An apparent dust devil disrupted a youth baseball game in Arlington Saturday afternoon.
The tornado-like weather phenomenon happened around 4 p.m. at Quincy Field, near Arlington Central Library, during an Arlington Babe Ruth baseball game, we’re told.
A witness said the whirlwind sent spectators and players scurrying for cover.
“Three twisters made their way down the third baseball line during a 13-year old Senior Babe Ruth baseball game,” said Harold Andersen. “At first it appeared to be a strong gust of wind but as lawn chairs and full bat bags were carried up into the sky… players, coaches and umpires went running to the dugouts.”
The dust devils eventually dissipated over the library, said Andersen. But seriously, we asked — did one really lift bat bags into the air?
“I actually had a lawn chair lifted out of my hands as I was protecting my face from the flying sand,” Andersen said. “I would swear at least two bat bags loaded with catcher’s gear flew into and over the backstop.”
He added: “One parent yelled out ‘we are not in Kansas any more.'”
A reported attempted stabbing in Quincy Park, near Arlington Central Library, didn’t actually happen, according to Arlington County Police.
The 19-year-old man who reported the crime has admitted that he made it up and has been charged with filing a false police report, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Police conducted a “significant investigation” into the crime because the purported victim claimed the suspect who tried to stab him said it was part of a gang initiation.
“Because it had gang affiliation, it was turned over to the Gang Unit,” Savage said. While re-interviewing the man and canvassing the area, detectives noted inconsistencies in the story.
“Things just started to not line up, they weren’t consistent with the original story,” said Savage. “He eventually admitted that the story was not true and he was looking for attention from his dad.”
According to Savage, the false police report charge was noted in today’s daily crime report to let the public know that the gang attack did not happen.
“We don’t encourage people to walk through parks at night, but we also want people to feel safe in their community,” she said.
FILING A FALSE POLICE REPORT, 160211049, 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 8:40 p.m. on February 11, officers responded to an attempted malicious wounding in the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. After significant investigation by patrol officers and members of the Gang Unit, it was determined that the incident did not occur. Julian Leiter, 19, of Arlington VA was charged with filing a false police report.
Update on 2/17/16 — Police say the attack did not happen and was made up by the purported victim. The man, 19, has been charged with filing a false police report.
Police are investigating a possible gang-related attempted stabbing in Quincy Park last night.
Police say a male victim in his late teens was cutting through the park — near Arlington Central Library and Washington-Lee High School — just after 8:30 p.m., when he was approached by an unknown male suspect, also in his teens.
The suspect had a knife and told the victim that he was about to stab him as part of a gang initiation, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The victim, however, used self defense to foil the suspect’s apparent gang rite of passage.
The victim grabbed the suspect’s wrist as he tried to stab the victim, Savage said. The victim then struck the suspect in the side of the face, possibly injuring him. At that point, three men in hoodies started running toward the victim, who ran across the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street, at which point the suspects fled, according to Savage.
Police are encouraging anyone with information about the crime, or any potential gang-related activity in Arlington, to call ACPD’s gang unit at 703-228-GANG (4264). Gang activity may be reported anonymously.
The crime report item on the attempted stabbing, including the suspect descriptions, is below.
ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 160211049, 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 8:40 p.m. on February 11, an unknown male subject approached a male victim and attempted to stab him. The victim was able to use self-defense in fighting off the suspect and then fled. The suspect was accompanied by three additional male subjects. The first suspect that brandished a knife is described as a white male in his teens, approximately 5’10” tall with a slim build. The three accompanying suspects are described as males wearing grey-hoodie style jackets.
The Arlington County Board on Thursday approved major renovations to a playground and volleyball court at Quincy Park.
The new playground will incorporate “universal design” to make it fun and accessible for users of all ages and physical abilities. Features include swings, picnic tables, a slide and a “climbing tree.”
The revamped sand volleyball court will be located adjacent to the playground and is being created with adult after-work sports leagues in mind.
The total cost expected design and construction of the project is $1.275 million. Construction is expected to start this spring and wrap up this fall.
Quincy Park is located between Arlington Central Library and Washington-Lee High School, near the Virginia Square Metros station.
From an Arlington County press release:
The Arlington County Board today approved a contract for $1,085,727 to overhaul the heavily used playground and sand volleyball court at Quincy Park.
The playground will be the first in Arlington to incorporate state-of-the-art Universal Design elements to make it accessible for people of all ages and physical abilities. All Arlington County parks are accessible and meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, but this playground was specially designed to accommodate and engage the entire community.
“This is a truly innovative project that will make Quincy Park a very special place, accessible, welcoming and fun for people of all ages and abilities,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey.
Universal Design seeks to appeal aesthetically and functionally to everyone, regardless of age or physical ability.
The new playground will have a wheelchair ramp to reach the top of the slide area, instead of stairs. Its swings will hold heavier bodies, so that parents and caregivers can swing alongside children.
The Universal Design elements mean people of varying ages and abilities can climb, swing, play and enjoy this space together. Softer surfaces will make the play space safer. The design includes quieter areas for those with sensory sensitivities. Fencing and gates are all integrated into the landscaping to provide green space and a calming environment. A pavilion area will shade picnic tables, and there will be other benches and tables for seating throughout. There are also water fountains with bottle fillers. The park’s features will be explained in signs throughout the park.
Beginning in July 2014, County staff conducted extensive public outreach for this project, including four public meetings and two on-line surveys. County residents participating in the public meetings included neighbors of the park, parents of children and adults with disabilities and members of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association. Staff solicited feedback from organizations such as the Special Education PTA, the Community Services Board for Developmental Disabilities and the Arc of Northern Virginia. County staff also consulted with a designer who specializes in universal playground design. To facilitate the design for the sand volleyball court, County staff consulted with local players, teams and groups such as Orange Line Sports and United Social Sports.
A final concept was presented at a May 2015 public hearing that had the consensus approval of all involved groups.
The Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to award the contract to Bennett Group, the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in the competitive bidding process. The overall project funding for this Parks Maintenance Capital project of $1,275,000.00 includes design, soft costs and construction. Funding is provided by FY 2012 closeout funds ($100,000) and FY 2013 park bond funds ($1,175,000).
Construction is set to begin early spring of 2016 and be completed by the fall.
You’ve probably watched everything Netflix offers, surfed the far corners of the internet, and will be ready to get off the couch. Well, you’re in luck because several snowball fights around Arlington could be the perfect way to release some pent up energy tomorrow.
The most hotly anticipated we’ve found, based on the nearly 630 people who have already responded on Facebook, will be near the Clarendon Metro station at noon on Jan. 24.
There will be another snowball fight less than a mile away in Virginia Square. That one begins at 1:00 p.m. in Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), and the organizer’s Facebook post claims the fun will keep going “until people have tired themselves out.” A similar Quincy Park snowball fight nearly two years ago attracted more than a hundred participants.
Not to be outdone, residents along Columbia Pike have posted a Facebook invite for a “neighborly” snowball fight at Penrose Square (2501 Columbia Pike). The snow flinging is set to start at noon tomorrow.
Metro will remain closed throughout the weekend and travel conditions are expected to be terrible, so it’s recommended that snowball fight attendees plan on safely walking to the events.
Hanukkah this year begins at sunset on Sunday evening and ends the following Monday, Dec. 14.
Events throughout Arlington are happening during the eight-day holiday — also known as the Festival of Lights — for the county’s Jewish community. Here are a few of them.
Temple Rodef Shalom is hosting a community singalong and dinner on the first day of the holiday. The event will feature the teen, youth and children’s choirs in a festive singalong in Quincy Park at 1201 N. Quincy Street. Dinner will be served from local food trucks. Preregistration is strongly encouraged for guests who plan on eating.
The singalong begins at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available online and are $20 for adults, $12 for NOVA Tribe members, $12 for children ages 6-14 and $5 for children ages 5 and under. There is no admission charge for temple youth choir members. The event is open to temple members and non-members alike.
Dec. 8: Chanukah On Ice
Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington is inviting the community to skate and participate in a menorah lighting ceremony next Tuesday at the Pentagon Row outdoor ice skating plaza at 1201 S. Joyce Street. There will be skating from 6-8:30 p.m. with a lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. Dinner of hot latkes, kosher hot dogs and refreshments will also be available.
Admission for all guests is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. These prices include skate rentals, but food will be sold separately. Tickets are available online.
Community members will gather next Wednesday to light a six-foot-tall menorah in Clarendon central park at 3140 Wilson Blvd, near the Clarendon Metro Station entrance. This celebration is also hosted by Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington and will have food, including hot potato latkes, gelt — or chocolate coins — and dreidels for all guests. The lighting ceremony is free and open to the public.
Know of any other Hanukkah events happening in the next few weeks? Please let us know in the comments.
Police say the 23-year-old woman was walking down the 1200 block of N. Quincy Street around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday when she was grabbed from behind by an unknown man. The man tried to pull her into some nearby bushes but quickly fled the scene.
“The victim screamed out for help causing the suspect to flee,” according to Arlington County Police. “The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20-30’s, approximately 5’6″-5’8″ and weighed 130-160 lbs. He was wearing a white t-shirt, dark pants, loafer shoes, and a backpack at the time of the incident.”
Though the suspect description is similar to that of a man suspected in up to a half dozen similar attacks on women in August, police say they don’t think it’s the same person.
“It doesn’t appear that this is the same guy, but we’re not going to rule that out,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Sternbeck said there’s additional information or evidence that suggests it’s a different suspect, but so far that information is not being publicly released while investigators continue to work the case.
Despite the cries of many residents for more open, green space in the county, not all park goers are happy with the parks that currently exist in Arlington.
Among otherwise glowing reviews, there are a number of one, two or three star Yelp reviews of parks in Arlington, detailing the numerous problems some visitors experience.
Complaints ranged from the park’s design, lack of proper cleanup by park employees or that the park just didn’t have enough to offer.
Parks in Arlington aren’t alone in receiving negative comments. In honor of the National Park Service’s 99th birthday, the publication Mother Jones this week shared some not-so-nice reviews of national parks across the country, in a post entitled “I Can’t Stop Reading One-Star Yelp Reviews of National Parks.”
James Hunter Park
James Hunter Park (1299 N. Herndon Street) — the Clarendon dog park — is dog-friendly, and has an open lawn, water feature and a “plaza terrace,” according to the park’s website. However, one reviewer claims the park was not designed with dogs in mind.
Police say a 31-year-old woman was driving through the Ballston area around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday (October 4), when the suspect pulled up behind her and turned on a rotating red light on his dashboard. The victim pulled over on N. 11th Street near Quincy Park and the suspect approached her car, displaying a badge. The man reportedly told the victim to get out of her car and go with him to the police station. The woman was skeptical and stayed in her car. She told the man she was going to call the police to have an officer in uniform respond to the scene. At that point, the man took off in his car.
“This suspect had the intention of getting the victim into his vehicle,” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “If something doesn’t seem right to you, trust your instincts and contact police. This woman’s actions likely kept her from being abducted.”
ACPD will confirm if a traffic stop is legitimate for any citizen who calls the police non-emergency line at 703-558-2222.
The police impersonator is described as a black man, around 6′ tall and 200 pounds. He was driving an older, dark colored car that appeared to be a Crown Victoria or a similar car resembling an unmarked police vehicle.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact ACPD Detective Conigliaro at 703-228-4193 or [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
The snowball fight will be held at Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), near the Virginia Square Metro station, at 4:00 p.m. today. Organizers are billing it as “the most epic snowball fight in the history of Arlington” and are pledging to collect donations for the Frye Foundation.
So far, 11 people have RSVPed “yes” on the snowball fight’s Facebook page. That would be about half the size of the crowd that showed up at the Clarendon Metro station for a snowball fight on Feb. 6, 2010 — the snow storm also known as “Snowmageddon.”
Organizers of today’s snowball fight, dubiously dubbed the “Battle @ Ballston,” say it’s being “sponsored” by Wilson Tavern in Courthouse, which will be hosting combatants for “post snowball fight eats and drinks.”
The Arlington snowball fight will have some competition and challenges. District residents are planning a snowball fight in Dupont Circle at 2:00 p.m. And ammunition might run low — the Capital Weather Gang says snow may be tapering off by noon.
Colonial Invasion Comes to Ft. Myer — The annual spirit night for George Washington University basketball is coming to Ft. Myer’s Conmy Hall tonight. The event, which is usually held on the GW campus, will start at 8:00 p.m. It’s being held at Ft. Myer as a tribute to the military, and to celebrate GW’s basketball history — the team played at Conmy Hall from 1956 to 1975. GW students will be bused to the event from the school’s Foggy Bottom campus. [Colonial Hoops]
Late Night Shuttle Service Eyes Arlington — The DC Hopper, a nightlife shuttle service for bar-goers, is thinking about coming to Arlington. The service just launched in Bethesda, taking passengers from Bethesda to Georgetown to Dupont Circle and back in 30-passenger minibuses outfitted with TVs and free Red Bull energy drinks. Rides cost between $24 and $10. The owners say they would eventually like to expand the service to include Arlington, U Street NW, and H Street NE. [BethesdaNow]
Convert Quincy Park to Central Park? — Greater Greater Washington contributor Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, has an idea for Arlington’s Quincy Park. He said the park, located adjacent to Arlington Central Library, should be converted to “a great central park” with trees, a pond, a bridge, landscaping, curving baths and “not a single chain-link fence.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Alex