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Man Pleads Guilty to Using Dark Web to Download Child Pornography

An Arlington man has pleaded guilty to federal sex crime charges, admitting to downloading child pornography through a website on the “dark web.”

Ammar Atef Alahdali, a 22-year-old Saudi Arabian national living in Arlington, pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography in federal court yesterday (Tuesday), according to a release from the Department of Justice.

Federal prosecutors say Alahdali used cryptocurrency to register on a dark web site, which could only be accessed via special software masking his IP address, back in April 2017.

They believe he then downloaded “more than 20 videos depicting the sexual abuse of children, including at least one video depicting sadistic sexual conduct” from the website over the subsequent months.

According to documents filed in federal court, federal agents searched Alahdali’s home in July, where they discovered evidence of child pornography on his laptop. He also admitted to downloading the pornography in an interview with federal agents.

Alahdali is currently being held in the Alexandria Detention Center and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 18.

File photo

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Police: Man Picks Up Four Passengers, Assaults One After Attempted Abduction

A Maryland man is now behind bars after he allegedly picked up four passengers in D.C., refused to let one out of his car and then assaulted that person while he or she tried to escape.

County police say 34-year-old Rick Ramey of Bryans Road, Maryland wasn’t working as a rideshare or taxi driver when he managed to convince four people to get into his car around 3 a.m. Friday night (Sept. 28).

Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage says it’s unclear how Ramey met his passengers, or if he was posing as a rideshare driver, but she said “they appear unknown to each other prior to the incident.”

Ramey drove three of his passengers to their intended destination, but refused to let the final one out at their home, police say. From there, the pair started arguing, and the confrontation “escalated and become physical.”

“The victim and suspect exited the vehicle and the suspect struck the victim in the head, causing a laceration,” police said.

Ramey is now facing charges of both abduction and malicious wounding, with a hearing in Arlington General District Court set for Dec. 3. He’s currently being held in the county jail without bond.

Savage says the whole incident underscores the need for people to “take advantage of safeguards in place to keep them safe and never accept rides from drivers who are not operating in an official for-hire capacity.”

“For rideshares, this includes checking that the license plate, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app,” she said. “For taxicabs, this includes checking that the driver’s hack license and identity of which company they are affiliated with are prominently displayed.”

Full details on the incident from a county crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-09280030, 1200 block of S. Arlington Ridge Road. At approximately 2:58 a.m. on September 28, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect, who was not working as a rideshare or taxi driver, picked up the victim and three friends in Washington, D.C. After stopping to drop off the victim’s friends, the suspect continued, but refused to stop at the victim’s address or let the victim exit the vehicle. A verbal altercation ensued, which escalated and became physical. The victim and suspect exited the vehicle and the suspect struck the victim in the head, causing a laceration. Rick Ramey, 34, of Bryans Road, Md., was arrested and charged with Abduction and Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

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Morning Notes

Judge Dismisses Dewey Horse Punch Case — A man who was accused of punching a police horse in Dewey Beach is now trying to clear his name after the case was dismissed. Surveillance video reportedly exonerated the man, who might not actually be from Arlington as originally reported. [Cape Gazette]

Rosslyn Transportation Meeting Tonight — “Join Arlington County and the Rosslyn BID to provide feedback at this public meeting that will focus on the Core of Rosslyn Transportation Study. This study will examine the feasibility and potential impacts of permanent changes to the street network in the core of Rosslyn, with the goals of improving safety and accessibility for all users, including those walking, biking, using transit and driving.” [Rosslyn]

Another Commute Alternative: Running — As Metro continues on a downward ridership spiral, some are finding running to be an attractive commuting alternative, providing exercise and fresh air while eliminating costs and unpredictable delays. [Runners World]

Angels of the Battlefield Gala Tonight — The Armed Services YMCA will present its annual Angels of the Battlefield awards tonight during a gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City. Among the 2018 recipients of the prestigious awards are Senior Airman Linda Wilson, who helped save lives during the Las Vegas mass shooting last year. [ASYMCA, Air Force Times]

New Film Fest Coming to Clarendon — “Georgetown’s Halcyon and Arlington’s Clarendon Ballroom will be the venues for a new film festival – Flicks4Change — that links the entertainment world with charitable activism. The film festival first started in Los Angeles, expanded to Australia and now comes to the DC area.” [Georgetown Dish]

Nearby: Pete’s Apizza Closes in Md. — Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza has closed its Silver Spring location. The D.C. and Clarendon locations remain open. [Bethesda Beat]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Medical Emergency Shuts Down Two Lanes of SB I-395

Two left-hand lanes of southbound I-395 are blocked due to a driver suffering a medical emergency.

The incident happened on the main line of the highway between Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road, around 2:15 p.m.

More via Twitter:

Update at 3 p.m. — Lanes have reopened.

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Police: Car Wash Employee Drunkenly Steals Vehicle, Crashes Soon Afterward

An employee of an Arlington car wash is now behind bars after police say he stole and then drunkenly crashed a customer’s vehicle.

County police believe 61-year-old Rigoberto Folgar Hernandez was sent home Friday afternoon (Sept. 28) after showing up to work drunk at a car wash along the 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive.

But Hernandez returned to the business a short time later, when he “drove a customer’s vehicle off the property, went over a median and struck a concrete piling and a parked vehicle,” police say.

Hernandez then exited the vehicle and went back to the car wash, where he was arrested shortly afterward. He’s now facing charges of grand larceny: motor vehicle theft, destruction of property, hit and run, and drunk in public.

Hernandez is set for a hearing on those charges in Arlington General District Court on Nov. 20, and is being held without bond.

Full details from a county crime report:

GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 11:34 a.m. on September 28, police were dispatched to the report of a hit and run. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect had been sent home from his employment at a car wash due to showing signs of intoxication. The suspect returned to the car wash and, shortly after, drove a customer’s vehicle off the property, went over a median and struck a concrete piling and a parked vehicle. The suspect then exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot back to the car wash. Rigoberto Folgar Hernandez, 61, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny: Motor Vehicle Theft, Destruction of Property, Hit and Run, and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

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ACPD Arrests Rape Suspect After Standoff in D.C.

A man suspected of raping a woman in Arlington has been taken into custody after a 16-hour barricade situation in D.C.

Arlington County Police say Salodus Zeloter Hicks, 60, barricaded himself inside a home on the 3300 block of Mt. Pleasant Street NW after Arlington officers arrived to execute a search and arrest warrant last night (Wednesday). He was taken into custody around 1 p.m. today with the assistance of D.C. police and the FBI.

Hicks is facing charges of forcible rape and strangulation in connection with the Sept. 17 sexual assault of a woman in an apartment building on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike. Police say Hicks, who was caught on surveillance video, met the victim after responding to an online ad.

“During the arranged service, the suspect physically assaulted and raped the victim,” police said in a press release. “Following the assault, the suspect fled the scene on foot.”

Police were vague about the exact nature of the advertisement in order to protect the victim’s identity.

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JUST IN: ACPD Arrests Nauck Shooting Suspects

The two suspects wanted for a shooting in Arlington’s Nauck neighborhood last week have been arrested.

Arlington County Police say Ahmed Ali Mahmoud, 24, and Osman Mohamed, 25, were arrested in the Virginia Square area and are now facing numerous charges.

The shooting happened just a block from Drew Elementary School. Police say the shots were fired after “a minor verbal dispute occurred between one victim and suspects inside a convenience store.”

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested two suspects wanted for their role in a shooting that occurred last week in the Nauck neighborhood. Ahmed Ali Mahmoud, 24, and Osman Mohamed, 25, were arrested in the 3400 block of Fairfax Drive and charged with Malicious Wounding by Mob, Discharging a Firearm in a Public Place (within 1000 feet of a school zone), Malicious Wounding and Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Both men are being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 2:03 p.m. on September 20, police were dispatched to the 2000 block of S. Kenmore Street for the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that a minor verbal dispute occurred between one victim and suspects inside a convenience store. The victim then exited the store and entered a vehicle with two additional victims. The two suspects approached the vehicle on foot where the dispute escalated and shots were fired by the suspects in the direction of the vehicle. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. One victim was treated for a minor injury.

This remains an ongoing criminal investigation and anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective R. Ortiz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-7402 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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Morning Notes

Arlington Police Involved in D.C. Standoff — County police are working with their counterparts in D.C. to arrest a man wanted on rape charges in Arlington. When they attempted to arrest him last night, he barricaded himself inside his home on the 3300 block of Mt. Pleasant Street N.W. [Twitter, PoPville]

ART Route Changes Start This Weekend — Riders on Arlington Transit’s 41, 42, 43 and 75 lines may notice some schedule adjustments starting Saturday. Service will become more frequent on all of the lines, and the northbound stop at the Courthouse Metro Station will become permanent. [Arlington Transit]

Arlington Planners Bring ‘Smart Growth’ Strategies to Md. — At a talk yesterday, the head of Arlington County’s planning division shared some wisdom on “Arlington’s smart growth journey” to planners in Prince George’s County, Md. “As a regional, national and international model of smart growth, Arlington, has demonstrated… how the mistakes and impacts of suburban sprawl can be corrected and avoided through a visionary and continuous commitment to innovative planning,” the event program noted. [Prince George’s County]

Valley Fest Road Closures This Weekend — S. Oakland Street will play host to the second annual Valley Fest, backed by New District Brewing and other local businesses and artists. There will be plenty of beer on tap, but police warn to watch out for some road closures. [Arlington Police]

Leaf Blowers Irk Arlingtonians — Some county residents raised a stink with the County Board over the pervasive drone of leaf blowers, now that fall is nearly here. But local officials say their hands are tied by state law and likely can’t pass any sort of ordinance to limit the noise. [Falls Church News-Press]

Head ‘Back to the Future’ with Rhodeside Grill — The Rosslyn-area restaurant is offering throwback cocktails and dishes from the 1950s and 1980s to commemorate the classic comedy. The event is set for Oct. 12. [Facebook]

Detours on Arlington-McLean Border This Week — Work to replace a culvert will result in the closure Valley Wood Road in McLean, running just near Williamsburg Middle School and Discovery Elementary School. [Tysons Reporter]

Firefighters Extinguish Bellevue Forest Blaze — County firefighters say an attic fan caught fire in a home on the 3100 block of N. Quincy Street around 6 p.m. last night. There were no injuries. [Twitter]

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Crime Report: Man Tased After Striking Deputy During Eviction

An Arlington man is now behind bars after he allegedly struck a sheriff’s deputy and was subsequently subdued with a Taser.

County sheriff’s office spokeswoman Maj. Susie Doyel says deputies were working to evict 53-year-old Vincent Moody from his home along the 1000 block of S. Queen Street when he “became combative.” Moody then “struck a deputy in the face” and was tasered by the deputies, Doyel said.

He’s now facing charges of obstruction and assault on a law enforcement officer, with a hearing in Arlington General District Court set for Oct. 24.

Moody is being held at the county detention center without bond.

More highlights from the past week of county crime reports, including some we’ve already reported, are below.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-09250202, 2500 block of S. Lynn Street. At approximately 6:07 p.m. on September 25, police responded to the report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 4:45 p.m. on September 24 and 5:00 p.m. on September 25, an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to a residence and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. There is no suspect description(s). The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY (late), 2018-09240148, 1600 block of N. Oak Street. At approximately 4:44 p.m. on September 24, police responded to the late report of breaking and entering. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 3:00 p.m. on September 10 and 4:44 p.m. on September 24, an unknown suspect(s) gained entry to the victim’s residence and stole items of value. There is no suspect description(s). The investigation is ongoing.

HOME INVASION ROBBERY, 2018-09220044, 4700 block of 33rd Street N. At approximately 3:17 a.m. on September 22, police were dispatched to the report of a panic alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined that as the homeowner returned to the residence, an unknown suspect brandishing a firearm forced his way inside with two additional suspects. The suspects restrained the residents, assaulted the male victim and made threats of bodily harm to the two additional victims. The suspects stole items of value before fleeing the scene in a silver vehicle. The victims did not require medical treatment. The suspects are described as three black males, wearing dark clothing and white gloves. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2018-09200132, 2000 block of S. Kenmore Street. At approximately 2:03 p.m. on September 20, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that one victim became engaged in a verbal dispute with two suspects inside a business. The victim then exited the business and got into a vehicle with two additional victims. As the victims began to drive away, the suspects approached the vehicle and the dispute escalated. One suspect brandished a firearm and shot at the vehicle occupied by the victims. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. One of the victims suffered minor injuries and was treated on-scene by medics. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo courtesy Arlington County Sheriff’s Office

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Morning Notes

County Manager Warns of Tough Upcoming Budget — “Arlington County faces an estimated budget gap of $20-35 million for its 2020 fiscal year, which could require cuts to County services, increased taxes and fees, or a combination of the two. County Manager Mark Schwartz… said that County revenues are forecast to grow by a modest 1.5 percent, while expenditures for the County’s current set of programs are anticipated to grow twice as fast.” [Arlington County, Washington Post]

GW Parkway Rebuild Coming — “Much of the George Washington Parkway will see a complete rebuild in the next few years — and though it’ll surely result in smoother pavement and longer acceleration lanes, good things on the road only come after lengthy closures. An $150 million overhaul of the George Washington Parkway, including a rework of the interchange with Virginia Route 123, is moving forward.” [WTOP]

County: Report Suspicious Activity — Despite some recent pushback on questionable calls to law enforcement, Arlington County is still encouraging citizens to “See Something, Say Something.” Per the county: “Security is a shared responsibility so if you see something out of place, say something by reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement. Arlington County is safer when everyone is engaged and alert.” [Arlington County]

Cops Called on Food Vendor — Someone called police to report a pickup truck that was selling food without a permit on S. Scott Street near Columbia Pike Tuesday morning. The truck may have been delivering food to construction workers. [Twitter]

Crash on Memorial Bridge — A crash blocked two inbound lanes of the Memorial Bridge during this morning’s rush hour, prompting delays for commuters. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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ACPD to Hold Quarterly Outreach Meetings Next Month

The Arlington County Police Department has scheduled its next batch of quarterly community outreach meetings for next month.

The department previously sent officers to individual neighborhood meetings but earlier this year, citing budget and staffing challenges, it scaled back to two community meetings each quarter — one each for northern and southern portions of the county.

More on the planned meetings from ACPD:

The Community Outreach Unit will host its Fall quarterly meetings, covering community issues, crime prevention tips and addressing resident concerns, in October. These meetings will offer an opportunity to interact with the Outreach Team serving your neighborhood and gather insightful information regarding police department information, crime trends and prevention.

The Community Outreach Teams will host their quarterly meetings at the following times and locations:

  • North Outreach Team
    Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
    Washington-Lee High School Little Theatre, 1301 N. Stafford Street
  • South Outreach Team
    Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
    Arlington Mill Community Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie Street

Residents wishing to stay informed about the Community Outreach Unit are encouraged to subscribe to email newsletters, which are sent periodically and include information about the Unit’s programs and events, as well as department news and information.

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JUST IN: Armed Robbers Invade Country Club Hills House

Arlington County Police are investigating a home invasion robbery in the Country Club Hills neighborhood, just north of Marymount University.

Police say three men, armed with guns and wearing white gloves, forced their way inside a house on 33rd Street N. The home invasion happened after one of the residents returned home around 3 a.m. this past Saturday.

Three residents were restrained and held captive while the men made threats to harm two of the victims, according to police. In the end, the suspects stole unspecified “items of value” and fled in a silver vehicle; no one was seriously hurt.

More from an ACPD crime report:

HOME INVASION ROBBERY, 2018-09220044, 4700 block of 33rd Street N. At approximately 3:17 a.m. on September 22, police were dispatched to the report of a panic alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined that as the homeowner returned to the residence, an unknown suspect brandishing a firearm forced his way inside with two additional suspects. The suspects restrained the residents, assaulted the male victim and made threats of bodily harm to the two additional victims. The suspects stole items of value before fleeing the scene in a silver vehicle. The victims did not require medical treatment. The suspects are described as three black males, wearing dark clothing and white gloves. The investigation is ongoing.

Image via Google Maps

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Police: Woman Raped at Columbia Pike Apartment Building

Arlington County Police are looking for a man who raped a woman in a Columbia Pike apartment building.

The police department is seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect, who was caught on surveillance video footage released by ACPD this morning.

Police say the crime happened shortly before 4 p.m. Monday — in the Serrano Apartments on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike, ARLnow.com hears — after the suspect responded to an online ad for a service. Police were vague about the exact nature of the advertisement in order to protect the victim’s identity.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department is seeking assistance from the public identifying a rape suspect caught on surveillance video. At approximately 4:02 p.m. on September 17, police responded to the 5500 block of Columbia Pike for the late report of a rape. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and suspect made contact through an online advertisement. During the arranged service, the suspect physically assaulted and raped the victim. Following the assault, the suspect fled the scene on foot.

The suspect is described as an approximately 60-year-old black male, 5’10” to 6′ tall with a medium build. He has brown eyes and dark short curly hair with some gray. He was wearing a bright blue shirt with a tan collar, khaki pants, tan shoes and carrying an umbrella at the time of the incident.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it is believed that this was a targeted attack. The investigation is ongoing and there is no known threat to the larger community.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective P. Pena of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims’ Unit at (703) 228-4183 or at [email protected]. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

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BREAKING: Police, Medics On Scene of Reported Shooting in Nauck

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a reported shooting in the Nauck neighborhood.

The shooting happened along S. Kenmore Street, less than a block from a preschool, an elementary school and a church. Initial reports suggest at least one person was either shot, grazed by a bullet or injured by shrapnel. A police helicopter has been assisting with the search for suspects as K9 units and heavily-armed officers comb the area.

“At 2:00 three gunshots were heard in the vicinity of S. Kenmore and S. Shirlington Road,” a tipster told ARLnow.com via email. “Children from Drew Elementary School were urgently ushered inside by a running staff member from their playing outside on the school basketball court.”

The victim’s injuries are reported to be minor and he was treated and released on scene, according to police.

The incident started as a verbal dispute among three people at a nearby 7-Eleven store, according to ACPD spokesman Ashley Savage. That dispute escalated and shots were fired near the intersection of S. Kenmore Street and 22nd Street S. One person was injured and two fled the scene, Savage said.

A traffic stop on southbound I-395, not far from the shooting scene, did not turn up either of the shooting suspects, according to Savage.

Drew Elementary had been placed in “secure the building” mode as a result of the shooting, according to an Arlington Public Schools spokesman. The school eventually dismissed on time, according to an email sent to parents by principal Kim Graves.

Dear Drew Families:

We just received the “all clear” from the Arlington County Police Department.

We will proceed with dismissal as scheduled. Due to the ongoing police investigation, buses are just arriving at the school. As a result, students who ride the bus will be delayed in leaving school.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Kim Graves,
​​​​​​​Principal

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Pentagon Declares War on Scooters — “The Pentagon hates your little scooters, too. In fact, DoD would like you and your ride-sharing company to know that if you leave your rental scooters or shared-bicycles anywhere on Pentagon property, they will be impounded, right quick.” [Defense One]

ACPD Ticketing Bike Lane Blockers — Arlington County police have been ticketing delivery truck drivers who block protected bike lanes — including the new bike lanes on N. Quincy Street in Ballston — as part of an “enforcement and education” effort. [Twitter]

Ballston Farmers Market to Extend Season — “Arlington County Board members on Sept. 22 are expected to vote to permit the Ballston Farmers’ Market to operate through the end of November each year, an extension of one month from earlier years.” [InsideNova]

Stuck Window Washer Rescues Self — A large fire department response to a report of a window washer trapped outside the sixth floor of a high-rise building in Rosslyn turned out to be for naught; the worker was able to “self-extricate” before the technical rescue team arrived. [Twitter]

Reminder: Free ART Bus Rides Today — “In celebration of ART’s 20th Anniversary, we’re letting everyone ride ART for free on Thursday, September 20! It’s our way of saying thank you to our loyal customers for riding ART and also an invitation for those who have never been on ART to give it a try.” [Arlington Transit]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

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