Arlington, VA

(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) Arlington County Police say there was no shooting last night in Ballston, just a panic caused by a single juvenile male.

In a press release Sunday morning, ACPD said the boy walked into a movie theater playing IT Chapter 2 at Ballston Quarter mall and shouted about a shooter. There was no mass shooting, just a mass panic and a mass exodus from the mall as dozens of police and emergency responders swarmed the area.

“As word of the incident spread, patrons from all areas of the Ballston Quarter began to self-evacuate,” police said. “One individual suffered a minor injury while self-evacuating from the building and was transported by medics to an area hospital for treatment.”

Police searched the theater and the mall well into the night, encountering some patrons who had locked themselves into back rooms or even freezers. They did not find evidence of any violence.

Mall customers and employees were left standing outside the cordoned-off block around the mall, with personal property still inside the building and cars parked in the closed parking garage, which did not reopen until after midnight.

Police say items left inside businesses should be retrieved from those businesses, while property left inside the Quarter Market food hall can now be claimed by calling the police non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.

More from the ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department completed a thorough investigation and determined that no shooting occurred at the Ballston Quarter on the evening of September 14, 2019.

At approximately 8:38 p.m., police were dispatched to multiple emergency calls reporting a possible shooter inside the movie theater at the Ballston Quarter located at 4238 Wilson Boulevard. Upon police arrival, the theater was placed under shelter in place status while a systematic search of the entire Ballston Quarter was initiated. The search concluded with negative results and no evidence of a shooting or any victims of a shooting were located.

The preliminary investigation suggests that an unknown juvenile male entered a theater playing the movie ‘IT Chapter Two’ and shouted that there was a shooter, causing patrons to run from the theater yelling for people to call 9-1-1. As word of the incident spread, patrons from all areas of the Ballston Quarter began to self-evacuate. One individual suffered a minor injury while self-evacuating from the building and was transported by medics to an area hospital for treatment.

Patrons who left personal property inside of Ballston Quarter businesses during the incident should claim their property through the individual businesses. Those who left property in the public food hall area of the Ballston Quarter should call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 to facilitate retrieval of their items at the Police Department, located at 1425 North Courthouse Road.

This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

What To Do If Your Car Flooded — “If your car was one of the many trapped by floodwaters on or below street level Monday, you should resist the urge to start it up once the waters recede… The best option, Townsend said, is to tow the vehicle to a reputable mechanic who can certify whether there is any damage to the many electronic components in modern cars and trucks.” [Washington Post]

ACPD Helps Out Flooded Family — “After learning about an Arlington family whose apartment flooded during today’s storm, the Outreach Team activated and donated toys to the children! The family is receiving additional assistance and will soon move into a new unit.” [Twitter]

TSA Stops Man With Loaded Gun at DCA — “An Arlington, Virginia, resident was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded handgun in the man’s carry-on bag at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on Sunday, July 7. It was the 11th gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport so far this year.” [Press Release]

Injury Investigation in Clarendon — On Monday morning, before the flooding, numerous police and fire department units responded to a condominium building at 1021 N. Garfield Street in Clarendon for a report of a man injured under suspicious circumstances. “The male was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No evidence of a crime was located during the investigation,” an Arlington County police spokeswoman told ARLnow. “Police continue to investigate how the subject sustained the injury.” [Twitter]

Arlington 11th Grader Wins at Chess Tourney — “Sam Schenck, an 11th-grader at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, defeated Langley High School 11th-grader Isaac Chiu in a dramatic last-round game to win the K-12 competition of the 2019 Arlington Scholastic Open chess competition, held June 8 at Yorktown High School.” [InsideNova]

Amazon Visits Gov. Northam — “Today we met with @GovernorVa for an update on the first phase of #HQ2 plans. We thank the Commonwealth for our continued partnership and for providing a business-friendly environment as we build the future together.” [Twitter]

Monday Readership Stats — On Monday, just over 71,000 people visited ARLnow, mostly to keep up to date about the flood emergency. That’s nearly a third of the population of Arlington. Thank you for reading and making us your go-to local news source, we’re proud to serve the community!

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(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Arlington County Police will close the busy intersection of S. Glebe Road and Columbia Pike for two hours over the weekend as part of a crash investigation.

The closure is scheduled from about 6-8 a.m. Saturday, ACPD said in a statement today. Detectives will be conducting “follow-up investigation pertaining to a critical multiple vehicle crash,” which happened last Friday afternoon.

One person was seriously injured and trapped in their vehicle as a result of the crash, according to scanner traffic at the time.

“One victim was transported to an area hospital with critical, but non-life threatening injuries,” said ACPD spokeswoman Kirby Clark. “No other significant injuries were reported.”

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team will close the intersection of South Glebe Road and Columbia Pike on Saturday, June 22 in order to conduct a follow-up investigation pertaining to a critical multiple vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 3:14 p.m. on June 14.

The following road closures will be conducted in order to restrict access to the intersection from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 8:00 a.m.:

  • South Glebe Road, northbound at South Monroe Street and southbound at 9th Street South
  • Columbia Pike, eastbound at South Monroe Street and westbound at South Highland Street

Access to businesses within the area will not be impacted, but vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic in some areas will be restricted.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area during the specified time and seek alternate routes. To access points north and south, motorists may use South George Mason Drive and South Walter Reed Drive. To access points east and west, motorists may use Route 50 and South Four Mile Run Drive.

The investigation into the circumstances of this crash remain ongoing and anyone with additional information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective B. Ames at [email protected] or 703-228-7073. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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Update at 2 p.m. — All lanes of Columbia Pike have reopened.

Earlier: Police and firefighters are on scene of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Columbia Pike.

The crash happened just before 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of the Pike and Four Mile Run Drive. The pedestrian was rushed to a local trauma center with critical injuries, said Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant.

All westbound lanes of the Pike are closed in the area while police investigate the incident.

The striking vehicle and its driver remained on scene after the crash. Police could be seen using spray paint to mark the place where the SUV stopped, after striking the pedestrian.

Witnesses told ARLnow the pedestrian was struck from behind and the driver didn’t appear to slow down before the crash. They were not sure whether the traffic signal at the intersection was green at the time.

“I didn’t see her [the driver] decelerate until after the impact,” one witness said. “I couldn’t believe it. The right front of the tire was basically on [the pedestrian].”

Police said the victim is in surgery at a local hospital.

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(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) The ramp from eastbound Route 50 to the Roosevelt Bridge is closed due to a serious crash involving a motorcycle.

The exact circumstances around the crash are unclear, but initial reports suggest a motorcyclist lost control and crashed into a guardrail around 12:40 p.m., potentially suffering broken bones and other injuries.

The rider was transported via ambulance to a local trauma center in critical condition, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant. Arlington County Police later clarified that the rider’s condition was critical, but with non-life-threatening injuries.

Map via Google Maps

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A motorcyclist died Saturday after a Friday night crash on Washington Blvd near the Pentagon.

Police say a van struck the motorcycle, driven by a 54-year-old man from Hampton, Virginia, while changing lanes to exit the highway. The van’s driver remained on scene.

The fatal crash happened during Rolling Thunder weekend. Police are now asking witnesses to come forward with additional information.

More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Critical Accident Team (CAT) is investigating a fatal vehicle crash involving a motorcycle.

At approximately 7:46 p.m. on May 24, 2019, police were dispatched to Washington Boulevard near the ramp to Pentagon-South Parking for the report of an accident with injury. Upon arrival, it was determined that a motorcyclist was traveling on Washington Boulevard when the driver of a van changed lanes to exit the highway, causing an impact between the vehicles.

The motorcyclist, identified as Luis Martinez, 54, of Hampton, Virginia, was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased in the early morning hours of May 25. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Police ask that anyone with information related to this investigation contact Detective K. Nucelli at (703) 228-4048 or [email protected]  Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Also this weekend, three D.C. firefighters were struck by a truck on the 14th Street Bridge during Friday’s evening rush hour.

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Four years ago, Arlington officials spent $4.1 million to build a 10-mile fiber optic network aimed at allowing local businesses to get cheaper access to higher-speed internet — since then, the fiber has just sat in the ground, almost totally unused.

At the time, county leaders championed the construction of the “dark fiber” network as a transformative step for Arlington. Though the county is barred by state law from offering internet service itself, officials envisioned smaller internet service providers working with local tech firms to “light” the fiber, providing county businesses with a powerful new option to access the internet at blazing-fast speeds.

But an ARLnow investigation shows that Arlington officials made a series of decisions in designing the program that scared off any businesses interested in leasing the fiber.

A committee of broadband experts convened by the county laid out many of these problems with the network, dubbed “ConnectArlington,” in a thorough report recommending an extensive overhaul of the program’s design. At least one member compared ConnectArlington to the infamous — but never built — “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska.

County officials, including County Manager Mark Schwartz, have now been aware of the group’s conclusions for close to eight months and they say they’re already hard at work to heed some of the committee’s recommendations. The report has even since been forwarded along to the County Board, even though Schwartz had originally hoped to wait to deliver his own recommendations for the program alongside the committee’s conclusions.

Now, it remains an open question how the county will work to address the problems with ConnectArlington, which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for the county to maintain.

“They have this huge amount of fiber in the ground, and not a single strand of it has been leased,” said Chris Rozycki, a member of the Broadband Advisory Committee that studied ConnectArlington. “It’s like they’ve built an interstate, with no on-ramps or off-ramps.”

Fiber frustrations

The Board decided to build the 10-mile network in February 2015, reasoning that it would be a logical extension of the county’s existing fiber network, which connects county facilities, schools, radio towers and traffic signals.

Then-County Board member Jay Fisette touted it to ARLnow at the time as a “competitive advantage over other jurisdictions,” positioning it as a key tool for economic development in the county. It was also designed as a way to provide more competition for large ISPs like Verizon and Comcast — the county’s own research shows that companies at roughly 60 percent of all county office buildings only have one ISP able to offer them fiber-based service.

But the network’s design and the county’s conditions for leasing out the fiber were flawed from the very beginning, according to the broadband committee’s report and interviews with four of the group’s six members.

A chief concern is how the county chose to build out the fiber. Officials designed it as “middle mile” service, meaning it runs along major roadways (along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and Columbia Pike, for example) but didn’t initially connect to the buildings along the corridors.

“To be useful, the network must be complete,” the report argues, according to a copy obtained by ARLnow. The report has not been publicly released by the county.

“‘Build it and they will come’ does not always work,” the committee wrote. “Part of the network was built, but not enough to bring the ‘players’ to the game.”

(Read the full report written by the county’s Broadband Advisory Committee.)

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Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting that happened last night on S. Glebe Road.

A man was shot at the intersection of Glebe and S. Arlington Ridge Road, two blocks away from Gunston Middle School, around 7 p.m., according to police. The victim is expected to survive and police are still seeking the shooter.

More from an ACPD press release, issued just after noon today (Monday):

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place on the evening of December 30, 2018.

At approximately 7:03 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and S. Arlington Ridge Road. Upon arrival on scene, officers located a male victim suffering from trauma to the upper body and immediately began performing life saving measures. The victim was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. Following medical treatment, the victim’s condition has been upgraded to stable and he is expected to survive his wounds.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. At this time, no suspect(s) have been identified and there are no suspect(s) descriptions. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the 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).

File photo

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(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a crash in Rosslyn involving a dump truck and a woman who was pushing a stroller.

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive. According to a police spokeswoman, a female pedestrian was struck by a dump truck and suffered serious — but at this point non-life-threatening — injuries. The woman was pushing a stroller at the time but the child was not injured, police said.

The victim was rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital. Detectives are on scene investigating, as is standard procedure for crashes involving very serious injuries.

All lanes of eastbound Lee Highway were previously blocked at N. Nash Street, but have since reopened. Police have moved the investigation onto N. Lynn Street, closing two lanes on that road. Major backups have been reported on the Key Bridge and Ft. Myer Drive approaching Rosslyn.

Road closures are expected to remain in place “for a significant amount of time” while officers investigate the cause of the crash, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

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Morning Notes

Suspect and Murdered Wife Both Marines — “A woman found dead in [an Arlington] hotel room on Saturday and the man arrested in connection with her murder are both U.S. Marines… The two were seen earlier in the evening at the Marriott while attending their unit’s military ball to commemorate the Marine Corps’ 243rd birthday.” [Newsweek, Task and Purpose]

Arlingtonian Named ABC 7’s Hero of the Week — “In his dedication to the community, Aaron Codispoti switches gears constantly — in the truest sense of the word. He manages a team of more than a thousand people within the State Department, volunteers as an auxiliary police officer with Arlington County — often on bike patrol — and organizes blood drives twice a year.” [WJLA]

Crafthouse Going National — Ballston restaurant Crafthouse is taking its craft beer and elevated pub food formula national. The company, which also has locations in Fairfax and Reston, is preparing for rapid expansion via franchising. [Reston Now]

Local Entrepreneurs Mostly Looking Forward to Amazon — Though Amazon’s anticipated arrival in Crystal City could come with rent and hiring challenges, local entrepreneurs are mostly looking forward to the excitement and amenities the tech giant will bring to the area. [Forbes]

Amazon May Make Defense Hiring Harder — “If Amazon.com Inc. puts part of its second headquarters in Crystal City — as signs are pointing to this week — it could make defense hiring in the region even more competitive. The Seattle-based e-commerce and cloud computing company is already pursuing new deals in the defense and intelligence sectors, industry execs tell The Wall Street Journal, and an expanded presence in Greater Washington — home to thousands of government contractors — would put a strain on a market stretched by a dearth of workers holding proper security clearances.” [Washington Business Journal]

Police Looking for Driver Who Brandished Gun — Arlington County Police are investigating a road rage incident along Columbia Pike in which one driver “pulled over, exited his vehicle, and following a verbal dispute, allegedly brandished a firearm and threatened the other driver.” [Arlington County]

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The pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Columbia Pike Monday morning died from his injuries, Arlington County Police said Tuesday afternoon.

Police are still investigating the crash, according to ACPD. The victim has been identified as 44-year-old Arlington resident Jay Thoman.

More from a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Monday, April 30 at the intersection of Columbia Pike at S. Queen Street. At approximately 7:08 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Members of the Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and are conducting an ongoing and active investigation.

The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. The victim was transported to George Washington University Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.

The identity of the pedestrian is being withheld pending proper identification.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact Detective Johnson at [email protected] or 703-228-4193. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Photo via Google Maps

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