Crews had been assisting police and fire units from Falls Church, after a resident called about a suspicious device this morning. According to City of Falls Church Communications Director Susan Finarelli, the resident had been digging in his yard in the 200 block of N. Virginia Ave., when he found a potentially hazardous device. Arlington’s bomb squad was called in to assist.
The item in question was found to be an antique military device, and was deemed safe. The military will dispose of the item.
“Nobody was hurt, and now with the bomb squad here, nobody should be hurt,” Finarelli said earlier.
The park and streets around Cherry Hill Park were closed down for more than two hours during the investigation, and several homes were also evacuated. Everything in the area has been re-opened.
N. Nash Street in Rosslyn has been shut down between Wilson Boulevard and the Golds Gym for a suspicious package investigation.
Some sort of suspicious package or device was spotted on the sidewalk, we’re told.
Police, firefighters and the Arlington County bomb squad are on the scene.
Shortly before 9:00 a.m. a suspicious envelope was found at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Cherrydale, which is a polling place for today’s presidential primary election. Police and fire units were on the scene, in addition to the bomb squad. The scene was cleared around 10:30 a.m.
Contrary to our earlier reporting, the polling place was not closed during the brief investigation, according to Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg.
While the bomb squad was on the scene of the suspicious envelope investigation, a second suspicious package incident was reported near Washington Blvd and S. 2nd St. At that scene, VDOT workers came across a pipe wrapped in some sort of packaging, lying in the bushes. All eastbound (southbound) lanes of Washington Boulevard were closed at Second Street as a result of the investigation. See our subsequent article for updated information.
Updated at 3:25 p.m. — The bomb squad has cleared the package and all units are leaving the scene.
Earlier: Authorities are on the scene of a suspicious package in Ft. Myer Heights.
Arlington County police and firefighters are at the scene in the 1600 block of Ft. Myer Drive.
Police say an abandoned backpack was found leaning on a natural gas service box. The bomb squad is heading to the scene to investigate.
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) The Arlington County Fire Department has cleared the scene at Reagan National Airport, where it had been assisting Airport Police with a suspicious package.
The bomb squad took x-rays of the package to determine its contents, but nothing dangerous was found.
The package turned up near the economy parking lot, and that lot closed down during the investigation. Most other airport roads and lots remained open, and no flights or terminal operations were affected. There were also no reported traffic backups due to the lot closure.
Update at 12:20 p.m. — The ‘all clear’ has been given, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl.
Blue Line trains are bypassing the Arlington Cemetery Metro station due to a suspicious package outside the station.
U.S. Park Police, Metro Transit Police and the Arlington County Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the package, which was reported at some point before 11:00 a.m.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said via Twitter that shuttle bus service is operating from Arlington Cemetery station to the Rosslyn Metro station.
Update at 5:45 p.m. — Firefighters have determined the object is not explosive nor a hazardous material, police tell ARLnow.com. The incident is “winding down” as authorities complete their investigation.
Earlier: The block around the SAIC building at 200 12th Street S. in Crystal City has been shut down as police and firefighters investigate a suspicious package in the building.
The Arlington County bomb squad, hazmat team and traffic control officers are on the scene, on the northern end of Crystal City. Pentagon Police have restricted pedestrian access on 12th Street east of Route 1.
The building, which has been evacuated, contains a number of military-related offices. Initial reports suggest that a bomb-sniffing dog had a positive hit on a suspicious object inside the building.
No word yet on the type of object, but Arlington Police say it was mailed to the office.
Homeland security detectives from the Arlington County Police Department and agents from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service agency are on the scene.
A suspicious item prompted authorities to briefly close Washington Boulevard between I-395 and the GW Parkway around 10:00 this morning.
The item was located along the fence line of the Pentagon and Washington Boulevard, according to Pentagon Force Protection Agency spokesman Chris Layman. The item has since been cleared.
No other details are available at this time.
Update at 11:55 a.m. — News outlets have identified the man who was taken into custody as Yonathan Melaku of Alexandria. Melaku is a Marine Corps reservist, according to Fox News.
Update at 11:00 a.m. — The scene has been cleared and all roads around the Pentagon have reopened.
(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) A man has been taken into custody after he fled from police who observed him in Arlington National Cemetery around 1:30 a.m., the FBI said this morning.
The man, who is in his 20s, had a backpack containing materials that police found suspicious, according to Brenda Heck of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Those materials were found in bags within the backpack, but have since been determined to be non-explosive. Heck says authorities are still performing tests on the materials.
A police interview of the man led officers to a suspicious vehicle near the Pentagon. A search by the Arlington County bomb squad revealed nothing suspicious in the vehicle (pictured above, being towed from the scene), Heck said. She added that no suspicious ‘devices’ have been found.
Authorities are now saying that they believe the man “acted alone,” despite earlier reports that one or two people were being sought by police. Police are still not confirming details about the suspect — reported to be a naturalized U.S. citizen from Ethiopia — except to say that he was uncooperative with investigators.
Washington Boulevard is still closed between Columbia Pike and Route 110. Route 110, which was closed earlier this morning, has reopened. Arlington National Cemetery was closed this morning while law enforcement agencies conducted their investigation but has also since reopened.
The Arlington County bomb squad was called out to a grassy lot next to Faith Lutheran Church (3313 Arlington Blvd) in Ashton Heights this afternoon to investigate what looked like a hand grenade.
A bomb technician eventually determined that the object — which was found lying in the grass well away from the church — was not explosive and the scene was cleared within an hour. Based on initial descriptions, the object was likely a toy or a replica hand grenade.
Update at 2:25 p.m. — Charges have been filed against a North Carolina man.
Willie Amaz Braddy, 41, of Rocky Mount, N.C., was taken into state police custody and charged with reckless driving and for concealing a weapon without a valid permit. The incident remains under investigation.
Update at 6:30 a.m. — Virginia State Police have issued the following statement about last night’s incident.
At 8:30 p.m., a Virginia State Police trooper observed a vehicle backing up the southbound I-395 ramp to Route 27 in Arlington County Monday (June 12, 2011). The trooper stopped the vehicle on the ramp. During the course of the traffic stop, a handgun was discovered inside the vehicle, as well as a suspicious-looking package on the front passenger seat.
Virginia State Police bomb technicians along with the Arlington County Fire Department responded to the scene to investigate the suspicious package Shortly before midnight, it was determined that the vehicle contained no explosive or suspicious device.
The driver has been taken into state police custody and charges are pending at this time. The investigation continues. The I-395 ramp will be re-opened shortly.
Update at 11:50 p.m. — The scene has been cleared and the road is being reopened.
Earlier: Authorities are investigating a suspicious package in a vehicle on Washington Boulevard, near the Pentagon.
Police have shut down both directions of Washington Boulevard between Route 110 and the far eastern end of Columbia Pike. Initial reports suggest a pickup truck had a suspicious item inside on the front seat.
“Virginia State Police are currently investigating a suspicious package discovered inside a vehicle stopped on the ramp from I-395 south to Route 27 in Arlington County,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement just before 11:00 p.m. “The investigation resulted from a traffic stop made by a Trooper at approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday.”
At one point a traffic camera showed what appeared to be a bomb squad robot operating at the scene.
H/t to John Antonelli
Update at 10:45 a.m. — The scene has reportedly been cleared and the closure lifted.
South Joyce Street has been closed between Army Navy Drive and Columbia Pike due to police activity.
Pentagon Police are investigating a suspicious package at the Navy Exchange (NEX) gas station, ARLnow.com hears.
No word yet on how long the investigation and the closure is expected to last.
Update at 12:30 p.m. — The suitcase has been determined to be safe. The scene is now clear.
Police and firefighters are on the scene of a suspicious piece of luggage, located behind the county government building (2100 Clarendon Blvd) in Courthouse Plaza.
The black suitcase is located in the center of a pedestrian square, near a number of shops and restaurants. The area has been blocked off while the bomb squad examines an X-ray of the package.
An Arlington County hazardous materials team has been dispatched to Fort Myer to investigate a white powder that reportedly fell out of a package mailed to the base.
The building that houses the installation’s personnel office has been evacuated while hazmat crews determine whether the substance could be harmful.
Initial reports suggest that the package contains spices mailed from a family member to someone stationed at the base.
Update at 4:00 p.m. — The substance is not harmful. The scene is being cleared.
(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) Bomb disposal crews used a remote-controlled robot to neutralize a suspicious device on 17th Street in Nauck, a block away from the busy intersection of South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
Explosive specialists determined that the device, which was white, cylindrical and had wires coming out of it, was a hoax, but only after they used an explosive charge to “interrupt” it.
Authorities were first notified of the device, which was placed between two cars on the side of the street, around 10:30 this morning.
The bomb squad arrived “and found what appeared to be an improvised explosive device,” according to Arlington Chief Fire Marshal Benjamin Barksdale. Authorities cordoned off the area and had dispatchers implement a “reverse 911,” which notified residents in the area about the situation and asked them to stay in their homes.
“From there we went through our normal procedures as to identifying exactly what we were dealing with… and from there neutralizing the object,” Barksdale said. Arlington first responders were joined by resources from neighboring jurisdictions, he said.
Barksdale said the last such bomb scare in Arlington happened 3-4 months ago in Crystal City, when a suspicious package was found and neutralized using the same procedures. That device also turned out to be a hoax.
Investigators will now focus on determining who might have been responsible for the device.
“We’ll be talking to people who live on the street to see if they saw anything suspicious, any individuals who don’t live in this neighborhood,” Barksdale said.