Office Vacancy Down in Arlington — Arlington has had a 1.6 percent positive net absorption of commercial office space so far this year. Crystal City in particular has done well, gaining 313,000 square feet of occupancy. [Bisnow]
History Plan for Arlington Centennial — Arlington County is seeking public comment on the mid-term report produced by the Arlington History Task Force. The task force is trying to come up with a plan for preserving Arlington’s history, in time for the county’s centennial in 2020. [Arlington County]
McLean Up in Arms Over Gun Store — Nova Firearms, the gun store that tried unsuccessfully to open a store in Cherrydale, has moved its McLean store to a larger location but is now incurring the wrath of a group of residents. Parents object to the fact that the new store is behind a local elementary school, in view of at least one classroom. [Washington Post]
Gym Responds to String of Sexual Assaults — Responding to a string of attacks on women in Arlington, including a sexual assault near Rosslyn over the weekend, the Nova MMA CrossFit gym is offering a free self-defense seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 7-9 p.m. [MyFoxDC]
Road Closures for Army Ten-Miler — Route 110, the northbound I-395 HOV lanes, S. Eads Street, Army Navy Drive, Long Bridge Drive and Washington Blvd are among the roads in Arlington that will be closed Sunday morning for the annual Army Ten-Miler race. [Arlington County]
The incident was reported on the 1800 block of N. Scott Street — two blocks north of the Colonial Village Shopping Center — around 2:30 a.m.
“A 23 year-old female victim was followed home and pushed into the bushes by an unknown male subject,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The subject touched the victim inappropriately and implied that he had a knife.”
“The suspect is described as a black male in his 20’s, approximately 5’10”-5’11” tall and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt,” the crime report said.
A woman was also grabbed from behind and pushed into some bushes near Quincy Park and Washington-Lee High School last week, but the attacker quickly fled the scene. The crimes do not appear to be related.
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.
Police say a man walked up to a 31-year-old woman on Columbia Pike near S. Courthouse Road at 9:35 p.m. and asked for directions. The suspect then allegedly groped and kissed the woman before running off.
“When the victim looked down at her phone the male subject touched her inappropriately and kissed her on the cheek,” according to a police report. “The suspect is described as a Middle Eastern male in his twenties, approximately 5’4″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and blue jeans at the time of the incident.”
Police do not believe this incident is related to a series of a half dozen sexual assaults that have been reported within the past month.
The Arlington County Police Department is looking for a man suspected of trying to sexually assault a woman on the W&OD trail last weekend.
The victim was running on the Glencarlyn Park area of the W&OD trail when the suspect allegedly grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground. The suspect tried to cover her mouth with his hand, but she was able to scream, causing the suspect to flee, police say.
The woman worked with a sketch artist to provide a sketch of the suspect. He is described as “a dark skinned Hispanic male between 20-30 years old, approximately 5’6″ tall, weighing 140 pounds,” according to police. At the time, he was wearing long, baggy gray shorts and was not wearing a shirt.
Anyone with information can contact Detective K. Bercovicz at [email protected] or 703-228-4235. Those wishing to stay anonymous can call the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).
The attempted sexual assault on the W&OD trail was the first of two such incidents in Arlington that weekend. A woman was also grabbed and thrown to the ground while she walked home near the intersection of N. Thomas Street and N. Pershing Street in Buckingham. A sketch has not been released for the suspect.
Last week police released a sketch of a suspect in another sexual assault incident near Courthouse.
Arlington County Police are looking into whether pair of sexual assaults over the weekend are linked to a sexual assault in Courthouse last month.
Over the weekend, two women, both in their late 20s to early 30s, were grabbed from behind and tossed to the ground. The crime and the suspect descriptions in both cases are similar to that of the assault in Courthouse on July 24, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
“We’re not saying it’s the same guy at this point, but there are some similarities in terms of the attack and the suspect description,” Sternbeck said.
The first attack happened at 8:45 p.m. on Friday. A woman was running alone on the W&OD trail when a man grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground, according to a police report. The woman screamed causing the man to flee.
“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his twenties, approximately 5’6″ tall and 140 lbs. He was wearing long gray shorts, a belt, and no shirt at the time of the incident,” according to a police report.
On Saturday, at 11:26 p.m., a 25 year-old woman was walking near the intersection of N. Thomas Street and N. Pershing Street in Buckingham when a man grabbed her from behind and threw her to the ground. The man allegedly touched the woman inappropriately, and she bit one of his fingers and he fled, the police report said.
“The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, between 5’0″-5’3″ tall, with black hair and a mustache. He was wearing a gray t-shirt and jeans at the time of the incident,” according to police.
The incident happened early Sunday morning, on the 900 block of S. Randolph Street in the Alcova Heights neighborhood. It started with an Uber ride that left D.C. at some point between 2:45 and 4:00 a.m.
Police say an intoxicated woman, 29, and her friend ordered an Uber, but ended up getting in “an Uber cab that was not her intended ride.”
While in transit, the woman vomited in the back seat, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The driver dropped off the friend before driving to S. Randolph Street to drop off the victim. It’s at that point that the alleged assault occurred.
“Despite the ride not being established via the app, the driver consented to provide a ride,” said the crime report. “The driver allegedly sexually assaulted the female victim when she was unable to pay the fare.”
The victim then fled to a friend’s house and called police. Police are now trying to track down the driver.
“The suspect is described as a Middle Eastern male with short, curly black hair, and a goatee,” according to the police report. “He was wearing a dark polo shirt and jeans at the time of the incident.”
As of this afternoon police said they had not yet reached out to Uber but planned to do so soon. An Uber spokesman said the company has contacted police and offered to assist with the investigation.
“We have contacted the authorities to offer our support in their investigation, and we continue to gather more information,” said Uber’s Taylor Bennett. “Our thoughts are with the victim during this difficult time.”
The Arlington County Police Department is seeking a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 25-year-year old woman in Courthouse.
The suspect allegedly forced the woman into bushes near the corner of 15th Street N. and N. Scott Street early Saturday morning. The woman was able to kick the man in the groin and fight him off after he grabbed at her pants, police say.
A sketch artist worked with the victim to produce a sketch of the suspect. He is described as a Hispanic man weighing between 150 to 175 pounds and is between 5’6 and 5’8 feet tall. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and jeans and has an athletic build.
Anyone with information can call Detective Robert Icolari at 703-228-4240 or email him at [email protected] Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous can call 866-411-TIPS (8477) to leave a tip with Arlington County Crime Solvers.
Arlington County Police say a 25-year-old woman was walking home from a Friday night out in Clarendon when a man began trying to talk with her. When she walked past him, the man started following her, and she tried walking faster to get away.
At the intersection of 15th Street N. and N. Scott Street, the woman was grabbed from behind and pulled into some nearby bushes. The attacker grabbed the woman’s groin area and tried tugging on her clothing, according to police, but the woman fought him off by punching, kicking and screaming.
After being kicked in the groin, the man walked away towards Clarendon Blvd. The woman lost her phone in the struggle and flagged down a passerby to call police. Officers attempted to track the attacker down, but he escaped and remains at large.
“The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male, 20-30 years of age, 5’6″-5’8″, 150-175 lbs, wearing a white tank top and dark pants,” according to a police report.
The incident happened just before 8:00 p.m. Tuesday in a restaurant on the 900 block of N. Stafford Street in Ballston. We’re told the restaurant was the IHOP on the corner of Stafford Street and Fairfax Drive.
Police say a boy entered the restaurant’s bathroom without parental accompaniment and was “pulled into a stall and touched inappropriately” by 53-year-old Cesar Muz-Moya.
Muz-Moya, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual battery and abduction. He was held without bond.
This is just the most recent brush with the law for Muz-Moya.
Earlier this year he was arrested for and later convicted of peeping through a woman’s bedroom window in the Ballston area. He was sentenced to two months in jail.
On May 11, Muz-Moya was arrested and charged with being drunk in public in Fairfax County. His next hearing date in that case is scheduled for August.
Three bills dealing with sexual assault on college campuses, championed by local state Sen. Barbara Favola, were signed into law by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe yesterday (May 28).
The bills deal with reporting of sexual assault occurrences on public college campuses. State Sen. Barbara Favola, who represents part of Arlington in Virginia’s 31st District, helped write the legislation, including a bill that required campus safety officials to be part of a threat assessment team formed after a student reports sexual assault. The establishment of a threat assessment team is required by Title IX.
Under Title IX, a federal law that deals with preventing discrimination based on gender, certain college administrators must report sexual assault to law enforcement. It is also part of the Clery Act, which requires schools publicly report crimes on campuses. The new laws will make it a state requirement as well.
Under the Favola’s amendment to the bill, a threat assessment team, which will include campus safety officials, has to investigate a sexual assault claim without releasing the name of the survivor. If the team determines that there is a legitimate threat to the survivor, it will then release the name to local law enforcement or a local state attorney if necessary.
The bill was originally authored by Sen. Richard Black, who represents Viriginia’s 13th District. The original bill, sparked by the Rolling Stone article about University Virginia, had campus officials report a sexual assault to law enforcement immediately after a report was filed, Favola said.
When campus administrators heard about the bill, they came to Favola for help. The officials told her they thought the bill would discourage people from reporting sexual assaults to the school because it would go to the police, she said.
Many sexual survivors have to process the trauma of a sexual assault, and some survivors do not want to report to police, Favola said.
The signed bill now allows survivors to have time to accept the traumatic event as well as get some counseling, Favola said. A second bill, also signed by McAuliffe, includes a memorandum of understanding, which helps survivors get counseling.
“I think we ended up in the absolute right place,” Favola said.
The bill is another “hammer” to make sure colleges do not sweep sexual assault reports under the rug, according to Favola. Sexual assault reporting has garnered national attention as the Department of Education opened Title IX investigations to look at how colleges handle sexual assault reports. As of May 13, there were 111 colleges on the list, including five Virginia schools, according to the Huffington Post.
Favola is not sure if reported cases of sexual assault will go up with the new laws in place. Some believe there will be more cases reported because the state government is trying to make the bill very public in order to ensure that students and colleges know about the new process.
Arlington’s Marymount University will be among the colleges subject to the new laws. Marymount reported two cases of forcible sex offenses on campus for 2013, in its 2014 Campus Safety report.
Favola says she’s not done with sexual assault legislation. She is now turning to prevention at colleges.
“As a parent, as a woman, as someone who’s been a part-time employee of a university for 19 years, our children need to be safe,” Favola said.
Doorways for Women and Families, a nonprofit designed to support women and children who suffer from domestic violence and homelessness, launched the hotline to pair with its 37-year-old, 24-hour domestic violence hotline.
The hotline’s number is 703-237-0881.
Like the domestic violence hotline, victims can call in and Doorways partners with Arlington County to provide resources, such as shelter or police support.
“We’re pleased to partner with Doorways for Women and Families on this important resource for our community,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a press release. “Doorways’ track record with the domestic violence hotline has been outstanding, providing victims with expert advice and linkages to needed services. By expanding hotline services to include sexual assault, we will again tap into Doorways’ expertise and knowledge to quickly and effectively link people to vital community services and resources.”
The hotline will pair Doorways with the Arlington County Police Department, the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office and Department of Human Services. Among the services provided will be Commonwealth’s Attorney accompaniment during hospitalization for victims — a frequently traumatic event, Doorways said.
“We will play an important role in our community’s response, but it is one of many,” Doorways Executive Director Caroline Jones said. “Now is the right time to intentionally define our community’s coordinated response as we are seeing record numbers of people reaching out for our help — realizing they no longer have to face these issues in silence and shame.”
The full press release announcing the new hotline can be read after the jump.
A bill co-sponsored by Arlington legislators that would require college campuses to provide survivors of sexual assaults with options for off-campus resources — like counseling and law enforcement — has passed the state Senate.
Sens. Barbara Favola (D) and Adam Ebbin (D) are co-patrons of SB 1329, which would require colleges to establish memorandums of understanding with “a local sexual assault crisis center or other victim support service,” refer victims to the center and encourage them to preserve physical evidence for a police investigation.
“This legislation represents a positive step in protecting our young people and making college campuses safer,” Favola said in a press release. “SB 1329 strengthens support systems for sexual assault survivors and empowers these survivors to pursue charges against their assailants.”
The bill would also allow victims to submit anonymous reports and provides “for nonretaliation by the institution against victims who fear their conduct may also be questioned or who are concerned that an official report might jeopardize their academic status.”
The bill passed the Senate unanimously. It also was referred out of two committees unanimously. It will now go before the heavily Republican House of Delegates.
The Senate also unanimously passed two companion bills, SB 1193 and SB 712. SB 1193 would require colleges and universities to prominently mark a student’s permanent transcript if the student withdraws, is expelled or is placed on probation for a sexual assualt violation. SB 712 requires higher education employees to report any student sexual assault they are aware of to the campus’ Title IX coordinator within four hours.
The 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly official begins at noon today, and a pair of Arlington lawmakers are using the session to try to protect victims of sexual assault on college campuses.
Del. Rip Sullivan (D), in his first regular session in the General Assembly after being chosen in a special election to replace now-retired Del. Bob Brink, has already filed a bill aimed to help campus sex assault victims. HB1508 would require college campuses to have a memorandum of understanding with “a local sexual assault crisis center” to allow those reporting sexual assault to be able to take their claims off campus.
State Sen. Barbara Favola (D) is co-patron of a bill in the senate, along with two Loudoun senators, Sens. Jennifer Wexton (D) and Jill Vogel (R). Favola said that despite Rolling Stone magazine retracting its story detailing a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house, she’s still concerned about university responses to reports of sexual crimes on their campuses.
“The Rolling Stone article gave me great concern, even though I know there were questions on whether it happened,” she told ARLnow.com this morning. “The point is this is a pretty serious problem on college campuses… We wanted to empower victims to come forward and report.”
The bills would allow victims to make anonymous reports if they do not want to officially report an assault, and it would provide amnesty to students who are worried that the circumstances under which they were assaulted could jeopardize their academic standing — for example, if a 19-year-old student was raped while drinking underage.
“My bill shouldn’t be a burden” for colleges that have stringent sexual assault policies already on the books, she said, “but for the colleges and universities have not been as aggressive with this, this bill will actually be able to enforce a zero-tolerance for sexual assault policy.”
With Vogel as a co-sponsor, Favola and Sullivan hope the bills can draw votes from the Republican side of the aisle — a requirement if either were to get passed by the Republican-controlled houses in the state legislature.
“I hope this bill with Sen. Favola is one that will receive bipartisan support in this environment,” Sullivan said. “There is a lot of attention paid to the hot-button issues in which there can be disagreement and things turn into partisan wrangling, but a lot of good law is, as I understand it, made every session on a bipartisan basis that doesn’t attract much attention.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 23, just before 6:00 p.m., police responded to an address near the Rosslyn Metro for a cab fare dispute, a fairly routine call. However, the taxi passenger was found to be drunk in public and was arrested — and she didn’t go down without a fight, police say.
The woman allegedly kicked two police officers as she was being loaded into the patrol car, injuring them.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
BATTERY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (2 COUNTS) / DRUNK IN PUBLIC,141223047, 1800 block of N. Nash St, On 12/23/14 at 1752 hours, officers responded for a cabfare dispute. The suspect was located and she was intoxicated in public. After the suspect was arrested, she kicked two police officers as she was being loaded into the patrol vehicle. Both officers sustained minor injuries and the suspect was held without bond.
Also in this week’s crime report, a woman reported being sexually assaulted in Ballston by a man with whom she went on a date. The alleged crime happened after she used the man’s bathroom, as she was trying to leave to go home.
SEXUAL ASSAULT, 141217058, 900 block of N Stuart St, A female victim told police that between 2030 hours and 2115 hours on 12/17/14, she went to a restaurant with a known male subject. She dropped him off at his residence and requested to use the bathroom before heading home. Upon doing so, she was pushed onto his bed where he she was sexually assaulted. The victim spoke with detectives and the investigation continues.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.