Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Boat Catches Fire Near Gravelly Point — “Update boat fire Gravelly Point. Vessel is well involved. #DCsBravest Fireboats in active attack on burning vessel. The 11 occupants are being transported to Fire/Police pier for evaluation.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Flags at Half Staff in Va., U.S. — “Per an order from @GovernorVA, the Virginia flag is to be lowered to half staff at all federal, state and local government facilities across Virginia in memory of U.S Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday. Flags are to remain lowered until burial.” [Twitter, White House]

AMC Shirlington Temporarily Closed — The AMC Shirlington 7 theater appears to have suddenly, temporarily closed over the weekend. AMC’s website shows no planned showtimes at the theater. The reason for the closure was not given. The theater reopened on Aug. 27 at a reduced capacity after closing at the beginning of the pandemic. [Twitter]

Beyer Still Pushing for Rosslyn Boathouse — “The seemingly interminable planning process for a new boathouse facility in Rosslyn already has outlasted one of its champions in Congress, and while U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) is not planning on departing any time soon, one wonders if it might outlast him, too. Not if Beyer has anything to say about it. ‘It’s moving very slowly, but it will be done,’ Beyer vowed.” [InsideNova]

Local Startup’s Return to Office Normalcy — “Phone2Action’s first step toward that elusive new normalcy appears to be going as planned. That’s the latest word from Jeb Ory, CEO and founder of the advocacy platform, who said those employee volunteers the company selected to be the first workers back into Phone2Action’s headquarters at 1500 Wilson Blvd. seem to adapting well to the workplace changes.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Board Approves New Bonds — From last week: “The Board [voted] to authorize the sale of up to $172.32 million in General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds for new projects and the refunding of existing bonds to lower interest rates and save taxpayer money.” [Arlington County]

Arrest Made in Eden Center Nightclub Homicide — “City of Falls Church Police identified Geovanny Alexander Mejia Castro as the homicide victim in the September 11, 2020 shooting at the Diva Lounge (6763 Wilson Blvd.). Mr. Castro, a security guard at the nightclub, died from multiple gunshot wounds.” [City of Falls Church]

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A man was shot and killed outside a nightclub in the Eden Center just after midnight this morning.

Falls Church police say the shooting happened outside Diva Lounge, which is located at 6763 Wilson Blvd, in the rear of the shopping center near Planet Fitness.

“At approximately 12:05 a.m. police responded to a 911 call about a shooting at the Diva Lounge,” police said. “Police and medic units responded to the scene, where they discovered a male victim deceased from a gunshot wound.”

“Witnesses to the incident report the suspect shot the victim then fled the scene on foot,” the police statement continues. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, with dark hair, who was wearing black shorts and a blue polo shirt. There is no camera or video footage of the suspect available at this time.”

Police say they are actively investigating the case but believe there is “no continuing threat to the community.”

“If you witnessed or have any information regarding this incident, please call Detective Darian Chuquillangui at (703) 248-5165,” police said.

Just over ten years ago, the same nightclub space — it was then V3 Lounge — was the scene of a large, early morning brawl.

Photo via Google Maps

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Two Maryland men have been arrested and charged with murder, following a fatal triple shooting along Columbia Pike late last month.

“Christopher Rather, 27, of Oxen Hill, MD, and Franklin Lambright, 27, of Temple Hills, MD, have been charged with Murder and are being held in Prince George’s County, Maryland pending extradition back to the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Arlington County Police said in a press release over the weekend.

“The suspects were apprehended with the assistance of the Prince George’s County Police Department and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force,” the press release continues. “Additional charges are pending.”

One person was killed and two injured after shots were fired into a crowd early on a Sunday morning along the 3000 block of Columbia Pike. Police are not revealing the exact circumstances that led to the shooting, other than to say that it stemmed from a dispute of some kind.

“The investigation indicates there was a dispute between multiple parties prior to the shooting,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “As the parties separated, the suspects allegedly entered a vehicle and fired shots into the crowd before fleeing the scene.”

The man who died was found dead in a vehicle two blocks away. He was identified by police as 21-year-old Donovan Green, Jr., of Upper Marlboro, Md. Two other people suffered minor injuries and arrived at a local hospital on their own.

“This incident remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact police at 703-228-4180 or [email protected],” Savage said. “Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

Green’s killing was the third homicide of 2020 in Arlington County.

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Police are investigating the killing of a 45-year-old Arlington man last night.

Arlington County Police say the man was found shot to death in the driver’s seat of a car around 10 p.m. Thursday, in the Green Valley neighborhood.

“This is the second homicide in Arlington County in 2020,” police noted. So far there’s no word on any suspects or possible motive.

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a homicide that took place in the Green Valley neighborhood on the evening of April 23, 2020.

At approximately 9:54 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious vehicle in the 1900 block of S. Lowell Street. Upon arrival, officers approached the vehicle and located the male victim deceased in the driver’s seat suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim has been identified as Marshall Stephens, 45, of Arlington, VA.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

No Coronavirus in N. Va. So Far — “UPDATE: Tests came back negative on a second Northern Virginia resident suspected of having the novel coronavirus.” [Twitter]

HQ2 Search Was Intended to Extract Handouts — “When Elon Musk secured $1.3 billion from Nevada in 2014 to open a gigantic battery plant, Jeff Bezos noticed. In meetings, the Amazon.com Inc. chief expressed envy for how Musk had pitted five Western states against one another in a bidding war for thousands of manufacturing jobs; he wondered why Amazon was okay with accepting comparatively trifling incentives.” [Bloomberg]

Todd Hitt’s Path to Fraud — “Todd Hitt had never worked for the family company. He’d built spec houses around the same North Arlington neighborhoods where he’d grown up, but according to a court document, his homebuilding business had collapsed… now solidly into midlife, Hitt suddenly seemed eager to leave his fingerprints on the Washington landscape.” [Washingtonian]

Ballston Homicide Investigation Update — An update on last month’s homicide in Ballston, from an Arlington County Police spokeswoman: “The homicide investigation remains a top priority of the department with detectives continuing to process evidence, interview witnesses and follow-up on investigate leads. At this time, there is no new information to provide regarding the investigation. Arlington County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for tips leading to the arrest of a suspect. Report tips anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at ‪1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

Virginia’s Favorite Valentine’s Candy — Virginia’s favorite Valentine’s Day candy is conversation hearts, followed by heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, according to a candy website. [CandyStore.com]

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) A young man found dead inside a Ballston apartment building was the victim of a homicide, Arlington County Police said Tuesday afternoon.

In a brief statement, ACPD said Scott Ratigan, 24, died as a result of “trauma to the upper body.” It is Arlington’s first homicide of 2020.

Police were called to the AVA Ballston Square building at 850 N. Randolph Street around 5:30 p.m. Friday for a report of a man found unresponsive and bloodied in an apartment. He was declared dead on scene by medics. A 911 caller reported a strong smell of bleach in the apartment, according to scanner traffic.

More from ACPD:

Following an autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the suspicious death has been ruled a homicide with the victim suffering trauma to the upper body. The victim has been identified as Scott Ratigan, 24, of Arlington, VA.

This remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation. Arlington County Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for tips leading to the arrest of a suspect. To report anonymous tips, call the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at ‪1-866-411-TIPS (8477)

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Morning Notes

Questions About Arlington Woman’s Death — “A search warrant filed in the case supports the theory it was an assisted suicide, according to a friend of [philanthropist Penny Holloway] who was there at the time. He said a doctor also was present. That doctor died three days after Holloway. Her friends said police questioned him before his death.” [NBC Washington]

Apartment Fire On S. Glebe Road — A first floor apartment caught fire Friday night at the newly-renovated Dominion Apartments on S. Glebe Road. [Twitter]

Is Arlington an Actual Amazon HQ? — “Amazon will move thousands of jobs from Seattle to nearby Bellevue, Washington over the next four years… With this move, some are now calling Bellevue the ‘Real HQ2.'” [GeekWire, Inc. Magazine]

Sawdust Art in Arlington — “Alfo-Conce — an ever-expanding group of artisans from Guatemala with a knack for creating beautiful religious iconography out of sawdust — began prep work for their Holy Week art during a meetup in Arlington March 30.” [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Pedestrian Fatality in Seven Corners — “A woman died overnight as a result of injuries from a crash that occurred just after three yesterday afternoon in the 2900 block of Peyton Randolph Drive.” [Fairfax County Police]

Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman

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Arlington County Police say the death of an elderly woman this past fall, originally believed to be of natural causes, was actually a homicide.

The police department announced the medical examiner’s determination Friday morning and asked for the public’s help in the case. The finding that the woman was smothered and drugged to death bumps up Arlington’s 2018 homicide count to four.

More from an ACPD press release:

A 2018 death investigation conducted by the Arlington County Police Department has been classified as a homicide.

At approximately 10:49 p.m. on September 28, 2018, police were dispatched to the 2100 block of N. Scott Street for the report of a check on the welfare. Upon arrival, officers located a 72-year-old female deceased inside a residence. At the time of the initial report, the death appeared to be related to natural causes and there was no evidence of a threat to the community.

In accordance with standard procedures, the death was assigned to the Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit for follow-up investigation. Following the collection and review of crime scene evidence, witness interviews and information provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the incident has been classified as a homicide.

The victim has been identified as Penelope Holloway of Arlington, Virginia. Cause of death was determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as smothering and mixed drug.

The investigation has determined this to be an isolated incident with no threat to the community. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective J. Senn of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4049 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

This is the fourth reported homicide in Arlington County in 2018.

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A woman was murdered in a Crystal City hotel room this morning and a Stafford, Virginia man has been arrested and charged in her death.

Arlington County Police describe the woman’s death as a “domestic-related homicide.”

Officers were initially dispatched to a hotel on the 1700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway — the Crystal Gateway Marriott is the only hotel on that block — “for the report of a possible death.”

Stafford resident Natasha Rivera, 20, was found dead in the room. Rodolfo Rivera, 24, was arrested and charged with murder.

This is the third reported homicide in Arlington so far this year.

More from an ACPD press release:

Arlington County Police announce the arrest of a Stafford, Virginia man following a domestic-related homicide investigation in Crystal City. Rodolfo Rivera, 24, was arrested and charged with Murder. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 9:40 a.m. on November 3, police were dispatched to the 1700 block of Jefferson Davis Highway for the report of a possible death. Upon arrival, officers located a female victim deceased inside a hotel room. The suspect was on scene when police arrived and taken into custody without incident.

The victim has been identified as Natasha Rivera, 20, of Stafford, Virginia. Cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to contact Detective G. Skeens of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4166 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

Strangers Mourn Arlington Hero at Funeral — “I attended the funeral of a man I didn’t know. In the pew in front of me sat two women who also hadn’t met him. And in front them, in rows packed with people, there were others who knew nothing about Patricio Salazar’s love of sports or books or his ability to talk to anyone he met. They knew only how he had died: trying to help someone.” [Washington Post]

Cemetery Flyovers Planned Today — Two flyovers of Arlington National Cemetery are planned today, at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., in conjunction with funerals at the cemetery. [Twitter, Twitter]

Rosslyn Circus Gets Poor Reviews — “The Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, Virginia, is a nondescript building that easily blends into the dull neighborhood of offices just outside of Washington. But for an hour on Thursday, November 1, the budget hotel felt like a dreamworld — an alternative universe of alternative facts.” [The Weekly Standard, Daily Beast, Periscope, Twitter]

Anti-DUI Event Cancelled — An anti-drunk driving community outreach event scheduled to take place in Clarendon tonight has been cancelled due to expected storms and downpours. The event was originally scheduled to take place the weekend before Halloween but was then postponed due to rain. [Twitter, Arlington County]

WMAL Broadcasting from Metro 29 — Radio station WMAL (105.9 FM) is broadcasting live from Metro 29 Diner on Lee Highway this morning. Among the guests stopping by for interviews are a cadre of Republicans: George Allen, U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart, and congressional candidates Thomas Oh and Barbara Comstock. [Twitter]

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