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(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) A ballistic-vest-wearing man armed with a rifle that was allegedly stolen from a police car was arrested this morning at the Pentagon City mall.

The first call came in shortly after 9 a.m. for reports of a man armed with a long gun who was “waving it around” and walking up and down 12th Street S., near the Pentagon City Metro entrance.

Callers told 911 dispatchers that he was wearing a red plaid shirt, tan cargo pants, and a ballistic vest with federal agency markings, while holding a rifle. Subsequent dispatches suggested he was walking in the direction of the mall after trying to drop off a bag he was carrying in the lobby of the apartment building at 710 12th Street S.

Eventually, an officer radioed that she had the suspect stopped in the mall parking garage and requested backup to take him into custody.

No one was hurt. The rifle — allegedly stolen from an Arlington County police cruiser that was parked nearby — was recovered from the 21-year-old suspect.

“At approximately 9:06 a.m., police were dispatched to the 700 block of 12th Street S. for the report of a person with a gun,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Alli Shorb tells ARLnow. “The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect forced entry into an off-duty officer’s parked police vehicle using a shovel and removed a secured rifle and other items.”

“With the assistance of community members contacting 911 to report a suspicious male walking in the area with a rifle and non-ACPD ballistic vest, responding officers quickly located and took the suspect into custody without incident,” Shorb continued. “The suspect was taken into custody in the parking garage and officers recovered the rifle which he was in possession of… No injuries were reported and charges are pending.”

The incident comes 20 days after a man armed with a rifle opened fire at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas, killing eight people, including children.

More, below, from an ACPD press release issued Friday evening.

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) is announcing the arrest of a suspect armed with a stolen rifle in the Pentagon City area on the morning of May 26, 2023. Tyler Rodriguez-Hernandez, 21, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, Petit Larceny, Receiving Stolen Goods, Destruction of Property, Wearing Body Armor in the Commission of a Crime and Unlawful Wearing of Police Insignia. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 9:06 a.m., police were dispatched to the 700 block of 12th Street S. for the report of a person with a gun. A perimeter was established and a lookout for the suspect was broadcast. Officers located the suspect in possession of a stolen rifle and wearing a non-ACPD ballistic vest with police insignia inside a parking garage in the 1100 block of S. Hayes Street and took him into custody without incident.

The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect entered a parking garage in the 700 block of 12th Street S. and discharged a fire extinguisher before he forced entry with a shovel into an off-duty officer’s parked police vehicle and removed a secured rifle and other items. The suspect then ran across the street, briefly entered a shopping mall and exited into the parking garage where he was located and apprehended by responding officers. The rifle was recovered on scene and no injuries were reported.

Today’s quick apprehension was aided by the proactive involvement of community members who immediately reported the suspect’s suspicious behavior by calling 911. This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective A. Barnickle of the Criminal Investigations Division at 703-228-4342 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Steel Life Booksellers at Pentagon City mall (image via Instagram)

A South American restaurant and a new bookstore appear to preparing to open at the Pentagon City mall.

Maizal Grill is planning to start serving sometime later this month, a spokesperson for Fashion Centre at Pentagon City told ARLnow. It’s opening on the mall’s street level in the former home of Honeygrow, next to Rosa Mexicano, which opened late last year.

Maizal Grill bills itself as serving “South American street food” with a menu that features burritos, arepas, and bowls. This is the restaurant’s second Arlington location, with another eatery inside of Ballston Quarter. That one opened in 2019.

Elsewhere in the mall, a new independently-owned bookstore called Steel Life Booksellers is opening on the first level in between Kay Jewelers and shoe seller Steve Madden. Construction appears to be ongoing, though the mall spokesperson could not provide an exact opening date.

ARLnow reached out to the owner about more information but has yet to hear back as of publication.

In addition, the women’s accessory store New York New York 2 opened this past on the second level next to Savage x Fenty. It’s the sister store to New York New York, also located in the mall.

Last month, Kong Dog opened its first Virginia location at the mall’s food court.

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File photo

Police are looking for a man who stuck a phone under a woman’s dress as she rode an escalator in Pentagon City.

The incident happened shortly before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the Pentagon City mall.

The woman told police that she believes the man was trying to film her. She yelled at him and he ran off before officers arrived.

“At approximately 10:25 p.m. on May 9, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances,” Arlington County police said in today’s crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the female victim was riding an escalator when she observed the [unknown] suspect holding a phone under her dress.”

“The victim confronted the suspect and he ran from the area,” ACPD said. “Responding officers canvassed the area for the suspect yielding negative results.”

ART bus (file photo)

An ART bus driver suffered serious injuries last night after being assaulted by a rider along Columbia Pike, police say.

The driver was reported to be bleeding from the mouth when police and medics were dispatched to the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwiddie Street just after 10:45 p.m. Sunday. It’s unclear what led to the attack.

The suspect was “leaving a public transit bus when he assaulted the driver,” according to today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Following the assault, the suspect exited the bus and fled the scene on foot. The bus driver sustained serious, non-life threatening injuries and was treated on scene by medics before being transported to an area hospital.”

Also in today’s crime report, several security guards were hurt at the Pentagon City mall Friday evening after a suspect tried to steal handbags, then fought the security guards and brandished a knife.

The incident happened on the third level of the mall near the entrance to Macy’s, according to scanner traffic.

From ACPD:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2023-04280202, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 6:17 p.m. on April 28, a patrol officer was flagged down by an individual reporting a fight in-progress. Upon arrival, the officer observed loss prevention attempting to detain the suspect and assisted with taking him into custody. The investigation determined the suspect entered the store and allegedly removed handbags from a display case. A loss prevention officer then confronted the suspect who pushed the loss prevention officer to the ground and physically assaulted him before fleeing the area. Two additional loss prevention officers located the suspect outside of the business and attempted to detain him, during which the suspect assaulted them and brandished a knife. Medics evaluated the loss prevention officers on scene for minor injuries. During a search incident to arrest, credit cards not belonging to the suspect were recovered. [The suspect], 30, of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with Attempted Malicious Wounding, Robbery, Assault and Battery (x2), Credit Card Theft (x3) and Possession of Burglarious Tools.

Kong Dog is opening at the Pentagon City mall (photo courtesy of Kong Dog)

Kong Dog at the Pentagon City mall is marking its opening this week by giving away free corn dogs.

The Korean corn dog restaurant announced that it would be opening its first Virginia location this weekend in the Pentagon City mall food court. It will be located near the end of the food court, close to the Forever 21 store.

To celebrate, the eatery says it will be serving up free corn dogs to the first 200 customers in line starting at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Per a press release:

To celebrate its grand opening, Kong Dog’s Pentagon City location (found in the Fashion Centre food court) will be giving away free corn dogs to the first 200 customers in line during its soft opening on Friday, April 28. With its trendy, delicious, and homemade corn dogs, Kong Dog is opening its doors in Pentagon City as a ‘new bite to grab’ offering corn dog lovers a selection of fun and flavorful toppings that make for a customizable experience unlike any other, The new food-lovers destination will also host a grand opening the next day, Saturday, April 29.

The restaurant will officially open to the public at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

In January we first reported that Kong Dog was setting up shop in the mall. It was originally set to open up in February but inspections and other delays pushed it back several months, a restaurant spokesperson told ARLnow.

The eatery sells Korean-style corn dogs with toppings like cheese, fried potato, hot Cheetos, and ramen. With U.S. locations mostly clustered in Illinois and New Jersey, the Pentagon City location is the first in Virginia. Locally, there is a location in Silver Spring and another opening in Georgetown later this year, the spokesperson said.

Kong Dog is not the only Korean-style corn dog restaurant in Arlington. Oh K-Dog and Egg Toast opened in Ballston Quarter last year and said it was also working to open a Crystal City location, though that does not appear to have materialized yet.

Car fire at Pentagon City mall garage

(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) Firefighters battled a vehicle blaze atop the Pentagon City mall parking garage early this afternoon.

Initial reports suggest that multiple vehicles are engulfed in flames on the third level of the large garage. As of 1:15 p.m., the bulk of the fire was said to be out.

A cloud of smoke could be seen rising from the garage, access to which has been blocked off by police and fire personnel.

So far no injuries have been reported. At least five vehicles were damaged, according to scanner traffic.

The fire alarm went off at the mall during the incident, at a time when it was packed with visiting groups.

“[The] mall was filled with school groups that evacuated,” a tipster told ARLnow, adding that “burning rubber could be smelled on the bottom floor of the mall.”

Easter Bunny at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (via Fashion Centre at Pentagon City/Facebook)

Santa’s lap is out and Easter lapins are in.

The Easter Bunny is making a few trips to Fashion Centre at Pentagon City this month and in early April.

The holiday hare will hold court in Nordstrom Court, located in the first level of the mall at 1100 S. Hayes Street.

“Reserve your visit now and make it an Easter tradition,” the mall said on its website.

Scheduled photo op hours for the rabbit are as follows:

  • Friday, March 24: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 26: 12-6 p.m.
  • Monday, March 27 through Thursday, March 30: 2-7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Monday, April 3 through Thursday, April 6: 2-7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 7 & Saturday, April 8: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

In addition to the main photo sessions, there will be a sensory-friendly “caring bunny” experience exclusively for children with special needs and their families on Sunday, March 26 from 9-11 a.m, per a mall webpage.

Photo via Fashion Centre at Pentagon City/Facebook


The owner of the bakery Cake Baby is celebrating one year of opening at the Pentagon City mall — and being out of her parents’ house.

In December 2021, a new bakery specializing in elaborately adorned cakes and numerous kinds of cookies opened on the Metro level at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The corner space near is next to the recently shuttered Yong Kang Street and in the former home of Garrett Popcorn.

Cake Baby is owned by 26-year-old Jimia Mozie. Just over a year ago, she opened her first brick-and-mortar shop after realizing she had outgrown the kitchen of her parents.

“My client base was getting too big to keep working out of my parents’ house,” she told ARLnow. “Schools… would message me for big orders. That’s when I realized I couldn’t do it anymore from the house.”

Mozie — who’s originally from Montgomery County, Maryland — first started baking as a teenager, learning from her aunt who was the “pastry chef in our family.” She loved it so much that she made a pledge to herself that, in 10 years, she would open her own bakery. That’s exactly what she did after graduating in 2019 from the Culinary Institute of Virginia.

As a young Black female entrepreneur, Mozie knows others may be looking up to her.

“A lot of young people look up to me as an inspiration. I know a lot of young kids are lost, so I also bake and be a business owner because I want to inspire [them],” she said.

The Pentagon City mall location has its pros and cons, she said. The positives are that the bakery gets a good amount of large custom orders from the Pentagon. They also get walk-ins from those who pass the shop every day going to and from the Metro.

The negatives are that the bakery is a bit tucked back in a corner, Mozie said, so it can be easy to miss if you aren’t passing it every day. Plus, there remains the lingering feeling that the mall hasn’t fully recovered from the pandemic.

Mozie said she is currently committed to staying in Pentagon City but is also looking for a second location, likely closer to her parents’ house in Montgomery County, where it all started.

The best part of Mozie’s day is seeing people smile, laugh and be happy when eating her treats made from recipes that she created. The best praise is when clients say her treats are better than what their grandparents make.

“Cake Baby gives a lot of people those feelings,” she said. “We’re very homey.”


A Lunar New Year celebration is coming to the Pentagon City mall this weekend.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is partnering with Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) on an event to ring in the Year of the Rabbit.

The festivities, starting at 1 p.m. on the Metro level of the mall, are set to include music, dancing, and treats.

This is the seventh year the mall and the Tysons-based nonprofit have come together to celebrate the Lunar New Year, one of the most celebrated holidays in the world.

“We hope to bring joyful celebration to the community, uplift the spirit in these challenging times, preserve the cultural traditions and celebrate cultural diversity,” AACC president Cindy Shao said via email.

Shao said that attendees can expect traditional dragon and lion dances as well as cultural performances representing a number of Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, China, and India. There will also be magic and fashion shows as well as pastry samplings.

A number of the mall’s stores will be offering specials during the event as well.

“This year, we are excited to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and usher in new beginnings, good luck, health and prosperity for 2023,” Shao said.

Metro Transit Police SUV (file photo)

A 32-year-old man is in jail after being arrested for a second time in less than a month.

Necho Taylor, a D.C. resident, was initially arrested the night of Friday, Dec. 23, after he allegedly shot a woman with a BB gun while riding an escalator at the Rosslyn Metro station. Taylor was taken into custody by Metro Transit Police outside of the Clarendon Metro station, after attempting to flee from officers, and the gun was found in his coat, according to an arrest report.

Taylor spent Christmas in the Arlington County jail on a felony malicious wounding charge but was released on bond by a judge on Dec. 28, according to court records. He is also facing a felony conspiracy charge and a citation for resisting arrest in connection to the case.

The motive for the BB gun shooting was unclear. The victim was treated for an arm injury at Virginia Hospital Center, per the Metro Transit Police arrest report.

Three weeks after being released on bond, Taylor was back in Arlington. Police say he entered a business on the 1000 block of S. Hayes Street — which corresponds with the Macy’s in Pentagon City — and, around noon, fled with stolen merchandise.

He was spotted by Arlington officers and led them on a brief foot pursuit before being taken into custody, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

More from ACPD:

GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2023-01180108, 1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 12:04 p.m. on January 18, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect had entered the business, selected merchandise and attempted to exit without payment. A loss prevention officer confronted the suspect and he fled the scene on foot. A suspect description was broadcast and responding officers located him walking in the area. An officer gave the suspect commands which he refused to follow and fled the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. Necho Taylor, 32, of Washington, DC was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He was held without bond.

Taylor previously was sentenced to 5 months in jail in Arlington in 2016, for petty larceny, according to court records. He’s currently in the county jail awaiting his next court hearing on Feb. 23, records show.

The Nespresso store at the Pentagon City mall is closing (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) The Nespresso store is closing at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The international coffee brand announced it will be closing its Pentagon City mall location early next month with its final day on Sunday, February 5. The reason, per a company spokesperson, is “shopping trends.”

“Nespresso evaluates the marketplace and shopping trends regularly to determine how we can deliver superior customer service and a high-quality coffee experience,” the spokesperson wrote ARLnow via email. “Following our latest evaluation, we have decided to close the Pentagon City boutique.”

The decision to close this location is part of “our long-term business strategy and reflects evolving consumer trends,” said the spokesperson.

They also noted that all employees affected by the closure and are “in good standing” will be given the option of taking another role at Nespresso or a severance package. The Nespresso stores at Tysons and in Bethesda will both remain open, so presumably, employees at the Pentagon City location could be moved to those locations.

“While we are confident this is the right step for our overall business operations, this is a decision that affects real people and their families, and we know it causes challenges and uncertainties for our employees,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a new Korean corn dog eatery is coming to the mall.

Kong Dog is expected to open within the next two months, per a company spokesperson, though it’s unclear exactly where and when. The mall’s website initially said February 15, but that specific date has since been removed from the site.

Kong Dog serves up Korean-style corn dogs with toppings like cheese, fried potato, and ramen. With U.S. locations mostly centered in Illinois and New Jersey, the Pentagon City eatery appears to be the first coming to this area, though a new Georgetown location is also “coming soon” per the company’s website.


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