75°Mostly Cloudy

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2015 at 11:35 am 7,241 0

ACPD arrest of sexual assault suspect (mug shot vs. sketch)

Arlington County Police have announced an arrest in a series of sexual assault cases that have had the community on edge since mid-summer.

Police say a 19-year-old Arlington man has been arrested and charged with two counts of attempted abduction in connection to at least three sexual assault cases. The man was arrested early this morning and has confessed to multiple attempted sexual assaults, according to police.

From an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department arrested and charged a 19 year-old subject early this morning with two counts of attempted abduction with the intent to defile for his role in multiple sexual assault incidents. Melvin Perez Bonilla, 19, of Arlington, VA is currently being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Bonilla confessed to multiple sexual assault attempts in the county during questioning at police headquarters and is believed to be responsible for a similar attack that occurred in August. Police are awaiting DNA analysis results from the state lab for that incident for confirmation of his involvement.

The initial attack occurred July 25, 2015 in the 1900 block of N. Scott Street at approximately 1:20 a.m. as the 25 year-old victim was walking alone in the Clarendon area. A second attack took place August 8, 2015 in the 1900 block of N. Highland Street at approximately 2:45 a.m. as a 29 year-old year victim was walking alone. A third attack occurred on September 29, 2015 in the 1200 block of N. Quincy Street at approximately 10:20 p.m. on a 23 year-old female victim as she was walking home.

The victims in each of these attacks assisted detectives by providing details of the events and the description of their assailant. A composite sketch based upon a victims’ description had previously been released. Detectives assigned to the Special Victims Unit and investigators assigned to the Tactical Unit worked with Metro Transit Police to obtain surveillance video and other information to identify the suspect. Tactical Unit officers took Bonilla into custody when they observed him exiting a Metro Bus in the Courthouse area in the early morning hours of October 7, 2015.

“Our officers have taken a dangerous individual off the streets and the community should feel a little safer knowing he is behind bars,” comments Daniel J. Murray, Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations Division for Arlington County Police Department.

Anyone who has information regarding these incidents or concerning Bonilla is asked to call Detective Icolari at 703.228.4240 or email [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2015 at 4:30 pm 5,042 0

Kay Jewelers store (photo via Kay Jewelers)An enraged man assaulted an employee and smashed glass display cases after returning an engagement ring to the Kay Jewelers store at the Pentagon City mall this morning, according to police.

Arlington County officers responded to the store just after 11:35 a.m., after receiving a frantic 911 call about an assault in progress.

Police say a homeless man, 34-year-old Monbain Brown, had earlier in the day returned a $4,000 engagement ring after having a change of heart about the purchase. He returned shortly thereafter and “engaged in a verbal altercation with one of the workers behind the display case because the money had not showed up in his account yet,” according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Brown became increasingly agitated during the argument before jumping the counter and beginning to strangle the female employee, Sternbeck said.

Mondaine Brown (photo courtesy ACPD)Customers inside the store watched the scuffle but did not intervene. Finally, a male employee came out and placed Brown in a chokehold, resulting in all three tumbling to the ground, according to Sternbeck.

After several minutes of Brown being held in the chokehold, said Sternbeck, a mall security guard arrived and asked the employee to let him go. At that time, Brown allegedly began chasing the female employee around the store. After being unable to catch her, Brown slammed his fist down on the jewelry display cases, breaking two of them, Sternbeck said. He then proceeded to smoke a cigarette inside the store and wait for police to arrive.

Brown was arrested and is being held without bond. He is charged with strangulation, destruction of property and assault and battery.

A surveillance camera caught the entire incident on video, Sternbeck noted.

by ARLnow.com — October 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm 1,184 0

Arlington police carA woman was sexually assaulted in the Rosslyn area early Saturday morning, according to police.

The incident was reported on the 1800 block of N. Scott Street — two blocks north of the Colonial Village Shopping Center — around 2:30 a.m.

“A 23 year-old female victim was followed home and pushed into the bushes by an unknown male subject,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The subject touched the victim inappropriately and implied that he had a knife.”

“The suspect is described as a black male in his 20’s, approximately 5’10”-5’11” tall and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt,” the crime report said.

A woman was also grabbed from behind and pushed into some bushes near Quincy Park and Washington-Lee High School last week, but the attacker quickly fled the scene. The crimes do not appear to be related.

by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2015 at 2:35 pm 4,595 0

Police car (file photo)A woman was attacked last night near Quincy Park and Washington-Lee High School.

Police say the 23-year-old woman was walking down the 1200 block of N. Quincy Street around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown man. The man tried to pull her into some nearby bushes but quickly fled the scene.

“The victim screamed out for help causing the suspect to flee,” according to Arlington County Police. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20-30’s, approximately 5’6″-5’8″ and weighed 130-160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt, dark pants, loafer shoes, and a backpack at the time of the incident.”

Though the suspect description is similar to that of a man suspected in up to a half dozen similar attacks on women in August, police say they don’t think it’s the same person.

“It doesn’t appear that this is the same guy, but we’re not going to rule that out,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Sternbeck said there’s additional information or evidence that suggests it’s a different suspect, but so far that information is not being publicly released while investigators continue to work the case.

by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,150 0

Wet leaves in early fall, in Fairlington

Major Traffic, Metro Woes — It was extremely slow going for commuters crossing the 14th Street Bridge this morning. Wet roads and a couple of crashes backed up traffic on I-395 and feeder routes for miles. Traffic issues were also reported on Columbia Pike, due to malfunctioning traffic signals at S. Queen Street. Meanwhile, a fire response at the L’Enfant Metro station and track issues on the Yellow Line bridge have resulted in speed restrictions and delays for Yellow Line riders. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]

Waiting for Joaquin — Arlington County is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Joaquin, which some models are suggesting may have a big impact on the D.C. area. [Twitter]

Cristol Touts Endorsements — Following a snub by County Board member John Vihstadt, who endorsed her Democratic ticketmate Christian Dorsey and independent candidate Mike McMenamin, County Board candidate Katie Cristol is touting her own endorsements. “Twenty elected officials, comprising all of Arlington’s School Board, Constitutional Officers and Richmond delegation, and much of the County Board, today endorsed Katie Cristol’s campaign,” the campaign said in a press release Tuesday. [Katie Cristol]

Juror Qualification Process Begins — A random selection of Arlington and Falls Church residents are being mailed juror questionnaires, which will be used to qualify residents for jury duty in 2016. [Arlington County]

Attorney General Holds Arlington Newser — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced a new training initiative for police at a news conference in Arlington yesterday. The training is intended to help officers de-escalate dangerous situations, thus preventing the need to excessive use of force, while also recognizing potential biases they may bring to the job. Arlington County already conducts similar training. [NBC Washington]

by ARLnow.com — September 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm 2,594 0

(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) Yorktown High School students, faculty and staff were evacuated after the school received a bomb threat.

Shortly after noon, the school received a call from a “computerized-automated voice” that said “I have a bomb on me,” said Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

Students were evacuated to the school’s stadium while K-9 units from Arlington, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the CIA searched the school.

The dogs did not find anything suspicious, but officers were posted by each of the school’s entrances as students re-entered Yorktown, Sternbeck said. Students and teachers were allowed back in around 1:35 p.m.

Arlington Public Schools sent the following notes to parents about the situation:

At approximately 12 p.m. today, Yorktown High School received an automated telephone bomb threat. As a precaution, all students and staff have been evacuated. Police have responded and are currently doing a search of the building. Everyone is safe and we will provide an update as soon as we have more information.

A short time ago, Arlington Police completed their search and have given the all clear. Students are now moving back into the building and classes are resuming. We appreciate everyone’s fast response and cooperation as well as the support of our Arlington County Police Department.

Yorktown High School was not the only Virginia school to receive a bomb threat. Approximately 10 minutes after Yorktown received the bomb threat, a school in Prince William county received the same phone call, Sternbeck said.

Arlington schools do not receive bomb threats very often, he said.

“We get them at malls more frequently than at schools,” Sternbeck said.

by ARLnow.com — September 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm 1,626 0

Pope Francis (photo via Facebook)The Arlington County Police Department is warning that it may have to close down some busy streets and highways in the event of a major pedestrian exodus from D.C. during Pope Francis’ visit this week.

“The Arlington County Police Department may be closing several streets near the Rosslyn and Pentagon City Metro stations on Wednesday, September 23 and Thursday, September 24… as a result of the papal visit,” police said. “Road closures may be in effect from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on September 23 and 24, and will ONLY take place in the event of a large pedestrian walkout from Washington, D.C.”

The closures would be put in place on the following roads in Rosslyn:

  • N. 19th Street @ N. Lynn Street
  • N. 19th Street @ Ft. Myer Drive
  • N. Moore Street @ Lee Hwy
  • Wilson Boulevard @ Ft. Myer Drive
  • Wilson Boulevard @ N. Lynn Street
  • Ft. Myer Drive @ N. 17th Street and Fairfax Drive

Also, the following road closures are possible in Pentagon City:

  • Army Navy Drive @ S. Eads Street
  • Army Navy Drive @ S. Joyce Street
  • 1200 S. Hayes Street @ Entrance to mall
  • S. 15th Street @ S. Hayes Street
  • S. 12th Street @ S. Fern Street

ACPD also says it may divert traffic from eastbound I-66, approaching the Roosevelt Bridge, onto southbound Route 110, and may divert eastbound Route 50 before the bridge onto the southbound GW Parkway.

by ARLnow.com — September 22, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,301 0

Sign for the Roosevelt Bridge (Flickr pool photo by Edobson22207)

‘No Drone Zone’ Reminder for Pope’s Visit — Pope Francis begins his three-day visit to D.C. this afternoon. The Arlington County Police Department and the FAA are reminding residents and visitors that the airspace around the District, including Arlington, is a “no drone zone.” [Twitter, FAA]

Widening of I-66 Inevitable, Says VDOT Chief — Widening I-66 to three lanes between the Dulles Connector Road and Ballston is an inevitability, says Virginia Transportation Sec. Aubrey Layne. However, VDOT will exhaust every alternative before moving forward with expansion, Layne said. [WTOP]

Celeb Posts Pic from Arts Center Installation — A giant dart on the front lawn of the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia Square is gaining some fame. Comedian Nick Swardson over the weekend posted on Instagram a photo of a woman jokingly posing as if the dart had hit her in the rear end. He was apparently unaware that the woman was DC’s 107.3 FM personality Sarah Fraser. The dart is part of a well-reviewed installation at AAC called “Play.” [Sarah Fraser]

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day — Arlington County will participating in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this coming Saturday. The police department will be accepting anonymous returns of pills and patches at fire stations 2, 8 and 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. [Arlington County]

New Office Lease in Rosslyn — Tax services Ryan, LLC has signed a lease for the 21st floor of the Rosslyn Twin Towers building. The towers at 1000 and 1100 Wilson Blvd are also home to Raytheon, SRI International, Sands Capital, Strategy&, Politico, WJLA and the Washington Free Beacon. [GlobeSt]

Pope Prayer Protest at DCA — Airport workers and a local pastor will hold a “worker pray-in” at Reagan National Airport this afternoon, in advance of the pope’s visit to D.C. Workers are seeking “a living wage, improved training and adequate resources.” [SEIU 32BJ]

Flickr pool photo by Edobson22207

by ARLnow.com — September 21, 2015 at 4:55 pm 2,203 0

Police car lightsA trio of men armed with shotguns robbed a hotel in Crystal City early Saturday morning.

The frightening incident happened just before 3 a.m. on Sept. 19, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the 1400 block of Crystal Drive. The men made off with cash following the hold up, police say.

From the Arlington County Police crime report:

Three unknown subjects entered the [Crowne] Plaza Hotel with shotguns and stole an undisclosed amount of money. The subjects fled on foot. The first suspect is described as a mixed race male in his twenties, approximately 5’10”-6’1″ tall and weighed 175 lbs. He was wearing a black ski mask, a black hooded long sleeve North Face jacket, black pants, and black shoes. The second suspect is described as a white male in his twenties, approximately 5’9″-5’11” tall and weighed 210 lbs. He was wearing a black ski mask, a baggy brown jacket, black pants, and black shoes. The third suspect is described as a black male in his twenties, approximately 6’0″ tall and weighed 155 lbs. He was wearing a black ski mask, a tight black jacket, black pants, and black shoes.

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2015 at 11:00 am 4,134 0

Money (file photo)The Arlington County Police Department is urging motorists to stop giving money to roadside panhandlers, suggesting that many may not be as needy as they claim to be.

In a press release Sept. 3, which was published on the county website but apparently not sent to news outlets, ACPD said that residents “should avoid giving panhandlers money directly.”

“There’s no telling what the cash will be used for,” said an ACPD captain, referring specifically to those to beg for money on traffic medians. “Officers have even seen those who appear to be indigent drive off in their own cars after working an intersection.”

The Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, which helps the homeless, has echoed the police department’s anti-roadside-panhandling call.

“Most panhandlers are not homeless, and most homeless are not panhandlers,” Kathy Sibert, CEO of A-SPAN, told the Arlington Connection newspaper earlier this summer.

Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey, who first dug up the police press release, points out that many roadside panhandlers seem to be part of a coordinated group.

“It’s pretty clear most of the panhandling in A-town is coordinated in teams,” McCaffrey wrote on his blog. “I once even asked Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy whether she’d be trying to collect business-license fees, it’s so coordinated.”

Two years ago, 88 percent of respondents to an ARLnow poll said that police should be more aggressive with roadside panhandlers. However, police say the beggars are within their constitutional rights.

Police recommend that those who wish to make a positive difference in the lives of the less fortunate instead donate to groups like A-SPAN or the Arlington Food Assistance Network (AFAC).

The full ACPD press release, after the jump.


by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,215 0

Bank robbery suspect Keith Burke (photo courtesy ACPD)Arlington County Police have arrested a suspect in the robbery of a bank in Clarendon earlier this week.

The TD Bank at 3101 Wilson Blvd was robbed Wednesday morning by a man who passed a note to the teller stating he had a weapon.

Police arrested 48-year-old Keith Burke yesterday afternoon after he exited the Crystal City Metro station. Police say Burke was “found in possession of a note similar to the one he passed the TD Bank teller.”

From an ACPD press release:

A bank robbery suspect was taken into custody by the Arlington County Police Department, with assistance from the Metro Transit Police Department, in the 200 block of S. 18th Street. Keith Burke, 48, of Washington, D.C., was arrested at approximately 2:00 p.m. on September 17, 2015 as he exited the Crystal City Metro station.

Burke was charged with bank robbery and is currently being held without bond. At the time of Burke’s arrest, he was found in possession of a note similar to the one he passed the TD Bank teller implying he had a weapon and demanding money.

At approximately 10:30 am on September 16, 2015, the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center was alerted of a bank robbery that had just taken place at the TD Bank, located in the 3100 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. The suspect remained at-large for a little over twenty-four hours.

“Our detectives were able to identify and locate this suspect in a timely manner as a direct result of our outstanding relationship and the ability to share resources with our partners at Metro Transit Police Department,” comments Daniel J. Murray, Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations Division for Arlington County Police Department.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm 756 0

Crystal City Coffee with a Cop flyerResidents of Crystal City and surrounding neighborhoods are invited to have “Coffee with a Cop” at an event hosted by the Arlington County Police Department’s Second District Team Thursday night.

The event is being held tomorrow (Sept. 17) at the new Bob & Edith’s Diner at 539 23rd Street S., from 4-7 p.m.

“Coffee with a Cop has no agenda or speeches,” says a flyer for the event. “The event is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your District.”

One possible topic of concern for neighbors: the as-yet unsolved murder of Bonnie Delgado Black in nearby Aurora Highlands. Black’s ex-husband’s house, also in Aurora Highlands, was searched by investigators two weeks ago but so far no arrests have been made in the case.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2015 at 10:45 am 8,098 0

(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Clarendon.

A man robbed the TD Bank at 3101 Wilson Blvd around 10:30 a.m. The suspect “approached the teller and passed her a note indicating he had a weapon,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect was handed cash, though no weapon was seen during the robbery.

No customers were in the bank at the time of the robbery, Sternbeck said.

The man fled the scene and dropped cash around the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Herndon Street, police say. Officers are investigating a report that the man tried to pay a witness $200 to drive him to D.C.

Officers were also canvassing the neighborhood behind the bank with canine units looking for the suspect based on witness statements, Sternbeck said.

The description of the suspect is a 5’5″ black male who was wearing a Kangol hat and a light, short sleeve button down shirt with a collar.

by ARLnow.com — September 15, 2015 at 10:30 am 3,426 0

Arlington police carLocal and state law enforcement are planning a drunk driving crackdown in Arlington on Thursday.

A sobriety checkpoint will be set up in an undisclosed part of Arlington Thursday night, according to an Arlington County Police Department press release.

“Officers will stop all vehicles passing through the checkpoint and ask to see the licenses of drivers,” the police department said. “Any driver suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be directed to a safe area off the roadway for further observation and possible testing for intoxication.”

The checkpoint is being conducted by ACPD, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police, as part of a “national crackdown program on drunk driving that focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.”

“The maximum penalty in Virginia for the first conviction for driving under the influence is 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine and a 12-month suspension of driving privileges,” the press release notes.

by ARLnow.com — September 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm 6,107 0

Police car (file photo)A group of more than 100 people on ATVs and dirt bikes sped through Arlington Sunday night.

A witness reported that riders were speeding down S. Arlington Ridge Road around 8:15 p.m. Sunday, followed by police.

Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck says the was department was first notified by D.C. police that the ATVs were heading into Arlington via the Key Bridge.

“Our officers estimated in excess of 100 vehicles were in the group and they split up when they noticed our cruisers,” Sternbeck said. “We monitored until they left the county.”

Such swarms of young, lawless ATV and dirt bike riders have plagued the District this summer — to the point that the Metropolitan Police Department started offering $250 rewards for information on riders — but this is the first time that ARLnow.com has been made aware of such an occurrence in Arlington.


Subscribe to our mailing list