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Arlington police car (file photo)

For at least the second time this month, someone accidentally fired a shot while cleaning a gun inside an apartment building.

This latest incident happened around 6 p.m. Sunday in Clarendon.

Police say a man in an apartment on the 1200 block of N. Garfield Street was cleaning his gun when it fired. The bullet struck the ceiling and caused damage but no one was hurt.

From the latest Arlington County Police Department crime report:

DISCHARGE OF A FIREARM, 2022-06260152, 1200 block of N. Garfield Street. At approximately 5:56 p.m. on June 26, 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 and struck the ceiling of his apartment, causing damage. No injuries or additional property damage have been reported. The investigation is ongoing.

The last reported accidental shooting happened in Crystal City two weeks ago and resulted in a man suffering a gunshot wound to the hand.

Also in Monday’s crime report, a fight among “a large group of juvenile suspects” left one of the kids in the hospital with a non-life threatening wound.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-06250237, 1300 block of S. Eads Street. At approximately 11:04 p.m. on June 25, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, it was determined that a fight ensued between a large group of juvenile subjects, during which the victim was struck with an unknown object, causing a laceration. As police were arriving, members of the group fled the scene in different directions. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

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Screenshot from video of a fight at a cafeteria in Arlington Public Schools (courtesy anonymous)

Over the last four days, fights involving kids and weapons broke out near Gunston and Thomas Jefferson middle schools, while Wakefield High School had multiple trash cans set on fire.

Those are the most recent incidents in what some parents — mostly to middle schoolers — say is a rash of fights, threats of violence and other concerning behaviors happening in the public school system.

Earlier this month, for example, a mother told the School Board her daughter at Gunston Middle School was attacked by other students.

“My daughter’s eye is messed up,” Shana Robertson told the Arlington School Board on March 10. “She was jumped by two boys and two girls, and nothing has been done.”

A parent, Shayna Robertson, speaks out about unsafe conditions in Arlington Public Schools (via APS)

ARLnow spoke to multiple parents who say these issues are happening across the school system. We also reviewed several videos of brawls on school grounds, or near them, recorded by students this year.

Arlington Public Schools confirms to ARLnow that the school system has, in fact, noticed an increase in the number of reported fights and incidents this school year.

“This rise in concerning behaviors follows the national trend that is not unique to Arlington, as students re-acclimate to being back in school and face increased stress and anxiety, as well as other mental health and social-emotional challenges due to COVID and the trauma students experienced as a result,” APS spokesman Andrew Robinson said.

The trend has prompted some parents to call for more disciplinary actions for students and a renewed conversation about whether to reinstall Arlington County Police Department School Resource Officers, who were removed over the summer out of concern for racial disparities in juvenile arrests.

Opinions on reinstalling SROs are mixed. Some say this would help keep students in line and some say they may help — but they will not address the root cause. Others say SROs would not only fail to address the root cause, but they would also needlessly drive up the number of arrests.

“This is happening across the country, even at schools with police officers,” says Symone Walker, a member of the Arlington branch of the NAACP’s education committee and a former ARLnow columnist. “You really have to start addressing the emotional needs, the physical needs, the academic needs. Of course, there’s stuff going on at homes where families are stressed. Parents are angry and the kids are soaking it all up — it’s a much deeper problem.”

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Morning Notes

Blossoms are out along Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Police Oversight Board Appointed — “The Arlington County Board is excited to announce the newly appointed members of the Community Oversight Board (COB)… The Oversight Board will consist of seven voting members who are residents of the County and reflect our demographic diversity along with two non-voting members with prior law enforcement experience.” [Arlington County]

Local Chef Feeding Ukraine RefugeesBayou Bakery owner and chef David Guas is on “the frontlines in Przemyśl, Poland with [José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen], to give a helping hand to the emergency food relief for #UkraineRefugees crossing the border. Guas will be preparing and providing meals to help nourish those communities.” [Instagram]

Large Fight Near TJ Middle School — “3500 block of 2nd Street S. At approximately 3:47 p.m. on March 21, police were dispatched to the report of a large disorderly group of juveniles who appeared to be preparing to fight. Upon arrival, officers were approached by two juvenile victims who stated that they were physically assaulted by two juvenile subjects. Officers located the subjects in the area, detained them and determined one had sustained minor injuries consistent with being struck with BB gun pellets.” [ACPD]

Convoy Rumbles Through Arlington Again — From public safety watcher Dave Statter yesterday: “#TruckersConvoy2022 has made its presence known on I-395N, noisily crossing the 14th St. Bridge. @DCPoliceDept has the usual ramps blocked & #traffic is slowing.” [Twitter]

It’s Wednesday — A cloudy morning, then rain starting in the afternoon. Gusty winds and storms possible later tonight. High of 61 and low of 45. Sunrise at 7:08 am and sunset at 7:24 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Clarendon bars (file photo by Maddy Berner)

One man landed in jail and another person went to the hospital after a fight in and outside of a popular Clarendon nightlife venue.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. Sunday on the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd, the heart of Clarendon’s bar district.

“Officers working the Nightlife Detail were alerted to a fight outside of an establishment,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “Upon arrival, officers located the victim who had suffered a laceration and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The suspect had been detained by security personnel and was taken into custody by responding officers without incident.”

It started, police said, as a dispute between the victim and the suspect inside the venue, which police did not name. Both were kicked out of the bar, after which police say the suspect took out a knife.

“The victim was inside the establishment with a group of individuals when he became involved in a verbal dispute with the suspect,” said the crime report. “The suspect and the victim were removed from the establishment by security staff and once outside, a physical struggle ensued between them. The suspect then allegedly brandished a knife and struck the victim before employees of the establishment intervened and were able to detain him.”

Initial reports suggest the victim was cut in the neck and that one of the bar’s bouncers might have also suffered a minor injury in the fracas.

The alleged knife-wielding suspect — a 23-year-old man from Southampton, Pa., outside Philadelphia — was arrested and held without bond. He’s facing a charge of Malicious Wounding, a felony that comes with a minimum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.

Alan Henney contributed to this report

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A D.C. man was arrested after allegedly stealing from a vehicle and fighting the victim in a Metro station.

The wild incident happened Tuesday morning in the Pentagon City area.

It started, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report, when a driver who had parked in a garage near the shopping center formerly known as Pentagon Row was alerted to someone breaking into their car.

The suspect tried to walk away after stealing cash and personal items but was followed by the victim into the Pentagon City Metro station, according to police.

They started fighting on the station platform, leading Metro Transit Police to call Arlington County police for assistance, according to a police dispatch at the time. The combative suspect was finally taken into custody after transit police used pepper spray to subdue him, according to the crime report.

The fracas prompted a sizable police response outside the station, even leading to some bus delays.

More from ACPD:

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Significant), 2021-10120080, 1300 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 11:35 a.m. on October 12, police were dispatched to the Pentagon City Metro Station to assist Metro Transit Police with an active fight. Upon arrival, officers met with Metro Transit Police who had deployed OC Spray and detained the two individuals involved in the altercation. The investigation determined that the victim had parked his vehicle in the garage in the 1300 block of S. Joyce Street, and was later alerted by a witness that the male suspect was allegedly walking away from the vehicle and the alarm was activated. The victim went to investigate and observed that the suspect had forced entry to the vehicle and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and personal items. The victim located the suspect in the area carrying his personal items and followed him onto the metro platform, where they were ultimately located by Metro Transit Police. The suspect was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries sustained during the incident. Tyrell Washington, 26, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with Larceny from Auto. Additional warrants were obtained for the suspect by Metro Transit Police.

Also in the latest crime report, police are investigating a half dozen vehicle tamperings, including the theft of electronics and catalytic converters, that were discovered along Columbia Pike and in the Lyon Park area Tuesday morning.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2021-10120034/10120058/10120067, 2200 block of Columbia Pike/1200 block of S. Scott Street/100 block of N. Wayne Street. At approximately 6:02 a.m. on October 12, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim returned to his parked vehicle and observed that the passenger window had been smashed and electronics and personal items had been stolen from inside. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that unknown suspect(s) forced entry into three additional vehicles and rummaged through them. A short time later, two victim vehicles were found to have been tampered with and had the catalytic converters removed. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

(Updated at 9:10 p.m.) Arlington County police are investigating after a large fight at Yorktown High School yesterday.

The fight reportedly broke out Monday morning and resulted in multiple students suffering minor injuries. Parents later showed up at the high school, we’re told, after which police were called.

Police released few details in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.

“At approximately 12:04 p.m., police were dispatched to the 5200 block of Yorktown Boulevard for the late report of a fight on school property,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Medics were also dispatched to the school to treat the injured students.

Savage said police are investigating the incident.

Confirming a tip also received by ARLnow, Fox 5 reported Tuesday night that police were called by parents, not by the school, following the fight. The School Board voted in June to relocate School Resource Officers — sworn Arlington County police officers that were previously stationed at schools.

An Arlington Public Schools spokesman did not respond to a request for comment sent Monday afternoon.

File photo

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A fracas at a local hotel on New Year’s Day prompted a large police response early Friday morning.

The incident happened during some sort of New Year’s Eve party at the Embassy Suites hotel in Crystal City, on the 1300 block of Richmond Highway. Police responded after a report of a fight, and encountered “a large crowd in the lobby of the building and multiple fights in progress throughout the hotel.”

A 21-year-old Dumfries resident was subsequently arrested for allegedly having a concealed gun without a permit.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2021-01010006, 1300 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 12:30 a.m. on January 1, police were dispatched to the report of a fight. Upon arrival, officers located a large crowd in the lobby of the building and multiple fights in progress throughout the hotel. While dispersing the crowds, officers made an observation consistent with that of a concealed weapon on the male suspect’s waistband and made contact with the individual. It was subsequently determined that he was in possession of a concealed firearm without a valid permit. Martine Neal, 21, of Dumfries, Va., was arrested and charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon and held on an unsecured bond.

At the same location, nearly two hours later, police responded after two people were reportedly attacked “by a group of approximately ten male suspects.” From ACPD:

ASSAULT BY MOB, 2021-01010038, 1300 block of Richmond Highway. At approximately 2:18 a.m. on January 1, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined a verbal dispute occurred between parties inside a hotel room. As the two victims attempted to have the other party leave the room, they were assaulted by a group of approximately ten male suspects. The suspects fled the area prior to police arrival. Both victims suffered minor injuries and were transported by medics to an area hospital for treatment. There is no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

Also in today’s ACPD crime report, a woman who was cleaning a room in a business had to break a window with a chair in order to flee a man who allegedly locked the door, took off his pants and touched her inappropriately.

The name of the business was not specified, but it happened on the 3300 block of Lee Highway, which is home to the Inns of Virginia hotel and several other businesses.

ABDUCTION WITH INTENT TO DEFILE, 2021-01020061, 3300 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 10:20 a.m. on January 2, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Arriving officers located the suspect exiting a room and took him into custody without incident. The investigation determined that the victim was cleaning a vacant room within a business when the male suspect allegedly entered the room and locked the door behind him. The victim then attempted to unlock the door, however, the suspect got between her and the door and re-latched it. The victim attempted to unlock the door several more times unsuccessfully. The suspect began to touch the victim inappropriately, then removed his pants, at which time the victim was able to break a window to an exterior hallway outside with a chair and escape the room. She sustained minor injuries during the incident. Khalil Martin, 27, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile, Burglary with Intent to Commit Larceny/Assault & Battery, Sexual Battery, and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Arlington County police and medics have responded to Clarendon after a promotion for free cheesecake got out of control.

Police were called to the area of the Cheesecake Factory at 2900 Clarendon Blvd earlier today for a report of a large crowd and heavy traffic in the area. Around 1 p.m., another dispatch went out for a fight in progress at the restaurant, though officers did not find an active fight when they arrived.

The culprit: the Cheesecake Factory is giving away free slices of cheesecake in honor of its 40th anniversary, but only to those who order on Doordash. The result, according to an Arlington County Police spokeswoman: an unruly crowd of delivery drivers inside the restaurant, trying to pick up orders, and a rash of double parking around the Clarendon area.

The scene was “a little hectic” and officers were working to bring order and “calm the situation down,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com.

During the fracas, according to Savage, one person refused police commands to leave the restaurant and a struggle with officers ensued. That person was arrested and is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct, Savage said. He requested to be transported to a local hospital by medics for evaluation of possible injuries.

Here is what the Cheesecake Factory said about the promotion on its website:

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, on December 5th only starting at 11:30AM local time, we’re giving away 40,000 FREE slices* of cheesecake! Get a free slice* of cheesecake when you order delivery through DoorDash! Use promo code FREESLICE at checkout. Get it while you can because an offer this sweet won’t last long!

As an added bonus, DoorDash is offering $0 delivery fee** on all of The Cheesecake Factory delivery orders from December 5 – 11! No promo code needed!

There are social media reports that the promotion has caused chaotic scenes at other Cheesecake Factories across the country.

Later Wednesday afternoon, photos and video emerged on Twitter that appeared to show the arrest and some of the chaos inside the restaurant.

https://twitter.com/pat_patsy_cake/status/1070411021305688066

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Arlington police arrested a Texas man after a fight broke out near the Clarendon Metro station Saturday night (July 21).

Police charged 41-year-old Kenneth George Griffin with one count of malicious wounding, after he was involved in a scuffle along the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd in Clarendon.

They believe the fight broke out when “a verbal dispute between known individuals escalated and became physical when the suspect pushed the victim to the ground, causing a laceration,” according to a county crime report.

He’s now being held without bond, and has a preliminary hearing on the matter set in Arlington General District Court on Aug. 31.

Full details on the incident from the crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-07210228, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 8:45 p.m. on July 21, police responded to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between known individuals escalated and became physical when the suspect pushed the victim to the ground, causing a laceration. Kenneth Griffin, 41, of Pasadena, TX, was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

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Arlington residents Zoheir El-Eita and Sam Jenson flew to Arizona early this morning, after carefully packing 60-75 pounds of steel armor and stowing away their weapons into their checked luggage.

The two medieval steel fighters are set to compete this weekend at the Armored Combat League’s National Championship in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and a little finesse is necessary to get their gear across the country. Jensen, 27, studied up on exactly what he could and could not bring on board the flight, and weighed everything ahead of time.

The pair won’t be the only ones with a packing problem; the competition, from March 9-11, brings 49 fighters from across the country to “execute real medieval combat techniques to earn a spot in an international arena” while wearing medieval armor and using medieval weapons, according to a championship press release. They’ll be fighting with the Atlantic First Swords, a mid-Atlantic regional team.

Tournament play consists of one-on-one fights, three-on-three fights, five-on-five fights, and an “ultimate rush” fight of 16-on-16.

“Oh gosh, how do I describe it?” Jensen laughed before diving into an explanation of tournament technicalities. The overall goal is to fight the other team into submission, according to Jensen, by either “hitting someone so hard that they don’t feel like standing up any more or forcibly throwing them to the ground.”

Points are scored when players win a round, and a team needs 11 points to win. Rounds can last anywhere from 20 seconds to eight minutes, and the most rounds that Jensen has ever undertaken at once was either 23 or 24, but that isn’t normal.

“A man with 260 pounds of mass at a fairly quick rate will knock most people down,” said Jensen, so these melee rounds tend to last a minute.

The teams follow almost the same rules from French tournaments in the 1300s, with modern modifications for safety.

“I’d say we’re playing it a bit safer than the 14th century French were,” he added.

Successful steel fighters are chosen to represent the United States at an international championship in May in Scone, Scotland, about 45 miles north of Edinburgh.

While some of the local steel fighters may have discovered the sport through attending Renaissance fairs, Jensen was introduced by a friend living across the country who invited him to a tournament outside of Philadelphia.

Jensen was quickly hooked, and a month later he was getting his “butt kicked, but was absolutely hooked” and quit his pack a day smoking habit to get in better shape. He had been working odd jobs, at one point as a bouncer at D.C.’s Madhatter tavern, but nothing had been clicking.

“I was at a point in my life where, it’s cliche, but I was feeling listless,” he said. “I didn’t have a hobby or a passion, but I thought that this could be it.”

“If anything, I wish I’d found it sooner.”

Though he’s currently studying accounting and finance at Northern Virginia Community College, he meets every Tuesday and Thursday to train at Ashburn’s Silver Eagle Group Shooting Range with his usual, seven member team, the DC Juggernauts.

Jensen doesn’t think he’ll make it to the international tournament in Scotland, but that isn’t what’s important to him. The friendships made and the feelings of camaraderie and competition are enough for him — and he isn’t even sure if there is a physical prize to be won, anyway.

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(Updated at 4:15 p.m. on 12/23/21) A wild fight outside Ballston’s A-Town Bar & Grill last night resulted in two suspects being tased by police, including one man who was brawling while wearing a Pikachu onesie.

The incident happened around 9 p.m. on the 1000 block of N. Randolph Street. According to police, it started when the man in the Pikachu costume, Steven [Redacted] tried to pick a fight with the bouncers at A-Town after being kicked out of the bar’s weekly “Sunday Funday” festivities.

[Redacted] “became aggressive with the door staff and Mr. Reid attempted to intervene,” according to what may be the longest item ever on an Arlington County Police Department daily crime report (below).

Police arrived and tried to break up the fight between [Redacted] and [Redacted], according to the crime report. The men allegedly stopped fighting with each other and started fighting with police. Both suspects were tased during the fracas and [Redacted] tried to flee, but both were eventually taken into custody and no one was seriously injured, police say.

More from the ACPD crime report:

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2017-03120191, 1000 block of N. Randolph Street. At approximately 8:58 p.m. on March 12, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress.  The arriving officer located the subjects, later identified as Steven [Redacted] and Marcus [Redacted], and provided verbal commands to cease the fight. The subjects allegedly ignored the commands and the officer physically separated them. As the officer was attempting to detain [Redacted], [Redacted] advanced and struck the officer, pushing him to the ground. When Mr. Reid advanced towards the officer a second time, the officer deployed his taser. As officers were attempting to place handcuffs on Mr. Reid, he continued to forcefully resist while attempting to stand. An officer deployed their taser and the subject was taken into custody without further incident.

Additional officers responded to [Redacted] location who was attempting to flee the scene. Officers ordered the subject to stop and get on the ground. When he refused, officers went hands on in an attempt to detain the subject. [Redacted] struggled with the officer and was able to place him in a stranglehold. The officer was able to free himself, deploy his taser and the subject was taken into custody without further incident. Both subjects were evaluated by medics and did not sustain serious injuries. The investigation revealed that the initial incident began after [Redacted] was removed from a restaurant, became aggressive with the door staff and Mr. Reid attempted to intervene.

Marcus [Redacted], 31, of Arlington VA was arrested and charged with assault and battery on police, obstruction of justice and drunk in public. Steven [Redacted], 27, or Arlington VA was arrested and charged with assault and battery on police, strangulation, disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice and drunk in public. Both were held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on No Bond.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the crime report interchanged the subjects names in the first paragraph. The report has been corrected at approximately 3:00 P.M. on March 13, 2017.

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