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Clouds over the Pentagon (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Expect to see lots of emergency activity around the Pentagon this weekend. But don’t worry, it’s just a drill.

The emergency response training exercise is scheduled to take place from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and will include first responders from a number of jurisdictions.

“Expect flashing lights/sirens near the Pentagon Transit Center,” Pentagon police said on Twitter.

The Pentagon Metro station will be closed until around 2 p.m. as a result of the exercise. Buses going to or from the Pentagon will be relocated to the Crystal City and Pentagon City stations.

More from a WMATA press release:

On Saturday, September 24, Metro will temporarily close the Pentagon Station to bus and rail service from opening until approximately 2 p.m. due to a security exercise at the request of the Pentagon. During this time, people in the area may notice a large amount of emergency personnel; however, customers should be aware this is only an exercise.

During the temporary station closure, Metrobus service that normally serves the Pentagon Transit Center will instead be relocated to Pentagon City. Express shuttle buses operating to/from Huntington and Franconia-Springfield to Pentagon due to major construction on the Blue and Yellow lines will be diverted to Crystal City where customers can transfer to/from the rail system.

While Pentagon Station is closed, Blue Line trains will bypass the station, passing through without stopping. Customers may wish to use Pentagon City Station as an alternative.

Bus and rail service will resume to the Pentagon at approximately 2 p.m. at the conclusion of the exercise. Metro will notify customers through our social media channels @MetrobusInfo @MetrorailInfo, online on the Status and Alerts page, and through MetroAlerts text and email messages. Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts to be notified about the latest service information.

Metro’s customers service team will also be available to assist customers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to provide real-time information online or by phone. Metro’s customer service team responds to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social posts, emails and chat conversations. Customers may also get information by calling 202-637-7000 or visiting wmata.com.

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Suspect in alleged carjacking attempts seen in the roadway along I-395 after being struck by a car (courtesy Dave Statter/Twitter)

The family of a missing man thinks he may be the one who allegedly tried to carjack two drivers along I-395.

The Byrne family is going public with its concern for Sean, 27, who was last seen Sunday night leaving Reagan National Airport, where he was set to fly home to the Chicago area. They believe he had a psychiatric episode that led him to run off, but they don’t know where he is headed.

Meghan Byrne, the man’s sister, said Sean was in town visiting her for her birthday. She says he is in crisis and is urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact local authorities.

“I’m hoping to get as many people and resources as possible to help look for and locate my brother,” Byrne told ARLnow. “We just want to make sure that he’s okay.”

“We want to get the word out so that if anyone sees him or might have information that they’ve they’ve seen him in recent days that they can contact local authorities,” she continued.

Missing person poster (courtesy Meghan Byrne, via Dave Statter)

Sean is described as a 27-year-old white male who’s 6’2″ with a “very athletic” build, a short brown buzzcut, and a bit of facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, gray athletic shorts, black tennis shoes, and black socks, and may also have a black backpack and a white face mask.

Meghan saw a video of one of the alleged carjacking attempts along I-395 early Monday morning, posted by Pentagon City resident and public safety watchdog Dave Statter, and believes it shows Sean.

“We are convinced that that was my brother,” said Meghan. “The video that Dave Statter posted matches my brother’s general description and matches his behavior.”

Arlington County police said Monday morning that a younger white male suspect with a buzzcut tried to carjack two people around the Boundary Channel Drive interchange along I-395. One male victim struck the suspect with his car and drove off, while a female victim got out and gave up her car — only for the suspect to be foiled by the vehicle’s stick shift.

Statter’s video shows the apparent suspect being struck by the one victim’s car, before getting up and running across the highway.

“The suspect was last seen running across I-395 towards the exit for the George Washington Memorial Parkway,” Arlington County police said in a crime report Monday. “A perimeter was established and a lookout was broadcast for the suspect. Police helicopters assisted with a search of the area which yielded negative results.”

Meghan said a missing person report was filed with airport police and the family is also in contact with Arlington County police.

An ACPD spokeswoman today released a brief statement in response to an inquiry from ARLnow, not directly addressing whether police believe the missing man is the person seen on video.

From ACPD:

Mr. Byrne was reported missing to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department and they are the primary agency investigating the missing person’s report.

The investigation into the attempted carjackings on September 19 are ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Hat tip to Dave Statter

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(Updated at 5:35 p.m.) Police and firefighters swarmed Washington-Liberty High School this afternoon after an apparent hoax about an active shooter.

A caller told Arlington’s 911 dispatch that someone shot numerous people in a specific classroom at the school, according to scanner traffic, but no such shooting was located by authorities.

Scanner traffic suggests that Fairfax and Culpeper county schools might have received a similar alarming but false report. InsideNova later reported that “schools in Spotsylvania and Culpeper counties were among several across the state on Monday to fall victim to fake 911 calls reporting an active shooter.”

A Twitter thread details other false active shooter reports at schools around Virginia today — including in Loudoun County, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Fauquier, Lynchburg and elsewhere — and in other parts of the country today and last week. the Loudoun sheriff’s office described the incident as an instance of “swatting.”

A portion of the emergency activity at W-L started clearing the scene shortly after it became apparent that there was no shooter, but police continued to sweep the high school and its annex as a precaution.

Washington-Liberty, one of three comprehensive public high schools in Arlington, was evacuated in October 2021 after a false report of an active shooter. Two people were charged in July after fireworks set off during summer school at W-L prompted another active shooter panic and large emergency response.

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Banks on the 2500 block of Wilson Blvd (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) A middle-aged man robbed a bank in the Courthouse area Friday afternoon.

The robbery happened on the 2500 block of Wilson Blvd, near the border of the Courthouse and Clarendon neighborhoods, around 3:15 p.m.

From an Arlington County police crime report:

BANK ROBBERY, 2022-09160150, 2500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 3:20 p.m. on September 16, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the unknown male suspect entered the bank, approached a teller, implied he had a weapon and demanded money. The suspect then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen or displayed and no injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a light-skin Black male, approximately 40-60 years old, 5’04”, 180 pounds, wearing a black and white hat, black glasses, black face mask, light-gray long sleeve button-up shirt, black pants, and dark shoes, carrying a grocery bag. The investigation is ongoing.

ACPD typically does not reveal the name of a business that has been the victim of a crime. There are two banks on the 2500 block of Wilson Blvd: FVCbank and National Capital Bank.

The last reported bank robbery in Arlington was back in May, when three banks in the Ballston area were robbed in the span of about a week. The suspect in two of those robberies was also described as a short, middle-aged Black man who ran off while carrying a plastic bag.

“This is an ongoing investigation and detectives will work to determine if it is linked to the incidents reported in May,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage, in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.

Image via Google Maps

Police car speeding to a call at night (staff photo)

(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) A carjacker was reportedly foiled by a manual transmission early this morning.

The attempted carjacking happened around 12:20 a.m. at the Boundary Channel Drive and I-395 interchange, between Long Bridge Park and the Pentagon. Arlington police radio traffic suggests that the would-be carjacker might have been flummoxed by the stick shift of the car he was trying to take, though that has not yet been confirmed by police.

Arlington police were assisted by Virginia State Police, Pentagon police, U.S. Park Police and the Fairfax County Police Department helicopter in searching for the suspect, who fled the scene on foot.

No injuries were reported.

Additional information on the carjacking was released by police this afternoon, seemingly confirming the stick shift report.

The ACPD crime report, below, also notes that the suspect allegedly tried to carjack a second victim, who then struck the suspect with his vehicle and drove off before calling police. Despite an extensive search, the suspect was not located and no arrests were made.

More from ACPD:

ATTEMPTED CARJACKING, 2022-09190006, Boundary Channel Drive at I-395. At approximately 12:18 a.m. on September 19, police were dispatched to the report of an attempted carjacking. Upon arrival, it was determined the female victim was driving on the ramp for northbound I-395 from Boundary Channel Drive when the unknown male suspect approached on foot from the median. The male suspect allegedly began banging on the victim’s windshield and demanded she exit her vehicle while holding an unknown object. The victim exited her vehicle and ran down the ramp. The suspect then entered the victim’s vehicle but was unable to operate it. While officers were on scene, an additional victim contacted the Emergency Communications Center to report an attempted carjacking. The male victim stated he had been travelling on the ramp for northbound I-395 from Boundary Channel Drive when a suspect matching the description given by the first victim jumped in front of his vehicle, banged on the hood and demanded he exit the vehicle. The victim accelerated his vehicle, making contact with the suspect and left the area before contacting police. The suspect was last seen running across I-395 towards the exit for the George Washington Memorial Parkway. A perimeter was established and a lookout was broadcast for the suspect. Police helicopters assisted with a search of the area which yielded negative results. The victims were not injured. The suspect is described as a White male with a slim build, approximately 30 years old, 6’0″, with dark buzzcut hair, wearing a white short-sleeved shirt and dark pants. The investigation is ongoing.

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File photo

A 54-year-old Arlington woman was arrested after an apparent road rage dispute escalated to violence.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. around the intersection of King Street and S. Chesterfield Road, near the Wendy’s and a short distance from Wakefield High School.

Police say a dispute among drivers ended with the suspect cutting off the victim, pepper spraying him when they both got out of their cars, and then driving off before returning and continuing to argue. The suspect was arrested by police nearby. She is charged with Malicious Wounding by Caustic Substance.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE, 2022-09150074, 5000 block of Chesterfield Road. At approximately 8:25 a.m. on September 15, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury. Upon arrival, the male victim was being treated on scene by medics for non-life threatening injuries. The investigation determined the victim and suspect had been driving in the area of King Street and S. Chesterfield Road when they became involved in a dispute. The victim continued driving and the suspect allegedly followed and cut him off. Both drivers then exited their vehicles and the suspect allegedly pepper sprayed the victim before driving away. The suspect immediately returned and another verbal dispute ensued. Arriving officers locate the suspect in the area and took her into custody without incident.

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(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) The rideshare driver who crashed into Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse last month likely experienced “a medical emergency” before driving into the building, police say.

This preliminary explanation comes after Arlington County police previously ruled out drunk driving as well as malicious intent.

The crash set fire to the popular pub, situated next to the “T” intersection of N. Courthouse Road and Wilson Blvd, during a local company’s happy hour event. It triggered a large emergency response and road closures as people fled the fiery scene. More than a dozen people were hurt.

Police said today that all three pub-goers who were hospitalized with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries have now been released — a little over a month after they were admitted. One patient was still in critical condition and two others were in stable condition within a week of the crash.

The seriously injured people are expected to undergo a rehabilitation process as they continue to recover, we’re told.

In all, 15 people were injured, including nine brought to local hospitals. Of them, three were Four Courts employees hospitalized for less serious injuries, including smoke inhalation.

Four Courts Managing Partner Dave Cahill told ARLnow that the patrons who were seriously injured may not have survived but for other quick-thinking fellow pub-goers, including a volunteer firefighter, as well as first responders who arrived on scene just moments after the crash.

“Our thoughts and prayers have been with them for this whole time,” Cahill said of the victims. “They’re regulars who come in here all the time… we’re happy that they’ve started the next stage of recovery.”

Building inspectors determined that Four Courts is structurally sound but not fit for occupancy due to the extensive damage.

The pub is planning to rebuild, funded in part by a now-closed GoFundMe campaign that blew well past its $50,000 goal, raising just over $95,000. Tonight, fellow Arlington Irish pub Samuel Beckett’s (2800 S. Randolph Street) is hosting a fundraiser and silent auction for Four Courts staff.

Cahill told ARLnow today that insurance and other matters are still being worked out before construction can begin that would allow at least part of the pub to reopen. If demolition starts soon, he said, the best case scenario would be reopening in late spring or early summer of 2023.

When the doors swing back open, he wants customers to feel like nothing has changed, and for regulars to request the same TV channels and sit in the same seats they’ve sat in for years.

“We’re going to work and recreate Four Courts as close back to the original as possible,” he said. “We don’t want people to walk in here and think they’re in a different place. Things will be updated, obviously, but we want people to feel at home in the Four Courts.”

The only thing that many repeat customers would miss would be their personal mugs. Four Courts had a mug club with more than 1,475 mugs people purchased; added their names, football team logos and family crests to; and drank from whenever they came in.

“We lost a lot of mugs,” he said. “When the fire came, it melted the mug and left the handle. We’re sad about that. That was a big part of the brand.”

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File photo

A former county employee arrested and convicted for assaulting a police officer after being fired is back behind bars.

Vincent Moody, a 57-year-old Arlington resident, is now accused of trying to rape a woman in the restroom of a business on the 4800 block of Langston Blvd. The name of the business was not given, but that block includes a McDonald’s, a body piercing business, a tattoo parlor, and an Indian grocery store.

After the alleged sexual assault, according to a police press release, Moody started walking east on Langston Blvd and punched a man who happened to be walking by.

The alleged incidents happened on the evening of Monday, Sept. 12, according to Arlington County police.

From an ACPD press release:

Arlington County Police have arrested a 57-year-old Arlington man after he assaulted two individuals in separate incidents along Langston Boulevard on the evening of September 12. Vincent Moody, 57, of Arlington, VA is charged with Attempted Rape, Abduction with the Intent to Defile and Assault and Battery. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 10:47 p.m. on September 12, police were dispatched to the 4800 block of Langston Boulevard for the report of a dispute in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined the female victim was inside a business when she entered the women’s restroom and was followed in by the suspect. The suspect allegedly requested sex, grabbed the victim, attempted to remove her clothing and pushed her into a stall. The victim called a friend, who entered the restroom and pulled the suspect away from the victim.

The suspect left the business and was walking in the 4700 block of Langston Boulevard when he approached the male victim and female witness, who were unrelated to the previous incident. The suspect struck the male victim and began walking towards the witness. The witness ran into a business for assistance and they contacted police. Arriving officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective P. Pena at 703-228-4183 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Moody worked as a facilities assistant for the county prior to the dispute over his employment at county government headquarters in Courthouse on Nov. 15, 2017. He pled guilty to assault on a law enforcement officer in December of that year and received a 360 day sentence with all but four days suspended.

In the years since, he has been in and out of Arlington’s court system, with the office of former prosecutor Theo Stamos dropping three separate probation violation charges in 2018 and 2019. Moody was also found guilty of assaulting a law enforcement officer again in 2018 and given a one year sentence, with all but two months suspended.

Fines levied by the court are marked as not paid, according to court records.

More recently, Moody was issued a citation for destruction of property in December 2021 and charged with trespassing in March of this year. The trespass charge, the third on his record since 2017, was dropped by current prosecutor Parisa Dehghani-Tafti’s office after a hearing in May, Arlington County General District Court records show.

Moody is next due in court on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

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The Aug. 9 bike-on-bike crash on the Custis Trail in Rosslyn (image via Arlington County traffic camera)

Paul Kiendl doesn’t even remember what happened.

It was early August and he was on his bike, making his way to work via his regular route on the Custis Trail in Rosslyn. He recalls being stopped at a traffic light near the intersection of Langston Blvd and Fort Myer Drive.

Then, memories come in bits and pieces for Kiendl. Lying in a patch of poison ivy, in the back of the ambulance, and then being in the hospital.

It’s been about a month since the bike accident, which left Bluemont resident Kiendl with a severe spinal injury and nerve damage. He’s begun to piece together what exactly happened, believing he clipped another cyclist when it sped ahead of him at the traffic light.

“I think that was just a bicyclist that was trying to run a red light on Fort Myer Drive,” Kiendl tells ARLnow. “And I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.” 

But knowing exactly the cause of the accident has proven to be very difficult. That’s because Arlington County Police Department didn’t prepare a crash report, as it would when a driver of a car hits a bike or pedestrian.

So, there’s no account of what happened, no identifying details, no interviews with witnesses, and no diagram of the crash.

The information about Kiendl’s crash was so sparse that a family member reached out to ARLnow, after seeing our brief post on Twitter, above. We did not have any information beyond what was in the tweet, however, and at the time the injuries involved were reported to be minor so no reporter was sent to the scene.

The lack of a crash report in keeping with police protocol, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage notes. The county police department does not put together crash reports for bike-on-bike or bike-on-pedestrian incidents.

“ACPD follows Virginia law and guidance by the DMV for reporting crashes,” Savage said in a written response to ARLnow. “In Virginia, a crash report involving a bicycle is required only when the bicycle is involved with a motor vehicle in transport.”

Bruce Deming, the “bike lawyer,” thinks this is a very bad policy. He’s been practicing law in Arlington for more than 30 years, exclusively representing injured cyclists and pedestrians.

Deming notes that by not taking a crash report, there’s no information or official documents one could use to pursue any sort of civil compensation or insurance claims for help with medical bills.

“Why should the Arlington County police treat injured cyclists that are involved in a bike-on-bike collision as second-class citizens?” Deming rhetorically asks. “They’re badly injured and they need the information to pursue their own civil claims just as much as a motorist would need it.”

Per Savage, a crash report is taken in accordance with Virginia Code § 46.2-373 which says one must be prepared when a “motor vehicle accident” results in injury, death, or property damage of $1,500 or more.

As defined by Virginia Code § 46.2-100, the term “motor vehicle” does not include bicycles, scooters, e-bikes, mopeds, electric personal mobility devices, or motorized skateboards.

Just because a crash doesn’t involve a car, however doesn’t mean someone can’t be badly injured.

Deming recounts another situation back in 2015 when a client of his was severely hurt colliding with another bike in the Rosslyn/Courthouse neighborhood. Deming says the police showed up, but wouldn’t take any witness contact information or interview the other cyclist.

Bike-on-bike crashes often result in terrible injuries. You’ve got two bodies and quite often [it’s] a head-on type of situation,” says Deming. “It doesn’t take a physics professor to understand the type of force that happens when you have two bodies collide at any kind of speed. It’s a terrible policy.”

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American flag over the start of the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K in 2017

(Updated at 3 p.m.) A pair of large events are planned for Saturday, resulting in road closures in Rosslyn and the Crystal City area.

First up, the Rosslyn Jazz Fest, scheduled from 1-7 p.m. in Gateway Park, will close the following roads from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

  • EB Langston Boulevard, from Fort Myer Drive to N. Moore Street
  • Fort Myer Drive driveway access, from 19th Street N. to N. Moore Street

“Traffic is expected to be impacted in the area and motorists should seek alternate routes to reduce road congestion,” the Arlington County Police Department said. “Attendees are encouraged to use Metro and other forms of multimodal transportation. The Rosslyn Metro Station (Orange, Silver, and Blue lines) is located within walking distance to the event.”

Later that day, a more extensive set of road closures will be put in place between 3-5 p.m. for the 20th Annual Arlington Police, Fire, Sheriff, & ECC 9/11 Memorial 5k race.

From a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department will close the following roadways around the Pentagon and in Crystal City to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Eads Street to 12th Street S.

From approximately 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

  • S. Eads Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Fern Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • S. Hayes Street, from Army Navy Drive to 12th Street S.
  • Army Navy Drive, from S. Joyce Street to S. Eads Street
  • S. Joyce Street, from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
  • Columbia Pike, from S. Oak Street to Washington Boulevard
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from Arlington Boulevard to Columbia Pike
  • S. Washington Boulevard, from SB George Washington Parkway
  • Route 110 S., from I-66 and Wilson Boulevard to Army Navy Drive
  • Marshall Drive, from Iwo Jima Access Road to Route 110 S.
  • Southgate Road, from Oak Street to Columbia Pike
  • The ramp to Army Navy Drive from NB I-395 Exit 8A, Arlington Ridge Road, and N. Washington Boulevard
  • The ramp from NB I-395 Exit 8C to Pentagon City / Crystal City

“Race attendees and spectators are encouraged to use Metro or other forms of multimodal transportation,” said the release. “The Pentagon City Metro Station (Blue and Yellow lines) and Crystal City Metro Station (Blue and Yellow lines) are located within walking distance to the racecourse. Paid parking is available at the Pentagon City Mall garage for those choosing to drive.”

Street parking in the area of both events will be restricted, with temporary “No Parking” signs placed along various streets, police said.

There’s also a third major event that will be coming through the county Saturday morning: the D.C. Bike Ride, the route for which goes over the 14th Street Bridge and loops around near the Pentagon.

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File photo

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) A pair of incidents involving local businesses and armed suspects were reported in today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

One happened on the 2000 block of Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse around 8:40 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“The female victim was standing outside a business when the suspect walked by and she greeted her,” according to police. “The suspect then allegedly made threatening statements, brandished a knife and held it towards the victim before fleeing the scene on foot.”

Initial reports suggest that the victim was an employee of the Ace hardware store on the block and that the suspect held the knife up to her throat. It’s not clear what, if anything, prompted the alleged attack.

“During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect, located her and took her into custody without incident at her residence,” said ACPD. “No injuries were reported.”

A 33-year-old Arlington woman was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery and Abduction, police said. She was held in jail without bond.

Early this morning, meanwhile, police responded to the 3300 block of Langston Blvd in the Cherrydale neighborhood for another report of an armed suspect at a local business.

“At approximately 4:38 a.m. on September 8, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery [that] just occurred,” said today’s crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the employee was inside the lobby of the business when the unknown suspect entered and approached the counter. The suspect then brandished a firearm and demanded money. The suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing the scene.”

The name of the business was not given by police.

“No injuries were reported,” the crime report said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

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