Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Study: Arlington Has Safest Drivers in Va. — The insurance website Insurify says Arlington has the safest drivers in Virginia. Drivers in the county “demonstrate exceptional dedication to their own safety and to the safety of others around them,” the website says. [Insurify]

Local Toll Lanes May Be Sold — “Transurban is selling off stakes in its US toll roads because it wants to strengthen its balance sheet… Transurban owns the 95 Express Lanes, 495 Express Lanes and 395 Express Lanes toll roads near the US capital, but traffic on the motorways has been hard hit by the pandemic… The Virginia assets have the longest concession periods of Transurban’s assets with asset lives out to 2087.” [Australian Financial Review]

Police Response at Va. Square Metro — Metro Transit Police and Arlington County Police responded to the Virginia Square Metro station last night for a person who jumped on the track bed. Orange and Silver Line trains were stopped in both directions while the person was taken into custody. [Twitter]

Arrest Made in Silver Line Sexual Assault — “Metro Transit Police today arrested the individual suspected of an attempted rape Tuesday, October 6 aboard a Silver Line train in Northern Virginia. Kendrie Roberts-Monticue, 21, of Reston, was taken into custody this morning at the home of a family member in Virginia.” [WMATA]

Metro Closure Planned in Early 2021 — “Arlington Cemetery and Addison Road stations will be closed for approximately three months for full platform replacement and station renovation… [During the work] Yellow Line trains will provide all trans-Potomac service for stations Pentagon and south.” [WMATA]

APS Getting More CARES Act Funding — “More than $220 million in federal coronavirus relief is headed to Virginia schools, according to an announcement from Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday… Arlington County schools will receive $4.7 million.” [DCist]

‘Tiger King’ Star Indicted in Va.Updated at 8:30 a.m. — “Following an investigation by Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s animal law unit, Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, has been charged with one felony count of wildlife trafficking, one felony count of conspiracy to wildlife traffic, four misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and nine misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty” [Press Release]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Morning Notes

APS Modifies Back-to-School Plan — “To better serve our students, we are announcing updates to the return-to-school plan, including revisions to the elementary and middle school hybrid/in-person instructional models and adjusted student groupings.” [Arlington Public Schools]

More on Silver Line Attack — “The woman was riding the train with her young child at about 11:35 a.m. Tuesday when a man assaulted her, tried to remove her clothing and exposed himself, Metro Transit Police said. The attack occurred between the McLean and East Falls Church stations.” [NBC 4]

CPRO May Get New Name — “The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has been known by the name – and the acronym CPRO – for nearly 35 years. But plans are now in the works to provide a new name to describe the organization’s current mission. The renaming process ‘will probably happen over the next few months,’ CPRO executive director Kim Klingler said.” [InsideNova]

Rose Bush Auction This Weekend — “Hosted by Arlington Rose Foundation… Our auction with sound system will be held outdoors, where it is easy to social distance, in the lovely rose garden at Columbia Gardens Cemetery, 3411 Arlington Boulevard.” [ARLnow Events]

Adult, Two Kids Struck By Driver in Falls Church — ” At approximately 11:01 a.m. on October 7, City of Falls Church Police were dispatched to the report of pedestrians hit by a vehicle at the intersection of W Annandale Road and W Broad Street. Three victims – an adult and two minors – were transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.” [City of Falls Church]

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Morning Notes

Gold’s to Open Outdoor Workout Space — “Gym goers in Arlington, Virginia, will soon take spin classes on an open air training terrace instead of peddling away indoors. Gold’s Gym will open a turf-covered outdoor promenade for classes and training sessions at a new location that’s set to open over the Rosslyn Metro station in early 2021.” [NBC 4]

Beyer Blasts Trump Stimulus Decision — Before the president seemingly reversed his reversal, Rep. Don Beyer said in a statement: “President Trump’s stunning reversal on stimulus negotiations could not have come at a worse time. Just as a bipartisan deal to support American families, boost the economy, and fight the pandemic seemed increasingly promising, the President made the bewildering decision to walk away from talks completely.” [Press Release]

Sexual Assault on Silver Line — “An attacker tried to rape a woman Tuesday on a Metro train in Northern Virginia, the transit system said. The attack occurred about 11:35 a.m. on a Silver Line train between the McLean and East Falls Church stations, Metro said.” [Washington Post]

Water Work in Rock Spring — “Emergency Water Main Break: 4953 Little Falls Rd. Crews have been dispatched to the location. Little Falls Rd b/w Old Dominion and N Columbus St will be closed until about 12pm on 8/7.” [Twitter]

Arlington Man Attempting Major Feat — “Ashley set a goal of being the first kidney donor to complete the seven summits — climbing to the highest point in every continent. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, but his goal remains on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on travel.” [RunWashington]

Local Events for Domestic Violence Awareness — “October 1 marks the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month… In moving our awareness into action, Project PEACE is partnering with Northern Virginia regional domestic violence agencies to #PowerUpNoVA with free awareness and educational opportunities that spotlight less commonly recognized forms of abuse.” [Arlington County]

Update on Northam’s Symptoms — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said this week that he has developed ‘mild’ symptoms of covid-19 more than a week after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, but he is continuing to conduct business remotely. ‘I had a little bit of cold-like symptoms over the weekend and lost my sense of taste or smell, but other than that, I feel fine,’ Northam (D) said Monday.” [Washington Post]

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Police are looking for a man they say ran up to a woman on a local trail and touched her inappropriately.

The incident happened around 10 a.m. Saturday, on the Custis Trail near Lee Highway and the Spout Run Parkway.

Police searched the trail and the surrounding area for the suspect, but he was able to get away. He’s now being sought on a potential charge of sexual battery.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report, below.

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2020-09080051, 3100 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 9:58 a.m. on September 8, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 9:50 a.m., the victim was walking on the trail when she observed the suspect walking towards her from a distance. She subsequently turned around and began walking away from the suspect, who increased his pace, closing the distance between them. The suspect caught up to the victim, grabbed her hip, and touched her inappropriately. The victim yelled, prompting the suspect to flee on foot prior to police arrival. The victim was not injured. The suspect is described as a Black male, 35-40 years old, with an afro, wearing a long sleeve red flannel shirt with a white shirt underneath, shorts, and a blue surgical mask. The investigation is ongoing.

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Update on 6/24/20 — Schaeffer just announced his retirement.

Earlier: Shirlington-based Signature Theatre says newly-revealed sexual assault allegations against its leader “are false, misleading and without merit.”

Actor Thomas Keegan made the allegations public via social media on Sunday, after challenging Signature on a statement expressing a commitment to social justice. He says Signature co-founder and artistic director Eric Schaeffer repeatedly grabbed his genitals during a local theater awards show in 2018.

Yesterday, the theater — which in 2014 received a $5 million loan and rent abatement on its Shirlington location from Arlington County — responded with a statement (below) saying the allegations were investigated and found to be “not credible.”

Signature Theatre strives to play a positive role in our society and part of doing this is listening to our community in an open and fair manner. Living up to these values means taking all allegations of inappropriate or illegal actions seriously and then acting on those complaints according to robust and fair policies.

In May of 2018, Signature Theatre received a complaint concerning Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. The Signature Board took the complaint seriously and immediately hired outside counsel to conduct a third-party inquiry and Mr. Schaeffer was put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the inquiry.

The third-party investigation was independent and involved numerous interviews with the complainant, Eric Schaeffer, current and former Signature staff along with attendees at the event where the incident allegedly took place. The investigator also did a comprehensive review of pertinent records including extensive email records and text messages.

The investigation concluded that the allegations were not credible. Signature’s Board of Directors unanimously accepted the investigation’s conclusions and Mr. Schaeffer was returned to his duties. The matter was then closed and no charges or actions against Signature or Mr. Schaeffer were ever filed. Recent allegations about this incident asserted on social media are false, misleading and without merit as evidenced by the independent investigation.

Keegan asserted that “at least one other actor I know was assaulted by Eric.” He also said that he told the Washington Post about what happened the day after the alleged assault; a search today found no articles on the topic.

Keegan’s full Twitter thread, with his account of what happened, is below.

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Morning Notes

Coronavirus Cases at Arlington Nursing Home — “Rossie Bratten, a 21-year-old Virginia resident, is calling on nursing homes to be more transparent about COVID-19, claiming an Arlington facility caring for his mother never informed the family of positive cases at the site. Bratten claims they only called to be told their mother had tested positive.” [Fox 5, YouTube]

Construction Continuing at DCA — “The coronavirus pandemic has slowed air travel to a trickle, but it has not hindered Project Journey at Reagan National Airport. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reports that the new 14-gate north concourse at Reagan Airport remains on schedule to open in July 2021.” [Washington Business Journal]

Bullet Hole Found in Roof of Douglas Park Home — “At approximately 2:31 p.m. on April 13, police were dispatched to the report of a missile into occupied dwelling. Upon arrival, it was determined that contractors performing maintenance on the victim’s house located a hole in her roof and recovered a bullet in the crawl space. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.” [Arlington County]

Sen. Ebbin Lauds Signing of Marijuana Bill — “The prohibition on cannabis has for too long had life long impacts on Virginians and disproportionately affected communities of color. Thank you @GovernorVA for signing my and @C_Herring’s bills to decriminalize marijuana.” [Twitter]

County Observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month — “Arlington County’s Project PEACE is recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) with virtual observances and daily online opportunities. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, survivors of sexual assault need support, champions and affirmation of their stories and voices.” [Arlington County]

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Arlington County Police are asking for the public’s help in a sexual assault case.

Police say a woman was grabbed from behind, pushed to the ground and sexually assaulted while walking up to her apartment around 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday. The incident happened on the 200 block of N. Piedmont Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood near Ballston.

More from an ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim in the Buckingham neighborhood.

At approximately 11:35 p.m. on November 27, police were dispatched to the report of a woman screaming and subsequently the report of a possible rape in the 200 block of North Piedmont Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim exited a vehicle and was returning to her residence when the unknown male suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her and pushed her against another vehicle. The suspect told the victim not to yell, then pushed her to the ground and sexually assaulted her. The victim began screaming, prompting the suspect to flee in a vehicle prior to police arrival. Responding officers established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results.

The suspect is described as a dark-skinned Hispanic male, approximately 5’3″, with short, cropped dark hair, wearing dark pants. The vehicle, described as a white van, last seen heading South on North Piedmont Street.

This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information regarding the identity of this individual, details surrounding the incident, and/or home surveillance that may assist the investigation is asked to contact Detective J. McGrath of the Special Victim’s Unit at 703-228-4244 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Sietsema’s Dining Guide Includes Arlington Spots — Out of 77 restaurants on Washington Post food critic’s prestigious  annual Fall Dining Guide, four are Arlington-based or have Arlington outposts: Thai Square on Columbia Pike, Sfoglina in Rosslyn, Jaleo in Crystal City, and Buena Vida in Clarendon. [Washington Post]

Dance Flash Mob in Ballston — “Flash Mob in #Ballston! Volunteers and @BMDCdance treated @marymountu’s Ballston Center students to an impromptu performance at the Fall Wellness Fair! #LifeisFull” [Twitter]

Man Arrested for Sexual Abuse of Child on Metro — “Patel was stopped by MTPD officers shortly before 6 p.m. after a juvenile male victim reported that the suspect sat next to him and then groped him aboard a Yellow Line train traveling between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations. The train was in the District of Columbia at the time of the offense.” [WMATA]

ACPD Encouraging ‘See Something, Say Something’ — “While the overall crime rate is down regionwide, in 2019 there’s an increase in the number of people calling police in Arlington, Virginia; and the police chief thinks it is because people are becoming engaged with law enforcement. And that’s a good thing.” [WTOP]

‘Trail Rage’ Incident in Arlington — “At approximately 4:50 p.m., the victim and a friend were riding their bikes along the Custis Trail when they had a brief exchange with the suspect who was traveling by bicycle in the opposite direction. The suspect later caught up to the victim on the trail, became aggressive and struck the victim’s bike with his tire, before the victim was able to ride away. The suspect again caught up to the victim, attempted to grab his personal belongings, before the victim kicked the suspects’ bicycle and rode away.” [Arlington County]

Lee Highway Planning Meeting Today — “From 12-3:30pm: Lee Highway-area residents, business owners, community members and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend the Plan Lee Highway: Open Design Studio.” [Twitter, Arlington County]

Nearby: Rabid Raccoon in Falls Church — “On October 4, a sick raccoon was euthanized by City of Falls Church Police in the area of Lea Court and S. Spring Street. On October 9, the Fairfax County Health Department confirmed that the raccoon was suffering from rabies. In this case, there was no human exposure to the animal, however, the community should be cognizant of the rabies threat at all times.” [City of Falls Church]

Flickr pool photo by Lisa Novak

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The Arlington County Police Department has arrested a man on charges of sexual assault and fraud after police say he cornered a woman and stole her credit cards.

Officers were dispatched to a reported assault at 7:42 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 on the 1700 block of Crystal Drive  — an area near the Crystal City Metro station — per an ACPD press release.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was inside a business when an unknown male suspect entered, cornered her and made inappropriate sexual comments,” the press release noted. “The victim yelled at the suspect and forcefully pushed him away, prompting him to flee the scene on foot prior to police arrival.”

Arlington resident Yohannes Gebreyesus, 36, was apprehended by officers nearby a day later.

A patrolling officer arrested Gebreyesus near the Crystal City Metro on Sunday, July 14, after Gebreyesus had made several purchases with the stolen credit cards, police said.

Gebreyesus was charged with one count of Attempted Rape, two counts of Credit Card Theft, one count of Credit Card Fraud, and a warrant for a previous felony violation of his probation.

A man matching Gebreyesus’ name previously pleaded guilty to three charges of grand larceny for stealing vehicles between 2012 and 2018, according to county court records. Arlington County Circuit Court records note that the Yohannes Gebreyesus charged with the 2018 grand larceny violated his parole in April.

The full press release from police is below, after the jump.

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Morning Notes

Police Nab Sex Assault Suspect — “Following a tip from a member of the public, the suspect has been identified as Wondimagegn Azemach, 19, of Riverdale, Maryland. He has been charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile and Sexual Battery.” [Arlington County]

Fire at Ambar in Clarendon — A small fire temporarily closed Ambar restaurant in Clarendon during prime brunching time on Saturday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Board Approves Va. Square Development — “The Arlington County Board today approved a plan to replace aging commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road, in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, with a seven-story apartment building that will include 16 affordable units and achieve LEED Silver energy efficiency.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Sinkhole Work Continues — “The repairs to a crumbling section of the George Washington Parkway between Turkey Run Park and the Capital Beltway are now expected to continue through most of the summer. The long-term repairs to a failed drainage inlet will keep at least one right lane on the parkway closed for 10 weeks once the contractor is ready for work, the National Park Service said Friday. Engineers have determined that a 60 year old brick drainage structure buried deep under the parkway needs to be replaced.” [WTOP, Press Release]

Fire Victim Identified — The person killed in an apartment fire in the Ashton Heights neighborhood last week “has been identified as Brian Green, 50, of Arlington. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.” [Arlington County]

Football Team Joins Arlington Chamber — “Welcome new member @Redskins! We are thrilled to have you as part of our membership at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.” [Twitter]

County Kicks Off Census Effort — Arlington County and its Complete Count Committee (CCC) are gearing up for the 2020 Census – working toward the goal of counting every Arlingtonian… It’s not too early to get acquainted with the Census and what to expect next year.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Arlington County Police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted a woman in Crystal City this morning.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, in a commercial building on the 1500 block of Jefferson Davis Highway, police said. A man followed a woman inside and elevator and “then inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted the victim before witnesses entered the area, causing the suspect to flee the scene on foot,” per a police press release.

Police are now looking for the suspect and asking for the public’s help in locating him. They released surveillance video of him in a nearby underground walkway (below).

The full ACPD press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit is seeking the public’s assistance identifying and locating a suspect involved in the sexual assault of a female victim in the Crystal City neighborhood.

At approximately 8:39 a.m. on June 13, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown male suspect followed the female victim into a commercial building in the 1500 block of Jefferson Davis Highway. The suspect cornered the victim inside an open elevator, preventing her from leaving. The suspect then inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted the victim before witnesses entered the area, causing the suspect to flee the scene on foot.

The suspect, who was captured on surveillance video, is described as a black male, approximately 6’0″ tall with an athletic build. He was wearing a black shirt, dark pants, and sneakers at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information on the identity of this individual or details surrounding this incident is asked to contact Detective S. Gomez of the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at 703.228.4173 or at [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

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