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Video: Shirtless Man Spotted Wandering in Middle of I-395 Near Shirlington Exit

Drivers on I-395 were alarmed to discover a man walking shirtless and barefoot near the highway’s Shirlington exit yesterday afternoon (Thursday).

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told ARLnow that motorists spotted the man walking just south of Exit 6 in the highway’s northbound lanes.

She added that officers first received a call about the incident around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, and a reader tweeted a video of the incident to ARLnow around 2 p.m.

The video shows the man wandering in lanes of traffic, prompting a state trooper and other cars to abruptly stop and pull over.

The trooper and another man eventually guided him onto the shoulder — Geller said the other man in the video was an “off-duty federal agent” pitching in to help.

Geller says the man was subsequently taken to a local hospital “for medical and mental evaluation.”

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Morning Notes

Experts Expect Arlington Appreciation — “The quarterly survey, sponsored by Zillow and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC, asked more than 100 real estate economists and investment experts for their predictions about the U.S. housing market… Denver, Washington, Atlanta and Dallas ranked as the four markets most likely to outperform the national average rate of home-value appreciation.” [InsideNova]

Registration Open for MLK Day of Service — “Volunteer Arlington, a program of Leadership Center for Excellence, will host the second annual MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 21 from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Those looking to turn a day off into a ‘Day On’ can register free of charge.” [Volunteer Arlington]

Incoming: 25 New ACPD Officers — “On December 18, 2018, family, friends, and fellow officers gathered to celebrate the graduation of Session 139 from the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy (NVCJA), who took their oath to serve and protect the residents of Arlington County.” [Arlington County]

A Brief History of Rosslyn — “The many tall office buildings… make Rosslyn look more like a modern city than Washington does. It got that way by not being included in the District of Columbia — the result of political decisions that propelled the two neighboring cities in vastly different directions over the centuries. After all, Rosslyn wasn’t always this glossy — far from it.” [Politico]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Police Investigating After Vehicle Strikes Pedestrian Near Busy Crystal City Intersection This Morning

Police are investigating after a truck struck a pedestrian near a busy Crystal City intersection this morning (Friday).

County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the crash happened around 6:30 a.m. today near the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway and 23rd Street S.

Savage said a vehicle struck the pedestrian, who was transported to a local hospital with “non-life threatening injuries.”

A tipster told ARLnow that the vehicle in question was a landscaping truck.

Based on the initial investigation, police do not believe the pedestrian was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash. Savage said the investigation is still ongoing.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Crime Report: Police Investigating Attempted Break-In at Cherrydale Catholic School

Someone tried to break into the Saint Agnes Catholic School last Friday, according to Arlington County Police.

Police say they were called to the 2000 block of N. Randolph Street around 3:30 p.m. The Cherrydale neighborhood is home to both St. Agnes Catholic Church and its attached school building.

Callers told police that “an unknown suspect(s) attempted to force entry” to the school. However, they could not offer any description of the would-be burglars. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Full details from a county crime report:

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY, 2018-12140180, 2000 block of N. Randolph Street. At approximately 3:23 p.m. on December 14, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that between approximately 1:00 p.m. and 2:29 p.m., an unknown suspect(s) attempted to force entry to a school. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

And here are some other highlights from the past week of crime reports, including some we’ve already reported:

ROBBERY, 2018-12170009, 900 block of S. Buchanan Street. At approximately 1:05 a.m. on December 17, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that the two victims were walking in the area when a known male suspect began following them. When the victims arrived at their destination, they asked the suspect to leave, however, the suspect threatened the victims and stole one victim’s cell phone before fleeing on foot prior to police arrival. A warrant for robbery was obtained for the suspect.

BURGLARY, 2018-12140219, 1200 block of N. Taft Street. At approximately 4:30 p.m. on December 14, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:50 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., an unknown suspect gained entry to a residence and stole items of value. The suspect is described as a black male, 30-40 years old, approximately 6’0″ and 180-210 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes. The investigation is ongoing.

PEDESTRIAN-INVOLVED CRASH, 2018-12130082, Fort Myer Drive at Lee Highway. At approximately 9:26 a.m. on December 13, police were dispatched to the report of a pedestrian-involved crash with injuries. Upon arrival, it was determined that a pedestrian pushing a child in a stroller was struck by a dump truck as she crossed the street. The pedestrian maneuvered the stroller out of the way and the child was not injured. The pedestrian was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the striking vehicle, John Washington, 63, of Silver Spring, MD, was charged with Reckless Driving and Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian in a Crosswalk.

BOMB THREAT, 2018-121300147, 1900 block of S. Eads Street/4300 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 2:00 p.m. on December 13, Arlington County Police began responding to three locations in Arlington County which had received bomb threats through electronic communications. Each location self-evacuated prior to police arrival. The threats are believed to be related to similar threats received through the United States. There is no known credible threat in Arlington County.

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JUST IN: Uber Driver Runs Off Lee Highway, Knocking Down Street Signs and Light Pole

Police are now investigating after an Uber driver ran off the road near the Lee Harrison Shopping Center, crashing into some street signs and knocking down a light pole.

The crash happened this morning on Lee Highway in Yorktown, near its intersection on N. Harrison Street.

It appears as if the driver of a hatchback, complete with an Uber sticker, lost control of the vehicle and drove down the sidewalk near the shopping center. The driver managed to knock down several street signs and a light pole, which fell into the street, before colliding with another utility pole.

Arlington Police and firefighters are currently on the scene evaluating the driver for injuries and administering a field sobriety test.

They’ve closed the westbound lane of Lee Highway as the investigation continues.

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UPDATE: Police Investigating Apparent Murder-Suicide Near Seven Corners

(Update at 2:20 p.m.) Police are now investigating an incident where two people were shot and killed at a Seven Corners-area apartment complex as a murder-suicide.

Fairfax County Police say the incident happened just before noon today (Tuesday) along the 3100 block of S. Manchester Street, near the Arlington County line.

Investigators now believe a man struck a woman with an SUV, and shot her. He then shot and killed himself, police believe.

Detectives are now working to identify the people involved.

Police don’t believe there’s any threat to the public associated with the shooting, but are still advising people to avoid the area.

Photo via @FairfaxCountyPD

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Glebewood Man Pleads Guilty to Using Dark Web to Download Child Pornography

An Arlington man now faces up to two decades behind bars, after admitting to downloading child pornography from the dark web.

Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Jon T. Wilkins, a former commercial bank executive, pleaded guilty today (Friday) to one count of “receiving child pornography.” A judge could now sentence him to anywhere between five and 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that FBI agents discovered that Wilkins was active on “Playpen,” a dark web forum specializing in child pornography, back in 2015.

They then tracked Wilkins’ IP address to his home in a Glebewood neighborhood, and secured search warrants for his property. Investigators then found dozens of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of preteen girls on computers belonging to Wilkins.

Prosecutors added in a news release that Wilkins “attempted to conceal his illegal behavior by utilizing Tor, a special web browser that permits access to the dark web while hiding browsing activity.” But agents still uncovered some of his browser history, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

Wilkins is set for a sentencing hearing on April 5.

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Police Charge Dump Truck Driver Who Allegedly Struck Woman Pushing Stroller in Rosslyn Crosswalk

The driver of a dump truck who allegedly struck a woman pushing a stroller in a Rosslyn intersection yesterday (Thursday) is now facing criminal charges.

Arlington Police announced today (Friday) that they’re charging 63-year-old John Washington of Silver Spring, Maryland with reckless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk in connection with the crash.

The incident happened around the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Police believe the woman was crossing the street with a child in a stroller when the truck driver struck her.

She was taken to the hospital with “serious but non-life threatening injuries,” though police say she was able to maneuver the stroller out of the way before the crash, and the child was not hurt.

Washington will face his first hearing on those charges on Monday (Dec. 17), according to county police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

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Here’s How Arlington First Responders Train to Handle ‘Active Shooter’ Scenarios

The call went out over a police radio channel shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday: there’s an active shooter at Washington-Lee High School, with multiple gunshot victims.

Luckily, this was just a drill, an exercise that police and dispatchers used to prepare should such a nightmare scenario ever play out in Arlington.

In fact, Arlington County Police say they have been actively training since 1999 to handle a school shooting or any such “active shooter” situation, an all-too-common occurrence that has traumatized communities across the country.

The department also formed a “Tactical Training Unit” in 2013 to put an increased focus on the issue, providing each patrol officer with a minimum of six “training days” each year, according to a county fact sheet on the issue.

“Patrol officers participate in ‘no-notice’ training three times per year,” the fact sheet says. “This training requires on-duty police officers and firefighters to respond to a mock training scenario and practice integrating police and fire/EMS response to incidents such as ‘Active Violence Events.'”

The police department also has a full-time officer assigned to the county’s “High Threat Response Program” to coordinate how first responders manage such incidents across Arlington’s various departments.

All Arlington Public Schools also conduct at least four “lockdown” drills each year, coordinating with each building’s school resource officers for each one. Those officers also work with APS staff on “tabletop exercises in preparation for emergency situations,” the fact sheet said.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Rolling Thunder to Coming to a Stop — The 2019 Rolling Thunder rally will be the group’s last Memorial Day rally in the D.C. area, organizers say. The rally has brought thousands of bikers, along with road closures and motorcycle noise, to Arlington over the past three decades. [Washington Post]

The Gritty Pre-History of Crystal City — “Before development flourished (the entrepreneurs offered bargain rates to federal agencies), the area ‘was a conglomeration of places that sold junk, used tires, a drive-in movie theater, a run-down ice skating rink, second-hand materials — it was very unattractive…’ The industrial area leading to the Potomac Yard railway tracks for decades was bordered by sketchy bar-rooms of the 19th-century Jackson City and National Airport’s precursor, Hoover Field.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Seasonal Pop-Ups at Pentagon City Mall — A trio of “seasonal pop-up shops” are opening at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City: Chukulata, a sweet shop selling crepes and other treats; PolarX Ornaments, selling holiday decor and personalized ornaments; and Trunk and Drawer, which “specializes in men’s fashionable undergarments as well as sleepwear, activewear and swimwear,” per a press release.

Stepped Up DUI Enforcement Underway — “To help spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving, the Arlington County Police Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives during the national high-visibility enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, which runs from December 13-31, 2018.” [Arlington County]

JBG Buying More Sites in ‘National Landing’ — “JBG Smith Properties has reached a deal to buy a development site across from Virginia Tech’s planned innovation campus in Alexandria, part of a larger strategy to acquire land in and around the National Landing area that includes Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Old Town Getting Left Behind? — “The old guard of Alexandria, mainly in Old Town, has for decades wielded a sort of NIMBY clout and deployed ample financial resources to fight projects. The plans to activate Alexandria’s 8.6-acre waterfront were delayed for years due to community pushback and legal challenges… But fears that Alexandria will be left behind as competition intensifies with flashier destinations such as National Harbor and The Wharf are spurring change.” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman

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BREAKING: Crystal City Building Evacuated Amid Widespread Bomb Threats

(Updated at 4 p.m.) An office building in Crystal City has been evacuated after a company inside reportedly received a bomb threat via email.

Police and firefighters were first dispatched to 1919 S. Eads Street for a report of a bomb threat around 2:15 p.m. Among the building’s tenants are the Consumer Technology Association and Inside Washington Publishers.

Shortly after the initial dispatch, it was reported that the fire alarm in the building was sounding and people were evacuating.

This is the second bomb threat to prompt an office evacuation in Crystal City so far this month.

Meanwhile, another emailed bomb threat has been reported at 4300 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, headquarters to energy company AES and home to other offices and retail businesses.

News outlets are reporting that “dozens” of bomb threats have been reported at news outlets and other businesses and institutions across the U.S., though the threats are not believed to be credible. The FBI is monitoring the situation, both in the D.C. area and nationwide.

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BREAKING: Dump Truck Injures Woman Pushing Stroller in Rosslyn

(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a crash in Rosslyn involving a dump truck and a woman who was pushing a stroller.

The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive. According to a police spokeswoman, a female pedestrian was struck by a dump truck and suffered serious — but at this point non-life-threatening — injuries. The woman was pushing a stroller at the time but the child was not injured, police said.

The victim was rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital. Detectives are on scene investigating, as is standard procedure for crashes involving very serious injuries.

All lanes of eastbound Lee Highway were previously blocked at N. Nash Street, but have since reopened. Police have moved the investigation onto N. Lynn Street, closing two lanes on that road. Major backups have been reported on the Key Bridge and Ft. Myer Drive approaching Rosslyn.

Road closures are expected to remain in place “for a significant amount of time” while officers investigate the cause of the crash, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

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Morning Notes

Arrest Made in Rosslyn Stabbing — “Police identified the [stabbing] suspect as Isiah Hill, 61, of Washington D.C. and obtained warrants for Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Abduction. At approximately 2:15 p.m. on December 12, the U.S. Marshals Service, with the assistance of the Arlington County Police Department, took the suspect into custody in Washington, D.C.” [Arlington County]

Isabella Restaurants File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — Embattled chef Mike Isabella’s restaurant group has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. Barring a last-minute rescue, most of his restaurants, including Pepita, Yona, and Kapnos Taverna in Ballston, are likely to close by Dec. 27. [Washingtonian]

Home Sales Still Down in Arlington — “A total of 198 properties went to closing across the county in November… That’s down nearly 22 percent from a year before, coming on top of a 13-percent year-over-year drop in October sales. But year-over-year average sales prices were stable in two of the three segments of the market.” [InsideNova]

Another Big Metro Shutdown Planned — “Next summer’s shutdown of the Blue and Yellow lines south of Reagan National Airport will run from May 25 through Sept. 2, 2019. Additional Blue Line single-tracking between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield is planned from Sept. 3 through Sept. 29.” [WTOP]

Video: Dogs and Santa in Shirlington — “About 100 dogs got their pictures taken with Santa Claus by a professional pet photographer at Dogma Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique in Arlington, Virginia. From large Golden Retrievers to pint-sized Chihuahuas, the pups were dressed for the holidays.” [Voice of America]

Photo courtesy Ray Villarreal

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Crime Report: Woman Arrested Following Weekend Brawl in Ballston

A Fairfax woman is now behind bars after police say she injured someone during a fight in Ballston this past weekend.

Arlington County Police say 46-year-old Huafang Cui started scuffling with someone around noon last Saturday (Dec. 8) along the 800 block of N. Randolph Street.

When officers arrived at the scene, they determined that Cui “threw an object at the victim, causing a laceration.” The victim was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

Police then arrested Cui and charged her with malicious wounding. She now faces a hearing in Arlington General District Court on Jan. 19.

More details from a county crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-12080128, 800 block of N. Randolph Street. At approximately 12:20 p.m. on December 8, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a verbal dispute between known individuals escalated and became physical when the suspect allegedly threw an object at the victim, causing a laceration. The victim was treated by medics on-scene for minor injuries. Huafang Cui, 46, of Fairfax, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. She was held on no bond.

And here are other highlights from the past week of crime reports, including some we’ve previously reported:

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY, 2018-12110240, 4100 block of 3rd Road N. At approximately 8:37 p.m. on December 11, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victims were inside their residence when they observed an unknown suspect allegedly attempting to force entry to their residence, causing damage. Upon being noticed by the victims, the suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a male wearing a baseball hat. The investigation is ongoing.

ROBBERY, 2018-12100085, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:45 a.m. on December 10, an officer on routine patrol was flagged down by a citizen requesting assistance. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown male suspect entered a business and began selecting merchandise. When an employee noticed the suspect, she approached him and said she was calling 911. The suspect yelled at the employee and grabbed her cell phone out of her hand. The suspect dropped the merchandise outside the business before fleeing on foot with the victim’s cell phone. Warrants for Robbery and Preventing an Emergency Call are pending for the suspect.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY (late), 2018-12100145, 1400 block of 12th Street N. At approximately 3:14 p.m. on December 9, police responded to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival it was determined that between December 8 at 12:00 a.m. and December 10 at 2:56 p.m., an unknown suspect attempted to force entry to a building, causing damage. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2018-12090212, 3600 block of 12th Street S. At approximately 8:53 p.m. on December 9, police were dispatched to the report of a highly intoxicated male with a child allegedly stumbling in the road. Witnesses directed arriving officers to a residence, where they located the male suspect inside. The male suspect disobeyed lawful commands to open the door. Officers forced entry to the residence and took the suspect into custody. While attempting to escort the suspect out of the residence, he actively resisted and refused to walk. As the officers carried him out, he kicked one officer multiple time. The officers regained control and secured the suspect in the cruiser successfully. Stuart Behrens, 45, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Abuse and Neglect of a Child, Assault on Police, and Obstruction of Justice.

RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE, 2018-12070299, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 9:06 p.m. on December 7, an officer on routine patrol was alerted to a License Plate Reader hit on a stolen vehicle parked in the area. Officers located the unoccupied vehicle and took two suspects into custody without incident as they returned to the vehicle. Jamall Walker, 31, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Credit Card Theft and Buying or Receiving Stolen Goods. Anthony Campos, 29, of McKinleysville, Ca., was arrested and charged with Identity Theft and Possession of Marijuana.

BURGLARY, 2018-12060068, 5000 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:47 a.m. on December 6, police responded to the report of a burglary just discovered. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:00 p.m. on December 5 and 7:47 a.m. on December 6, an unknown suspect forced entry into a business and stole cash. The investigation is ongoing. There is no suspect(s) description.

BURGLARY, 2018-12060099, 5100 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:47 a.m. on December 6, while investigating the above listed burglary (2018-12060068), police located another business with damage to the front door. Upon investigation, it was determined that the suspect forced entry into the business and rummaged through items but nothing was reported stolen. The investigation is ongoing. There is no suspect(s) description.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT (Significant), 2018-12050138, 2900 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on December 5, an officer investigating traffic hazards in the area determined they were related to a promotion at the Cheesecake Factory. While managing traffic, a call was dispatched for a fight in progress inside the restaurant. No active fight was located by arriving officers, however, they encountered a large crowd related to the promotion. The officers addressed the crowd and deescalated the tension related to the wait time. One subject amidst the crowd was allegedly disorderly and restaurant management requested he leave the premises. The subject refused to leave, did not comply with the lawful commands of officers, and actively resisted arrest. Following a brief struggle, the subject was successful taken into police custody. The subject was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation. Prabhjot Singh, 19, of Burke, VA was charged with Disorderly Conduct and released on a Virginia Uniform Summons.

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Morning Notes

APS Adds Non-Binary Gender Option — “This school year, Arlington Public Schools added a new question on its form for students to indicate a designated gender, including male, female and ‘X.'” [DCist]

ACPD Has New Electronic Sign — “You may see a new electronic signboard around @ArlingtonVA thanks to JAG grant funds provided through the @TheJusticeDept! These signboards help ACPD share important public safety messaging around school zones, events and campaigns… The signboards also display motorists speed so remember to slow down and obey posted speed limits.” [Twitter]

Leak Prompts Early Morning Road Closure — “A water leak has been repaired after causing early morning traffic problems Wednesday in Arlington. The leak was reported along S. Arlington Ridge Road between 23rd St S. and the Interstate 395 Service road.” [Fox 5]

Jail Holds Holiday Party for Inmates’ Kids — “The Arlington County Detention Facility was transformed Tuesday night into the fictional town, Whoville, in anticipation of a few special visitors. Some children were given the opportunity to visit their incarcerated parents.” [WUSA 9]

Amazon News Roundup — Amazon is planning to bring a “Treasure Truck retail vehicle” to the D.C. area. One way to accommodate new HQ2 workers would be to upzone nearby residential neighborhoods like Aurora Highlands to the population density of Capital Hill or San Francisco’s Mission District. Prompted by Amazon’s arrival, George Mason University plans to build a new 400,000 square foot facility on its Virginia Square campus in Arlington to house the Institute for Digital Innovation, “a research enterprise for fields like data analytics, cybersecurity and defense.”

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

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