Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Landmark Trees Felled During Storm — A well-known, historic oak tree near the Reevesland farmhouse, one of seventeen designated specimen trees on private property in Arlington, was among the trees that fell during yesterday’s storm. Trees were also downed in Arlington National Cemetery; one tree crushed a car. [Twitter, Twitter]

May 23 Storm vs. 2012 Derecho — “The ~36,000 Dominion customers without power in Arlington at the post-storm peak today is just over half the ~68,000 after the 2012 derecho.” [Twitter]

Rosslyn Trump HQ Rent Raises Questions — “President Trump was ‘thrilled’ that his campaign acquired northern Virginia office space at ‘bargain basement’ rates, a campaign official told the Washington Examiner in an interview in the plush 14th floor offices overlooking the Potomac River from Arlington, Va. But campaign finance specialists say the ‘steal’ could violate election law, which views below-market rates for rent as an illegal in-kind campaign donation.” [Washington Examiner]

Median Home Price in Arlington Up $100K — “Amazon’s impending move to Northern Virginia has had a significant impact on home list prices in Arlington County, a new analysis by online real estate platform Realtor.com finds. The median list price for a home there has grown 17 percent since last November.” [Curbed]

Amazon Employees Seeking Furnished Apartments — “Oakwood, which already managed a full Crystal City building at 505 18th St. South, recently extended its deal at the property for another five years, Eicholtz said. She said Oakwood is already seeing demand from Amazon employees, but it is not just coming in Crystal City.” [Bisnow]

Another County Board Contender — “Arlington resident Arron O’Dell has qualified to be on the ballot in the Nov. 5 County Board race. ‘My focus is on affordability. I will work to keep Arlington the place we enjoy living in now while controlling costs and taxes’ and ‘making the county more efficient and small-business friendly,’ O’Dell said on a nascent campaign website.” [InsideNova]

Police Chase Ends in Pentagon City — “Alexandria [Police] chased a robbery suspect on NB I-395… Chase reportedly ended at Army Navy Drive and S. Hayes Street near Pentagon City mall. Three suspects in custody.” [Twitter]

Senators Unveil Metro Funding Proposal — “Metro, which is about to undergo extensive summer track work, would receive $150 million a year for badly needed capital improvements under legislation outlined Thursday by U.S. senators from Virginia and Maryland.” [WTOP, Blue Virginia]

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Update at 1 p.m. — Arlington County Police have released a crime report with more information on the incident.

ROBBERY, 2019-04210144, 2600 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 5:13 p.m. on April 21, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery that just occurred. A male suspect allegedly entered a business, brandished a firearm, stole an undisclosed amount of cash and personal property from the victims before fleeing the scene. A responding officer observed the suspect vehicle and attempted a traffic stop on I-395 North at Boundary Channel. Once the officer exited his vehicle, the suspect fled the scene and a vehicle pursuit was initiated onto northbound George Washington Parkway. While on the George Washington Parkway, officers observed the suspect vehicle drive on the pedestrian path, turn around and begin driving southbound in the northbound lanes. At that time, the vehicle pursuit was terminated by police. The suspect continued to drive towards the Potomac River, exited the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot. As the vehicle careened into the Potomac River, the suspect entered the water and attempted to swim but was subsequently taken into police custody. The suspect was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Freddie Lee McRae, 33, of Temple Hills, MD, was arrested and charged with Robbery, Felony Eluding, Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon.

Earlier: A robbery along Columbia Pike led to a police pursuit and a crash into the Potomac on Easter Sunday evening.

The incident started around 5:15 p.m. when a man armed with a gun robbed a business on the 2600 block of Columbia Pike — the same block as the CVS and the Domino’s Pizza.

The suspect “fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash” and drove off, but was spotted and pursued by police officers, according to Arlington County Police.

The chase continued to the northbound GW Parkway, where the suspect drove off the side of the road and crashed into the Potomac near I-395.

“Suspect was subsequently taken into police custody and transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” ACPD said. “There are believed to be no outstanding suspects. No other injuries or property damage was reported. Police remain on scene investigating.”

Arlington County Police were assisted by the Arlington County Fire Department, U.S. Park Police, Virginia State Police, D.C. police and the U.S. Coast Guard in the incident and investigation. The northbound GW Parkway was temporarily closed following the crash, according to Arlington Alert.

Photo courtesy John Sonderman

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Drivers should expect police activity along I-395 and the GW Parkway following a reported multi-vehicle crash and police foot chase.

A suspect ran from the five-vehicle crash along northbound I-395 near the 14th Street Bridge, according to scanner traffic. He was reportedly apprehended by police along the GW Parkway.

Traffic is heavy and building approaching the crash scene. Two northbound lanes are blocked. Police are also planning a rolling closure on southbound I-395 to assist with the investigation.

At least one injury was reported in the crash.

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(Updated at 8:50 p.m.) A man wanted for a series of credit card and vehicle thefts has finally been taken into custody after a high-speed chase that zoomed through Arlington.

Alton Thodos, who escaped from a Fairfax County motel two weeks ago while surrounded by police, drove a reportedly stolen SUV northbound on the HOV lanes of I-395 this morning, pursued by Fairfax County police. Arlington County officers and the Fairfax County police helicopter assisted pursuing officers as the chase continued northbound toward the 14th Street Bridge.

Before the chase crossed the bridge, an Arlington officer attempted but to use a “spike strip” to flatten the tires of the SUV, but Thodos managed to maneuver around it, according to scanner traffic. (The image above shows the chase just before it crossed the river.)

Officers lost sight of the SUV after crossing into the District, but the search continued and the pursuit later continued in D.C. and Maryland. Thodos, 32, was later arrested after a crash in District Heights, Md.

More via Twitter:

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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.

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A Maryland man is now facing a slew of charges after he allegedly fled a traffic stop along I-66, then crashed into a car carrying three people in Williamsburg on Tuesday (Aug. 21).

Virginia State Police and county police tried to pull over a 2017 Honda Civic taking the exit ramp from westbound I-66 toward N. Sycamore Street when the driver refused to stop, according to state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

The car “sped away at a high rate of speed,” Geller said, and then struck another car near the intersection of N. Sycamore Street and Williamsburg Blvd. The driver of the Honda, subsequently identified as 21-year-old Brandon Andrew Lee of Ft. Washington, Maryland, fled the scene of the crash on foot.

A state trooper arrested Lee soon afterward “without further incident,” Geller said.

Lee is now charged with possession of stolen property with intent to sell, one felony count of eluding police, driving on a revoked license and two drug charges. He’s set for a hearing in Arlington General District Court on Sept. 20, and is currently being held in the county jail.

The adult and two children inside the other car involved in the crash were not injured, Geller said.

Photo courtesy of the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office

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(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Arlington police are still searching for a man who drove the wrong way on I-66 Sunday (July 8) and caused a major accident before fleeing the scene.

County police have charged 28-year-old Victor Ebai of Springfield with felony hit and run and eluding police in connection with the incident, which ended only after he crashed head-on into another car near Rosslyn on I-66.

Police subsequently revealed Monday (July 9) that officers pulled another man from Ebai’s vehicle after it caught on fire following the crash. The passenger was transported to George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says police are not planning to charge the passenger with a crime. U.S. Secret Service spokesman Shawn Holtzclaw added that his agency isn’t pursuing charges against the man either. Neither would say if police believed the man was in the car voluntarily or against his will.

Holtzclaw also confirmed early reports that the victim in the head-on crash was a federal government worker who was heading to work in D.C. at the time of the crash. They’re withholding the victim’s identity, but did say they were taken to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The Secret Service is involved in the investigation because the incident started when one of its agents noticed a red Chevrolet Sonic driving the wrong way early Sunday morning on I Street NW in D.C. The agent tried to pull the driver over, but he kept driving, continuing to drive against traffic in the eastbound lanes of I-66.

The two cars collided shortly afterward, prompting a large emergency response. Police believe Ebai managed to flee the area on foot, escaping despite a search for Ebai that involved the Fairfax County police helicopter.

Arlington County police are leading the investigation into the incident.

Photo via Google Maps

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A suspect, alternately described as “highly intoxicated” or “possibly on drugs,” led police on a brief foot chase that ended in the frigid waters of Four Mile Run Friday night.

The man, who was acting erratically but not suspected of a crime, ran from officers — near the intersection of Four Mile Run Drive and S. Walter Reed Drive — and into the creek, but then was too intoxicated to get out, according to scanner traffic.

Firefighters arrived and used a rescue basket to remove the suspect from the water and then up a steep embankment. He was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for medical treatment.

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A Falls Church man driving a stolen car ran a red light, ditched the car and then took off on foot as police gave chase, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The alleged incident happened early Monday morning near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive.

More from the crime report:

ELUDING, 2018-02190017, Columbia Pike at S. Walter Reed Drive. At approximately 1:34 a.m. on February 19, an officer on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling without its headlights on and attempted a traffic stop by activating their emergency equipment. The suspect continued driving through a red light, before coming to a stop and exiting the vehicle. The suspect disregarded police commands and attempted to flee the area on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody, with the assistance of a Virginia State Trooper arriving on scene. During the course of the investigation, the vehicle operated by the suspect was determined to be stolen out of Fairfax County. Kevin Hernandez Gomez, 22, of Falls Church, VA, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Obstruction of Justice/Resisting Arrest, Eluding Police, Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License/No Insurance, Failure to Dim Headlights and Failure to Obey Traffic Lights. He was held on no bond.

On Sunday and Monday, a man — or men — ran up to two women on Wilson Blvd and on the W&OD Trail and grabbed the backside of each.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190111, 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:35 p.m. on February 19, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:50 p.m. on February 18, the female victim was waiting at the bus stop when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and placed his hands on her back and buttocks. When the victim turned around, the suspect fled on foot. The suspect is described as a male with an average build, approximately 6’0″, wearing a black hoodie. The investigation is ongoing.

SEXUAL BATTERY (late), 2018-02190119, Washington and Old Dominion Trail. At approximately 2:34 p.m. on February 19, police responded to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:15 p.m., while the female victim was running on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, a male suspect ran up behind her, grabbed her buttocks and fled on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’6″ to 5’10”, between the ages of 14 and 18, with a slim build, medium length hair, wearing black sweatpants and a hoodie, with black and white shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

On Saturday, D.C. police arrested a man accused of throwing an object at a passing car in Rosslyn and shattering a back window.

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2018-02170116, Fort Myer Drive at Lee Highway. At approximately 9:41 a.m. on February 17, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was driving her vehicle in the area when an object was thrown through a rear window, causing it to break. No injuries were reported. Witnesses followed the suspect as he fled on foot into D.C., where he was apprehended with assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department. A warrant for Shooting/Throwing Missiles at Occupied Vehicle was obtained for David Turner, 41, of Washington, D.C.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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A man tried and failed to rob a local pharmacy, and the resulting police response led to an arrest but not of the suspect.

ARLnow reported on the robbery and the subsequent police search for the suspect as it happened this past Thursday.

Police say a man entered the Arlington Pharmacy on Wilson Blvd in Bluemont just after 2:15 p.m. He “displayed a note demanding prescription drugs and implied he had a weapon,” but ended up leaving without any drugs.

Officers quickly began searching the area for the suspect — described as “a tall, thin, white male, clean shaven, approximately 5’10 to 6′ tall, in his 20’s, wearing a black baseball hat” — and an officer driving along George Mason Drive spotted a man who matched the description riding a bike down the street.

The man refused orders to stop and was ultimately tackled by an officer after nearly running the officer down with his bike, according to police. It was later determined that he was not the pharmacy robbery suspect but was wanted on a warrant from Fairfax County.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report, below.

ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-11020165, 5500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 2:19 p.m. on November 2, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a pharmacy, displayed a note demanding prescription drugs and implied he had a weapon. The suspect fled the scene on foot without any items. Officers canvased the area and a K-9 track was initiated with negative results. The suspect is described as a tall, thin, white male, clean shaven, approximately 5’10 to 6′ tall, in his 20’s, wearing a black baseball hat, black sunglasses, light colored sweatpants, a black sweatshirt and dark shoes. The investigation is ongoing.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2017-11020166, S. George Mason Drive at S. Buchanan Street. At approximately 2:30 p.m. on November 2, while canvasing the area, police attempted to stop a subject matching the description of a suspect wanted for attempted armed robbery. The suspect, who was traveling on bicycle, failed to stop, ignored the officer’s commands and continued riding away from the officer. Another officer in the area attempted to stop the suspect on foot but the suspect continued traveling in the direction of the officer. The officer was able to move out of the way and take control of the suspect. The suspect was non-compliant during the course of the arrest. Show-ups were conducted and the suspect was determined not to be related to the armed robbery, however, the suspect was determined to be wanted out of Fairfax County. Aaron Johnson, 28, of Oakton, VA, was arrested and charged with Assault on Law Enforcement, Resisting Arrest and the outstanding warrant.

Photo courtesy Zachary L.

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Morning Notes

Metro Station Closures Promoted Big Lines at DCAShutting down the National Airport and Crystal City Metro stations caused long lines for shuttles and cabs and very pricy Uber and Lyft rides for travelers trying to leave the airport this past weekend. [Washington Post]

Chase Starts in Arlington, Ends in Alexandria — Arlington County Police spotted a stolen car heading southbound on I-395 yesterday afternoon and initiated a traffic stop. The driver, however, refused to stop and instead fled down the King Street exit. Virginia State Police gave chase down King Street and Braddock Road near Fairlington — Arlington units stayed behind per department policy — and eventually the car was stopped and two people arrested in Alexandria. [Twitter, Twitter]

Va. Square Land Use Changes Considered — The Arlington County Board will hear public comment on and vote on whether to advertised proposed land use changes to several parcels of land near the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Kirkwood Road in Virginia Square. Citing traffic and building height concerns, some residents have objected to the possibility of a six-story apartment building on part of the site. [InsideNova]

E-CARE Event StatsUpdated at 1:25 p.m. — Arlington County’s biannual E-CARE recycling and disposal event this past weekend collected 55,875 pounds of household hazardous materials, 30,000 pounds of used electronics, 700 compact fluorescent bulbs and 30 cubic yards of scrap metal, while setting a record hourly rate, according the county. [Twitter]

Bad Behavior at Elementary School — Yesterday during afternoon school dismissal, police were called to Campbell Elementary on S. Carlin Springs Road for a report of a driver in the parent pickup line who was “cursing at teachers.” [Twitter]

Nearby: Alexandria to Promote Metro Improvement — “The City of Alexandria is launching the ‘Back 2 Blue’ campaign to raise awareness about the improved rush-hour service times on Metrorail and encourage residents and customers to ride the Blue Line. Service on Metrorail’s Blue Line has improved significantly, with rush-hour wait times of just eight minutes. [City of Alexandria]

Flickr pool photo by TheBeltWalk

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