Police say that a man smashed in the glass door of the Shell service station at 5630 Lee Highway around 6 a.m. on Aug. 19. He was seen on camera placing cartons of cigars and cigarettes into a cardboard box.
The suspect then fled westbound Lee Highway, police said.
“The suspect is described as a black male with an athletic build and had chest length dreadlocks,” police said in a press release today. “He was wearing a black v-neck t-shirt, denim jeans and dark sneakers at the time of the incident. In one of the surveillance images, a tattoo is captured on the subject’s upper right arm.”
Anyone with information about the robbery or suspect can contact Detective James Stone at [email protected] or at 703-228-4245. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Update at 2:35 p.m. — Flanagan was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital at 1:30 p.m., authorities said. Following the shooting this morning, he sent a suicide note to ABC News.
Update at 12:35 p.m. — Virginia State Police has issued the following statement:
“Shortly before 11:30 a.m., Virginia State Police spotted the suspect vehicle headed eastbound on Interstate 66. With emergency lights activated the Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. Minutes later, the suspect vehicle ran off the road and crashed. The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound. He is being transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
The male driver is believed to be the same male subject who shot three people this morning in Franklin County during a television news interview.”
Update at 11:50 a.m. — WDBJ reports that Flanagan has shot himself on I-66 in Fauquier County (see below).
Earlier: The suspect in the murder of two television journalists near Roanoke this morning may be heading for the D.C. area.
A lookout for the suspect, Vester Lee Flanagan II, was broadcast to Arlington County Police earlier this morning. The lookout said the suspect was armed and dangerous and believed to be heading to the D.C. area.
An ARLnow.com reporter also overheard officers talking about the suspect and the possibility he may be heading to the area at a public event this morning.
According to various news reports, Flanagan is the suspect in the shooting death of WDBJ7 photographer Adam Ward and reporter Alison Parker during a live television broadcast this morning.
Flanagan is reported to be a former WDBJ7 reporter who went by the name Bryce Williams. Just after 11 a.m., a Twitter account associated with Flanagan posted accusations of workplace mistreatment along with two horrific first-person videos of the shooting.
Flanagan is described as a black male, 6’3″ tall and weighing 250 lbs. He was last seen driving a gray, 2009 Ford Mustang according to the police lookout, but some reports suggest he might have since switched vehicles.
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
— NBC PHOTOG (@bforte22) August 26, 2015
Police say a man walked up to a 31-year-old woman on Columbia Pike near S. Courthouse Road at 9:35 p.m. and asked for directions. The suspect then allegedly groped and kissed the woman before running off.
“When the victim looked down at her phone the male subject touched her inappropriately and kissed her on the cheek,” according to a police report. “The suspect is described as a Middle Eastern male in his twenties, approximately 5’4″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and blue jeans at the time of the incident.”
Police do not believe this incident is related to a series of a half dozen sexual assaults that have been reported within the past month.
Police are still not willing to say that the attacks are the work of the same sexual assault suspect, but did say “there’s potential” that it’s a serial attacker.
The latest incident happened just after 8 p.m. on Friday, as a woman was walking down a path with her young child in Lubber Run Park, near N. George Mason Drive and Barrett Elementary School.
The 27-year-old woman saw an apparently intoxicated man approach her as she tried to get back to the busy road. As he neared, she bent down to shield her three-year-old child, and the suspect groped her, according to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“The victim was able to scream causing the suspect to flee,” according to a crime report. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’7″ tall with a medium build. He was wearing a solid grey t-shirt, black shorts, and black tennis shoes at the time of the incident.”
“From the suspect description provided there is a possibility it could be the same guy, but we’re not willing to suggest that quite yet,” said Sternbeck. “We have not identified or arrested the suspect or suspects involved in the attacks.”
ACPD is advising residents to trust your instincts, be aware of your surroundings, travel in groups if possible and to contact police immediately if you are a victim of a crime.
The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. Thursday, on the 2200 block of Fairfax Drive.
According to police, the man entered his brother’s bedroom while he was sleeping, locked the door and then pressed the knife against him while making threatening remarks. The brother then tried to defend himself and was stabbed three times, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The victim was rushed to George Washington University Hospital and is expected to survive.
The suspect remained in the apartment and was taken into custody by police.
“Pablo Rivera Pena, 21, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and abduction,” according to the crime report. “He was held without bond.”
So far there’s no word on a motive.
The incident happened around 7 a.m. on the 1900 block of N. Uhle Street, which is about five blocks from the Courthouse Metro station.
“At approximately 7:00 a.m. a male subject was seen masturbating in front of a daycare,” according to this week’s Arlington County crime report. “Felipe Jones Degado, 45, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with public masturbation. He is being held without bond.”
A 22-year-old man was attacked between 2-2:30 a.m. at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Filmore Street. He was hit on the back of the head and lost consciousness, police say.
The man was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment of injuries. His driver’s license, military ID and cash were stolen.
At least one witness came to the man’s aid, but he left the scene, according to a police report.
Anyone with information about the attack can contact Detective R. Munizza at [email protected] or 703-228-4171. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
This week’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump.
Three men were arrested last night after Arlington County Police spotted a stolen car in the Pentagon City area.
An officer located the vehicle, which had been stolen in a “strong arm carjacking” in Maryland, on 12th Street S., near Penatgon City mall. A few minutes earlier, around 7:30 p.m., a police license reader had spotted the car on nearby Route 1.
The three men inside the car tried to flee when police approached, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. All three were captured, but an officer used a Taser to subdue one suspect when he tried to resist arrest, Sternbeck said.
Per department policy, the man who was tased was brought to Virginia Hospital Center for evaluation.
In addition to facing possible charges in Arlington, the men were wanted for “a number of charges” in Maryland, said Sternbeck.
The Arlington County Police Department is reminding drivers not to stop in bike lanes.
The department tweeted a cheeky “bike safety tip” flyer (below) with a simple flow chart this afternoon. The chart asks: can I stop in a bike lane? If you are riding a bike, the answer is yes — if you are not, the answer is no.
The flyer encourages those who see a bike lane hazard to call the Arlington public safety non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.
Photo (top) via arlingtonbikelaneblockers.tumblr.com
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) August 17, 2015
The incident happened on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street around 10:30 last night (Thursday) and is the fifth such attack in the past month.
“An unknown male subject carrying a stick grabbed a female victim’s wrist and attempted to drag her into the woods,” according to a crime report. “The suspect fled with the victim’s cellphone after she screamed for help.”
“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’5″ tall, with a slim build and short hair,” the report continues. “He was wearing black pants and a black shirt at the time of the incident.”
The nature of the attack, the description of the suspect and the fact that he was scared off by the victim fighting back are all at least somewhat similar to four other such attacks that have happened since July 25.
On July 25, a man sexually assaulted a woman while walking home near Courthouse. On July 31 a woman running on the W&OD Trail was grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground. On Aug. 1 a woman in Buckingham was also grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground. And this past Saturday, Aug. 8, a woman was approached from behind by a man who put a pillow case over her head and pushed her to the ground.
Police are “not willing to say… just yet” whether any of the attacks are related, but Special Victims Unit detectives were planning to talk to the victim today to gather additional details.
A police spokesman said ACPD has been stepping up its efforts to catch the alleged predator or predators who have been perpetrating these recent attacks, but the department can use tips from the public.
“We’re going to continue to put resources on the streets, in a plain clothes capacity along with additional patrol officers,” said Dustin Sternbeck. “We are looking for the public’s assistance with this as well.”
Photo via Google Maps
A man was arrested after leading Arlington County police on a foot chase in Crystal City yesterday.
The incident happened around 4:15 p.m.
Police had pulled over a suspected stolen vehicle on Route 1, near the CEA building, when the driver took off running. Police gave chase and, after a pursuit that included a sprint through a hotel, officers were able to take the man into custody near the PBS building at 2100 Crystal Drive.
Stephan Townes, 26, of Alexandria was charged with grand larceny auto and driving on a suspended license, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. He also was wanted on warrants for credit card fraud and identity theft in Arlington.
A homeowner returned to his or her residence on the 2700 block of N. Beechwood Street after a few days away, only to find that something wasn’t quite right — someone had been inside the house and had helped themselves to some sweet treats.
“Between 12:00 p.m. on August 9 and 9:00 p.m. on August 12, an unknown suspect(s) entered a residence through a doggie door and ate the homeowner’s popsicles and whipped cream,” according to a crime report. “The suspect(s) proceeded to play with Pokémon cards that were found in the residence.”
“After they enjoyed some popsicles, they played a bit with some Pokemon cards and left,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said of the suspect or suspects, whose identity and motive remains a mystery.
An Arlington County police officer was hospitalized this afternoon after his car was struck while responding to a call.
The crash happened around 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Arlington Blvd (Route 50) and N. Pershing Drive.
The officer was responding to a domestic violence call involving a possible weapon and was turning onto Arlington Blvd from Pershing when his cruiser was “T-boned” by a vehicle traveling westbound on Route 50, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The officer was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was treated by paramedics on scene, Sternbeck said.
So far no charges have been filed. Police plan on reviewing footage from the cruiser’s dashboard camera as part of their investigation, which is still ongoing, Sternbeck said.
The injured officer has been on the force for fewer than three years, we’re told.
Westbound Route 50 was closed for about an hour while the scene was cleaned up and police investigated the accident.
Photos courtesy “Captain Awesome”
The attack occurred around 2:45 a.m., on the 1900 block of N. Highland Street. Police say the victim was walking home from the bars in Clarendon when a man approached her from behind, put a pillow case over her head and threw her to the ground.
The woman kicked the attacker several times and was able to scream “help,” prompting him to grab the pillow case and run off.
The suspect is described as an either black or Hispanic man, 5’8″ tall with an average build.
Police say the victim did not report the crime until the next morning, making it difficult to track down the suspect.
“We want to emphasize that anyone who’s a victim of a crime should dial 911 immediately,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Sternbeck said that the police department is devoting significant resources to investigating this and three other recent attacks on women.
On July 25, a man sexually assaulted a woman near Courthouse; she kicked him in the groin and he fled the scene. On July 31 a woman running alone on the W&OD Trail as grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground; she screamed and her attacker ran off. On Aug. 1 a woman in Buckingham was also grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground; she bit the attacker’s finger and he ran off.
Despite some variance in the suspect descriptions, Sternbeck said detectives are trying to determine whether the attacks may be related.
The Arlington County Fair is generally a fun, family-friendly event, but violence prompted police to close it early Friday night.
Officers assigned to provide security at the fair called for backup around 10:15 p.m. Friday after several fights involving groups of teenagers broke out.
Police arrived, detained several teens and made the decision to shut it down before the 11 p.m. closing time.
“Due to the fights and the threat to the public, the fair was closed about half an hour early,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “Officers escorted patrons off the fairgrounds. The crowd was dispersed and there were no additional incidents.”
The teens who were detained by police were banned from the fair and turned over to their parents, Sternbeck said.
Police continued to maintain “a visible presence at the fair” over the weekend as planned. No other incidents of note occurred Saturday or Sunday, according to Sternbeck.