for 27 years, received his recognition at an event hosted by the White House. [Arlington Public Schools]
New Affordable Housing Video — The group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) is producing a series of videos in support of affordable housing efforts in Arlington. The first video profiles Marcos Rubio, a janitor at H-B Woodlawn who currently commutes from the Springfield area. [Vimeo]
House Fire in Alcova Heights — A small house fire broke out on the 3800 block of 6th Street S. in the Alcova Heights neighborhood around 7:00 this morning. The fire was extinguished and no one was hurt. [Twitter]
Fairfax County Approves Seven Corners Plan — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week approved a sweeping redevelopment plan for the Seven Corners area, near Arlington. The plan, which was fought by residents in nearby single family home neighborhoods, calls for several thousand new homes, a revamped street grid and new shops and restaurants. [Washington Post]
Final Update (noon) — According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Assaye has been apprehended in southeast D.C., during a traffic stop, without incident.
Update at 10:00 a.m. — Per a police broadcast, the vehicle referenced below has been found but Assaye remains at large. He has reportedly carjacked another vehicle, a dark gray Hyundai Elantra with the plate XTU-5024. It was last seen in the area of Little River Turnpike in Annandale.
Police say Assaye was at Inova Fairfax Hospital after an apparent suicide attempt. Early this morning he reportedly overpowered a private security guard, took his gun and escaped. A shot was fired during the struggle but no one was injured.
Police say Assaye, who’s 6’0″ and 170 lbs, stole a silver 2002 Toyota Camry with Virginia tags XZP-8513 and is still on the loose. He was wearing nothing but a hospital gown at the time of his escape. According to Reston Now, the hospital has been placed on lockdown.
On March 20, Assaye was apprehended at his father’s apartment at The Carlin retirement home in Buckingham. Police say Assaye may now be on the run with his girlfriend.
Assaye is suspected of robbing a dozen banks, making his escape from the robberies on a bicycle. Arlington County issued the following alert about Assaye’s escape this morning.
Early this morning a prisoner, being guarded by a security officer, managed to escape from Inova Fairfax Hospital. The suspect is Wossen Assaye, a male, 6′, 170 lbs who was last seen wearing a hospital gown. The suspect is armed and considered dangerous. Please use an abundance of caution and check with your local news for additional information and a photo of the suspect.
The department did not specify where exactly the checkpoint would be, but did say that Fairfax County would also be conducting its own checkpoint in conjunction.
From an ACPD press release:
On Friday, March 6, 2015 the Arlington County Police Department will conduct a joint sobriety checkpoint with assistance from the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and the Fairfax County Police Department across two jurisdictions. These enforcement efforts are in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National crackdown program on drunk driving that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.
Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers. Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation and possible testing for intoxication.
The maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges.
The Courthouse-based law firm of Bean Kinney & Korman has been rocked by a violent crime in McLean.
A married couple, Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl, are accused of stabbing a man and a woman in their McLean home, after knocking on their front door on Sunday. The victims, both 61 years old, suffered serious injuries, according to Fairfax County Police.
The law blog Above the Law reports that the victims were Bean Kinney managing partner Leo Fisher and his wife. Alecia Schmuhl (pictured) was a Bean Kinney attorney who was fired on Friday, a source told the site. Her profile on the firm’s website has since been taken down.
A representative of the firm has thus far not responded to a request for comment from ARLnow.com.
Update at 11/14/14 — The Washington Post has additional details about the crime, which was described as a “torture session” by a prosecutor.
Civ Fed Votes Against Tall Buildings — The Arlington County Civic Federation has voted to urge the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt stricter rules regarding skyscrapers around airports. Such a rule, intended as a safety measure in the event a plane suffers an engine failure on takeoff, could impose a moratorium on future tall buildings in Crystal City and Rosslyn. [InsideNova]
Walk and Bike to School Day — Arlington Public Schools participated in International Walk and Bike to School Day this morning. Students and parents across the county ditched their cars and made their way to school on foot. [Arlington Public Schools]
Man Steals Skinny Jeans from Mall — A 33-year-old D.C. man has been charged with stealing numerous pairs of skinny jeans from the Hollister store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. The alleged crime happened Tuesday afternoon. [NBC Washington]
Slow Start for Gay Marriage in Arlington — Only five same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Arlington in the 24 hours following the Supreme Court decision that cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Virginia and a number of other states. Among Virginia jurisdictions, Arlington grants the third-most marriage licenses per year. [InsideNova]
Fairfax Approves Streetcar Design Funds — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved its $4.2 million share of design and program costs for the Columbia Pike streetcar on Tuesday. The Board voted 7-2. Arlington County already approved its share of design funds. The Pike streetcar will run from Pentagon City to Bailey’s Crossroads in Fairfax County. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick