Arlington, VA

(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) County officials are hosting an event this week about the #MeToo movement and how men and boys can stop sexual harassment.

The event is called “#MeToo: Being Men-Raising Men” and aims to create a “community discussion about masculinity and the role of men in addressing sexual assault and harassment in our community,” per a county press release. It comes at a time when officials say they’ve seen increases in requests for “sexual assault services across Arlington County… from police to advocacy and hotline to medical services.”

The event is the latest response from officials following a 2017 survey indicating as many as half the APS female students in grades 8, 10, and 12 have been sexually harassed at school.

The discussion will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Arlington Central Library Auditorium.

Officials from APS, ACPD and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office will speak at the event.

Also attending are representatives from groups dedicated to combatting sexual violence based in the county’s Department of Human Services, INOVA Loudon Hospital, and abuse hotline Doorways for Women and Families.

The event is a sequel to last year’s discussion, which was entitled #MeToo: What Men, Boys, and Everyone Need to Know.

Arlington County is planning several other events this month in honor of April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Upcoming events include a poetry night at Metro Stage on Tuesday, April 16, and a rally at Gateway Park, near Rosslyn Metro, on Thursday, April 25.

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Update 10/30/18: Timothy Day has been arrested, according to Metro Transit Police. Officers are now trying to determine if there are additional victims in the case.

Earlier: Police are looking for a registered sex offender from Maryland who’s accused of touching a woman inappropriately on a crowded Orange Line train.

The alleged incident happened around 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 21. Metro Transit Police say a 24-year-old woman at the Court House station reported that she was on the train when “a male subject who was not known to her placed his hand on her buttocks.”

“She also observed him standing ‘abnormally’ behind another female patron and put his hands down his shorts and ‘adjust his crotch area,’ said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. “The victim stated that the suspect followed behind another female patron as he got off the train at Foggy Bottom.”

After a review of video footage and other evidence, Transit Police identified the suspect as Timothy L. Day, 58, of Rockville, and charged wim with assault. As of Friday evening a warrant was issued for his arrest but he was not yet in police custody.

Day is a registered sex offender, according to MTPD. He was previously accused of other sexual crimes on a Boston MBTA subway train in 2004 and a Metro train in Arlington in 2002, according to news reports.

“Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call MTPD,” said Stessel.

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Arlington County Police have arrested a suspect in the attempted rape of a woman near Columbia Pike on Friday.

Police say Jermaine Johnson, a 30-year-old Arlington resident, broke into an apartment on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street, brandished a knife and tried to sexually assault the victim. She suffered minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital.

The perpetrator fled the scene of the crime, evading a police K-9 track and helicopter search, according to a police press release.

On Saturday police announced that Johnson was the suspect, “based on crime scene evidence collected and witness interviews.” Later that day, officers conducting surveillance in the Courthouse area saw him and gave chase. From ACPD:

While conducting surveillance in the 1700 block of N. Troy Street, officers observed the suspect flee from a residence. Following a foot pursuit, Jermaine Johnson was apprehended and taken into police custody. He has been charged with attempted rape and burglary and will be held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.

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Update at 1:40 p.m. — The Arlington County Police Department has released a description of the man that police say attempted to sexually assault a woman in the Arlington Mill neighborhood this morning.

Police were unable to find the suspect despite an extensive search. More from an ACPD press release:

At approximately 9:05 a.m. on April 20, Arlington County Police were dispatched to the report of a late assault in the 800 block of S. Frederick Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m., an unknown male suspect forced entry into a residence, brandished a knife and attempted to sexually assault the female victim. The victim suffered minor physical injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The suspect fled the area prior to police arrival.

The suspect is described as a black male, 20-30 years old, approximately 5’7″ tall with short cropped hair. He was wearing a black shirt and black jeans at the time of the incident.

Detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers established a perimeter, canvassed the area and spoke with possible witnesses. Arlington County canine units attempted a track of the suspect and the Fairfax County Police Helicopter Unit provided an aerial search with negative results. Officers will continue conducting extra patrols in the area.

If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective J. Echenique of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4241 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Earlier: Police are actively searching for a suspect following an attempted sexual assault this morning.

A man armed with a knife strangled and tried to sexually assault a woman in the Arlington Mill neighborhood, according to scanner traffic. A responding officer reportedly spotted a man matching the description of the suspect, but he was able to flee on foot.

Police officers, a K-9 unit and the Fairfax County Police Department helicopter are now searching the wooded area around Glencarlyn Park for the suspect.

Campbell Elementary School has been secured while the search is in progress.

Photo via Google Maps

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A community conversation regarding sex and violence is set to be held today (Thursday) at Yorktown High School.

The event, scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the school’s Patriot Hall, will kick off Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in Arlington.

Entitled “#MeToo: What Men, Boys, and Everyone Need to Know,” the event will feature nationally recognized scholar and activist Jackson Katz as the keynote speaker. Katz is also the co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), an organization that has been running gender violence, sexual harassment and bullying prevention programs for more than 20 years.

Almost 50 percent of Arlington Public School female students in grades 8, 10 and 12 report that they have been sexually harassed while at school, according to the Arlington 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Other community leaders will also be in attendance, including Arlington Chief of Police Jay Farr, County Board Chair Katie Crisol and Theo Stamos, the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington and Falls Church. Middle and high school students as well as adults are encouraged to attend.

Arlington’s Project PEACE is hosting the event in partnership with INOVA Fairfax Hospital and Arlington Public Schools. Project PEACE, which stands for Partnering to End Abuse in the Community for Everyone, is a community educational initiative to end domestic and sexual violence in the county.

Photo via APS

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A bill that will bar Virginia public school employees from providing job recommendations to fellow employees who have sexually assaulted students landed on Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk this week for signing.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D), who represents Arlington and Alexandria, said he introduced bill S.B. 605 after Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) brought the issue to his attention.

Ebbin learned that a Loudoun County school employee from received a “glowing” recommendation by a school principal even after the employee was accused of improper behavior with students. The teacher was later able to work in Florida after working at the Loudoun school.

No known, similar incident has occurred at Arlington Public Schools, according to Ebbin.

“It is unconscionable that anyone, particularly a school official, would recommend someone who they know or have reason to believe committed sexual misconduct,” Ebbin said. “It would be horrific to have a child sexually abused when that abuse could have been easily avoided.”

Ebbin added that he intends to work toward applying the bill’s provisions to private schools in the future. The bill initially included private schools, but was later amended.

File photo.

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Morning Notes

Sexual Assault Suspect Was Maintenance Worker — The man arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a woman in her apartment in Rosslyn last year worked as a maintenance worker for an apartment building in D.C. Police say he posed as a maintenance worker in the Rosslyn building to get the victim to open her door, before forcing his way into the apartment. [NBC Washington]

New Uber Pickup at DCA — “If you are planning to take an Uber, Lyft or other ride-share service from Reagan National Airport, you’ll need to head to a new spot to be picked up. Airport officials have moved the pick up zone to the ticketing level (upstairs) at Terminals B and C.” [Washington Post]

Spotted: M.J. Stewart at NFL Combine — Former Yorktown football star M.J. Stewart, who was also a standout defensive back at the University of North Carolina, was among those working out at the NFL Scouting Combine over the past week. [Twitter]

Rosslyn Hyatt Sold — The Hyatt Centric hotel in Rosslyn has been sold to a subsidiary of publicly-traded hotel operator Sotherly Hotels for $79.7 million. The hotel was recently renovated. [Seeking Alpha]

LiveSafe Helping to Keep SXSW Safe — The South by Southwest festival is utilizing the mobile safety app produced by Arlington-based LiveSafe to help with event security this year. SXSW kicks off on Friday in Austin, Texas. [DC Inno]

Nearby: Alexandria Residents Oppose Beer Garden — “Residents of a townhouse development next to a proposed beer garden in Del Ray are opposing the business, saying it will create ‘noise and safety issues’ and ‘negatively affect our community.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me

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A 25-year-old D.C. man has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in Rosslyn last May.

The suspect is Richard Allen Lowe, who police say knocked on doors at an apartment building on the 1500 block of Key Boulevard pretending to be a maintenance worker. When a female victim opened her door, the suspect attacked her, sexually assaulting her before fleeing, according to police.

Lowe, charged with abduction with intent to defile and malicious wounding, is being held at the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

More from the press release:

Arlington County Police detectives conducted an intensive investigation including the review of crime scene evidence, witness interviews and laboratory results. The review resulted in additional information that led detectives to identify Richard Allen Lowe as a possible suspect. Forensic evidence and thorough investigative efforts linked the suspect to the incident. The suspect was arrested in Washington D.C. on February 22, 2018 with assistance by the Metropolitan Police Department and subsequently extradited to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

This remains an active criminal investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident or concerning Richard Allen Lowe is asked to contact Detective P. Pena at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

After the attack last May, the Arlington County Police Department released a video of the suspect entering another residential building on the 1900 block of Wilson Boulevard. In that instance, the building’s concierge saw the man sneak in and denied him further access.

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(Updated at 9:55 a.m.) The Arlington County Police Department released today (Tuesday) a composite sketch of a man wanted for questioning in connection to the sexual assault in Shirlington last month.

Police said the man was spotted loitering in a parking garage on the 3000 block of S. Randolph Street about two hours before the assault on November 2.

Police responded to the area of S. Randolph Street at 31st Street S. at approximately 10:41 p.m. that night for the report of a rape.

Officers said the victim was putting items in her parked car when a man approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her. He then fled on foot.

Police described the suspect as a black male aged 19 to 21 years old, 5-foot-9 tall and weighing approximately 150 pounds. They said he was wearing skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, red hooded sweatshirt and converse style sneakers.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has released a composite sketch of a subject seen loitering in a parking garage in the 3000 block of S. Randolph Street approximately two hours prior to the sexual assault on November 2, 2017. A witness in the area assisted in completing the composite sketch and described the subject as a black male, 19 to 21 years old, 5’9″ tall and weighing approximately 150 pounds. He was wearing skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, red hooded sweatshirt and converse style sneakers at the time. If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective N. Brooks of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4169 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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The Arlington County Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance to find a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in Shirlington last night (Thursday).

Police responded to the area of S. Randolph Street at 31st Street S. at approximately 10:41 p.m. on November 2 for the report of a rape. Officer said the victim was putting items in her parked car when a man approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her. He then fled on foot.

The area is near The Citizen at Shirlington apartment building and the Shirlington bus station.

Police said the suspect is a black male in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-6 to 6-feet tall with a thin build. He was wearing a white t-shirt at the time of the incident. He was last seen fleeing the area on foot, traveling southbound on 31st Street S.

More from an ACPD press release:

Detectives from the Special Victim’s Unit are actively investigating this incident. Responding officers established a perimeter, canvassed the area and spoke with possible witnesses. Arlington County canine units attempted a track of the suspect and the Fairfax County Police Helicopter Unit provided an aerial search with negative results. Officers will continue conducting extra checks in the area.

If anyone has information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident, please contact Detective N. Brooks of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit at 703.228.4169 or at [email protected]. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Photo via Google Maps

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More than 30 people protested Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ arrival on the Arlington campus of George Mason University on Thursday morning.

Protestors outside where she made her announcement accused her of “protecting rapists” and failing to protect the most vulnerable, and the survivors of sexual assault.

“After a week of disgusting announcements, this is going to be the worst of them,” said GMU graduate Rodrigo Velasquez, adding that there is “no legal or moral argument for rolling back protections for our most vulnerable.”

DeVos announced a plan to rethink the government’s enforcement of Title IX and federal regulations of sexual assault policies on college campuses. During her speech, per reporters inside, DeVos said she would implement a public comment period to gather feedback on it.

DeVos reportedly added that she would look to follow “due process” in enforcement of Title IX, and that the “era of rule by letter is over.” She said she would not change federal guidelines yet, nor the so-called “Dear Colleague” letter that gave colleges that receive federal money guidelines on how to report alleged sexual assaults, but it is under review.

Protestors carried signs attacking DeVos and President Trump, as well as sharing personal stories of sexual assault on college campuses. The crowd regularly broke out into chants of “Stand with survivors,” “Stop protecting rapists” and “Stop Betsy DeVos” throughout.

And when one protestor got word through social media that the protests could be heard in the auditorium where DeVos was speaking, enormous cheers, jeers and whistles broke out, as well as chants of “Can you hear us?”

Protestors promised that their fight is just beginning, and urged those looking on to speak in support of current regulations.

“We will not go back to a time when survivors go back into the shadows,” Velasquez said. “So let’s make sure Betsy DeVos hears this.”

The protestors dispersed around 1 p.m., after the conclusion of DeVos’ speech.

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