Arlington County Police will begin issuing tickets as it enforces its new drop-off and pick-up zones in Clarendon tonight (Thursday).
ACPD made the announcement via Twitter this morning. It follows several weeks of public outreach about the new rules, which are intended to stop double parking, blocking of crosswalks and bike lanes, and other bad driver behavior.
Beginning TONIGHT in Clarendon, ACPD will begin enforcing the designated passenger drop-off and pick-up zones. Motorists should be on the lookout for 'No Parking Except 5 Minute Passenger Pick Up and Drop Off Zones' signs.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) June 21, 2018
The enforcement comes as an event has taken over Clarendon’s Metro plaza.
Make Music Day kicked off at 11 a.m. and is planned to run through through 9 p.m. tonight. Performers include Americana group Know1Else, who will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and 9:30 Club veterans Skyline Hotel, slotted for 8 p.m.
Make Music Day began in France in the early 1980s and takes place annually on the summer solstice. The event is now celebrated in 800 cities across 120 countries, said Carol Leonhart, co-director of Make Music Day D.C. and co-founder of Global Jam 4 Peace.
Melanie Pincus contributed photos and reporting
It’s Summer — Today is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year in terms of daylight. [Fortune]
Verizon 911 Outage — Updated at 11:40 a.m. — From Arlington Alert: “Due to a regional Verizon outage, Verizon mobile phones may not be able to reach 9-1-1 or non-emergency numbers in the area at this time. Please use Text-to-9-1-1 or another phone carrier if the voice call does not go through.” Callers in Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William are also affected by the outage. Service was restored around 11 a.m. [Twitter, WJLA]
Crash Leads to All-Time Terrible Commute — Yesterday’s evening commute was “atrocious” and the “worst I’ve ever seen” in Northern Virginia, per transportation reporter Adam Tuss. Traffic was especially slow on northbound I-395 and the northbound GW Parkway approaching D.C., after a deadly and fiery truck crash shut down a portion of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Capital Beltway. [WTOP, Twitter, Twitter]
New Details in Police Shooting — There are new details in the police shooting of a man near Columbia Pike last month. According to court records, Steven Best and his passenger “were involved in a drug transaction with a man outside a hotel.” Police then boxed in his van to make an arrest, but Best allegedly tried to flee, driving “forwards and backwards, striking multiple police cars,” leading to the shooting. Best’s family, which has questioned the police account of what happened, says they have a video of the shooting. [WJLA]
Housing Costs Still Rising — The average per-square-foot cost of an existing home in Arlington is now $475, an increase of 1.3 percent compared to last year and the highest such figure among Northern Virginia localities. [InsideNova]
New ACPD Officers — Ten new Arlington police officers took the oath of honor to protect and serve the residents of Arlington County earlier this week after graduating from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy. [Twitter]
Bishop Burbidge on World Refugee Day — Catholic Diocese of Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge released a statement in honor of World Refugee Day yesterday, saying in part: “may we… stand with refugees and commemorate their courage, resilience and perseverance. May we always remember to ‘treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and … love him as yourself, for [we] were strangers in the land of Egypt’ (Leviticus19:34).” [Arlington Catholic Herald, Twitter]
Food Truck Inspections — The Arlington County Fire Department has been performing inspections this week of food trucks that operate in Arlington. Officials have been specifically looking at fire suppression systems and the storage of cooking fuels. [Twitter]
Both incidents, which were reported to police an hour apart, happened Thursday night in the Radnor-Fort Myer heights neighborhood. Both times, a woman witnessed a man exposing himself and masturbating.
The suspect descriptions differ, and are not do not match up precisely with the serial flashing suspect, but the suspect behavior is similar.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-06140250, 1300 block of Fort Myer Drive. At approximately 10:20 p.m. on June 14, police were dispatched to the report of an exposure just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking in the area when she observed a male suspect exposing himself and masturbating. The suspect then approached the victim and touched her inappropriately before fleeing the area on foot. The suspect is described as a male, approximately 5’6, in his mid 20’s, with an average build, approximately 120 lbs., wearing dark grey sweatshirt and dark pants, with a hood pulled tightly around his face. The investigation is ongoing.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2018-06140269, 1300 block of N. Meade Street. At approximately 11:19 p.m. on June 14, police were dispatched to the report of a peeping. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was inside her residence when she noticed movement outside her window and observed an unknown male suspect exposing himself and masturbating outside the window. The suspect is described as a tall white male, with a muscular build, wearing a maroon or dark red short sleeved shirt and jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.
FBI Renews Search for Hotel Rapist — A cold case is getting hotter as the FBI steps up the search for a man who raped hotel employees in the D.C. area, including in Arlington, between 1998 and 2006. Authorities still don’t know who the suspect is, but in a first for the region, the man’s DNA profile has been indicted for the crime. [FBI, NBC Washington, WTOP]
‘Unaccompanied Minors’ Housed at Local Facility? — “The feds may use a local juvenile detention center to house some of the nearly 2,000 children they’ve separated from their parents at the Mexican border. Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg said she’s expressed ‘strong concerns’ with the board that runs the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, which has a contract to hold as many as 30 unaccompanied minors. The detention center is jointly run by Alexandria and Arlington.” [WUSA 9]
ACPD Helps Kid’s Dream Come True — “After over 900 days in foster care, Cameron’s wish came true when he found his forever family. During last week’s @Capitals visit, we were able to help him with his 2nd wish-touching the #StanleyCup! Today he stopped by to thank Officer Rihl for helping make his dream a reality!” [Twitter]
Local Tech Firm Signs Rosslyn Lease — As expected after being selected for a $60,000 Gazelle grant from Arlington County earlier this year, local tech firm Higher logic has signed a lease and is moving employees into a new 31,000 square foot headquarters space at Waterview Tower (1919 N. Lynn Street) in Rosslyn. The company, which makes community engagement software, acquired four companies last year. The new office offers “floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Potomac River, an open, collaborative environment, and much needed room to expand.” [Washington Business Journal]
Firefighters Help Cool Kids Down — Earlier this week, with sweltering temperatures putting a damper on outdoor activities, an Arlington County fire engine helped Patrick Henry Elementary students cool down during their field day. [Twitter]
ACFD Trains for Water Rescues — The Arlington County Fire Department has a water rescue team, and before yesterday’s rains the team was training in the rapids at Great Falls. [Twitter]
A heat wave is just around the corner, just in time for the weekend (and Father’s Day).
The forecast is set to be gorgeous for the next two days, before things get especially steamy Sunday.
It’s the perfect weather to, say, stop by a beer garden and crawfish boil, or check out the new Rosslyn observation deck. There are plenty of other events on tap this weekend too if you’re looking for something to do with the dads in your life.
In the meantime, check out some of our most popular stories of the last week:
- Caps Stop in Clarendon, With Stanley Cup in Tow
- Washington-Lee High School to be Renamed
- Man Jumps in Front of Train at East Falls Church Metro
- Video: Crystal City Metro Station Gets Unexpected Visitor
- Overhaul of Tricky ‘Clarendon Circle’ Intersection Could Start This Fall
Speaking of the Caps stopping in Clarendon with the Stanley Cup last Friday, there was more Capitals excitement in Arlington today. Alexander Ovechkin and Caps owner Ted Leonsis brought the Cup to the Arlington County Police Department for a quick photo opportunity.
Congratulations to our #StanleyCup Champions, @Capitals! Thank you being a great community partner and for supporting our public safety officers. We were honored to celebrate with you today! pic.twitter.com/hWDmHh4TZw
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) June 15, 2018
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) June 15, 2018
Head down to the comment to discuss these stories, the Caps, your Father’s Day plans or anything else local. Have a great weekend!
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
Free Admission at New Observation Deck — The new observation deck in Rosslyn is holding “Arlington County residents day” this weekend. Arlington County residents with valid ID can present it at the Observation Deck at CEB Tower box office for free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. [Observation Deck at CEB Tower]
Stanley Cup to Visit ACPD Today — The Arlington County Police Department is set for a visit from the Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and the Stanley Cup today. [WUSA 9]
Pike May Get New ‘Showplace’ Library — “The current two-story community library in the corridor is tucked away on the Arlington Career Center campus, which is slated for a massive, if currently undefined, redevelopment effort in coming years. A library space is expected to be part of the redevelopment package, but county officials are looking at other options, including a full-frontal signature space facing Columbia Pike itself.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by GM and MB
The incident happened in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood. It reportedly started when officers located a vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Prince George’s County.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON POLICE, 2018-06080065, 2000 block of S. Langley Street. At approximately 7:07 a.m. on June 8, a lookout was broadcast for a vehicle stolen out of Prince George’s County. Officers located the vehicle and activated their emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop. As the officers approached the vehicle on foot, the suspect fled the scene and struck an occupied police cruiser. The suspect turned onto a dead end roadway and attempted to flee the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. Nehemais Mejia, 22, of Riverdale, MD was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police, Felony Hit and Run, Felony Eluding, Felony Destruction of Property, Grand Larceny Auto, Driving Under the Influence and No Operator’s License. He was held on no bond.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, after the jump.
Construction Kicks Off at The Berkeley — Work is underway on The Berkeley, and “obsolete” apartment building at 2900-2910 S. Glebe Road that is doing a significant redevelopment. The $100 million project will turn the 137 units currently on the site into 256 apartments. [Multi-Housing News]
Remains May Be Linked to Missing Person Case — Remains found in Stafford County are reportedly those of a woman who went missing in Arlington in 1989. The missing woman’s husband — Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, who’s currently in jail for another woman’s murder — told police at the time that his wife left and was living in the Miami area. Later D.C. police learned that it was his second wife’s sister, who had assumed the identity of Rodriguez-Cruz’s first wife. [Fox 5]
Vida Fitness Eyeing Rosslyn Location — “[Vida Fitness] has a letter of intent for space in western Rosslyn, owner David von Storch told the Business Journal… The location — which will include SweatBox, a boutique studio within a gym that offers high-intensity interval training in a fast-paced, heart-monitored workout — would open in the fourth quarter of 2020. Von Storch already has a deal to open a Vida in Ballston.” [Washington Business Journal]
ACPD Motor Squad Escorts the Caps — Members of the Arlington County Police Department’s motorcycle squad helped escort the Washington Capitals and the Stanley Cup in yesterday’s victory parade in D.C. Other regional police agencies, including Montgomery County Police, also participated. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
The return of the Armed Forces Cycling Classic to Arlington will prompt a few road closures this weekend, with Clarendon impacted Saturday (June 9) and Crystal City facing closures Sunday (June 10).
Cyclists of all skill levels will compete in the 21st annual “Clarendon Cup” Saturday. The event features professional cyclists competing in what is billed as “one of the most difficult criterium races in the USA, due to technical demands of the course and the quality of the participant.”
Arlington County Police are planning to close the following roads around Clarendon from 4:30 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. that day:
- Wilson Blvd., from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Blvd.
- Clarendon Blvd., from Washington Blvd. to N. Fillmore Street
- Washington Blvd., from Wilson Blvd. to N. Highland Street
- North Highland Street, from Wilson Blvd. to Washington Blvd.
- North Garfield Street / N. Fillmore Street, from Wilson Blvd. to Washington Blvd.
On Sunday, riders will square off in the “Crystal Cup,” and police plan to close more roads from 4:30 a.m. to about 5 p.m.:
- Crystal Drive, from S. 15th Street through S. 23rd Street
- Wilson Blvd., from N. Kent Street to the Route 110 ramp
- Route 110, from Rosslyn to Crystal City
- S. Clark Street, from S. 20th Street to S. 23rd Street
- S. 20th Street, from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
- S. 18th Street, from Crystal Drive to S. Bell Street
- S. 23rd Street from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
- Crystal Drive (West side), from S. 23rd St to the Central Center Parking Garage
- S. 12th Street and Long Bridge Drive
Police also plan to post “no parking” signs in the vicinity of both races. Anyone with their vehicle towed should call the county’s Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.
Photo via the Armed Forces Cycling Classic
The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night at a medical office on the 2100 block of Washington Blvd — the same block as Arlington County’s public health services office.
Police say a man became combative with medical staff and then later kicked and spit on a police officer who responded to the scene, while also spitting on a second officer.
More from the crime report:
ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2018-06050263, 2100 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 9:29 p.m. on June 5, medical staff at the hospital were evaluating a subject, when the subject became disorderly and combative. Officers already on scene intervened to assist hospital staff with the subject, who then allegedly kicked and spit on one officer and spit on another officer while being restrained. Once medically cleared, the subject was transported to booking. No officers required medical treatment. Gary Champagne, 54, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police (x2). He was held on no bond.
‘Coffee With a Cop’ Comes to Clarendon, Pentagon City — The Arlington County Police Department is hosting a pair of “Coffee with a Cop” events later this month, at a Starbucks in Pentagon City and Northside Social in Clarendon. In a press release, ACPD said it “is committed to developing and maintaining strong relationships with those we serve, a vital component to ensuring the public’s trust.” [Arlington County]
Potomac Roaring Over Great Falls — Those within earshot of the Potomac River are being treated to an especially loud roar this week as the rain-swollen river “churned and even exploded into the air at Great Falls.” It also flooded parts of Alexandria and the Georgetown riverfront. [Washington Post, Twitter, Twitter]
Photo courtesy @jimcollierjr
Arlington County Police and school officials are working to track down the people responsible for a series of thefts from local schools over the last few months.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says her department has received 10 reports of larcenies of credits cards or wallets from Arlington schools since May 2017, with the most recent coming last Thursday (May 31).
She says police are investigating thefts from nine schools in all:
- Ashlawn Elementary School
- Barcroft Elementary School
- Campbell Elementary School
- Carlin Springs Elementary School
- Drew Model School
- Glebe Elementary School
- Jamestown Elementary School
- McKinley Elementary School
- Tuckahoe Elementary School
“The investigation into these incidents determined that in the majority of cases, the suspects enter the schools following dismissal and steal unsecured personal belongings to include wallets, credit cards and cash,” Savage told ARLnow via email. “These crimes are organized and believed to be regional in nature. While there is no indication that this individual is linked to this case, similar incidents have been reported in Maryland.”
Savage says the department is urging school staffers, particularly in elementary schools, to report suspicious activity and regularly monitor their bank statements. APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said the school system is taking steps to address the issue as well.
“We have been working with police to circulate the images of the suspects,” Bellavia wrote via email. “We are also asking staff to make sure to lock up their personal belongings so that they can’t be accessed. Front office staff as well as other staff members are being asked to be vigilant especially during dismissal when there are a lot of people around.”
A tipster told ARLnow that the thefts bring up larger questions about school safety.
“This put[s] the entire school community at risk,” the tipster said. “It is my deep concern about procedures in APS schools and the failure of the administration to properly address the school safety issue. If attention is not drawn to this now, it is my fear this will escalate into a crisis.”
An email sent to school staff from an ACPD sergeant, an image of which was sent by the tipster, has more details about how the thieves operate. (It also contained a link to an article about similar thefts in Maryland.)
We believe these crimes are organized, regional in nature, and possible based out of the area near the Prince George’s/District line. Most charges are near here and in Silver Spring.
We believe the schools that are targeted are mostly elementary schools and mostly near the outskirts of the county near a highway that links up to DC/MD.
We believe a group arrives at a school near dismissal time and parks nearby.
Some occupants stay inside the vehicle and some wander onto school property and look to enter an entrance that is not the main school entrance. They then look lost, look into open classrooms, and look through purses and only take credit cards. They cards are then maxed out using some type of purchase with money cards at a CVS. This allows the thieves to recover cash from their crimes.
Trista Nealon and some of her neighbors thought they were doing the right thing when they forced their way into the neighborhood pool to rescue some wayward ducklings — but now, their condo association is threatening them with criminal charges for their efforts.
Nealon tells ARLnow that one of her fellow condo owners in Fairlington Glen noticed seven ducklings stuck in the neighborhood’s community pool back on May 10 and she decided to go ask the pool’s manager if she could get in and help them leave.
When Nealon was rebuffed, she and her neighbors tried contacting a member of the Wildlife Rescue League to come help — again, they had no luck. So a group went back over to the pool, unlocked its gate by reaching in through a well-positioned mail slot, and fished out the baby ducks.
Nealon says a woman accosted the group at the time and threatened to call the police, before storming off, but she otherwise didn’t think much of the encounter. Yet when last Thursday (May 31) rolled around, Nealon and a few other neighbors involved in the rescue effort received a letter from attorneys representing the Fairlington Glen Council of Co-Owners informing her that the group’s Board of Directors “is currently considering whether to press charges or take other enforcement action.”
“I am a [27-year] Glen resident owner, and it is ridiculous that I am being threatened with criminal charges for being a Good Samaritan and saving baby ducks,” Nealon wrote in an email. She shared a copy of the letter with ARLnow and also posted it to a Facebook group for Fairlington residents.
Kristen Buck, an associate with the firm Rees Broome, said in the letter that the condo board felt a lock around the pool was damaged in the process of this rescue effort, and she’s requesting the people involved to pay the board $100 each to help reimburse the cost of replacing it.
“Such a good faith payment may influence whether the Board decides to press charges or take other action,” Buck wrote.
Nealon insists that no one damaged any property over the course of this episode, and she finds Buck’s suggestion that the neighbors should have simply called the county’s animal control to be without merit, given the “imminent danger” she felt the ducklings were in at the time.
Buck declined comment on the matter, as did Thora Stanwood, president of the condo association’s Board of Directors.
But, in a newsletter distributed by the condo association, there is a reference to a “break in” at the Fairlington Glen pool.
The newsletter claims a police report was filed about the incident, and that condo association’s Board of Directors “consulted with legal counsel about the recovery of damage from the break in.” County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage says she has no record of any police report being filed from the area that day.
Nealon isn’t sure what she’ll do next, but she at least plans to attend the condo association’s next meeting to protest her treatment, and she doesn’t expect she’ll be alone.
Her post on the Fairlington Appreciation Society Facebook page about the incident already has 125 likes and dozens of supportive comments.
Photo courtesy of Trista Nealon
New Weapon in Battle Against Opioid Addiction — “Arlington County has taken a proactive measure in the fight against prescription drug abuse by installing three permanent drug-take back boxes. The public can now safely and securely dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day a year. This disposal service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.” [Arlington County]
Lack of 5G Could Hurt Amazon Bid — Arlington’s lack of 5G wireless service could hurt it in the eyes of Amazon as the online giant considers the county for its second headquarters, says a letter to the editor writer. The county should have more actively adjusted policy and lobbied carriers for 5G, the writer suggests. [InsideNova]
Woman Arrested After Victoria’s Secret Assault — “A D.C. woman was arrested for attacking two employees at a Victoria’s Secret in Arlington after she says one of them followed her around the store, according to authorities.” [WJLA]
Average I-66 HOV Round Trip Cost — The average round trip cost for single occupant drivers on the I-66 Express Lanes, from their December opening to the end of April, was $12.72, according to new data. Some drivers have faced steeper tolls during “peak of the peak” times. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani
County Board Lauds Medicaid Expansion — “We applaud the General Assembly for taking this critical step,” Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said in a county press release. “We are especially thrilled that some 7,000 Arlingtonians now will have healthcare coverage — this legislative action will improve outcomes for their health and welfare, strengthen our workforce, and help our community and the Commonwealth.” [Arlington County]
Local Man Charged With Punching Horse in Dewey — A 23-year-old Arlington man has been charged with striking a Delaware State Police horse during a late night brawl in Dewey Beach, Del. over Memorial Day weekend. The horse was uninjured. [Cape Gazette]
Meet Some of the Women of Public Safety in Arlington — “Women in Arlington County’s public safety agencies and departments take on a diverse array of roles, all of which will be on display at the second annual Women in Public Safety Outreach Event” this weekend. [Arlington County]
Nearby: Falls Church Releases Footage of Groping Suspect — Falls Church Police have released video surveillance footage of a man they said groped a woman after she walked into a business on the 700 block of W. Broad Street. [City of Falls Church, YouTube]