Press Club
Arlington police car at night (file photo courtesy Kevin Wolf)

It was a busy overnight shift for Arlington County police on Friday.

Officers responded to a trio of serious incidents, in the Clarendon and Crystal City areas, between midnight and 3 a.m.

Just after 12:30 a.m, police were dispatched to a report of a man who sexually assaulted two women, in an area between Crystal City and Potomac Yard. They subsequently located and arrested a 26-year-old D.C. man nearby.

From Friday’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2022-04150008, 3400 block of S. Clark Street. At approximately 12:35 a.m. on April 15, police were dispatched to the report of an assault that had just occurred. Upon arrival, if was determined the two female victims were walking towards their parked vehicle when the unknown suspect approached them from behind and allegedly grabbed Victim One’s buttocks. The victims yelled and the suspect began to approach Victim Two, who backed away and tripped, falling to the ground. The suspect then got on top of Victim Two and attempted to touch her inappropriately. Victim One contacted dispatch and the suspect fled the scene on foot. Victim Two sustained minor injuries and did not require the treatment of medics. A lookout was broadcast and responding officers located the suspect in the area of 27th Street S. and Crystal Drive and took him into custody without incident. The suspect was treated on scene by medics and transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation. Aaron Moses, 26, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with Sexual Battery (x2) and Public Intoxication. He was held on no bond.

Also in the Crystal City area, shortly before 3 a.m. a man was stabbed following a dispute. He suffered serious injuries, but is expected to recover, while police are still trying to find the suspect.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-04150018, 23rd Street S. at S. Eads Street. At approximately 2:52 a.m. on April 15, police were dispatched to the report of a stabbing. Upon arrival, it was determined that approximately 20 minutes prior, the victim was walking in the area with a group of individuals when they were approached by the unknown male suspect. A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect threatened to harm the individuals before brandishing a knife and striking the victim. A brief struggle ensued before the suspect fled the scene on foot. The victim sustained serious, non-life threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 5’8″, 180 pounds, wearing a bandana, green jacket, white shirt and blue jeans. The investigation is ongoing.

A short time before that, officers broke up a fight in Clarendon, only to learn that a few minutes before their arrival a gunshot was fired. So far, no arrests have been made.

SHOT FIRED, 2022-04150017, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 2:37 a.m. on April 15, an officer driving in the area observed a group of individuals fighting, activated his emergency equipment and exited the vehicle. Upon observing the officer, the group dispersed and fled the area. A witness then approached the officer and stated a few minutes prior to his arrival, the witness observed an unknown suspect discharge a firearm before fleeing the scene in a silver SUV. Evidence was recovered confirming a shot had been fired in the area. At this time, no injuries or property damage have been reported. The suspect is described as a Black male with dark hair and a full beard, wearing a gray long-sleeve top and a dark colored hat. The investigation is ongoing.

Morning Notes

Pastel colors in the skies over the National Mall during peak bloom weekend, as seen from Arlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Traffic Restricted on Deteriorating Bridge — “As a result of a bridge inspection today, Friday, March 25, engineers closed the existing southbound lane of the West Glebe Bridge between Arlington and Alexandria due to further degradation of structural beams.  The northbound lane of the bridge over South Four Mile Run will remain open, making the bridge one-way to traffic and requiring a detour for southbound automobiles. The bridge’s maximum load rating of 5 tons will remain in place with a critical need for heavier vehicles – primarily buses and dump trucks — to comply for public safety.” [Arlington County]

Graupel Covers Fields, Prompts Tweets — An ice pellet downpour covered the ground in parts of Arlington on Saturday afternoon: “Well that was wild… heavy downpour rain and graupel swept through near Clarendon.” [Twitter, Twitter]

The Story Behind the Pentagon Chicken — “The Pentagon Building Operations Command Center initially considered using on-staff pest control to capture the chicken. But the pest control staff wasn’t scheduled to come on duty for another hour. The Building Operations Command Center, or BOCC, then came up with the idea to contact the emergency number at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.” [Patch]

Bullying Incident at Middle School — “After a bullying incident involving her 6th grade son with autism, an Arlington mother asked the school board Thursday night to do more to create an environment where such incidents don’t happen to any child. On Friday both mother Kathleen Clark and her son Colton described what happened to 7 News, and Kathleen talked about changes she hopes Arlington Public Schools makes to help children better know how to relate to others who are different from them in some way.” [WJLA]

Seventh Grade Hoops Team Goes Undefeated — “An Arlington Travel Basketball girls teams capped an undefeated 16-0 season in the Fairfax County Youth Basketball League with victories in postseason tournament-championship games. The seventh-grade girls squad, coached by John Lomas, won the Division I championship game, 51-42, over Lee-Mount Vernon.” [Sun Gazette]

Lease Above Courthouse Metro Extended — “Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc. (CNI) extends federal services division office lease in Arlington, VA. Represented by Edward Saa and Timothy Jacobs, CNI Federal experienced explosive growth in the 2020-2021 government fiscal year in awarded contracts necessitating a 10,000-SF office presence to service customers.” [Press Release]

More Afternoon ART Buses — “More of a good thing: Midday frequency gets a boost for ART 52 and 75 bus weekday routes starting Monday.” [Twitter]

Nearby: Stabbing in Seven Corners — “Fairfax County police officers arrested and charged a 21-year-old Falls Church man after two men were stabbed just before 2 p.m. yesterday (Thursday). Police were called to Seven Corners at Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive for an assault and determined a man was involved in two separate assaults that escalated when he stabbed both men, police said.” [FFXnow]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 37 and low of 28. Sunrise at 7:00 am and sunset at 7:29 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Update at 11:30 a.m. — Arlington County police just released the following account of what happened in the department’s daily crime report.

 At approximately 3:34 p.m. on March 10, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. The investigation determined that the victim and suspect were on a bus when they became involved in a verbal dispute. The dispute escalated into a physical altercation, during which the suspect brandished a knife and struck the victim. The victim then deployed pepper spray. The victim sustained serious but non-life threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. The suspect sustained minor injuries and was treated on scene by medics. Marvin Mullins, 46, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding.

Earlier: A stabbing has been reported outside Arlington County’s Sequoia Plaza office complex.

Initial reports suggest more than a dozen people were pepper sprayed, including a child, and a person was stabbed. Preliminary information from police indicates that the incident started as a fight on a bus around 3:30 p.m.

“It was determined that the victim and suspect were on a bus when they became involved in a verbal dispute,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The dispute escalated into a physical altercation, during which the suspect brandished a knife, causing a laceration to the victim. The victim then deployed pepper spray.”

“The victim, an adult male, has been transported to an area hospital and is in stable condition,” Savage continued. “Police remain on scene investigating and there are no outstanding suspects related to this incident.”

In addition to police, two ambulances and some additional fire department units were dispatched to the scene. At least one person was reportedly transported to the hospital, while those who were pepper sprayed were treated on scene.

Sequoia Plaza, on the 2100 block of Washington Blvd, hosts the county’s Dept. of Human Services headquarters — including behavior healthcare, child welfare and public health offices — as well the Arlington Public Schools administrative offices, also known as the Syphax Education Center.

An ART bus and a large area just outside of the APS building has been cordoned off with police tape. A man can be seen in handcuffs nearby, according to ARLnow staff photographer Jay Westcott.

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Morning Notes

Blossoms in bloom along Long Bridge Park in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Giant Spiders May Drop In — “An invasive species of spider the size of a child’s hand is expected to ‘colonize’ the entire East Coast this spring by parachuting down from the sky, researchers at the University of Georgia announced last week… Andy Davis, author of the study and a researcher at Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology, tells Axios that it isn’t certain how far north the spiders will travel, but they may make it as far north as D.C. or even Delaware.” [Axios, Fox 5, NPR]

Anti-Growth Group Decries Route 29 Planning — “On March 6, ASF wrote to the Arlington County Board expressing concerns that significant new land use and zoning plans will cause seismic shifts for the communities now lining Langston Blvd. We believe the process — which will soon produce a new Preliminary Concept Plan that likely will be fast-tracked like other county planning processes — will neglect or defer costs of critically-needed new infrastructure, will displace those earning 60% or less than the Area Median Income, and will make it difficult for local entrepreneurs to stay in business.” [Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future]

Polish Pike Pierogi Purveyor Praised — “‘Oh my god, it smells so good it’s driving me crazy!’ my husband reported after picking up a pierogi order from chef Ewa Fraszczyk, who shares kitchen space with La Cocina VA, selling her pan-fried Polish dumplings from the nonprofit’s Columbia Pike café every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Arlington chef’s pierogi, all delicate and delicious, come six to an order ($10-$12) in four varieties.” [Arlington Magazine]

Apartment Child Care Bill Advances — “House members voted unanimously on March 8 in support of a measure by state Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington-Fairfax-Loudoun) to amend the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and permit child-care facilities in apartment units. That followed earlier, also unanimous, support in the state Senate.” [Sun Gazette]

Teen Stabbed in Va. Square Area — “At approximately 6:28 p.m. on March 8, police were dispatched to the report of a fight involving a group of approximately 6 – 10 juveniles. Upon arrival, the juveniles were no longer on scene and officers canvassed the area and located evidence of an injury in the 500 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 7:14 p.m., the juvenile male victim arrived at Virginia Hospital Center for treatment of stab wounds suffered during the fight. The victim’s injuries are considered serious but non-life threatening.” [ACPD]

Bus Driver Nearly Causes Wreck on I-395 — From public safety watchdog Dave Statter: “Watch: A ‘professional’ driver does no better trying to quickly get across 4 lanes of interstate highway. This one almost takes out a car–twice!! Must have been a fun bus ride.” [Twitter]

Takeout for a Cause at Four Courts — From Ireland’s Four Courts: “Stop in or order takeout on Thursday for dinner. We are donating 20 percent of our food sales to @PathForwardVA help #endhomelessness in Arlington.” [Twitter]

It’s Thursday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 52 and low of 35. Sunrise at 6:28 am and sunset at 6:12 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Wondwossen Kassu in 2019 (courtesy of ACPD)

(Updated at 11 a.m.) An Arlington County jury found a 43-year-old man guilty of stabbing three people in Rosslyn three years ago.

Wondwossen Kassu stabbed two men sitting at a table inside Gateway Park in May 2019 and a third man walking by. The jury convicted him on three counts of malicious wounding.

Kassu is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6 in the Arlington County Circuit Court. Malicious wounding is a felony that carries a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years.

“This was a tough case, but my office will never shy away from prosecuting such acts of violence,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, in a statement. “We are grateful for the jury’s verdict, and we were happy to provide some measure of closure to the victims.”

On May 21, 2019, Kassu approached two men sitting at a table inside the park and began talking to them, according to the 2019 police report. Then, he stabbed them and a third man who happened to be nearby.

Two of the victims were able to flee and get help. All three required hospitalization, but survived the attacks.

More on the crime from an Arlington County Police Department press release at the time:

At approximately 9:27 p.m. on May 21, police responded to the report of multiple stabbings in Gateway Park located at 1300 Lee Highway. Upon arrival, officers located the suspect and took him into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, officers located three male victims suffering from lacerations. The victims were transported to area hospitals and all are reported in stable condition.

Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears two of the victims were sitting at a table inside Gateway Park when the suspect approached them and initiated a conversation before producing a knife and stabbing the victims. The third victim was walking in the area when he came upon the initial assault. The suspect then turned his attention towards the third victim and stabbed him as well. Two victims were able to leave the scene to seek assistance. They were located by responding officers in the 1900 block of Fort Myer Drive and the 1800 block of N. Nash Street.

Dehghani-Tafti, elected as the top prosecutor for Arlington and Falls Church on a criminal justice reform platform, has faced some local skepticism — culminating in a recall campaign organized by a Northern Virginia political group last year — about whether she is sufficiently tough on crime. Dehghani-Tafti’s office started sending press releases about major convictions earlier this year.

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Morning Notes

Thanksgiving week in Shirlington (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

ACPD Thanksgiving Anti-DUI Event — “On Thanksgiving-eve, traditionally a time of celebrations with heavy alcohol consumption, ACPD, in partnership with WRAP, is hosting a Thanksgiving anti-drunk driving event to highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills. This free event is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday, November 24, at N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard, from 8:00-10:00 p.m.” [ACPD, Twitter]

Shirlington Apartment Employee Slashed — “An employee of the residential building discovered that the laundry room had been locked and upon opening it, discovered the unknown male suspect inside. The suspect produced a knife and struck the victim’s hand, causing a laceration. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Arriving officers canvased the area with negative results. The victim was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.” [ACPD]

Bus Driver Protest in Ballston — “Arlington Public Schools bus drivers are protesting again, this time in Ballston. They’re chanting and getting passing drivers to honk in favor of better pay and fair treatment.” [Twitter, WJLA]

County Seeks Budget Feedback — “Each winter, the County Manager presents a proposed operating budget to the County Board in order to plan spending for the next fiscal year. We’d like to know your thoughts on how Arlington should prioritize necessary spending in FY 2023. Help us get better insight on questions such as: How would you rate the importance of County programs and services?” [Arlington County]

Clement: Fewer Signs Stolen This Year — “In her annual election wrapup at the first Arlington County Board meeting after the votes were in, perennial protest candidate Audrey Clement told board members that she’d been able to gather up a good portion of her campaign signage from medians. ‘I recovered about 450 signs, or two-thirds of the total,’ she told board members. ‘This is a significant improvement over 2020, when two-thirds of my signs were trashed.’ Clement ran second in the four-candidate County Board race.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Monday — A chance of showers today, mainly before 10 a.m. Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 52. Northwest wind 7 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Sunrise at 6:59 a.m. and sunset at 4:49 p.m. Sunny tomorrow, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 9 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. [Weather.gov]

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A woman was stabbed early Sunday morning during a large fight at a Courthouse hotel.

The incident happened around 2:30 a.m. It drew a large emergency response to the Arlington Court Suites hotel at 1200 N. Courthouse Road, two blocks from Arlington police headquarters.

Arriving officers encountered a melee involving what was estimated at the time to be around 100 people.

“The preliminary investigation indicates two large groups became involved in a physical altercation inside a hotel, during which the female victim was stabbed and the fire alarm had been pulled resulting in occupants exiting the building,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, officers located the female victim in the parking lot suffering from a laceration and began performing emergency first aid until medics arrived. She was transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries considered non-life threatening.”

“Officers responding inside the hotel located a suspect armed with a knife attempting to force entry into a hotel room,” Savage continued. “The suspect ignored the officer’s commands and the officer deployed a taser. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and charged with a weapons offense.”

Video taken outside the hotel, below, shows the suspect being led out in handcuffs as medics treat the victim in the parking lot.

The suspect, a 20-year-old D.C. man, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. So far there’s no word of anyone being charged in the stabbing itself.

“The investigation into the events that preceded the malicious wounding are ongoing,” Savage said. “Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).”

Video courtesy David Cheek. Alan Henney contributed to this report.

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Morning Notes

Police Make Numerous DUI Arrests — From the Arlington County Police Department: “ACPD Officers are committed to making our roadways safer by identifying, stopping, and apprehending impaired drivers. Last week (September 12 – 18), officers made 16 arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Motorists are reminded that it is never okay to drink and drive.” [Twitter]

ACPD Warning of Tainted Cocaine — “Please take steps to protect yourself and others who may be in possession of cocaine purchased in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The nasal spray Narcan (also known as Naloxone) can save the life of someone who is overdosing from substances containing opioids, if given in time, and test strips can detect dangerous fentanyl-laced drugs before they are used.” [Arlington County]

Man Stabbed Near Columbia Pike — ” The investigation revealed that at approximately 1:15 a.m., the victim was walking in the area when he was pushed from behind by the unknown suspect and fell to the ground. The suspect then brandished a knife and demanded money from the victim before stabbing him and stealing his wallet. The suspect fled the scene on foot and the victim returned to his residence before determining he was in need of medical services.” [ACPD]

Gusty Storm Yesterday Afternoon — “A 39 mph wind gust was recorded at National Airport with the storm that passed through Arlington earlier this afternoon, per the National Weather Service.” [Twitter]

Power Outages After Wednesday’s Storm — “More than 1,000 homes and businesses are currently without power in Arlington. The largest outage is affecting the area around Kenmore Middle School.” [Twitter]

School Bond Funds New ‘Heights’ Entrance — “A new entrance to the Shriver Program, which is collocated with H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Rosslyn, is needed to make it easier for those with disabilities to access the building and the parking lot… More funds are need to permit ‘the completion of a design that we had intended in the first place – complete it the right way,’ Kanninen said. The $11.39 million project accounts for nearly half the proposed $23 million school bond that goes to voters on Nov. 2.” [Sun Gazette]

Klobuchar to Canvass in Arlington Sunday — “Join us for a Weekend of Action canvass in Arlington with Senator Amy Klobuchar & Governor Terry McAuliffe! We’ll be talking with our neighbors about the issues that are important to them — and why Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, Mark Herring, and Alfonso Lopez are the right people to move Virginia forward in 2021.” [Mobilize]

Update to Metro Story — A report from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission suggests that the person who fell from a train while walking between railcars near the Clarendon station was the son of a WMATA employee. He was able to continue on to Tysons but suffered significant injuries, was bleeding heavily and was later hospitalized. [ARLnow]

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Police are looking for a pair of suspects after a man was stabbed in the Buckingham neighborhood Sunday night.

The stabbing happened around 9:30 p.m. at the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and N. Thomas Street, several blocks south of Ballston.

A witness told investigators that two men pushed the victim up against a parked vehicle and stabbed him with a knife. The stabbing followed an argument that turned physical, the witness said.

Officers rendered aid to the victim, who is expected to be okay, according to the Arlington County Police Department. The suspects fled and, as of Monday afternoon’s ACPD crime report, remain at large.

More from the crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2021-09190174, N. Pershing Drive at N. Thomas Street. At approximately 9:37 p.m. on September 19, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with a weapon just occurred. Upon arrival, officers located the victim who had sustained stab wounds and began rendering aid until the arrival of medics. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and, refused to provide information to police pertaining to the incident. During the course of the investigation, officers made contact with a witness who stated that he was driving in the area when he noticed three individuals arguing and pushing each other. The witness called out to the group and observed Suspect One and Suspect Two push the victim up against a parked vehicle. Suspect Two then brandished a knife and stabbed the victim. The two suspects then fled the scene prior to the arrival of police. A search of the area for the suspects concluded with negative results. Suspect One is described as a short Hispanic male with a buzz cut, wearing a light colored tank top and blue pants. Suspect Two is described as a short Hispanic male, approximately 5’3″, wearing a dark colored hat with a goatee, baggy pants and carrying a backpack. The investigation is ongoing.

A man was stabbed multiple times and robbed of his wallet along Columbia Pike early Saturday morning.

The stabbing happened on the 2300 block of the Pike, the same block as Bob & Edith’s Diner, William Jeffrey’s Tavern and Xsport Fitness. Police say the man suffered serious injuries but is expected to be okay.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ROBBERY, 2021-08280042, 2300 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:47 a.m. on August 28, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Arriving officers located the victim with multiple stab wounds and began to render aid. The victim was transported by medics to an area hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The investigation determined that at approximately 2:30 a.m., the victim was walking to his vehicle when the suspect approached him from behind, began to assault him, produced a knife and stabbed him multiple times. The suspect then reached into the victim’s pocket and stole his wallet, containing credit cards and an undisclosed amount of cash, then fled on foot prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a Black male, 20-30 years old, with a lean and muscular build, approximately 5’11”, with a short afro that had a red hue, wearing a blue shirt, and dark pants. The investigation is ongoing.

A man sitting at a bar in Clarendon was repeatedly stabbed in a seemingly random attack on Saturday.

The stabbing happened at 7:30 p.m. at Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd).

“Upon arrival, officers located the male victim suffering from a laceration and the suspect being held down by witnesses,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “The investigation revealed that while the victim was sitting at the bar, the suspect allegedly approached him from behind and began repeatedly striking the victim with a sharp object.”

“The victim was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries,” ACPD said. “Patrick Casey, 34, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.”

Spider Kelly’s co-owner Nick Freshman said the attack looks “like a completely random act” by someone “who came in off the street.” The suspect walked in and started attacking a customer near the front of the restaurant without provocation, Freshman said, adding that his security staff jumped in and tackled the suspect, holding him until police arrived.

“I’m incredibly grateful to our staff and our security team… [they were] able to quickly detain the perpetrator and secure the weapon,” he said. “We’re praying for [the victim].”

“It was really pretty terrifying,” Freshman added. “It’s left our whole team pretty shook. I’m so sorry something like this happened.”

Asked about the suspect’s motive and about the weapon used, a police spokeswoman declined to provide additional details.

“There’s no additional details to provide at this time,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “This remains an active criminal investigation and detectives continue to review evidence and conduct interviews to determine the events that preceded the incident. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected]

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