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.
(Updated at 4 p.m.) 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 Goodwine, Jr., tried to pick a fight with the bouncers at A-Town after being kicked out of the bar’s weekly “Sunday Funday” festivities.
Goodwine “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 Goodwine and Reid, 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 Goodwine 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 Goodwine Jr. and Marcus Reid, 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 Mr. Goodwine, Mr. Reid 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 Mr. Goodwine’s 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. Mr. Goodwine 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 Mr. Goodwine was removed from a restaurant, became aggressive with the door staff and Mr. Reid attempted to intervene.
Marcus Reid, 31, of Arlington VA was arrested and charged with assault and battery on police, obstruction of justice and drunk in public. Steven Goodwine Jr., 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.
A fight between two students but also involving one student’s parents broke out Monday morning just outside of Yorktown High School.
Arlington County Police responded to the school just before 11:30 a.m. for a report of a fight involving students, adults and a large crowd. The situation was deemed to be under control shortly after officers arrived on scene.
ACPD on scene at Yorktown High School for a reported fight outside of the school. So far no injuries or active fighting reported.
— Arlington News (@ARLnowDOTcom) November 28, 2016
But police say this was more than just a standard-issue fight between two students. It was the result of an “ongoing dispute” and it involved two parents of one of the students and allegations of racial slurs being used.
“The incident stemmed from an ongoing dispute between students at Yorktown High School,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “There was a verbal altercation which turned physical when one juvenile subject struck the juvenile victim in the face. The victim did not require medical transport. At this time, there are no criminal charges but our School Resource Officer continues to work with the students, families and Yorktown High School administration regarding the incident.”
The parents “were involved in the dispute but not the physical fight, that was between two juvenile students,” Savage said, in response to an inquiry by ARLnow.com.
“There was alleged use of racial slurs during the verbal argument,” Savage added. “We have not been provided with any video of the incident.”
A post in a popular online message board for local mothers suggests that racial slurs were used by the student’s father, and that cell phone video of the fight exists, but the actual circumstances could not be confirmed by ARLnow.com, only the allegations.
Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia said school administration “is aware of the incident and is working with the families involved to address the situation.”
The incident happened around 1:40 a.m. Sunday morning.
Police showed up and tried to restrain the man, who proceeded to resist and kick the officers, according to a crime report.
ASSAULT ON POLICE x2, 161023003, 3100 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:40 a.m. on October 23, a fight ensued inside a restaurant. Multiple officers approached a subject who was wrestling a bouncer and attempted to remove him. In the process of being removed, the subject bit two bouncers. When the subject was handcuffed, officers attempted to remove him from the premises but he wrapped his legs around a support pole and refused to let go. He continued to not comply and kicked two officers in their faces. Dylan Monroe Mack, 25, of an unknown address, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding, assault on police, assault & battery, disorderly conduct, and drunk in public.
Gunston Could Get New Baseball Diamond — Arlington County officials are considering renovating a baseball diamond at Gunston Middle School, replacing it with a lighted artificial turf field. A public meeting about the project, is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 7-9 p.m. at the Gunston community center. [Arlington County]
TJ Elementary Design Approved — The Arlington School Board has unanimously approved schematic designs for the new elementary school planned for the Thomas Jefferson Middle School site. Construction on the $59 million project is expected to begin in July and wrap up in time for the 2019-2020 school year. [InsideNova]
More Details About W-L Fight — A large fight at Friday night’s Washington-Lee High School football game, first reported by ARLnow.com, involved “at least 20 parents and students” and “was the result of a dispute between two families,” unrelated to the game, according to police. Officers used pepper spray to break up the fight. One adult was arrested during the game. [Washington Post]
Photo courtesy Brent Robson
No significant injuries were reported, said Arlington County Police spokesman Capt. Bruce Benson. Those involved in the fight — students, reportedly — were evaluated but did not require medical treatment.
Washington-Lee’s football team was at home tonight, facing McLean High School. Police requested extra officers for security at the end of the game.
As of 9:45 p.m. no arrests had been made, Benson said.
Update at 11:55 a.m. — In addition to the fight during last night’s game, there was also a strong-arm robbery reported after the game. Police searched for the teenage suspect but were unable to locate him. The following email about the robbery was sent to the Cherrydale neighborhood listserv this morning.
My son was robbed after the Homecoming game at Washington Lee. It was right by the bike racks in front of the school on Stafford street, the guy asked for change for, and when my son took out the money to check, the boy snatched the money and ran, and when he yelled and tried to follow him, suddenly a group of the perpetrators friends showed up. I am glad the he did not engage, and instead went looking for a police officer.
The perpetrator had a Black Beanie cap, a grey sweatshirt, and blue jeans, he might have been only 15-16 years old. Even though only about $20 was snatched from my son, I hope the police follow up, as this totally is a sign of organized activity. Per police others were robbed last night as well.
The shots were fired during a fight between two groups outside the Doubletree hotel on Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City.
No one was hurt and so far no arrests have been made, according to police.
From the crime report:
DISCHARGE OF A FIREARM, 160925005, 300 block of S. Army Navy Drive. At approximately 1:00 a.m. on September 25, police were dispatched to the report of shots fired. The investigation revealed a physical confrontation between two groups had ensued and one male subject discharged a firearm several times into the air. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’2″ tall and wearing a black cap, light blue shirt, and blue jeans. There were no injuries reported.
A new barbecue restaurant and pub may replace the now-closed Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon.
The plans were revealed during a County Board review of a site plan amendment for A-Town (see below).
“We’re soon to take over Hard Times,” Mike Cordero, a partner in the restaurants, told the County Board. The new venture was described as “a really big barbecue restaurant or pub” that may be sports-oriented.
The restaurant could open as soon as next spring or summer, although a source says the deal to take over the Hard Times space has not been finalized.
Meanwhile, a fight prompted a big police response at A-Town (4100 Fairfax Drive) on Sunday night.
The incident happened last night around 6:30, at or near the Pentagon City mall.
Police say the group of teens that asked for the phone chased the other group, which took off running after declining the request. The assault then ensued.
The crime is being described as an attempted robbery — no belongings were stolen. The four teen suspects were all described as slender, 6’0″ tall black males.
From the Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 160504044, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 6:35 p.m. on May 4, a group of juveniles approached a separate group of juveniles and asked to borrow a cellphone. The juveniles declined and took off running. The initial group of juveniles who asked to use the cellphone chased after them and struck two juvenile victims in the face. The suspects fled the scene after the assault without any of the victim’s belongings.
The fight was reported around 4:30 p.m. outside of the McDonald’s at 5005 Columbia Pike, in the Columbia Pike Plaza shopping center parking lot.
Initial reports suggest there was an active fistfight between two men, surrounded by about 20 people watching the fight.
At least one of the fighters has reportedly been detained by police, while officers are still searching for the other.
The Arlington County Fair is generally a fun, family-friendly event, but violence prompted police to close it early Friday night.
Officers assigned to provide security at the fair called for backup around 10:15 p.m. Friday after several fights involving groups of teenagers broke out.
Police arrived, detained several teens and made the decision to shut it down before the 11 p.m. closing time.
“Due to the fights and the threat to the public, the fair was closed about half an hour early,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “Officers escorted patrons off the fairgrounds. The crowd was dispersed and there were no additional incidents.”
The teens who were detained by police were banned from the fair and turned over to their parents, Sternbeck said.
Police continued to maintain “a visible presence at the fair” over the weekend as planned. No other incidents of note occurred Saturday or Sunday, according to Sternbeck.
The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby will start around 6:30 p.m., and Circa at Clarendon (3010 Clarendon Blvd) is hosting Arlington’s watch party. Fancy hats are encouraged and mint juleps will be served for $7.
Welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao — long considered the two biggest names in boxing, but who have never fought before — will face off later that night (sometime around midnight, in all likelihood). The pay-per-view cost to view the fight is $99, which means bars in the area will ask viewers for cover charges to watch the most anticipated fight in years in their businesses.
Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) is holding its own watch party, with women admitted free and men charged $20, with the price to escalate closer and closer to the opening bell. Just a few blocks away, Bracket Room (1210 N. Garfield Street) is charging a $30 cover to watch on their dozens of big-screen TVs.
In Courthouse, the freshly reopened Summers Restaurant (1520 N. Courthouse Road) is also showing the fight, expecting to charge between $25 and $30, depending on capacity. Nearby Courthaus Social is also showing the fight, with a cover charge of $5 for women and $10 for men.
As if the fight and the race weren’t enough, the Washington Capitals will face the New York Rangers for game two of their playoff series tomorrow. Numerous local bars are expected to show the 12:30 p.m. game.
Know anywhere else to watch the fight and the Kentucky Derby in Arlington tomorrow? Let us know in the comments.
The brawl started around 1:45 a.m. early Sunday morning, in front of 3100 Clarendon Blvd. Police say one of the victims was just trying to stop the violence.
“A male victim sustained a laceration to the head and a second victim sustained a broken tooth when he tried to break the fight up,” according to the Arlington County crime report. “The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’9″ to 6’2″, wearing blue jeans and a white button down shirt. He fled prior to police arrival.”
Police say two men in their mid-20s were chucking snowballs near the entrance to the Ballston bar early Sunday morning when a couple approached.
The male half of the couple asked twice that the men stop throwing the snowballs so he and his girlfriend could safely enter the establishment.
“[Expletive] your girlfriend, and [expletive] you,” was the reply, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
At that point, one of the suspects threw a snowball that pegged the woman in the back. The boyfriend, 30, and the snowball tosser then came face-to-face, police say, at which point the suspect “threw a haymaker” at the boyfriend. The boyfriend responded by dodging the punch, then landing a punch of his own, breaking the suspect’s nose, Sternbeck said.
The suspect’s acquaintance, who moments earlier tried and failed to break up the fight, then allegedly stepped in and attempted another wild punch. The boyfriend dodged that punch, as well, then “body slamed suspect No. 2 to the ground,” according to Sternbeck.
Shortly thereafter, Arlington police officers arrived and broke up the fight.
Neither suspect required an ambulance ride to the hospital, Sternbeck said. All parties involved declined to prosecute and were subsequently released without any charges being filed.
A brawl involving more than a dozen people broke out in the street outside Whitlow’s on Wilson in Clarendon early this morning.
About a dozen squad cars arrived to the 2800 block of Wilson Blvd at about 1:15 a.m. today to more than a dozen people in the street fighting with each other, ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
Police tried to disperse the crowd and “urged everyone to get into cabs and leave,” Sternbeck said, but witnessed one person urinating in the bushes. Before police could apprehend him, he jumped in a cab where his friends were waiting, and the taxi drove off.
Police caught up with the taxi, Sternbeck said, when a female occupant got out and started cursing at officers. She was arrested and charged with drunk in public.
“We tried to send people on their way, but ultimately they got mouthy,” Sternbeck said. “We were trying to do the right thing.”
No injuries were reported from the brawl, and no other arrests were made, Sternbeck said.