Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Arlington Man Dies in Texas Crash — “Early Sunday morning, police responded to a three-vehicle crash which resulted in a man’s death and an arrest of a 42-year-old woman… The driver involved in the head-on collision with Sanchez, identified as 33-year-old Eyob Demoze of Arlington, Virginia, died at the hospital.” [Fox 29]

TSA Catches Loaded Gun at DCA — “Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers caught an Arlington County, Virginia, man with a 9mm handgun loaded with seven bullets including one in the chamber at a Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport security checkpoint early this morning, Monday, Feb. 8.” [Press Release]

Historic Marker to Mark Fmr. Trolly Stop — “The Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board has approved placement of a marker to denote the one-time ‘Livingstone Station’ on the Washington & Old Dominion Railway. The marker will be placed at Old Dominion Drive and 24th Street North, which was believed to be the location of the station. 24th Street originally was known as Livingston Ave.” [InsideNova]

Marymount Students Top Nat’l Contest — “Two Marymount University students achieved national recognition for video stories they created to illustrate how the resurgent civil rights activism of 2020 and the ongoing movement for racial equality has personally impacted them.” [Marymount University]

Syphax Descendant Holds History Talks — “His pandemic-era Zoom talks have included exploration of family patriarch William Syphax (circa 1773-1850), who bought his freedom in 1817 and set up a business next to the historic Carlyle House in Alexandria. This Syphax worked with a neighbor, Quaker pharmacist and abolitionist Edward Stabler, to save money to free the rest of his family.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Commuting Hazard This Morning? — From the Capital Weather Gang last night: “We can’t rule out some very light, spotty mixed precip before/around sunrise Tues. Slight chance of slick roads mainly N & W of Beltway.” [Twitter]

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A teenager with a concealed handgun was taken into custody at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall yesterday afternoon.

The arrest does not appear to have a direct connection to the inauguration, though it took place on Inauguration Day as police were on high alert for possible security threats.

An officer in an unmarked cruiser spotted the teen tucking a gun into his waistband as he entered the mall with four other juvenile suspects, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report and scanner traffic. The officer then called for backup, and police were able to arrest the teen in the vicinity of the food court.

More from the ACPD crime report:

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2021-01200100, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 2:00 p.m. on January 20, an officer observed five juvenile subjects pass their cruiser and then stop a short distance away, at which point they observed one of the subjects readjusting a firearm in their waistband and then conceal it under clothing. The subjects entered a business and dispersed, however police subsequently located the subject with the firearm a few minutes later and made contact with him. They confirmed their status as a juvenile and located the firearm on their person. Petitions for Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Possession of a Handgun or Assault Firearm by a Juvenile were sought for the juvenile suspect.

Also in today’s crime report, two cars were stolen in the Country Club Hills neighborhood of north Arlington early Wednesday morning. Both cars were reported left outside unlocked, with keys inside.

More from ACPD:

GRAND LARCENY (series), 2021-0120038/01200054, 4400 block of 33rd Street N./4200 block of 32nd Road N. At approximately 8:04 a.m. on January 20, police were dispatched to the 4400 block of 33rd Street N. for report of a stolen vehicle. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 4:59 a.m., the suspect exited a white SUV driven by a second suspect, then gained entry to the victim’s unlocked vehicle and tampered with items. The suspect then entered a second vehicle, which was unlocked with the key inside, and stole it. The vehicle is described as a red 2018 Volkswagen GTI with Virginia license plates. A second vehicle [on] the 4200 block of 32nd Road N., which was unlocked with the keys inside… was also reported stolen overnight. The vehicle is described as a black 2013 BMW M5 with Virginia license plates F10MM5. There are no suspect descriptions. The investigation is ongoing.

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A man was robbed of his gun by an armed, masked man over the weekend in the Green Valley neighborhood, according to Arlington County police.

The alleged incident happened around 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the 2400 block of S. Lowell Street.

“The victim was waiting outside for a ride to a shooting range when he was approached from behind by the unknown suspect,” said today’s ACPD crime report. “The suspect then grabbed a case containing a firearm from the victim. When the victim turned around, he observed the suspect pointing a firearm at him. The suspect then fled on foot.”

“The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 6’1″-6’2″, wearing blue jeans, a black hooded jacket, black ski mask, and black and red shoes,” the crime report continues. “The investigation is ongoing.”

The robbery was not reported to police until Monday afternoon, the crime report noted.

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A couple was robbed in Arlington’s Ashton Heights neighborhood over the weekend by a gun-toting man in a distinctive white mask.

The robbery happened around 1 a.m., according to a police report and an account of the robbery by the victim, which was obtained by ARLnow after being posted on Nextdoor.

“Around 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I had just parked… when we were robbed at gunpoint,” the victim wrote. “The car pulled up quickly, blocking our car from moving, and he ran up to the driver side where I was, threw open the door, pointed the gun in my face and told me to stop screaming or he’d kill us.”

“He took everything we had an said ‘Y’all have a blessed day’ before driving off and taking a right down Irving toward Arlington Blvd,” the victim continued. “Through Find my iPhone we were able to track him into DC, into Maryland where he stopped for gas, and back into the city before my phone was erased. He has not been caught, but I have reported all this information to the police.”

The victim added that the man was wearing a “full white mask” similar to those worn by the Jabbawockeez, a well-known dance group. He was driving a Toyota RAV4 with what appeared to be temporary paper tags, she said.

More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2020-12050007, 3200 block of 1st Place N. At approximately 12:56 a.m. on December 5, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were inside their parked vehicle when they observed the suspect vehicle pass them and stop in the middle of the street. The suspect exited his vehicle, approached the victims and forcefully opened the door to their vehicle. He displayed a firearm, threatened one of the victims and demanded items of value. The suspect stole personal belongings from both victims, then fled in his vehicle prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 20’s, average height, medium build, wearing a black sweatshirt with the hood up, and a white face mask. The suspect vehicle is described as a black or dark colored, newer model Toyota Rav4. The investigation is ongoing.

Also in today’s crime report, a driver in Pentagon City allegedly spat on a pedestrian he nearly ran over, before deliberately backing in to him. More from ACPD:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2020-12050091, 1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 1:46 p.m. on December 5, police were dispatched to the report of a hit and run just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was crossing the street in a crosswalk when the driver of the suspect vehicle turned and almost struck him. The suspect then turned his vehicle around, parked, and approached the victim. A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect spit on the victim. The suspect returned to his vehicle, and, as the victim attempted to take a photo, began to reverse towards him. The victim attempted to back away, however he was pushed by the vehicle into oncoming traffic. The suspect vehicle then fled prior to police arrival. The victim was not injured. The suspect is described as a young Black male, 20-25 years old, with a slim build, short hair, and approximately 5’7″. The vehicle is described as a white, four door sedan. The investigation is ongoing.

Additional weekend crime report items, including a series of car thefts, are below.

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A felon driving a minivan with allegedly stolen plates was pulled over Saturday night along northbound I-395.

The traffic stop just before the 14th Street Bridge involved a small fleet of Arlington County Police and Virginia State Police cruisers and was caught on video. The highway was blocked while the incident played out.

In a crime report today, ACPD said the suspect had a concealed weapon in the vehicle and did not have a driver’s license. He is facing a number of charges.

WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2020-11280126, I-395 at Washington Boulevard. At approximately 8:45 p.m. on November 28, police received a License Plate Reader alert for a vehicle traveling with stolen license plates. Officers observed the vehicle and, with the assistance of Virginia State Police, conducted a traffic stop. During the course of the investigation, officers determined the driver was suspended and recovered a concealed weapon. Erich McDonald, 45, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Felon in Possession of a Concealed Weapon, Receiving Stolen Goods and No Operator’s License. He was held on no bond.

Also in today’s crime report, another armed carjacking was reported. The crime happened on Thanksgiving afternoon in the Crystal City area.

CARJACKING, 2020-11260081, 2000 block of S. Fern Street. At approximately 1:51 p.m. on November 26, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim parked and exited her vehicle, then observed the male suspect walk past her. The victim walked away from her vehicle, then returned to retrieve her belongings. As she re-approached the vehicle, the suspect turned around and ran towards her. The suspect displayed a firearm and demanded the victim’s keys. The suspect took the victim’s keys and fled in her vehicle prior to police arrival. The unoccupied vehicle was later recovered in Prince George’s County, MD. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 40’s, medium build, approximately 5’8″, wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, mirrored glasses, with short hair. The investigation is ongoing.

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A man allegedly pulled a gun during a dispute at a business in Clarendon, leading to a high-speed chase that ended when it crossed the Potomac.

The incident happened around 2 p.m. on Monday, on the 2600 block of Wilson Blvd. Scanner traffic at the time suggests that the business involved was the used car lot on the block.

Two suspects were engaged in a verbal dispute with two employees of the business, when one suspect became irate and allegedly pulled a gun, according to police.

“The two suspects then fled in a vehicle prior to police arrival,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report today. “Arriving officers observed the suspect vehicle in the area. They attempted to effect a traffic stop in the area of N. Uhle Street and Clarendon Boulevard” — near the Courthouse Metro station — “after observing it run a red light, however, the driver disregarded officers and failed to pull over.”

“The driver continued to disregard officers, and a pursuit was initiated,” the crime report continues. “The vehicle continued at a high rate of speed onto Route 50 and fled into Washington, D.C. at which point the pursuit was terminated.”

Generally, Arlington County police will not chase suspects for minor crimes or traffic violations, but department policy does allow pursuits for more serious crimes. Yesterday’s chase was called off once the suspects crossed jurisdictional boundaries in D.C., though a lookout for the suspects was given to U.S. Park Police, according to scanner traffic.

ACPD said today that they were able to ascertain the identity of the suspect who pulled the gun, and issued warrants for his arrest.

“Based upon information provided by the subject to the business, a suspect was developed,” the crime report says. “Warrants for Brandishing (x2) were obtained for Suspect Two. The investigation is ongoing.”

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The Arlington County Board over the weekend voted to ban guns in county buildings, parks and at some special events.

The new ordinance was made possible by the Virginia General Assembly, which recently approved legislation allowing localities to adopt certain prohibitions on firearms.

Forty people signed up to speak at Saturday’s County Board meeting, some for and some against the proposal. Those for it said county properties would be safer without guns. Those against it said people should be able to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms and defend themselves, even in a public park or county building.

Among the speakers was independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement, who said the ordinance endangers lives.

“I’m afraid that the current County Board led by my opponent, Libby Garvey, is endangering the citizens it has sworn to protect,” she wrote in an email to supporters earlier today. “It adopted a blanket gun ban on County property and County sponsored events, thus assuring that future targets of gun violence are unable to defend themselves on public property.”

“The issue isn’t dead, as gun rights advocates have vowed to challenge the gun ban in court,” Clement added.

Others spoke in favor of the ordinance, including Navy veteran and former Democratic congressional candidate Bruce Shuttleworth.

“We need to keep our weapons of war out of our places of peace,” Shuttleworth said, after asserting that he had more experience handling weapons — from sidearms to grenade launchers — than anyone at the meeting.

The ordinance includes a number of exceptions, including allowing active duty military, sworn and retired law enforcement, and certain private security personnel to carry guns, even in prohibited areas.

In addition to passing the firearms ordinance, the Board allocated $110,000 for signage, “so that gun permit holders would know easily where guns are prohibited and where they can, and cannot, carry their weapons.” In a change from the originally-proposed ordinance, the adopted ordinance will only apply to places that are “clearly marked.”

More on the ordinance from a county press release:

The Arlington County Board today voted unanimously to adopt a Firearms Ordinance banning guns in County government buildings and parks, and at designated special events that require a County permit. The restrictions will apply where the County has posted notice at entrances to buildings, parks, recreation and community centers, and at entrances to events.

The Board’s action was authorized under a State law signed by Governor Ralph Northam in April 2020 that allows localities to set their own rules on the presence of firearms in public. The County’s 2020 General Assembly legislative package included a provision requesting such authority. The Board held a public hearing on July 22, 2020, and voted to advertise a September 2020 public hearing on the proposed ordinance.

“Arlington sought and supported the common-sense gun laws passed by the General Assembly earlier this year,” Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “After hearing from many people, both for and against this measure, the Board has adopted gun restrictions that we believe reflect the values of our community, and that will enhance the safety of all those who enter County buildings, or who visit County parks, recreation, and community centers or participate in special events permitted by the County.”

After hearing testimony from dozens of people at a public hearing during its Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, Regular Meeting, the Board voted adopted the ordinance, with two changes to what was advertised. One change clarified that the ordinance would apply only in areas that were clearly marked, so that gun permit holders would know easily where guns are prohibited and where they can, and cannot, carry their weapons. The second was to include an exception for special events, so organizers can supply their own security in public areas during their event. That security would be approved by Arlington County as part of the special events permits process.

The Board also allocated $110,000 from the County Manager’s Contingent to cover the cost of signage.

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A 29-year-old D.C. man is behind bars after police say he pulled a gun on a tow truck driver early this morning.

The incident happened just before 3:30 a.m., near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. Police say a tow truck driver was about to tow a car when the suspect approached, brandishing a gun and demanding the car be released. He then drove off.

The suspect and his car were later spotted a few blocks away, in Alcova Heights. Police say he took off on foot, tossed the gun and tried to scale a fence, but was tased by officers and taken into custody.

The suspect is now facing a battery of charges, including robbery, reckless driving and weapons violations.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2020-08280038, S. Walter Reed Drive at Columbia Pike. At approximately 3:21 a.m. on August 28, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim had finished securing the suspect’s vehicle prior to towing it when he was approached by the suspect, who allegedly brandished a firearm, threatened the victim and demanded the release of the vehicle and items of value. The victim complied and the suspect fled in his vehicle. Arriving officers located the suspect vehicle parked and unoccupied in the area of 9th Street S. and S. Monroe Street and observed the suspect walking in the area. As additional officers arrived on scene, the suspect fled on foot and a brief foot pursuit ensued, during which the suspect discarded the firearm he was carrying. The suspect ignored lawful commands of officers and attempted to flee over a fence. An officer successfully deployed their taser and he was taken into custody without further incident. Drake Anthony, Jr., 29, of Washington, D.C., was arrested and charged with charged with Robbery, Brandishing a Firearm, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Obstruction of Justice, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, and Reckless Driving, and held on no bond.

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) Men armed with a gun and a knife carjacked someone this afternoon in Crystal City.

The armed carjacking happened around 1:30 p.m., near the intersection of 15th Street S. and S. Bell Street — a block from the Crystal City Metro station.

“The victim was inside of their vehicle when they were approached by two suspects,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Kirby Clark tells ARLnow. “Suspect One displayed a knife and Suspect Two displayed a firearm and forced the victim to exit the vehicle. The suspects then threatened the victim and fled in the vehicle Northbound on Richmond Highway. The vehicle is described as a 2013 BMW X3 with Virginia license plates.”

The investigation is ongoing, Clark said.

This is the tenth carjacking so far this year, according to Clark, amid what police acknowledge has been a marked increase in vehicle-related property crimes, including car break-ins and thefts of idling vehicles. There have also been two attempted carjackings so far this year.

There was one carjacking reported during all of 2019, Clark said.

File photo

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The County Board last night unanimously approved consideration of a new ordinance that would effectively ban carrying firearms on county-owned property.

The move is the first step towards making the ordinance part of county policy, though it will still need to undergo a public hearing and a vote at the Board’s next meeting.

According to a staff report:

The proposed ordinance would restrict the possession, carrying or transportation of any firearms on specified locality property. Buildings and other property will be posted to notify the public of the restrictions. The proposed ordinance provides for a Class 1 Misdemeanor penalty for violations.

The ordinance would ban carrying or transporting firearms in buildings owned, leased or used by the County as well as in parks, recreational or community facilities owned or used by the County. Staff clarified that in buildings only partially used by the County, the restriction would be in effect for parts of the building the county government was operating out of.

“The legislation also authorized these prohibitions in public streets where there is a permitted event, whether or not the event actually received its permit,” the staff report said. “We believe this added authorization allows the County to enforce this prohibition on public streets during an event operating under a Special Event Permit.”

Those not affected by the ordinance would include:

  • Military personnel acting within the scope of their official duties
  • Sworn or retired law enforcement officers
  • Private security personnel hired by the County
  • Historical reenactors and those possessing inoperative, unloaded firearms when such persons are participating in or traveling to/from special events that involve the display or demonstration of these firearms
  • Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs and intercollegiate sports where the sport includes the use of a firearm

The move comes after the General Assembly approved legislation allowing localities to adopt certain prohibitions on firearms. The first advertisement for the proposed ordinance was at a County Board meeting Wednesday night, with a full public hearing scheduled for Sept. 12.

The legislation is nearly identical to similar legislation passed recently in Alexandria and is shaping up to face similar opposition. County Manager Mark Schwartz vowed to craft the ordinance to be in-line with policies in neighboring jurisdictions.

During the public comment yesterday, there were roughly 60 speakers, with County Board Chair Libby Garvey noting that an unusually high number of speakers who were not Arlington residents.

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