A man accused of going on a days-long assault, vehicle theft and property destruction spree that extended into Arlington is in custody.
City of Falls Church Police said the man, who is uncooperative and has not revealed his name, was arrested Sunday after leaving a multi-jurisdictional trail of injury and destruction in his wake.
The incidents started around lunchtime Friday, when the suspect made a U-turn on the 1200 block of W. Broad Street, near the Beyer Volvo dealership. Driving a Jeep that had earlier been carjacked in Fairfax County, the suspect struck a pedestrian and crashed into several cars, according to police and a surveillance video aired by NBC 4.
The suspect then allegedly ran to a nearby shopping center, where he attacked a man and stole his car.
“Witnesses say the suspect ran into a parking lot, hit an older man over the head and stole his vehicle,” NBC 4 reported.
The suspect subsequently drove into Arlington, according to police, and rear-ended another driver along Langston Blvd.
“At approximately 1:19 p.m. on March 17, police were dispatched to Langston Boulevard at Spout Run Parkway for the report of a hit and run,” Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was traveling eastbound on Langston Boulevard and slowed to make a turn when she was struck from behind by the suspect vehicle. The driver of the suspect vehicle failed to stop and fled the scene following the crash. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.”
Falls Church police say the stolen car was later found in Fairfax County. Two days later, the suspect went looking for another car to steal, just blocks from the first crash, police said.
“On Sunday, March 19, at about 3:45 p.m., police responded to the 1000 block of W. Broad St. for report of an assault and attempted carjacking,” Falls Church police said. “One victim was transported to a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.”
Scanner traffic at the time suggested a “severe” assault.
CARJACKING (15:48hrs): IAO 1000 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA.
Suspect SEVERLY assaulted vehicle owner, arrested by @FallsChurchPD after foot pursuit. @FairfaxCountyPD K9 assisting.
Likely same suspect as Friday night incident.
h/t: @alanhenney @HCBright10 @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/meoHyZBg45
— Matthew Young (@matthewyoung31) March 19, 2023
A witness told NBC 4 that the suspect walked up to a man loading his car, slammed him to the ground and tried to take his keys, but good Samaritans intervened and helped lead police to the suspect, who was taken into custody.
“Exact charges are pending, and the man’s name and photo will be released once available,” Falls Church police said.
The full police press release is below.
City of Falls Church Police announced that the individual arrested on Sunday is the same person wanted for a stolen vehicle, carjacking, and hit and run on Friday. Exact charges are pending, and the man’s name and photo will be released once available.
“I want to thank our officers and dispatch who persevered through the numerous incidents,” said Police Chief Mary Gavin. “And a big thank you to the community members who stopped to help the victims and called in tips. The ‘See Something, Say Something’ mantra helped us immensely with this arrest.”
(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Falls Church police and Arlington medics responded to a stabbing at the Eden Center just before noon today.
One person was stabbed in the back in the rear of the shopping center, according to initial reports, and the suspect is currently at large. The circumstances leading to the stabbing, where exactly it took place in the complex, and the condition of the victim are unclear.
The Eden Center is located on the 6700 block of Wilson Blvd, near the border with Arlington County.
Falls Church Police released the following statement about the stabbing Thursday afternoon.
At about 11:50 a.m. on Thursday, January 5, 2023, City of Falls Church Police responded to 6795 Wilson Blvd. for a report of a stabbing at the Eden Center.
One victim was stabbed and taken to a local hospital. Victim is stable.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Gandionko at 703-248-5284 (TTY 711) or [email protected].
Just before Christmas, Santa Claus and his helpers are coming to town, on a fire engine instead of an eight reindeer-powered sleigh.
From Dec. 20-23, Saint Nick and his elves will visit Arlingtonians who live near the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department station, located near Fairfax Drive and Langston Blvd at 6950 Little Falls Road. He will be riding a decked-out reserve fire engine, dubbed the “Santamobile” and decorated by the department.
“During each night’s approximately three-hour run, Santa’s helpers will be handing out candy canes — and, to canine friends, dog biscuits, but only if they’ve been ‘good,'” says Santamobile coordinator Jenny Quinn. “Anyone who wishes to receive these treats are encouraged to greet Santa’s helpers at the curb. This provides the safest conditions for Santa’s helpers and ensures they have an opportunity to visit the largest number of our friends and neighbors.”
The ride through Arlington will follow a five-day run through the City of Falls Church from Dec. 15-19.
Quinn notes that routes occasionally change because of road conditions, including parking, traffic, construction and to ensure Santa’s safety. Exact routes can be found on the department’s Facebook page, where people can also follow along via Gylmpse to know where the truck is each evening, Quinn said.
If inclement weather is in the forecast, the Santamobile would be canceled for that evening “for the safety of Santa, his elves and all of residents who come out to see Santa,” she said.
The fire department will make “every effort” to update the Facebook page with any revisions to Santa’s schedule, Quinn said. She asks that people email [email protected] for more information and the latest routes rather than calling the station.
The tradition of escorting Santa Claus through the streets of Falls Church and Arlington dates back to the 1960s, she says. The bedecked fire engine would make appearances for on or two nights, after dark, at random — also known as “wildcatting.”
“As more people began asking for ‘Santa and the fire engine,’ the [FCVFD Board of Trustees] decided in 1981 to formalize the program and standardize neighborhood routes,” Quinn said. “We have been driving some of the Arlington neighborhoods closest to the station in Falls Church from the beginning.”
Today, the FCVFD volunteers don’t fight fires but they do provide ambulance support for the professional Arlington County firefighters who battle blazes in the little city. The volunteer-run station maintains a reserve fire engine, primarily to serve as the Santamobile.
Quinn says the reactions of kids and adults alike remind volunteers why they keep up the yearly tradition.
“I can’t tell you how many elderly people came out of their homes, stood at the door, and seemed like a five year old kid,” said Quinn, who dressed as an elf last year. “It brings a lot of joy to people… A lot of times the adults seem as excited as the kids.”
The Falls Church restaurant community is coming together to raise money for the employees of Ireland’s Four Courts.
The Courthouse mainstay was heavily damaged on Aug. 12 when a rideshare driver, who was apparently suffering a medical emergency, slammed into the front of the pub during a Friday happy hour. Three people were seriously injured and a raging fire sparked by the crash charred much of the interior.
Arlington County police announced yesterday that the driver will not face criminal charges. A Four Courts co-owner told ARLnow that the first step of rebuilding, a partial demolition, will start soon, followed by construction “in a couple of months.”
In the meantime, fellow restaurants have been banding together to support Four Courts employees while the pub remain closed.
Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub in Shirlington held a fundraiser last month and, in early November, a number of prominent Fall Church restaurants are holding a fundraiser dubbed the “Crawl for the Courts.”
“Clare and Don’s Beach Shack and Ireland’s Four Provinces are organizing this Falls Church effort to support the staff of Ireland’s Four Courts,” said a press release for the event.
Three employees were reported to be among the 12 who suffered injuries not considered serious.
More on the event, from the press release:
On Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., the local Falls Church restaurant community is coming together to host a Crawl for The Courts to benefit the employees of Ireland’s Four Courts. To participate, one will need to buy a voucher. The vouchers for the restaurant crawl will be available for purchase at each participating restaurant, on the day of the event. The cost is $100 per person and 100 percent of the proceeds raised will be presented to Irelands Four Courts. The patrons who come out to support this community effort will show their voucher to enjoy a bite and a drink special at each of the six participating restaurants.
A half dozen restaurants are participating, including:
Clare and Don’s Beach Shack
130 North Washington Street
Ireland’s Four Provinces
105 West Broad Street
370 West Broad Street
205 Park Avenue
132 West Broad Street
513 West Broad Street
Guilty Plea in 1998 Murder — “The case of Andrea Cincotta, a librarian and single mother who was found dead in her Arlington apartment, remained an unsolved mystery for nearly 24 years… On Wednesday, [Bobby Joe Leonard] pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder charge, admitting that he strangled Cincotta to death more than two decades ago. And he claimed he did so hoping to be paid by a man he believed to be Cincotta’s boyfriend.” [Washington Post]
Metro Upping Rail Service on Local Lines — “Welcome news for customers who ride the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. As of Aug 1, trains will arrive every 15 minutes on weekdays, matching service on the Green and Yellow lines. For most customers, the wait for a train will be no longer than 5-8 minutes, as most stations are served by at least two if not all three lines.” [WMATA]
Meteor Over Arlington — “Bright meteor from west Arlington, looking WNW tonight!” [Twitter]
Prohibition Tour of Arlington — “Arlington’s wholesome present hides some scandals of the past. You don’t even want to think of the vice – gambling, prostitution, you name it – that raged unchecked in Rosslyn… Park historian John McNair will lead a short walking tour on the Clarendon area on Aug. 12 at 3 p.m., detailing stories of local bootleggers and the government agents who attempted to stop them.” [Sun Gazette]
Fall Rec Class Catalog Released — “Special Delivery – ENJOY Arlington. We are excited to provide you with recreation, nature and history programs this fall.” [Dept. of Parks and Recreation]
F.C. Is Wealthiest Place in Va. — “According to a study from SmartAsset released this week, Falls Church residents rank the wealthiest in Virginia. The study assessed wealth by comparing counties across three categories: the amount of investment income residents receive, total per capita income and the median home value… After Falls Church, Arlington County and Fairfax County follow in second and third place for the top 10 wealthiest localities in Virginia.” [Falls Church News-Press]
It’s Friday — Rain and storms — some potentially severe — in the afternoon, evening and overnight. High of 85 and low of 73. Sunrise at 6:08 am and sunset at 8:24 pm. [Weather.gov]
Photo courtesy Dave Statter
Interest Rates Could Slow Development — “Arlington County leaders are preparing for a difficult economic environment for multifamily development, even as they say they’re optimistic about the region’s future… [I]f the Federal Reserve pushes the federal funds rate to 3.5% by year-end as it has targeted, that could have serious repercussions, said Shooshan Co. Chairman John Shooshan, speaking at Bisnow’s Future of Arlington County event on Thursday.” [Bisnow]
Talent Driving Local Tech Strength — “Northern Virginia has become a magnet for the industry, with the Dulles Technology Corridor continuing its growth along the Silver Line and Amazon HQ2 going up in Arlington… Taylor said the upcoming Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria and George Mason’s Fuse at Mason Square in Arlington are two projects that will be pivotal to ‘churning out more talent.'” [Axios]
Funding for DCA Runway Reconstruction — “Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $5,958,173 in federal funding for two Virginia airports… [including] $1,750,000 for Ronald Reagan Washington International Airport in Arlington, VA for the reconstruction of a runway.” [Press Release]
Business Is Booming at Airport — “Concession sales are booming at Reagan National and Dulles International airports as travel continues to rebound from the early days of the Covid pandemic. Since the start of 2022, concessions sales have grown 241% at National and 143% at Dulles.” [Washington Business Journal]
‘CraigPokesU’ Manager Profiled — “Blake Williams has 14 dragon tattoos and 12 piercings. Some of his body art you can see — like the ‘third eye’ on his forehead, the ring in his nose and the letters that spell out ‘kindness’ on his knuckles — while others fall into the ‘that’s private’ category, he says. Williams, 47, is the head piercer and shop manager at CraigPokesU on Langston Boulevard, just up the street from Cowboy Cafe.” [Arlington Magazine]
Arlingtonian Helped to Shape Region — “Chuck Bean has spent 10 years leading the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments… Bean, who lives in Arlington, is unknown to many D.C.-area residents, but as liaison between COG’s 125 staffers and public officials representing 24 counties and cities, he has played a lead role in coordinating regional planning to improve transportation, combat climate change and encourage more housing construction.” [Washington Post]
Street Project Funded in F.C. –“he Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) approved a $22.5 million project funding request from the City on Thursday for transportation improvements on North Washington Street. The North Washington Street Multimodal Improvements Project includes sidewalk widening, improved intersection geometry, signal improvements, crosswalks, utility undergrounding, lighting, and landscaping, between Great Falls Street and Gresham Place.” [City of Falls Church]
It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day and hot. High of 92 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:02 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]
SFH Prices Up 11 Percent — “Something may have to give, eventually, but, for now, average single-family-home sales prices in Arlington continue to spike, according to new data. The average sales price of the 108 existing single-family homes that went to closing across the county in June stood at just over $1.35 million, up 11 percent from the already red-hot market of June 2021.” [Sun Gazette]
CAIR Backs Arlington House Bill — “The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed its support for legislation that would rename a memorial currently dedicated to Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Arlington, Va.” [Press Release]
Arlington Crisis Line Now at 988 — “A new 9-8-8 crisis and support hotline is now active across the United States, including here in Arlington County. In 2020, Congress designated a new 9-8-8 dialing code to operate through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) network, which has more than 200 locally operated and funded crisis lines across the country. PRS, Inc. operates the local network in Arlington.” [Arlington County]
Public Comment Rules Stretched — “After getting pilloried a month before for what critics called a heavy-handed approach to enforcing rules on public comment, County Board Chairman Katie Cristol on July 16 loosened her grip on the gavel just a bit. Cristol acknowledged that she was being a little more loose in her interpretation of rules for the July board meeting than she had been in June, when she shut down comment on the government’s Missing Middle housing proposal after just two speakers at the public-comment period.” [Sun Gazette]
Late Metro Critic Was Arlingtonian — “Matt Hilburn, a journalist and communications specialist best-known for his creation and curation of the popular and unsparing transportation social media account Unsuck DC Metro, died July 17 at his home in Arlington, Va. He was 54. The cause was complications of kidney cancer that had metastasized, said his father.” [Washington Post]
Board Members on Abortion Rights — From Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol: “We are joining with the many Arlingtonians who are now expressing their anger and frustration and their fear at the Dobbs v Jackson decision and at Gov. Youngkin’s threat to abortion rights in Virginia. We are committed as this Board to mitigating and preventing the public health crisis that these actions could precipitate and we will advocate for the protection of the fundamental human right to bodily autonomy.” [Blue Virginia]
Tech Event in Rosslyn Tonight — “For the 7th consecutive year, DCA Live and our partners are excited to recognize the 2022 Red Hot Companies, the Washington region’s fastest growing and most exciting companies. We’ll be profiling these companies over the coming weeks and will celebrate them with a lively, fun event on the evening of Wednesday, July 20 on the rooftop of Sands Capital in Rosslyn, VA.” [DCA Live]
Falls Church Check Fraud — “Last week, after being notified of suspicious activity, the City of Falls Church discovered fraudulent checks were cashed using the City’s accounts… City of Falls Church Police are aware of a possible national trend of checks being stolen from blue USPS mailboxes. The Police advise residents and businesses to mail checks and valuables directly through a post office.” [City of Falls Church]
It’s Wednesday — Humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 75. Sunrise at 6:01 am and sunset at 8:31 pm. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Jeff Vincent
Student Organizes Concert for Ukraine — “The granddaughter of a refugee from Ukraine who was forced to leave her home due to World War II, Sofia Parfomak knows all too well what millions of present-day Ukrainians are going through since the Russian invasion began in February. Parfomak, a dual enrollment student at Marymount University and Bishop O’Connell High School, has taken the crisis to heart.” [Marymount University]
Synetic Prepares for New Season — “Arlington-based Synetic Theater has announced plans for its 2022-23 season, which will explore ‘otherness’ and relationships to those who are different. ‘When I first came to this country as a refugee, I did not speak the language; it was disorienting but also magical,’ said Paata Tsikurishvili, cofounder and artistic director of the troupe.” [Sun Gazette]
Video: Drivers Blocking Bike Lanes — “Photo came out in ARLnow that police put a lighted sign to stay out of bike lanes so pulled a few clips from yesterday’s ride, which could be from any day I ride. I don’t even use the bikes lanes much then drivers get mad at me. Am sure drivers will give the sign all the attention it deserves.” [YouTube]
Nearby: Falls Church Transforming — “Under the guidance of the Falls Church City Council, the recent developments have increased City property tax receipts to fund such civic projects as constructing the new Meridian High School, renovating and expanding the Mary Riley Styles Library and updating and expanding City Hall, all while reducing the city’s property tax rate by roughly nine cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.” [Northern Virginia Association of Realtors]
It’s Friday — Clear throughout the day. High of 85 and low of 70. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:34 pm. [Weather.gov]
Water Main Break in Rosslyn — Updated at 7:50 a.m. — “Emergency Water Main Repairs: Crew working on 8-inch main at [Fairfax Drive and N. Lynn Street]. Some 100 customers could be affected.” [Twitter]
New Va. Laws Taking Effect Today — “Several new laws become effective across Virginia on July 1. This includes legislation pertaining to health care, transportation, economic development and law enforcement.” [Arlington County, FFXnow, ARLnow]
Local Dems Set Up Roe Page — “The Arlington County Democratic Committee has created an online resource to provide information on abortion and the political implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling sending the matter back to states.” [Sun Gazette]
Local Brothers Write Birding Book — “Maxwell and Danté Julius stealthily slip through a dirt path that cuts a serpentine route through Arlington County’s Long Branch Park and Nature Center. They’re equipped with binoculars, cameras and a permeating curiosity about the native birds of their home county. Together, the high school brothers have created a ‘Guide to the Birds of Arlington, VA.’ But it’s much more.” [WUSA 9]
County Looking for Tree Adopters — “Arlington is home to approximately 750,000 trees – or three for every resident – and the local government is asking the public’s help in supporting them. The county government’s Adopt-a-Tree program is designed to help trees make it through dry seasons.” [Sun Gazette]
New Contract for Arlington-Based Raytheon — “The U.S. Army announced Tuesday its effort for a next-generation, software-centric ground system is transitioning to another phase. The service awarded $36 million each to software company Palantir Technologies and defense firm Raytheon Technologies for work on the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node, which is currently under development. TITAN is expected to help connect sensors with users in the field to support beyond-line-of-sight targeting.” [C4ISRNET]
Missing Middle Piques Interest in F.C. — “It has become a very contentious issue in Arlington, with scores of citizens showing up at public meetings to weigh in, as Clark reported. It is clear to us that, despite smokescreen issues like trees and other environmental factors, the zoning change is feared most for its perceived potentially negative impact on home values, as well as for the issue of population diversity. The Arlington board will have a work session on the subject with the county manager on July 12 and is set to take a vote in the fall. Falls Church leaders should play close attention.” [Falls Church News-Press]
It’s July — Humid and partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:48 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]
Lots of Rain from Wednesday Storms — Most parts of Arlington saw 2-3 inches of rain from Wednesday’s onslaught of storms and downpours, with one weather station in a southwestern portion of the county reporting 3.41 inches. [National Weather Service, Twitter]
No ‘Missing Middle’ Cost Analysis — “Staff leading the effort acknowledge there has been no cost-benefit analysis of exactly how such a major zoning change would impact the local government’s bottom line. Nor is there likely to be one. ‘We typically don’t do analysis of this nature. It’s hard to even capture all of that,’ said Richard Tucker, one of a number of county-government housing personnel dispatched to the June 14 meeting of the Arlington County Civic Federation to address an issue that is fast becoming the most contentious Arlington battle since the Columbia Pike streetcar fight of a decade ago.” [Sun Gazette]
Millions for Local Housing Nonprofits — “Two Arlington-based groups will receive a total of $7 million in federal funding to help provide affordable housing and services to low-income people, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia announced Thursday… Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing Inc. will receive $5 million from the fund and Arlington-based AHC Inc. will receive $2 million.” [Patch]
ACPD Pride Event Next Week — “In recognition of Pride Month and the significant contributions of Arlington’s LGBTQ+ communities, the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) will host the 2nd Annual Pride with the Police… Pride with the Police will take place on: Wednesday, June 29, 20225 p.m. to 7 p.m. [at] Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant, located at 555 23rd Street S.” [ACPD]
F.C. Outranks Arlington for ‘Healthiest Community’ — “The City of Falls Church has been recognized as the second healthiest community in the country by U.S. News & World Report… The City earned an overall score of 98, and is the only community to receive a score of 100 in both education and population health.” Arlington ranked No. 13. [City of Falls Church, U.S. News & World Report]
It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 83 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
Man Accidentally Shoots Self in Crystal City — “300 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 7:45 p.m. on June 15, police were dispatched to the report of a discharge of a firearm. Upon arrival, it was determined that as the male subject was cleaning his firearm, it discharged resulting in a gunshot wound to his hand… No other injuries or property damage have been reported.” [ACPD]
Home Hunters Keep Housing Hot — “The regional and national real-estate markets may be cooling, but Arlington remains atop the pack in the Washington area when it comes to maintaining home-buyer interest. The county was the highest-scoring among 10 jurisdictions in the latest monthly Bright MLS T3 Home Demand Index.” [Sun Gazette]
More Motorist Mayhem on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “#caughtoncamera: Another 8C crash. This one at 5:50 this morning. It’s pretty much like all the other ones.” [Twitter]
More Permitting Now Online — “Arlington County is launching the third phase of Permit Arlington, its online permitting system, on Tuesday, June 28. Several additional permits and inspections will move into the Permit Arlington system.” [Arlington County]
AFAC Expanding Service — “The Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is partnering with Homestretch, a nonprofit organization located in Falls Church, to provide free nutritious groceries to recently housed families on the path towards self-sufficiency. The new food distribution center will plan to operate weekly and will be AFAC’s first center serving residents outside of Arlington County.” [AFAC]
Cops Seeking Thief in ‘Space Jam’ Hat — “A man wearing a Bugs Bunny ‘Space Jam’ baseball cap is wanted for grand larceny by the City of Falls Church Police and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions. The man was captured on surveillance video by City of Falls Church businesses in February and June while stealing cash in two restaurants.” [City of Falls Church]
It’s Friday — Sunny and humid throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 75. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]