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A man allegedly left a local restaurant without paying, shoved a restaurant employee, and used anti-Asian slurs, according to police.

The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday along Crystal City’s restaurant row, on the 500 block of 23rd Street S.

Restaurant employees told police they confronted the man after he didn’t pay the bill, but he kept walking away. The man also allegedly pushed an employee to the ground while another recorded the encounter on video.

The alleged assault is being investigated by Arlington County police. The employees, who are of Asian descent, told officers that the man used racial slurs, which has been referred by ACPD to Virginia State Police as a possible hate crime.

More from a police press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating the assault of a restaurant employee and is seeking the public’s assistance identifying the suspect who was captured on cell phone image.

At approximately 5:54 p.m. on May 4, police were dispatched to the 500 block of 23rd Street S. for the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect left a restaurant without paying his bill. Two employees approached the suspect outside the establishment and requested he return to pay. The suspect continued walking away and when one employee began recording him, he pushed the other employee to the ground and ran off towards Richmond Highway. The victim of the assault did not require medical treatment.

During the course of the follow-up investigation by detectives, it was alleged that the suspect used racial slurs towards the employees, an Asian male and female. In accordance with Virginia law, this incident has been reported to Virginia State Police as a possible hate crime.

The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20’s to early 30’s with dark brown hair, a light brown beard, approximately 5’9″ to 5’11” tall and weighing between 150 to 160 lbs. He was wearing square rimmed glasses, headphones, a black t-shirt, gray and black sweatpants and black sneakers at the time of the incident.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident or who can identify the suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Photos via Arlington County Police Department

Long-time Clarendon restaurant Nam-Viet was the victim of a break-in over the weekend.

Someone shattered the glass front doors of the restaurant, located at 1127 N. Hudson Street, just off Clarendon’s main nightlife district. The break-in happened early in the morning, police said.

“At approximately 2:22 a.m. police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, officers observed the suspect sitting at a table inside a closed restaurant and gave him commands to exit, which he complied with. The investigation determined the suspect forced entry into the restaurant by breaking two glass doors.”

A 21-year-old man from Milton, Massachusetts was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry and felony Destruction of Property.

The break-in happened amid a national focus on hate-motivated crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Savage said anti-Asian bias did not appear to be a factor in this crime, however.

“The suspect was intoxicated at the time of arrest,” she said. “The preliminary investigation has not revealed a bias-based motive nor a connection to any other criminal incidents.”

On Instagram, Nam-Viet thanked customers for their support while the business cleaned up, noting that the pandemic has hit it and other Asian-owned businesses in the area hard.

We want to take a minute to thank everyone who has reached out to us today to show their love and support. We were fortunate enough to only have cosmetic damage to the doors. Nothing was taken and both our family and business are doing well. In the meantime, if you would like to help us out, we urge everyone to please support any and all Asian owned businesses in the area. They have been some of the hardest hit businesses during this pandemic.

We will continue to remain optimistic during these times and we will allow the proper authorities to do their work in remedying justice to those who caused this damage today. We wish for everyone to have nothing but respect for one another. And please know that Nam-Viet Restaurant is so blessed and thankful for the love, support and kindness shared in the Arlington community and beyond.

The broken doors were boarded up as of Saturday evening, as an anti-hate vigil was held nearby.

The Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate Vigil, held from 6-6:30 p.m., was coincidentally organized a week prior in response to “events that have been occurring nationally,” said co-organizer Allyson Dieck.

“The backdrop of Arlington’s historical Little Saigon on Clarendon Blvd was the perfect site for an opportunity to honor and show our support for our own AAPI community,” Dieck told ARLnow. “We really felt that our AAPI community is in deep pain — currently from the national trend of violence being shown towards them, but also from more general bias shown on a regular basis. There were some moving accounts expressed during the vigil.”

About two dozen people attended the event, which was promoted on social media. Gathered at the Clarendon Metro plaza, they lit luminaries and held a moment of silence for the victims of the recent mass shooting in Atlanta. A number of those in attendance also spoke of their experiences with anti-Asian bias.

Jay Westcott contributed to this report

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Morning Notes

Arlington Man Sentenced for Hate Crime — “A 61-year-old Arlington man has been sentenced to 60 months in prison for committing a hate crime. William Syring was sentenced Thursday after threatening employees of the Arab American Institute ‘because of their race and national origin,’ the Department of Justice said in a press release.” [WUSA 9]

Westover Water Main Update — “The leak beneath 5800 block of Washington Boulevard was fixed overnight but per policy, two galvanized service lines need replacement. Friday night expect detours both directions beginning 8pm. Water service shutoff in the area after close of business.” [Twitter]

Man Who Survived on Coke Talks — “From his bed at Virginia Hospital Center, reluctant newsmaker Glenn Smith gave me his version of his widely reported mishap. The 77-year-old homeowner on N. Trinidad St. in the Williamsburg area made local TV and online news last week after he suffered a fall in his kitchen and survived alone on the floor for five days — taking nourishment from his nearby stash of Coca-Cola.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington Firms on Inc. 500 — Four Arlington-based firms are on the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing U.S. companies. [Washington Business Journal, Inc. Magazine]

Case of the Misplaced Door — “Someone decided to leave this large structure reclined in the entrance of my house 2 days ago. My HoA manager @Associa is not providing any help. Can @planArlingtonVA come to the rescue?” [Twitter]

Rosslyn Startup Expanding — “Hungry, the Arlington-based food technology startup that has drawn investments from celebrities such as Usher and Jay-Z, is expanding into Boston.” [Washington Business Journal]

Citizen’s Police Academy Applications Open — “The Arlington County Police Department is now accepting applications for the 23rd Citizen’s Police Academy (CPA). The CPA is an educational program designed to create better understanding and communication between police and the citizens they serve.” [Arlington County]

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The Virginia State Capitol in RichmondA bill that would have expanded the definition of hate crimes in Virginia to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals has failed in the state Senate.

Sen. Barbara Favola (D) sponsored the bill, SB 799, which failed by a 7-6 vote in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee last week.

Another local state Senator, Janet Howell (D), serves on the committee and voted to pass, along with five other Democrats. “No” votes by the seven Republicans on the committee doomed the bill before it reached the Senate floor.

If it had passed, the bill would have given crimes directed at people because of sexual orientation or gender identification the same protections under state law as those directed because of race, religion, ethnicity or national origin.

Favola’s bill was one of several proposed by Arlington legislators aimed at increasing protections for the gay and transgender communities. Del. Patrick Hope introduced HB 1385, which would make conversion therapy — interventions and efforts to change one’s sexual orientation — illegal when conducted on someone under 18 years old. That bill is in subcommittee in the House of Delegates Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin, Virginia’s first openly gay state legislator, has a number of bills on the matter, including one officially striking down Virginia’s state prohibition on same sex marriages and civil unions. Even though the state Supreme Court has ruled that same sex marriage is legal in Virginia, the state’s laws still do not reflect that.

Ebbin has also introduced bills to replace “husband” and “wife” with “spouse” in the state code and to prohibit discrimination in the public sector when considering gay and transgender job applicants.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Traffic in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen)

Ebbin Bill to Return Checks As Tax Refund Option — State Sen. Adam Ebbin has proposed a bill that would force the state to start using paper checks again for tax refunds. In 2012 Virginia budget eliminated paper check refunds, allowing residents to get their refund either via electronic transfer or pre-paid debit card. Ebbin unsuccessfully proposed a similar bill last year. [InsideNova]

Favola Hate Crime Bill Fails — A bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the definition of hate crimes in Virginia has failed. The bill was proposed by state Senator and former Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola. [Associated Press]

MLK Books for Kids at Library — The Arlington Public Library blog has some recommendations for books that can introduce the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. to children. [Library Blog]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

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Police car lightsA person was attacked in Clarendon Monday night and police are describing the incident as a possible hate crime.

Police say a 35-year-old man used “racial slurs” before assaulting a victim at a bar on the 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd. The suspect is described as a 6’1″, 220 lbs white male with brown hair and brown eyes.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ASSAULT AND BATTERY (HATE CRIME), 141103069, 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd, On 11/3/14 at 2320 hrs, an unknown subject used racial slurs before assaulting the victim. Both were patrons of a bar at the time of the incident. Suspect is described as a non-hispanic white male 601/220, Bro/bro, approximately 35 years of age, wearing a black leather coat and a plaid button up shirt.

Also this week, a woman in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood told police she was attacked by her boyfriend after refusing to have sex with him.

STRANGULATION AND DOMESTIC ASSAULT AND BATTERY, 141102011, 800 block of S Greenbrier St, A female victim states she was strangled and punched after refusing the sexual advances of her boyfriend. The male suspect fled when he found out police were called. Warrants and an Emergency Protective Order were issued.

On Sunday night, a woman said she was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend after the boyfriend accused her of cheating on him with another man, who was staying over her apartment at the time. The boyfriend accused the woman of punching him in the face.

In the end, no one was charged.

SEXUAL ASSSAULT, 141102046, 3100 block of Lee Highway, On 11/2/14 at 1143 hrs, a female subject states she was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend after the boyfriend accused her of engaging in sexual intercourse with another male, who was currently in her apartment at the time of the boyfriend’s visit. The boyfriend accused the the female subject of punching him in the face during their argument over the other male staying there. Magistrate denied warrants.

A police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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