Still No Answers About Ghaisar Shooting — Tuesday was the one year anniversary of the death of Bijan Ghaisar, who was shot by U.S. Park Police officers. Thus far, Arlington County has declined to release the recording or transcript of 911 calls connected to the case. [WUSA 9]
Spotted: Beto and TMZ at DCA — Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who narrowly lost his nationally-followed electoral challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), was seen being interviewed by a TMZ producer outside of Reagan National Airport yesterday. [Twitter]
Chamber: Keep Dillon Rule — “As part of its 2019 package of legislative priorities, the [Arlington] Chamber of Commerce is continuing its belief that the ‘Dillon Rule‘ needs to be maintained, and urged members of the General Assembly to do nothing that would lessen it.” [InsideNova]
Ballston Booster Saves Dozen Dogs — Ballston BID chief Tina Leone has “rescued more than 200 dogs from around the world, and brought a dozen more to Northern Virginia on Monday.” [Patch]
Nearby: Pedestrian’s Foot Run Over Along W&OD Trail — Last week at a road crossing of the W&OD Trail in Falls Church, “a black or gray sedan of unknown make failed to yield to a pedestrian on the sidewalk, ran over their foot, and failed to stop at the scene.” [City of Falls Church]
Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me
Three people have been arrested and will likely face charges in Arlington after a desperate attempt to flee a traffic stop on I-395.
The incident started just before 10 a.m., when an Arlington police officer tried to pull over a vehicle heading northbound on I-395 in the Pentagon City area. The driver of the vehicle then sped off heading the wrong way on southbound I-395, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
“The vehicle did not stop and fled the area at a high rate of speed,” she told ARLnow.com. “The vehicle traveled NB in the SB HOV lanes, struck a vehicle, and the three occupants of the suspect vehicle fled the scene on foot.”
A search ensued, as U.S. Park Police set up a perimeter and combed the area around East Potomac Golf Course for the suspects, according to scanner traffic. All three were eventually caught.
“With assistance by the United States Park Police and Virginia State Police, all three suspects were located and taken into custody,” Savage said. “Charges are pending at this time.”
There were no reports of injuries in the crash, according to Savage.
The crash happened this afternoon in the southbound lanes of the parkway in Arlington near Donaldson Run. One person is being evaluated for potentially serious injuries.
The U.S. Park Police helicopter, Eagle 1, was called in to transport the patient, prompting the closure of the entire parkway, according to scanner traffic. Arlington County medics are also on scene.
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) May 10, 2018
File photo from 2014, above, courtesy @CAPT258
Community Concerns Over Hospital Land Swap — Updated at 1:50 p.m. — Virginia Hospital Centers needs to expand to keep up with patient demand but the planned expansion is in a holding pattern as resident concerns are addressed. “Tracy Greiner, chair of a task force of three nearby civic associations, said the hospital has ‘failed to effectively address three years of homeowner feedback.’ Neighbors — some who’ve been in Halls Hill for three generations, others who just bought in — worry about traffic, nighttime lights and construction.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Beyer Wants Answers from FBI — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is requesting a meeting with the director of the FBI to discuss the investigation into the fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar by U.S. Park Police along the GW Parkway, to ensure that it proceeds expeditiously. Of note: “Beyer said that Arlington County, where the 911 calls came in, will not release the 911 tapes because the FBI hasn’t given them permission because it’s an ongoing investigation.” [WTOP]
Wilcox to Headline Arlington Gala — “Arlington’s own Amy Wilcox, a recording artist and star of A&E Network’s ‘Crazy Hearts: Nashville,’ will be the featured performer at the Arlington Community Foundation’s annual gala – ‘This Is Us’ – to be held April 21. The evening event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, with funds raised being used to support the philanthropic initiatives of the foundation.” [InsideNova]
Candy Dispute Prompts Call to Police — According to scanner traffic, police responded yesterday evening to a domestic incident in which “a father is not allowing his kid to have candy and they’re all fighting.” [Twitter]
Crystal City Could Be Big Budget Winner — Commercial real estate analysts expect Crystal City and the Dulles Toll Road corridor to be the big winners from the new spending bill that was signed into law last week, boosting domestic and military budgets. Crystal City is also among the Northern Virginia locales under consideration for Amazon’s HQ2. [Bisnow]
Park Police Chief Cancels Meeting with Beyer — Updated at 12:30 p.m. — The chief of the U.S. Park Police cancelled a scheduled meeting yesterday with Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Beyer and Norton are seeking answers in the fatal Park Police shooting of Bijan Ghaisar, who fled from a reported crash and then from officers before being shot in Fairfax County. USPP later released a statement explaining the chief’s decision. [WUSA 9, PDF]
Ballston to Hold Puppy Party Tomorrow — “Didn’t feel the love on Valentines Day? Join the Ballston BID for a puppy pick-me-up. All dogs present available for adoption through our partner, Homeward Trails. They bring the furry friends. Earl’s will bring the food.” [Ballston BID]
Charlie Clark on Arlington and Its History — “Clark compared the local population to the cast of the NBC show ‘Parks and Recreation,’ a group of honest, do-gooders who try their best but things still go awry. They’re a body of citizens that aren’t afraid to challenge their local governance on issues, pointing in particular to the struggle put up by local citizens last year when Arlington worked to relocate Fire Station 8.” [Arlington Connection]
Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Reservations — Procrastinators rejoice, a number of Arlington restaurants were, at last check, still taking reservations for Valentine’s Day dinner tonight. [Patch]
Flickr pool photo by Tim Brown
A car flipped on Spout Run Parkway this morning, rolling down a steep slope into the woods nearby.
Officers from the U.S. Park Police responded to the southbound side of the parkway just after its intersection with Lorcom Lane around 10:45 a.m. today (Wednesday).
The driver appeared to lose control of the car before careering off the road and into the woods. There were no injuries reported.
Park Police were on scene, and by 11 a.m. a tow truck was on scene to remove the wrecked car. A police car occupied the right-hand lane nearby. There were no significant traffic impacts.
At least four other incidents of vehicles flipping or running into the woods along Spout Run Parkway have been reported over the past six years, including one incident last year of a motorcycle chase ending on the parkway.
First reports indicated the was woman lying in the northbound lanes near the Key Bridge. U.S. Park Police officers responded to the call, assisted by medics from the Arlington County Fire Department.
A fire department spokesman said Park Police made first contact with the woman.
When units arrived, the spokesman said, they found the woman able to speak but “with an altered level of consciousness and possibly wanting to commit suicide.” Medics transported her to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment.
U.S. Park Police has not provided additional details about the incident.
Becky McCleskey, an Arlington woman reported missing earlier this month, has been found dead.
McCleskey’s body was found Friday in the Potomac River near Old Angler’s Inn in Maryland, according to U.S. Park Police. Foul play is not suspected.
A vehicle belonging to McCleskey was found in a parking lot at Great Falls National Park in Virginia on Feb. 6, when police were first informed of her disappearance.
From a Park Police press release:
On Friday, February 24 at approximately 5:50 p.m. a body was recovered from the water near Old Angler’s Inn in Potomac, Maryland.
The body has been confirmed as that of Becky McCleskey, 56, of Virginia. McCleskey had been reported missing on February 6, 2017 in the area of Great Falls, Virginia. An extensive air, land, and water search was conducted for two days by the United States Park Police and the Montgomery County Fire and Police Departments.
Mrs. McCleskey’s vehicle was found in the parking lot at Great Falls National Park, Virginia on February 6, 2017. There is no indication of foul play.
McCleskey has a son who is a high school student in Arlington, we’re told. She also leaves behind a husband, according to an email sent to Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington parishioners.
Her first husband, Arlington native Brian McCleskey, died of respiratory failure in 2007, according to a Washington Post obituary.
Photo courtesy U.S. Park Police
(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) Police are investigating a dead body found between Windy Run Park, in north Arlington, and the banks of the Potomac River.
U.S. Park Police, as well as Arlington County police and firefighters, hiked to the scene after someone alerted authorities to a body spotted in the rocky, wooded area along the river and the GW Parkway.
The body is that of a man, according to Park Police spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Rose, contradicting initial reports that the deceased was female. Rose did not have any additional information.
Photo via Google Maps
A car ran down an embankment and into a ravine along the Spout Run Parkway this afternoon.
The crash happened around 12:30 p.m., near a turnaround halfway between Lee Highway and the GW Parkway.
Witnesses told ARLnow.com that the driver tried to take the turnaround at a high rate of speed; her car careened across the eastbound lanes of the parkway and into the woods, taking down at least one tree and winding up near the stream.
The driver was able to get out of the car on her own and is expected to be okay. As of 1 p.m. towing crews and U.S. Park Police were still in the process of removing the car from the woods. The car was barely visible from the road due to thick foliage.
Taxi Driver Fights Arlington Cemetery Tickets — A taxi driver is scheduled to appear in federal court later this month to appeal three misdemeanor traffic convictions. U.S. Park Police have been repeatedly ticketing Yahia Fayed for idling outside of Arlington National Cemetery, where he says there’s a steady stream of people looking for a cab. Federal officials say that’s not allowed. So far, no militiamen have threatened to protest federal government tyranny on Fayed’s behalf. [Washington Post]
Scary CO Incident at Gym Near Fairlington — Arlington County firefighters and medics were among those who responded to the XSport Fitness gym on King Street, across from Fairlington, on Saturday for a carbon monoxide incident. Witnesses said people all of a sudden started collapsing on their treadmills. Seven were hospitalized. A malfunctioning pool heater was found to be the cause. [Fox 5 DC]
Arlington Ready to Enforce Snow Removal Ordinance — Should snow ever fall this winter, Arlington County is ready to enforce its five-year-old snow removal ordinance. Last season, 25 citations were issued for snow removal violations. [InsideNova]
Lidl HQ Close to Opening — The new U.S. headquarters for German grocery giant Lidl is getting ready to open near Potomac Yard. The company also just purchased land near Richmond for one of its first stores in Virginia. [Virginia Business]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) One person died after a vehicle ran down an embankment on the GW Parkway early Saturday morning.
A technical rescue team from the Arlington County Fire Department responded to the single-vehicle crash.
The vehicle was located 100 feet down an embankment, with one person dead inside, according to a fire department spokesperson. No other injuries were reported.
The parkway remained closed between Spout Run and Route 123 for much of the morning while U.S. Park Police investigated the crash. Lanes reopened around 10:00 a.m., WTOP reported.
(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) One lane of Chain Bridge was blocked during tonight’s evening rush hour due to a grim discovery near the bridge.
An apparent dead body was spotted by hikers about 150 yards north of the bridge this afternoon. The body is said to be located on the rocks, close to the Potomac River.
Arlington County firefighters responded to the scene, and the fire department’s technical rescue team rappelled down the cliffs to access the body. A D.C. fire boat and a U.S. Park Police helicopter also assisted in the recovery operation.
At about 6:40 p.m., a member of the Arlington County Police Department was rappelling down the cliff, with assistance of a technical rescue team member, to investigate the scene, a police source told ARLnow.com.
Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed a “large emergency response” at the scene, on the Virginia side of Chain Bridge, and said that crews are likely to remain on scene for an extended period of time.
One lane of the bridge was open in each direction at the accident scene, with heavy traffic reported on both the Virginia and D.C. sides of the bridge.
Photos viewed by ARLnow.com, taken from a distance, show that the victim was a light-skinned male. He appeared to be bleeding from the head and holding a dark object in his hand.
The collision happened around 8:30 Sunday night. A driver vehicle heading northbound struck a pedestrian just before the exit to Spout Run. The striking vehicle then drove off, continuing on northbound, according to U.S. Park Police.
The pedestrian, who has not been identified, is “currently being treated at a local hospital and remains in critical condition,” police said Monday night. It’s unclear why he or she was on foot in or along the roadway.
Investigators don’t have a description of the vehicle, and are asking witnesses to come forward.
“Commuters traveling north on the George Washington Memorial Parkway that may have witnessed this crash or may have information is asked to contact the United States Park Police Tip Line at 202-610-8737,” Park Police said.
Around 9:30 p.m., on the southbound lanes of the parkway near Route 123, U.S. Park Police began chasing two suspects driving recklessly in a stolen vehicle, according to Park Police spokeswoman Lelani Woods.
The vehicle pursuit ended on the ramp to Key Bridge when the suspects lost control of the car, wrecked and fled on foot.
Arlington County officers, a K-9 unit and the Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter assisted with the ensuing search for the suspects near Rosslyn. The police dog — K-9 “Hugo” — was able to track and apprehend one of the suspects.
The suspect was taken into custody and checked out by paramedics for a bite wound, said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.