Arlington, VA

A large fire department response at Bishop O’Connell High School this afternoon has been pared back after a gas odor investigation found no active leak.

Firefighters — including a hazmat team — were called to the school at 6600 Little Falls Road around lunchtime for a report of a natural gas smell in a deep pipe chase. They remained on scene well into the afternoon, investigating the odor with crews from Washington Gas.

Thus far, nothing hazardous has been found. The school was not evacuated.

A portion of N. Trinidad Street was closed during the incident due to the extensive emergency response.

More from the Bishop O’Connell website:

A construction worker at Bishop O’Connell detected what he thought might have been the smell of gas in a utility tunnel this afternoon. The Arlington County Fire Department along with representatives from the gas company have been on site all afternoon. They have detected no sign of a gas leak and they have not recommended any evacuation at this time.

Please know that there continues to be a strong fire department presence at the school. In an abundance of caution, they are monitoring the situation, which remains unchanged at this time.

Afternoon pick-up notes: The front carpool lanes may be closed off this afternoon. Students will be dismissed through the gym and Underwood Street lobbies. Please obey all law enforcement officers, and exercise abundant care as you pick up your students.

We appreciate your patience during these unusual circumstances!

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Arlington County Police are asking for the public’s help in a sexual assault case.

Police say a woman was grabbed from behind, pushed to the ground and sexually assaulted while walking up to her apartment around 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday. The incident happened on the 200 block of N. Piedmont Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood near Ballston.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim in the Buckingham neighborhood.

At approximately 11:35 p.m. on November 27, police were dispatched to the report of a woman screaming and subsequently the report of a possible rape in the 200 block of North Piedmont Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim exited a vehicle and was returning to her residence when the unknown male suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her and pushed her against another vehicle. The suspect told the victim not to yell, then pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her. The victim began screaming, prompting the suspect to flee in a vehicle prior to police arrival. Responding officers established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results.

The suspect is described as a dark-skinned Hispanic male, approximately 5’3″, with short, cropped dark hair, wearing dark pants. The vehicle, described as a white van, last seen heading South on North Piedmont Street.

This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information regarding the identity of this individual, details surrounding the incident, and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective J. McGrath of the Special Victim’s Unit at 703-228-4244 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Map via Google Maps

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A man was shot in Upton Hill Regional Park in Arlington last night.

Police and medics were dispatched to the park at 6060 Wilson Blvd just after 11:15 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a man who was shot by someone in a blue vehicle.

The man was found lying on the ground and rushed to a local hospital. He was listed last night as being in stable condition.

Thus far there’s no word of any arrests nor a motive for the shooting. Arlington County Police are investigating.

Update at 5:15 p.m. — An arrest has been made, according to ACPD.

The Arlington County Police Department is announcing the arrest of a Falls Church man for his role in last night’s shooting in the Boulevard Manor neighborhood. Jhonatan Zavaleta Cruz, 21, has been charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Attempted Malicious Wounding, Use of Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and Shooting During the Commission of a Felony. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 11:15 p.m. on November 6, police were dispatched to the 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a juvenile male victim suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began rendering aid. The victim was transported by medics to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life-threatening.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect and victim are known to one another and that a verbal dispute preceded the shooting. There is no indication of an ongoing threat to the community.

This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective R. Ortiz of the Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-7402 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood.

The shooting happened shortly before 7:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) on the 3200 block of 24th Street S. — the same block as the Lucky Seven Food Mart.

After responding to a report of a shooting, police say a man was brought to a local hospital “with injuries that are considered non-life-threatening.” There was no immediate word on the circumstances that led to the shooting.

Update at 3:35 p.m. on 10/17/19 — Police have released an updated press release about the shooting, below.

UPDATE (October 17, 2019) – The preliminary investigation indicated that the suspect and victim were engaged in a dispute, during which the suspect discharged his firearm. Police identified the suspect as Joshua Hueston, 23, of Arlington, Va. He was taken into custody, without incident, by Arlington County Police on the evening of October 16. Hueston is charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place. He is being held without bond at the Arlington County Detention Facility.

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place on the evening of October 15, 2019 in the Green Valley neighborhood.

At approximately 7:25 p.m., police were dispatched to the area of 24th Road S. at Shirlington Road for the report of a possible gunshot heard. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male victim suffering from a gunshot wound in the 3200 block of 24th Street S. and immediately began rendering aid. The victim was transported by medics to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life-threatening.

The factors that preceded the incident remain under investigation. Anyone with information and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective J. Senn of the 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).

Map via Google Maps. Video courtesy Matthew Young.

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(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting that happened just before 1 a.m. in the Alcova Heights neighborhood, north of Columbia Pike.

Police say a man was shot on the 3500 block of 6th Street S., which is about 2-3 blocks away from Thomas Jefferson Middle School. The man was rushed to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

So far police have not released a suspect description or a motive.

Around 3:30 p.m. today, police released additional information about the shooting, which investigators believe is an “isolated incident” with “no evidence of any ongoing threat to the community.” From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the early morning hours of October 10, 2019 in the Alcova Heights neighborhood.

At approximately 12:54 a.m., police were dispatched to the 3500 block of 6th Street S. for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male victim in the roadway suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began rendering aid. The victim was transported by medics to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life-threatening. The suspect fled the scene in a dark colored SUV prior to police arrival. Currently there is no suspect description.

The preliminary investigation indicates this to be an isolated incident and there is no evidence of any ongoing threat to the community. Detectives continue their investigation and are speaking with witnesses and processing evidence as the search for the suspect proceeds.

Anyone with information and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective S. King of the Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4243 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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A mass panic of a mass shooter in Ballston last month was not caused by a criminal act, Arlington County Police say.

A weeks-long investigation determined that the panic was caused by someone misinterpreting an outburst at a screening of “IT Chapter 2.”

“During the playing of the movie IT Chapter Two, a juvenile within a group shouted a video game reference to the effect of ‘Pennywise has sharpshooter activated,'” police said in a press release Wednesday afternoon. “This statement was misinterpreted as a possible active incident, however, the investigation revealed that at no time were references to an active shooter made inside the theater.:

No charges are being sought. Arlington’s outgoing top prosecutor said the incident is a reminder that there may be “unintended impacts” of otherwise innocent actions due to “today’s climate of heightened awareness around active violence incidents.”

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has completed a weeks-long investigation into the September 14, 2019, false report of a possible shooter at the Ballston Quarter movie theater. A review of the facts and circumstances by the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office determined that there was no evidence that any crime was committed, nor did anyone enter the theater with the intent to cause public harm or concern. As a result, no charges will be filed.

To summarize this incident, at approximately 8:38 p.m. on September 14, 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.

Following the incident, detectives conducted a thorough investigation which included the review of surveillance images, witness interviews and the identification of the involved parties. The evidence determined that during the playing of the movie IT Chapter Two, a juvenile within a group shouted a video game reference to the effect of “Pennywise has sharpshooter activated.” This statement was misinterpreted as a possible active incident, however, the investigation revealed that at no time were references to an active shooter made inside the theater.

“A thorough and complete investigation revealed no evidence to support that any crime was committed,” said Theo Stamos, Commonwealth’s Attorney. “In today’s climate of heightened awareness around active violence incidents in public places, this incident serves as a reminder about the unintended impacts otherwise innocent actions might have.”

“While we’re fortunate this incident was a false alarm and no significant injuries were reported, responding officers acted quickly and dutifully to ensure the safety of the public and mall personnel,” said M. Jay Farr, Chief of Police. “I am proud of the actions of our responding officers and the detailed detective work conducted to bring this incident to its final disposition.”

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(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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