Even though Arlington doesn’t have any large, centrally-located New Year’s Eve celebration — like New York City’s ball drop in Times Square — local police are getting ready for a busier than usual night on Saturday.
Scanner traffic indicates that today officers are stopping at businesses that are holding celebrations tomorrow night. Police are doing preemptive safety checks, asking management about things like how many people each business expects for its celebration and how many employees or additional security staff will be present.
There are no known, specific threats to public safety in Arlington, according to police spokesman Capt. Bruce Benson, but ACPD will have extra officers in the Clarendon area on Saturday evening. Extra officers will also be on duty throughout the county to patrol for drunk drivers.
“We really want everyone to enjoy the New Year celebration in Arlington,” says Benson. “We certainly have some great restaurants and bars and invite everyone to take advantage of them, but we also ask everyone to be responsible and get home safely. There is no excuse to drive drunk.”
Police encourage everyone to pay attention to the message of the half-police cruiser, half-taxi Chooser Cruiser, currently stationed in Clarendon: Take advantage of the many safe options available for post-party transportation or you might find yourself in the back of a police car. Some options include using a designated driver, a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, the free SoberRide taxi program (1-800-200-TAXI), and the free Metrorail and Metrobus rides after midnight Saturday.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 30, 2016
An Arlington County police officer received a little holiday cheer from a secret gift giver yesterday.
One of the department’s officers found a gift card and note of gratitude left anonymously on the windshield of an ACPD cruiser.
That kind of appreciation isn’t exactly a common occurrence for the ACPD. Typically only the officers working on Christmas receive a little something extra: a meal provided by an employee group.
This holiday season there was, however, another notable demonstration of appreciation when a Brownie troop dropped off festive reindeer-shaped treats last week.
No matter how big or small, members of the ACPD are grateful for positive recognition from the public, both during the holidays and throughout the year.
“We appreciate the support we receive from our community,” said police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “We’re often asked how citizens can show their appreciation for our officers. A simple thank you and handshake goes a long way for those working over the holidays.”
Arlington County police officers responded to the 1500 block of N. Quincy Street around 12:30 a.m. after two male suspects reportedly approached three victims who had been walking in the area.
One of the suspects brandished a gun and demanded the victims’ belongings, according to police.
Police say the suspects took off on foot so they brought in an ACPD K-9 unit to track them. Fairfax County Police assisted with the search by sending a helicopter.
The suspects were not apprehended and the investigation is ongoing. From an ACPD crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 1500 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 12:25 a.m. on December 28, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Three victims were walking in the area when they were approached from behind by two male suspects. One of the suspects brandished a firearm and demanded the victims’ belongings. The suspects then fled the scene on foot in an unknown direction. A K9 track and an aerial observation assisted by Fairfax County Police helicopter were negative. The first suspect is described as a black male approximately 6’0″ tall, wearing all black with a black bandana over his face. The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’5″ tall, with a slim build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt. The investigation is ongoing.
The incident happened around 2 a.m. in the Nauck neighborhood, on the 2600 block of Shirlington Road.
Police say that following a fight between two women, a man walked up and hit one of the women in the face with a glass bottle.
The victim was transported to the hospital and the suspect remains at large.
From this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2016-12250025, 2600 block of Shirlington Road. At approximately 2:04 a.m. on December 25, a physical altercation ensued between two female subjects. Following the altercation, a known male subject approached one of the females involved in the earlier altercation and hit her in the face with a glass bottle. The victim was transported to Alexandria Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a black male in his mid-twenties, approximately 5’11” tall and weighed 200 lbs. He was wearing a black t-shirt, black jacket, black boots, and blue jeans at the time of the incident.
The rest of the crime report is below, including an update on the investigation into the death in a steakhouse bathroom.
SIGNIFICANT MEDICAL DOA, 2016-12260080, 2200 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 2:03 p.m. on December 26, officers responded to the report of a possible death. Upon arrival it was determined an employee located an unconscious male inside of the establishment’s bathroom. Medics arrived and pronounced the male deceased. There were no signs of foul play and the death is not considered suspicious. The investigation is ongoing.
LATE BURGLARY, 2016-12270048, 900 block of Army Navy Drive. At approximately 7:00 a.m. on December 27, officers responded to the report of a late burglary. Upon arrival, officers determined an unknown male subject entered a business and attempted to steal items. When confronted by an employee, the subject dropped the merchandise and fled the scene on foot. No items appear to be missing. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with a medium build. He was wearing a red sports jersey and a winter hat.
BURGLARY, 2016-12270098, 1000 block of Arlington Boulevard. At approximately 11:49 a.m. on December 27, officers responded to the report of a burglary that had just occurred a few minutes prior. An unknown male subject forced entry into a residence and fled the scene shortly after. It is unknown at this time if the subject stole any items. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’5″ tall and weighed 190-200 lbs. He was wearing a gray short sleeve shirt, navy blue pants, and white shoes.
Man Found Dead in Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — A middle-aged man was found dead in the bathroom at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Crystal City Monday afternoon. The restaurant was closed and the man was found by a cleaning crew. Arlington County police say the death is not considered suspicious. [WTOP, Fox 5]
Same-Sex Marriage Rate Falls — So far in 2016, only 1.9 percent of the more than 3,600 marriage licenses issued by the Arlington Circuit Court were issued to same-sex couples. That compares to 5.3 percent from June to December 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally. The first same-sex marriage in Arlington took place in Oct. 2014. [InsideNova]
Morning Rush Hour Crash on I-395 — Several lanes of northbound I-395 were blocked near Shirlington Circle this morning due to a crash. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Reunited With Trophy — Arlington resident Larry Funkhouser has been reunited with a high school baseball trophy he won 50 years ago but had since lost. Thanks to a post on the “I grew up in Arlington” Facebook page, the trophy was located at an antique shop in Purcellville and delivered to Funkhouser just in time for Christmas. [Fox 5]
Arlington’s Family Christmas Miracle — An Arlington couple’s two-year-old has become only the fifth child in the country to receive an auditory brainstem implant surgery. As a result of the procedure, which is in a clinical trial, the child, who was born deaf, can now hear. [WJLA]
Two Arrested for McD’s Beating — Arlington County Police have arrested two men for the beating of a 17-year-old boy at a McDonald’s on Lee Highway last week. The victim’s mother said she “believes the attack is payback for her son reporting a crime against him months ago.” [Fox 5]
Ray’s Files for Bankruptcy — The parent company of Ray’s The Steaks has filed for bankruptcy for the second time in two years. Owner Michael Landrum says Ray’s is in no danger of closing, however. [Washington Business Journal]
Rosslyn Hyatt Changes Branding — The Hyatt hotel on Wilson Blvd is now the first “Hyatt Centric” in the Mid-Atlantic region. Hyatt Centric is described as “a full-service brand that aims to attract a younger traveler, as well as to engage more with the neighborhood in which the hotels are located.” [Washington Business Journal]
After a fairly busy week of police-related stories last week, this week the Arlington County Police Department crime report is as sparse as we can ever remember.
Playing a role in the slow crime week: very cold weather last week (crime reports are for the period from Thursday to Wednesday) and, potentially, the approaching holiday.
This week’s crime report includes just two incidents deemed noteworthy by police, both burglaries. From ACPD:
BURGLARY, 2016-12160062, 900 block of S. George Mason Drive. Between 3:25 a.m. and 3:40 a.m. on December 16, an unknown subject(s) forced entry into a business and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as a white male, with a slim to average build. He was wearing a black north face jacket, dark pants with red stripes down the side, dark shoes, gloves, and a dark backpack.
BURGLARY, 2016-12180152, 2900 block of S. Glebe Road. Between 12:00 a.m. on December 1 and 11:30 a.m. on December 18, an unknown subject(s) entered a residence and stole numerous items of value. There is no suspect(s) description.
According to police, the scammers pose as motorists having car trouble. When someone stops to help, they say they need money and provide jewelry in return. The jewelry, however, is fake.
“With the holidays upon us, many are in the giving spirit,” police said in a press release. “For everyone’s safety and the guaranteed benefit of those in need, police recommend contributing to familiar organizations and charities in the community.”
The full ACPD press release is below.
The Arlington County Police Department is warning the public about scams involving fake gold. In two instances occurring in Arlington County, motorists have been flagged down by subjects to assist with what appears to be a disabled vehicle. The subjects then explain to the victims that they are down on their luck and are urgently in need of money. In exchange for the money, the subjects are providing the victims with fake jewelry.
Police are also aware of similar scams in the area in which subjects offer to sell several pieces of fake jewelry. While the victim is distracted, the subjects attempt to remove the victim’s real jewelry and replace it with fake jewelry. Citizens should be skeptical of anyone who approaches them offering to sell items such as precious metals or consumer goods such as electronics. Citizens should also be aware of their surroundings, remove valuables from plain sight, keep belongings such as jewelry close to their person and park in a well-lit, high-traffic areas.
With the holidays upon us, many are in the giving spirit. For everyone’s safety and the guaranteed benefit of those in need, police recommend contributing to familiar organizations and charities in the community.
Citizens who see a disabled vehicle in Arlington County should contact the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 to request assistance for the motorist. Individuals seeking more information about fraud can contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit at [email protected] or visit the police website.
The incident happened Monday around 4 p.m., near the Costco and Best Buy parking lot. Police say a 10-year-old girl was approached by a man after being dropped off by her school bus.
“The victim described the suspect as speaking with a British accent as he offered her candy and reported to have dogs inside his van,” police said in a press release. “When the victim refused, the suspect grabbed her backpack and jacket before the victim was able to escape. The suspect fled the area by vehicle.”
From the press release:
The suspect is described as a white male, possibly in his 20’s with black hair and wearing a black shirt and possibly red pants at the time of the incident. His vehicle is described as a white van with a sliding side door.
Police have increased patrols in the area. Anyone with information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident is asked to contact Detective K. Bercovicz of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703.228.4235 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A crash involving at least two vehicles, including one that rolled over on its roof, closed westbound Route 50 for part of the morning commute.
The crash was reported around 7:30 a.m. at the intersection with Irving Street.
One person had to be extricated from the rolled-over vehicle. That individual, an adult male, was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
From the Arlington County police and fire departments, via Twitter:
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 19, 2016
Units on scene of an accident w/ rollover & entrapment at Route 50 and Irving St. Expect significant delays. pic.twitter.com/Z1Ru234DeM
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) December 19, 2016
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) December 19, 2016
UPDATE: All WB lanes of Route 50 have reopened. https://t.co/oXK0y0Sc7F
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 19, 2016
Photo courtesy ACPD
The DUI enforcement campaign started Sunday and will run through Jan. 3. It coincides, in part, with the SoberRide free taxi service that’s currently in effect.
From an ACPD press release:
Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers from December 18, 2016 to January 3, 2017. During the 2015 Christmas holiday period (6 p.m. December 24th – 5:59 a.m. December 28th), the nation lost 34 lives per day in drunk driving crashes–a total of 120 deaths over 3.5 days.
If you plan on drinking this holiday season, hand the keys over to someone else – a sober friend, a taxi, a ride share driver or public transportation. Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s 2016 Holiday SoberRide program is offering free taxi rides home from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am nightly from Friday, December 16 through Sunday, January 1, 2017. To receive a free cab ride home (up to a $30.00 fare), call 800-200-8294 (TAXI). Or, try NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, which allows users to call a taxi or a friend by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available at http://ow.ly/RWs3S for Android and http://ow.ly/RWs8h for iPhone users.
As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period, police will be increasing the number of patrols, setting up roadblocks and using local media to reach out to all drivers. If you’re drinking and driving, Arlington County Police Department will stop you.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, call the police right away. If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely.
Please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:
- Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk–or worse, the risk of having a crash.
- If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, use public transportation, request a ride sharing application or call SoberRide.
Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Alexandria police are investigating a bank robbery at the Bradlee Shopping Center near the Fairlington neighborhood.
Police say a man entered the Wells Fargo at 3624 King Street, implied a weapon and made off with cash.
From an Alexandria police press release:
The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank located at 3624 King Street. On Friday, December 16, at 2:05 p.m., a man entered the bank, passed the teller a note, and implied that he had a weapon. He demanded money, the teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.
The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” tall with a large build. He was wearing a grey and black coat, blue jeans, grey and white tennis shoes, and a black baseball cap.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call Detective Michael Whelan at 703.746.6228.
(Updated at 12:40 p.m.) Following the rush hour mess at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Lynn Street earlier this week, the Arlington County Police Department says it’s working to better coordinate its response to construction-related traffic issues.
This week’s issues, the police department explained, were caused in part by road paving that’s part of a big development project.
“Heavy traffic in Rosslyn this week was [exacerbated] by street paving as part of the ongoing construction at Central Place,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “The paving is now complete and we are seeing a return to normal traffic volume in the area.”
Savage said the department has a detail that directs traffic at the congested intersection on weekday mornings, but doesn’t have a similar detail for the evening rush hour.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to address traffic issues in Rosslyn, the police department funds a special detail in which two officers direct traffic during the morning rush hour at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Lynn Street in order to keep traffic from blocking the box,” she said. “This has a positive impact on the immediate area but traffic still backs up at the intersections west of that location due to infrastructure capacity.”
“While our detail has specific hours, our officers do conduct additional enforcement at the intersection on a random rotating basis with the goal of compliance with traffic laws even when police are not present,” Savage added.
ACPD says it is working with county development officials to improve the department’s construction traffic response.
“The police department is coordinating with the Development Services Bureau to better address traffic issues related to the construction,” said Savage.
However, Savage added, “We must balance our available police resources with all requests for traffic enforcement throughout the County.”
Yesterday’s evening rush hour brought traffic chaos to the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn.
All week traffic problems have plagued the intersection, one of Arlington’s busiest, during peak driving times. The culprit: Lynn Street is down to two lanes, due to construction on the Central Place project.
With traffic backing up, drivers jockeyed for position in the intersection, often “blocking the box” in the process when the light changed. Road rage would often ensue.
The Arlington County Police Department has been getting a high volume of calls from frustrated drivers seeking a police presence at the intersection, according to scanner traffic, but most of those pleas are not being answered with action.
“I’m here and there’s nothing we can do,” one officer said after responding to the scene.
A supervisor, earlier in the day, instructed dispatchers to clear calls complaining about heavy traffic — as long as the lanes were closed, traffic would remain heavy. Police would only respond to incidents in the intersection like accidents or road rage disputes that might become full-fledged physical fights.
It was the same story two years ago. As we reported in Oct. 2014, Central Place work had Lynn Street down to just one lane, leading to lots of horn honking and tempers flaring. Eventually, the issues cleared up as lanes were reopened a day or two later.
It happened on the 400 block of 12th Street S., between Army Navy Drive and S. Eads Street. That’s the same stretch of road that was shut down yesterday due to a man with mental health issues who reportedly injured himself and was being uncooperative with police.
That same man is believed to be the person who jumped today, according to scanner traffic.
There were several witnesses to the incident, who are being interviewed by police. Officers are again shutting down 12th Street S. between Army Navy and Eads while they take photos and investigate.
The man is being transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital. The severity of his injuries are unclear at this time.
POLICE ACTIVITY: 12th St S closed btw Army Navy Drive & Eads St as PD investigate attempted suicide. Male subject transported to hospital.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 14, 2016
Update at 3:15 p.m. — The road is reopening, according to scanner traffic. The fire department is being called to the scene for a “washdown” of the area of impact.
If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is a phone call away. Call CrisisLink at 703-527-4077.