(Updated at 2 p.m.) An Arlington teen of the same name as an 18-year-old convicted in a recent high-profile case has been arrested after allegedly fleeing from police.
Arlington County police say Kenan Owens, 18, was arrested Wednesday in Chesterfield County — near Richmond — on warrants for reckless driving and eluding.
The charges stem from an incident early Tuesday morning in which, according to police, an officer tried to pull over a vehicle seen driving well over the speed limit near the Columbia Pike and Washington Blvd ramps.
The driver allegedly fled the traffic stop and abandoned the car a few blocks away, in the Arlington View neighborhood.
More from ACPD:
RECKLESS DRIVING, 2023-09190035, Washington Boulevard at Columbia Pike. At approximately 6:10 a.m. on September 19, an officer initiated a traffic stop for reckless driving after observing the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed over the posted speed limit. The driver disregarded the officer’s emergency equipment and fled the area. The officer last observed the vehicle turning from Columbia Pike and subsequently located the abandoned vehicle in the 1400 block of S. Rolfe Street. After further investigation, officers determined the identity of the driver and obtained warrants for Kenan Owens, 18, of Arlington, VA for Reckless Driving and Eluding. He was located and taken into custody in Chesterfield County, VA on September 20.
Earlier this year, an 18-year-old Arlington resident named Kenan Owens was arrested by a SWAT team after triggering a lockdown at Wakefield High School. Police said at the time that he “was known to carry a firearm” and “had an ongoing dispute with” a student at the school.
Owens was charged with trespassing, stalking, having a loaded gun around children, altering a gun’s serial number and conspiring to distribute marijuana.
All but the trespassing and one of four gun charges was dropped. In June he was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months on both charges, with the entire sentence suspended on the gun charge and all but two months suspended on the trespassing charge, according to court records.
Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage was unable to confirm to ARLnow whether the 18-year-old Kenan Owens arrested this week was the same Kenan Owens — who will turn 19 in December — charged in the high-profile Wakefield incident. State law prevents the department from revealing details of a suspect’s prior criminal history in that manner, Savage said.
The charges from this week are not yet visible in the state court records system and Owens is not expected to be booked into Arlington’s jail, Savage said, after being released on a court summons in Chesterfield County.
A man was carjacked by gun-wielding suspects early this morning at the Lyon Village Shopping Center.
It happened shortly before 12:30 a.m. near the 24-hour CVS store, according to scanner traffic. The suspects could be seen fleeing down the Spout Run Parkway in a traffic camera video posted by local public safety watcher Dave Statter.
A safety tip: If you have a vehicle carjackers desire, you might want to avoid driving it to 24-hour businesses during the overnight hours. They seem to be popular nighttime fishing holes in Arlington. I imagine it's the same elsewhere. 🔽🔽 @ARLnowDOTcom https://t.co/gwVD6kTZzN
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) September 21, 2023
The man also reportedly had his phone and wallet taken.
More, below, from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
CARJACKING, 2023-09210006, 3100 block of Langston Boulevard. At approximately 12:26 a.m. on September 21, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim was walking to his parked vehicle when the suspect vehicle approached and the male suspect exited. The suspect approached the victim while brandishing a firearm and demanded his vehicle. The suspect then pushed the victim to the ground and stole his keys, wallet and personal items. The suspect then fled the scene in the victim’s stolen vehicle, a blue 2023 Chevrolet Corvette bearing Virginia tags TYG4480, followed by the suspect vehicle, a gray sedan, which had approximately three occupants. The victim sustained minor injuries and declined medical attention.
An Arlington high school student who had gone missing over the weekend was reunited with his family — after his stepmom says a tow truck driver spotted him.
Brandon, a Washington-Liberty High School student, was last seen Friday morning. His mom, who lives in Arlington, notified his dad and stepmother, Phil and Tiffany Pierce, of Stafford, the next day.
Tiffany tells ARLnow she and Phil began “walking and driving around Arlington, day in and out, looking for Brandon… and working with the police.”
Police posted missing notices on social media, where the post was shared several hundred times. Tiffany also took to Facebook Sunday to post about her missing stepson and urged people to be on the lookout for him.
The Facebook posts were seen by Ryan O’Neill, a tow truck driver with Advanced Towing, who made headlines last year after helping to talk a man down from the edge of a Route 1 overpass.
Tiffany received a call from O’Neill around 4 p.m. yesterday (Monday), in which he said he spotted Brandon in Ballston and caught up to him.
O’Neill struck up a conversation with Brandon until Tiffany and Phil arrived, about 10 minutes later.
“Once I got there and we were reunited with Brandon, I called Brandon’s mom and the police, they met us in the Wells Fargo parking lot and we now have Brandon home with us,” Tiffany said. “We are forever grateful for Ryan for helping us bring Brandon home safe.”
In a statement, ACPD confirmed that Brandon was found yesterday. Police were dispatched around 3:40 p.m. to the 1000 block of N. Stafford Street for a report of a found missing juvenile.
“Upon arrival, it was determined family members had observed the juvenile walking in the area,” spokeswoman Alli Shorb said. “Responding officers made contact with the juvenile, confirmed his wellbeing and he was released to the custody of a guardian.”
She said family members reported observing the missing juvenile and noted that ACPD does not have additional details about whether a tow truck operator was involved.
Advanced Towing owner John O’Neill, the adoptive father of Ryan, confirmed the event.
“Ryan is constantly helping out the public,” John said, adding that he “pays attention and is all over Arlington.”
He cited the Crystal City overpass incident and the discovery of the missing teen as examples of how Advanced Towing is “helping out the community.”
That’s in contrast with Advanced’s more common perception as a “predatory” tow company, which has led to an unsuccessful lawsuit and repeated attempts at passing towing-related consumer protections. Advanced was also recently in the news for a driver who towed a car with children inside and, just yesterday, for a citation issued to a tow driver for an alleged unsafe tow.
The Advanced driver who towed the car with children inside earlier this month was not cited. The woman who allegedly left the children to go into a mall is, however, facing charges.
(Updated at 5 p.m.) A Falls Church man is facing charges and a tow truck driver is facing a traffic citation after an incident Sunday evening in Ballston.
It happened around 5:30 p.m. in front of the Advanced Towing lot on the 4000 block of 5th Road N.
An officer was conducting a traffic stop of a tow truck, according to today’s Arlington County police crime report, “when the suspect, who is the owner of the towed vehicle, arrived at the location and began acting disorderly.”
“When an additional officer arrived on scene and began to converse with the suspect, he allegedly lunged at the officer,” the crime report says. “The officer then attempted to detain the suspect, during which he shoved the officer before fleeing the scene on foot. Officers initiated a foot pursuit and took the suspect into custody.”
The suspect, a 25-year-old Falls Church resident, “was arrested and charged with Assault on Police, Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication.”
The tow truck driver was cited for “a vehicle being towed without being properly secured to the tow truck,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Minutes before the incident, police were dispatched to the nearby Ballston Quarter mall for a report of a driver who parked his running car in front of the Ted’s Bulletin on Wilson Blvd to pick up food and came back to find it potentially stolen. Savage told ARLnow that call was not related to the tow truck incident.
Advanced Towing was back in the news earlier this month after ARLnow was the first to report that one of its drivers towed a car with two young children inside from in front of the Pentagon City mall.
The Washington-Liberty Generals narrowly defeated the Yorktown Patriots last night.
The Thursday night, cross-county game at Yorktown’s Greenbrier Stadium ended with a score of 21-18, the Gazette Leader reported. But the night’s drama did not stop there — large groups of teens leaving the game gathered at a local shopping center and a local fast food restaurant.
Police responded to at least two locations: the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center just down the street from the stadium and further up Langston Blvd at the McDonald’s.
At least three police units responded to the shopping center, where dozens if not more than 100 teens were gathered in the parking lot, prompting a call to police about rowdy behavior and cars being blocked.
“I was working at Lee Harrison Shopping Center last night and HUNDREDS of Yorktown students flooded the area,” an anonymous tipster wrote to ARLnow, claiming that they were “screaming at each other and threatening patrons.”
The crowds could be seen in traffic camera images, above, but video reviewed by ARLnow did not show any destructive behavior.
The same could not be said about a large group that gathered at the McDonald’s at 4834 Langston Blvd last night around the same time. Police responded to the fast food joint for reports of kids inside destroying things.
“At approximately 9:51 p.m. on September 14, police were dispatched to the report of disorderly conduct,” Arlington County ploce spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined a large group of juveniles entered a business, damaged property and stole a poster. There are no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.”
Savage, responding to a follow-up question from ARLnow, noted that the damaged items were all posters — not the life-sized Ronald McDonald figure that some teens allegedly tried to steal just before the start of the school year.
On the Lee-Harrison gathering, Savage said that “police were dispatched to the report of a large group of juveniles in the parking lot allegedly acting disorderly.”
“Officers responded to the area and the group subsequently dispersed,” she added.
A suspect is in custody after police say a store in Virginia Square was robbed and one of its employees threatened.
The unidentified store on the 3400 block of Washington Blvd — the same block as the Giant supermarket — was robbed of several bottles of wine Tuesday afternoon, according to scanner traffic. The thief then used a wine bottle to threaten a store employee before boarding a Metro bus, police said.
Police tracked down the bus and took the suspect into custody.
More, below, from the latest Arlington County Police Department crime report.
ROBBERY, 2023-09120186, 3400 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 3:41 p.m. on September 12, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business, collected merchandise and allegedly exited the store without payment. An employee followed the suspect out of the store, during which the suspect threatened the employee with a wine bottle before boarding a Metro bus. Officers located the bus with the suspect on board and took him into custody without incident. [The suspect], 35, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Robbery. He was held without bond.
A 47-year-old Richmond man is facing charges after police say he robbed a store and then threw a fake gun at responding officers.
The incident happened Friday afternoon after 3 p.m., in the Courthouse area.
More, below, from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2023-09080157, 2000 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 3:19 p.m. on September 8, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business and allegedly concealed merchandise before attempting to exit the store without payment. A store employee confronted the suspect during which he lifted his shirt exposing what appeared to be a firearm before fleeing the scene on foot. Responding officers canvassed the area, located the suspect and gave him commands to stop. The suspect disregarded their commands and continued to walk away before stopping, lifting his shirt and throwing the firearm in the direction of the officers. The officers then took the suspect into custody and recovered the firearm which was determined to be a replica. [The suspect], 47, of Richmond Va. was arrested and charged with Robbery and Assault on Police (x2).
Also in today’s crime report were a number of weekend incidents involving guns, including a shots fired call in Glencarlyn, a gun brandishing in Clarendon, and an armed robbery of jewelry along Columbia Pike.
SHOTS FIRED, 2023-09100027, 300 block of S. Harrison Street. At approximately 1:44 a.m. on September 10, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers recovered evidence confirming several shots had been fired. Witnesses reported observing several unknown individuals running from the area after the shots were discharged. No victims or property damage were located. There is no suspect description(s). The investigation is ongoing.
BRANDISHING, 2023-09100028, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 1:49 a.m. on September 10, the victim approached an officer to report disorderly conduct. The preliminary investigation indicates that following a dispute earlier in the evening where the suspect was allegedly acting disorderly inside a business, he approached an employee of the business and lifted his shirt to display a firearm. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Officers canvassed the area for the suspect yielding negative results.
ROBBERY, 2023-09090226, 1800 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on September 9, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim met with the suspect, an acquittance, for the prearranged sale of jewelry. During the incident, the suspect grabbed the jewelry and ran to his vehicle. The victim ran after him and upon arriving at the suspect’s vehicle, observed the passenger brandishing a firearm. The suspects then fled the scene in the vehicle with the stolen jewelry. The investigation is ongoing.
(Updated at 1:25 p.m. on 9/12/23) Twenty-two years ago today, at 9:37 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon, claiming the lives of 184 people.
To honor those who died, Arlington County elected officials and public safety personnel gathered in front of the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center in Courthouse to pay tribute and observe a moment of silence.
Dozens of police, fire and rescue personnel offered an honorary salute as the Arlington County Public Safety Combined Honor Guard ceremoniously placed a wreath at the flagpoles situated in front of the county government headquarters.
During the ceremony, Arlington County Fire Department Capt. David Santini reminded attendees of the response and recovery efforts by local police and fire and rescue personnel, which lasted 20 days.
“As that work ended, the community began the healing process, and the responders intensified their efforts to prepare for a new generation of threat,” Santini said. “For the members of our military, September 11 was the beginning of a new nation unbroken over 22 years, stretching to all corners of the world.”
“Since that day, just as with every day throughout our nation’s history, these courageous men and women have answered the call of their country, sacrificing so much, and in some cases sacrificing all to protect our nation and the world from threats to our safety and security,” he continued.
Today, First Lady Jill Biden also participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, followed by an observance ceremony led by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) September 11, 2023
Cpl. Harvey Snook answered the call on 9/11 & responded to the Pentagon where he remained in the days that followed, sifting through rubble for evidence. On 1/14/16, he died as the result of cancer contracted while working in the recovery efforts. pic.twitter.com/HdAUujeLPH
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 11, 2023
(Updated 7:10 p.m.) The Arlington County Police Department is pouring more time and people into recruiting officers in an effort to outpace attrition.
For the past four years the number of “functional staff” at ACPD has been in decline. That includes sworn officers and higher-up positions but excludes those on light duty for medical reasons as well as those in training.
This has forced the department to cut back certain services and rely on current officers to cover empty shifts. To turn the tide, ACPD has changed its pay scale to better reward officers based on their experience and is upping its focus on recruitment.
Recruitment efforts, particularly those focused on recent graduates, are starting to bear fruit, according to ACPD. Still, these changes have to counteract high departure rates, largely driven by experienced officers retiring or seeking better-paying law enforcement jobs.
“While we have been successful in hiring larger classes of recruit officers in recent years, this has not offset the number of departures due to attrition, retirements and officers seeking other opportunities,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.
ACPD is authorized to have 377 officers but its “functional staffing” currently sits at 284, slightly higher than the 275 reported earlier this year. Another 28 positions are either unfilled or filled with officers in training or on light duty.
As for those slated to join the ranks, two officers — with and without law enforcement experience — have been hired and are waiting to go to the regional police academy. (Update at 7:10 p.m.: After publication, multiple police sources said the number provided by FOIA, 30, was incorrect and the actual number was two.)
Another 37 have applied and could accept an offer once extended, according to data obtained by ARLnow following a Freedom of Information Act request.
ARLnow was billed $75 for the FOIA response.
Officers in training would replace the 24 who retired, resigned or were fired this calendar year. Still, sources within the department say nearly a half-dozen more departures are imminent, and the total could be higher by December. Departure totals for 2022 and 2021 were 53 and 50, respectively.
This year, the intensified focus on recruitment may cancel out attrition rates, but ACPD has a long road to the 377 officers it is authorized to have. Even this number falls below consultant recommendations from a 2017 report, provided to ARLnow, which said the department should have 405 officers.
An evergreen report
Six years ago, a consultant found ACPD faced staffing shortages, particularly among patrol officers who are the first to respond to calls for service. It also highlighted concerns from officers about other local and federal agencies offering better pay and career advancement opportunities.
Four years later, in 2021, ACPD would cite these same reasons when explaining its shrinking force.
At the time, the patrol section had 164 employees and ACPD had an authorized strength of 367. Today, it is authorized for 10 more, yet the report recommended add 38, for an authorized strength of 405.
Savage said she could not share the number of patrol officers today, as that is sensitive tactical information. One publicly available number comes from the 2024 budget, which has 178 budgeted patrol officer positions.
For Randall Mason, the leader of the local police union, not much has changed since the 2017 report.
“By looking at the budgets each year, and how many sworn police we’re even authorized for, that report wasn’t taken seriously at all,” he said. “This year, they froze additional positions to pay for the raises we got through arbitration. I think we’re 50 less with the frozen positions than what the 2017 report said we should be at.”
(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) The first thing you notice when walking into the rebuilt Ireland’s Four Courts — which is officially reopening today, at long last — is that it’s both familiar and new at the same time.
The interior is a bit brighter and more open — the crash that smashed and torched the long-time Courthouse watering hole last summer revealed to the owners that the columns near the front were decorative, not structural.
The predominant color scheme is now teal instead of red. The mugs that used to hang behind the bar are gone — the heat from the fire melted them, leaving just handles hanging from the peg board. Additionally, the back room is now more inviting for patrons and private events, with a library and an upgraded second bar.
On the other hand, the general layout is the same. And you’ll notice touches that were salvaged from the old Four Courts: the handmade-in-Ireland tables have a fresh coat of paint and varnish, the soccer jersey that miraculously survived the flames, the antique Irish fireplace that needed 30 hours or restoration work, the Men of Aran sculpture, and a few other items.
Four Courts would have probably needed an interior refresh at some point this decade, but this was not the way managing partner Dave Cahill and other owners wanted it to happen.
When the rideshare driver who was suffering an apparent medical emergency slammed into the pub on Aug. 12, 2022, a group of coworkers were marking an occasion together near the front. They never saw the car barrelling toward them.
The 14 people who were injured, including the three critically hurt from that group — who spent an extended period of time in the hospital — were honored during a private event at the pub Wednesday evening.
The Arlington first responders who rushed to the scene and — along with fellow patrons — helped to pull the injured out of the building just as the inferno started spreading were also honored at the event. Without them, according to Cahill, multiple people would have died and Four Courts would never have reopened.
That everyone survived is its own miracle. The force of the impact was such that a patron sitting at the bar, well away from where the car came to rest, with the dazed driver and rideshare passenger inside, was blown off of his barstool.
Ahead of their reopening, @irelands4courts honored ACPD, @ArlingtonVaFD and community members who provided critical assistance and care following the vehicle crash into the building on August 12, 2022. Plaques recognizing their heroism are displayed in the restaurant. pic.twitter.com/dasmvjid6g
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 7, 2023
@irelands4courts Dave Cahill paying some much deserved tribute to @ArlingtonVaPD and @ArlingtonVaFD who acted so bravely & professionally on 8/12/22. Saved lives. #heoricism #I4C is back in business! #slainte #craic pic.twitter.com/LlAemvaYFc
— Don Holmes (@DonnyHolmes) September 6, 2023
After eight months of a complete interior demolition and reconstruction — and despite some work left to be done with the exterior facade — Four Courts will reopen to the public at 4 p.m.
There will be live music today, Friday and Saturday. And as before, those hoping to catch some sports from across the pond can expect a 9 a.m. opening time on Saturday.
For Cahill and others who witnessed the crash and its aftermath, memories of the horror of that day are still fresh. But for now he’s focusing on the reopening, which is also a homecoming for Four Courts’ legion of displaced regulars.
“I am feeling a huge relief to be at the finish line and a great of excitement to open the doors and see all the familiar face again,” Cahill told ARLnow. “Four Courts is a home and away from home for so many of our customers and we are excited to welcome them back. It’s like having my birthday, St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas Day all at once. We can not wait!”
D.C. and federal officers are currently searching the Georgetown area, following the 30-year-old suspect’s escape from GW Hospital this afternoon. Police have also been searching the Foggy Bottom area.
30-year-old Christopher Haynes escaped custody at GW Hospital in 900 block of 23rd St NW at 3:38 p.m. He is described as a black male with shoulder-length dreadlocks, wearing a white suit with one red shoe. He is not handcuffed.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) September 6, 2023
Both areas are just across from Arlington, via the Roosevelt Bridge and Key Bridge respectively.
As of 5:30 p.m. traffic on the Key Bridge was partially blocked by the police activity associated with the manhunt. The U.S. Park Police helicopter is also circling overhead.
Police Activity. US-29 SB on the Key Bridge. Washington DC, NW. 1 right outbound lane of the bridge is blocked, 1 left lane gets by. Delays extend to M Street, Canal Road, the Whitehurst Freeway, and K Street. Avoid the area, seek alternate routes out of Georgetown/Foggy Bottom.
— MATOC Alerts (@MATOC) September 6, 2023
Search for murder suspect who escaped GWU has extended to Georgetown near Rock Creek. pic.twitter.com/hywvyEQQ3X
— Andrew Leyden (@PenguinSix) September 6, 2023
Shortly after the escape, Arlington County police broadcast a “be on the lookout” notice for the suspect. While officers remain on alert, a police spokeswoman tells ARLnow that they do not have reason to believe the suspect is currently in Arlington.
“The Arlington County Police Department is aware of the wanted escapee out of Washington D.C.,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “At this time, we do not have credible information that the suspect is currently located in Arlington County. If a member of the public observes the individual, they should call 9-1-1.”