The interactive “Don’t Press Your Luck” event will highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills, and is free. It will be hosted at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18.
Police will close Hudson Street from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. from noon until 9 p.m. to accommodate the event. Temporary “No Parking” signs will be up, and illegally parked motorists could be ticketed or towed.
The event is part of a push by local police to remind partygoers of the dangers of drink-driving. According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, between 2011 and 2015, 252 people died in car crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday in the United States.
Earlier this week, ride-hailing app Lyft announced it will partner with SoberRide to provide free and safe transportation home during the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the D.C. region.
In addition to next week’s event, tonight (Friday) Arlington County Police will be trying out another initiative aimed at Clarendon bar-goers: blocking off some of the parking spots on Clarendon Blvd to create a pickup zone for Uber and Lyft riders.
On Friday, March 10, 2017 the Arlington County Police Department is conducting a pilot program in Clarendon providing a designated rideshare pickup location. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary no parking signs in the 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard beginning at approximately 11:00 p.m. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.
Police say the fraud happened between 2010 and 2016.
The suspect, Helen Agbapuruonwu, was charged with felony welfare fraud and document forgery. Her husband is listed on LinkedIn and elsewhere as an associate at the D.C. office of a large international law firm.
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
FELONY WELFARE FRAUD, 2016-10040029, 2100 block of Washington Boulevard. Between April 1, 2010 and August 1, 2016 the subject allegedly fraudulently obtained public assistance in excess of $100,000 under false pretenses. Helen Agbapuruonwu, 38, of Arlington VA was arrested and charged with felony welfare fraud and document forgery.
Two Northern Virginia men have been sentenced after being convicted of ripping off elderly homeowners in Arlington’s Yorktown neighborhood.
John Walsh and Mark Sisk were sentenced to serve at least two years in prison and pay $62,100 in restitution to the victims, in addition to several years of probation. Prosecutors say the pair conned the elderly residents of a home on 27th Street N. into believing that they “were in need of serious home repair.”
More from an Arlington County Police Department press release, below.
Two men were sentenced on Friday, March 3, 2017 in the Arlington County Circuit Court for their role in a fraud scheme targeting Arlington County residents. John Patrick Walsh, 32, of Culpepper, VA was sentenced to seven years in prison, with all but two years suspended, on the charges of false pretenses and conspiracy. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $62,100 and ordered to five years of probation upon release from incarceration. Mark Sisk, 31, of Boston, VA was sentenced to six years in prison, with all but two years and five months suspended, on three charges of false pretenses. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $62,100 and ordered to three years of probation upon release from incarceration.
On September 10, 2016, Walsh and Sisk approached the victim’s residence in the 4800 block of N. 27th Street and fraudulently claimed to be contractors working in the area. They advised the elderly residents that they were in need of serious home repair and that failure to comply could result in the home catching fire. Throughout the month of September, Walsh and Sisk misrepresented the need for work and provided false information to the victims that work had been performed. Through a series of repeated home repair scams, the victims were defrauded of $62,100 in cash.
Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, “The individuals who perpetrate these scams target and victimize our most vulnerable populations. While there was a substantial loss of money in this investigation, the greater loss was the victim’s sense of security in their own home. This prosecution serves as another opportunity to warn residents to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Residents should beware of any smooth-talking salesman who comes to your home unannounced.”
Detective K. White was the lead detective.
One of the incidents happened early Friday morning in Ballston, while the other happened last Tuesday along Columbia Pike.
ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2017-03030034, 4000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 3:01 AM on March 3, police responded to the report of a dispute. As officers were conducting the investigation, a male subject became aggressive and pushed an officer several times before being detained. A warrant was secured for Assault and Battery on Police for Robert Holloway, 46, of Arlington VA.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY ON POLICE, 2017-02280024, 5500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:50 a.m. on February 28, officers responded to the report of a fight in progress. As officers were investigating the incident, a subject on scene became argumentative and aggressive towards an individual being interviewed by police. As officers were attempting to escort the subject away from the scene, he allegedly began to physically resist the officers, swung his arm and struck an officer in the face. Dorj Jargalsaikhan, 47, of Arlington VA was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. He was held on no bond.
The rest of the past week’s ACPD crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Skimmers Found on Gas Pumps — Arlington County Police are investigating credit card skimmers that were found on gas pumps at the Shell station on S. Four Mile Run Drive. [NBC Washington]
‘Project DAPS’ Now Online — An Arlington Public Library project to digitize records, photos and oral histories of the effort to desegregate schools in Arlington County went online last month. Arlington “defied the state” when the first black students began attending Stratford Junior High in January 1959, though it would take another 12 years before county schools were fully integrated. [WAMU]
Candidate Withdraws from Delegate Race — It’s the shortest local primary challenge in recent memory. Alexandria City School Board member Karen Graf, who announced on Feb. 6 that she was challenging Del. Mark Levine (D-45) for the Democratic nomination, has withdrawn from the race. Levine’s 45th House of Delegates district includes part of Arlington. [Alexandria News]
Some Still Skeptical of High Water Bills — “Ridiculous” is how one local civic association president described Arlington County’s conclusion that big spikes in water bills charged to some homeowners last year were not the result of systematic errors. [InsideNova]
New Vape Store in Ballston — “House of Vape, one of the fastest growing retail vape chains in the Mid-Atlantic region, has opened a new brick and mortar store in Arlington, Virginia, near the Ballston Metro station.” [PR Rocket]
Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak
There is an “ongoing and active criminal investigation” happening today at a Columbia Pike apartment building.
Arlington County Police, Virginia State Police and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed a search warrant this morning at Dominion Towers (1201 S. Courthouse Road), in connection with a criminal investigation, a police spokeswoman said.
“Police are executing an ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) search warrant in the 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “Virginia State Police and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents are assisting in the execution of the search warrant. This investigation is not related to ICE’s immigration enforcement.”
A neighbor who witnessed the law enforcement activity said a mobile command center and a Chevrolet Suburban with a sign reading “OFFICIAL ICE BUSINESS” were parked outside the building around 6:30 a.m. The neighbor described “residents shuffling into that RV in their pajamas.”
Police are not releasing additional information about the investigation at this time, Savage said.
The break-in happened just after 7:30 p.m., at an apartment building on the 1300 block of Fort Myer Drive.
“An unknown subject entered a female victim’s residence,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The female victim was in a bedroom at the time and heard noises originating from the kitchen. The victim believed the subject retrieved a knife from the kitchen as he made his way towards her location.”
“The subject then tried to force his way into the bedroom but was unsuccessful in gaining entry,” the crime report continues. “The subject fled the scene shortly after. A K9 track of the area returned with negative results.”
The only description the victim was able to give officers was that the suspect was wearing gray shoes. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Resident Helps ACPD Arrest Break-in Suspects — On Saturday an Arlington resident spotted a group of people breaking into car and immediately called 911, leading to the arrest of three juvenile suspects. Police say such cooperation from the community can help them fight crime. Over the weekend more than 30 vehicles were “entered and rummaged through” in Arlington. [Facebook]
Alexandria Schools Closed Wednesday — Alexandria City Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday after more than 300 staff members requested leave. That coincides with Wednesday’s “Day Without Women” protest. Arlington Public Schools will remain open, a spokesman said, although Wednesday is an early release day for elementary schools. [Twitter, InsideNova]
Orange Line’s Abysmal On-Time Rate — Last year trains on Metro’s Orange Line were only on time 56 percent of the time. [Twitter]
Spotlight on Uyghur Cuisine — Crystal City’s Queen Amannisa is one of three restaurants serving Uyghur cuisine — with its mix of Chinese, Central Asian and Middle Eastern influences — in the D.C. area. Uyghur “is going to be the next big thing in the United States,” said a partner in the restaurant. [Washington Post]
Chick-fil-A Coming to DCA — A new Chick-fil-A restaurant is coming to Terminal C at Reagan National Airport, in the former Cosi space. [PoPville]
Grand Opening for Xfinity Store — On Saturday Comcast celebrated the grand opening of its new 6,700 square foot Xfinity store in Courthouse. The store replaces the former Comcast Service Center in Clarendon. The store “features a comfortable seating area and informational, interactive displays where customers can learn more about Comcast’s products and services, including Comcast Business services, the X1 Entertainment Operating System, Xfinity Home automation and security offerings and Comcast’s suite of mobile apps.”
A Largo, Md. man was sentenced to 17 years in prison Friday for his role in a shooting on Columbia Pike last year.
Martin Walker, 25, was charged with attempted murder, malicious wounding, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Arlington County police responded to the 3600 block of Columbia Pike on April 20, 2016, after reports of a dispute involving a used car dealer. Upon arriving, officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to his leg.
The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Walker was one of three arrested in the case, including the victim, who was determined to be “an aggressor in the dispute” and was later sentenced to a year in jail.
More from ACPD:
Martin Walker, 25, of Largo, MD was sentenced on Friday, March 3, 2017 in the Arlington County Circuit Court to seventeen years in prison for his role in a shooting on Columbia Pike in 2016. Judge Fiore imposed a sentence of seventeen years for the charges of Attempted Murder, Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
On April 20, 2016 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Arlington County Police responded to a report of a dispute in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg. He was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The initial investigation revealed there was a dispute between several subjects and a business owner over the sale of a vehicle. One subject brandished a firearm and shot multiple rounds towards the victim who was sitting in his vehicle. Following the shooting, the subjects fled the area. Officers observed the subject’s vehicle and initiated a short pursuit on Northbound I-395. The pursuit was terminated in Washington D.C. United States Park Police assisted the investigation with the use of their helicopter.
Detectives from the Department’s Homicide/Robbery and Tactical Units developed suspect descriptions. Members of the SWAT Team took Martin Walker and Joseph Thompson into custody from a residence in the 2400 block of S. Lowell Street. Joseph Thompson, 27, of Manassas VA, previously entered an Alford plea to the charge of Attempted Malicious Wounding by Mob and was sentenced to serve one year in jail.
Through the course of the investigation, detectives determined that the initial male victim suffering from a gunshot wound had been an aggressor in the dispute. Gregory Porter Jr., 22, of Triangle VA, previously pled guilty to the charge of Attempted Malicious Wounding by Mob and was sentenced to serve one year in jail.
Detective S. Roeseler was the lead detective and the case was prosecuted by Commonwealth Attorney Josh Katcher.
A local man will spend 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman after breaking into her apartment last year.
Arlington resident Anibal Rodriguez Castellanos was today sentenced to 30 years, with five years suspended, for a charge of burglary while armed and 10 years for a charge of attempted rape. The sentences will run concurrently.
Police said Castellanos, 37, broke into an apartment on the 3900 block of 4th Street N. and sexually assaulted a 28-year-old woman who lived there on June 19 last year.
More from ACPD:
An Arlington man was sentenced on Friday, March 3, 2017 in the Arlington County Circuit Court for his role in a 2016 sexual assault. Anibal Rodriguez Castellanos, 37, was sentenced to thirty years, with five years suspended, for the charge of burglary while armed and ten years for the charge of attempted rape. These sentences will run concurrently. After his release, Castellanos will be listed on the sex offender registry and will be deported upon serving his sentence.
Theophani K. Stamos, Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney and M. Jay Farr, Arlington County’s Chief of Police made the announcement following the court appearance.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on June 19, 2016, a male subject unlawfully entered a female victim’s residence in the 3900 block of 4th Street N. and sexually assaulted her. The subject used the threat of a weapon to hold her against her will. During the attack, the 28-year-old female victim was able to lock herself in the bathroom and yell for help. The male subject fled the scene on foot and was observed by a neighbor leaving the scene.
Following interviews with the victim and witnesses, a composite sketch of the suspect was developed. A combination of evidence collected during the investigation and the accounts of several people from the neighborhood led to the identification of Anibal Rodriguez Castellanos.
“The victim’s searing courtroom testimony today was heartbreaking and the sentence handed down today by Judge Newman was entirely appropriate. My hope is that today’s outcome will bring a small measure of peace and closure to the victim. She deserves that.” Theo Stamos, Commonwealth’s Attorney.
Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, “The steadfast investigative work completed by our detectives, the strong partnership with the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the ultimate sentence imposed by the court sends a powerful message that we will use all available resources in our pursuit to keep our community protected from sexual predators.”
Detective P. Pena was the lead detective and the case was prosecuted by Commonwealth Attorney Lisa Tingle.
Autria Godfrey, a morning news anchor on WJLA (ABC 7), was charged with trespassing and being drunk in public last month in Clarendon.
The incident happened early Saturday morning, on Feb. 18, at Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street).
From Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage:
“At approximately 12:45 AM on February 18, officers working a detail in Clarendon responded to the 1100 block of N. Highland Street for the report of a disturbance at a restaurant. The restaurant manager advised arriving officers that a female subject had allegedly started an altercation inside the establishment and they no longer wanted her on the property. Restaurant employees escorted the female subject off the property where she was advised by police that she would be arrested for trespassing if she returned that evening. The female subject left the immediate area with friends.
At approximately 1:24 AM, officers were advised that the female subject had returned to the property. Responding officers arrived on scene and observed the female subject inside the restaurant. Autria Godfrey, 33, was arrested and charged with trespassing and drunk in public.”
Godfrey was arraigned Feb. 24 and is due back in court on May 19.
Police are now investigating the incident, which happened Monday around noon on the 4500 block of N. Carlin Springs Road, as a case of unlawful entry and possibly more.
Additional information from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-02270125, 4500 block of N. Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 12:06 p.m. on February 27, officers responded to the report of a breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that four unknown individuals entered a residence while the homeowner was inside and claimed to be an insurance company. The individuals observed each room and then left the residence. No items appeared to be missing. The first suspect is described as a white female in her late forties, with short blonde hair, and was heavy set. The second suspect is described as a black male in his late forties with a thin build. The third suspect is described as a white male in his late forties, with black/grey hair, and was heavy set. The fourth suspect is described as a white female in her late forties, with light brown hair, and an average build. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of the past week’s ACPD crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
Woman Arrested in Williamsburg Murder Case — A 27-year-old Maryland woman has been arrested and charged with being an accessory to last month’s homicide at a house party in the Williamsburg neighborhood. A press release does not specify how Monique Williams allegedly helped the suspect, Jason Allen Johnson, who remains at large. [Arlington County]
Police Looking for Missing Teen — Fairfax County Police are leading the search for Alex Daniel Terceros, a developmentally disabled 17-year-old who was reportedly last seen at the under-renovation Ballston Common Mall, after his mom dropped him off at the mall. [Fox 5]
Georgetown Still Interested in Gondola — Georgetown is pushing forward with studies that would be the precursor for a Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola system, despite Arlington County pledging not to fund any such project. [Bisnow]
Three Running for School Board — Three people are now running in the Democratic school board endorsement caucus. Montessori advocate Monique O’Grady, the mother of Fox TV star Brittany O’Grady, has joined the race, facing off against incumbent James Lander and fellow challenger Maura McMahon. [InsideNova]
VOICE Condemns VOICE — The local social justice group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement has issued a statement condemning President Donald Trump’s proposed Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE). The Virginia VOICE says Trump’s VOICE is “a regrettable attempt to criminalize a whole category of U.S. residents, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding, tax-paying contributors to the country’s economy.” [VOICE]
Parents of Autistic Students File Complaint Against APS — “In Arlington, Va., the Autistic Self Advocacy Network filed a discrimination complaint last spring with the Justice Department on behalf of five nonspeaking students — dubbed the “Arlington Five” — whose requests to use letter boards and trained communication supporters to access general education were denied by the school district.” [Washington Post]
Photo courtesy John Sonderman
Though Arlington County welcomes people of all legal statuses, it can’t protect them from federal immigration enforcement.
That’s the gist of what Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz said during a County Board meeting this week. Schwartz announced the launch of a new website aimed at answering many of the questions residents have had in the wake of recent uncertainty over immigration enforcement across the U.S.
The website, which is available in English and Spanish, includes a long list of frequently asked questions on immigration, public safety, education and community resources. County officials also launched an online resource for immigrants seeking assistance, legal aid and other services.
“I believe one of our primary responsibilities is to provide as much information and as much certainty to our residents in these very uncertain times, and we will continue to do so,” Schwartz said during the meeting.
First and foremost, the county seeks to answer several questions regarding its status as a “sanctuary jurisdiction,” Schwartz said.
“We have heard from many residents asking about our status as a sanctuary,” he said. “We have not used the term sanctuary or sanctuary city to define Arlington County. We believe that using that term could potentially mislead people into believing that Arlington County is able to shield them from immigration enforcement actions by the federal government.”
Schwartz said that the Arlington County Police Department will not act to enforce federal immigration law, and that the county doesn’t participate in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program that gives local and state governments the power to deputize police for immigration enforcement.
“I want to reinforce that ACPD will continue our long history of community policing, working closely with our residents to reduce and prevent crime and improve the quality of live of all Arlington’s residents, all of Arlington’s visitors and businesses, regardless of their immigration status,” Schwartz said. “These policies have been central to creating the safety and security we enjoy in Arlington.”
Though ACPD officers may accompany federal agents during arrests, their role will be to “maintain the safety and security of the public,” he said. ACPD also assists in executing federal criminal warrants, though ICE primarily conducts removals outside of the criminal judicial process.
“Any ACPD involvement in ICE actions is limited to those actions where a criminal warrant exists for the apprehension of a specific individual or individuals and there is a legitimate local public safety concern,” says the county website. “ACPD will cooperate to the fullest extent with any federal, state or local law enforcement agency, including ICE, requesting assistance with executing a criminal warrant within Arlington County.”
(Arlington County Police Chief Jay Farr also clarified the department’s role in a WERA interview last month.)
Additionally, Schwartz said he met with ICE officials based in the agency’s D.C. area field office, who told him they are “not doing wide immigration sweeps or immigration raids, but are focusing solely on targeted actions on specific individuals.”
Under existing ICE policy, enforcement is limited at churches, schools, medical facilities and other “sensitive” locations. Still, it would be an understatement to say Arlington residents are worried about the possibility of such actions, and with good reason. ICE agents have reportedly picked up undocumented immigrants at “sensitive” locations across the country, including at a church and homeless shelter in nearby Fairfax County.
“This is a difficult time that requires us to come together as a community to embrace our strengths of diversity and inclusion,” Schwartz said. “We ask that residents continue to work with each other to support our friends and neighbors.”
Locals who have questions or suggestions are encouraged to email the county at [email protected].
Arlington County Police are on scene of a possible barricade situation in the Douglas Park neighborhood, just south of Columbia Pike.
Police have blocked off part of 16th Street S., between Glebe Road and S. Monroe Street.
“Lots of police cars and a cop on a loudspeaker that keeps asking for a guy to come to the door,” an anonymous tipster told ARLnow.com just before 7 p.m. “[They’re saying] we’re not going anywhere… just come out.”
“ACPD is working to have a wanted subject safely exit a residence,” said police department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “There is no larger threat to community.”
Update at 8:50 p.m. — “The suspect has safely been taken into police custody,” Savage said. “Police remain on scene investigating.”