Press Club

Update at 12:25 p.m. — The all clear was given, police told ARLnow around 11 a.m. “The school had elected to evacuate out of an abundance of caution. The all clear has since been given and officers are returning to service,” an ACPD spokeswoman said.

Earlier: The Children’s School, a preschool for the employees of Arlington Public Schools, has been evacuated after a threat.

Numerous police vehicles are on scene near the school, located inside an office building on the 4400 block of Fairfax Drive in Ballston.

“Police are investigating the credibility of a telephone threat,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.

Savage was not able to elaborate on the nature of the investigation, nor the location to which students in the school were evacuated. The initial police dispatch suggested that person who called in the threat sounded like a teenager.

A permanent location for The Children’s School is currently under construction along Langston Blvd.

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Update at 4:15 p.m. on 2/11/22 — Arlington police have released more information about the threat. Police say an anonymous caller claimed to be armed with hostages inside one of the Yorktown High School bathroom, in what was later determined to be a false report. From ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department continues to investigate a telephone threat to Yorktown High School. At approximately 1:26 p.m. on February 10, police were dispatched to the 5200 block of Yorktown Boulevard for the report of a threat. The reporting party advised dispatch that the Main Office had received an anonymous call from the suspect who was alleging to be a student and making threats to ‘shoot up’ the school. The school was placed on lockdown as police responded to investigate the credibility of the threat.

Upon arrival, officers made telephone contact with the suspect who reported he was armed, had taken two hostages inside a bathroom in the school and was making threats to harm them. A perimeter was established and officers searched the school’s bathrooms and found no evidence of the suspect’s claims. Officers then completed a cautionary search of the school and evacuated students who were transported by bus to a nearby location for parent reunification. No injuries were reported and no evidence of a crime was located inside the school.

“Yesterday’s response highlights how seriously the Arlington County Police Department takes reports of potential violence within our community,” said Chief Andy Penn. “I commend our officers and public safety partners on their immediate and coordinated response to ensure the safety of our community. I recognize incidents involving threats have significant impacts on the wellbeing of all involved. I want to thank the Yorktown High School students, staff, parents and community members for their patience and support during yesterday’s incident. We will continue to work collaboratively with Arlington Public Schools to ensure the safety of students and staff.”

During the course of the investigation, officers determined the call originated from out of state and there was no credible threat to the safety and security of the students or staff. This remains an active criminal investigation and anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line 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).

Earlier: A threat of violence prompted a lockdown, evacuations and a massive police response in and around Yorktown High School this afternoon.

As of 5:15 p.m. road closures were being lifted and police said they had completed clearing the school. “No evidence of a crime was located at the school,” ACPD said.

Police were first dispatched to the school around 1:45 p.m.

“YHS is on lockdown while ACPD investigate[s] an anonymous threat,” Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia told ARLnow at the time.

Arlington County police set up an incident command center outside of the school as dozens of emergency personnel started arriving. There was no report of any actual violence, though police investigated an unconfirmed report of a gun being found inside a bathroom.

“All students and staff are safe,” Yorktown families were told in a brief email early on.

An officer with a gun drawn inside the school could be seen in a photo shared with ARLnow. Numerous officers with rifles and tactical gear were seen entering the school. The incident was coordinated on ACPD’s encrypted radio channels.

Parents, some of whom gathered outside the school shortly after police arrived, were told to gather at the nearby Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road) to pick up their kids. Groups of students could be seen being led to the complex by police. Buses were brought in for students who usually take APS transportation.

Streets around the school were shut down, and the large response prompted police to re-prioritize some calls for minor issues while the fire department requested help filling fire stations, according to scanner traffic. Arlington firefighters and medics were dispatched to the school for a possible medical emergency and also to stage personnel at both the school and the Knights of Columbus, in case of injuries or other medical emergencies.

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Kenmore Middle School (photo via APS)

There will be a police presence at Kenmore Middle School on Friday after two separate incidents yesterday.

The school told parents Wednesday afternoon that threatening graffiti with the statement that “I’m gonna shot this school on Friday 11/5/21” was discovered in the 8th grade boys’ bathroom earlier that morning.

“While we do not believe this to be a credible threat, the investigation is ongoing,” the school’s principal wrote.

Additionally, last night parents were informed of a separate incident that day, in which a student showed another student an airsoft gun in a school bathroom.

“The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) was immediately made aware, made contact with the student and took possession of the antique ‘airsoft gun’ and appropriate disciplinary action is being taken,” wrote principal David McBride.

“There is no change to our schedule for Fri, Nov. 5, as a result of the threat; however, as a precaution, there will be a police presence at the school on Friday,” McBride wrote.

Arlington Public Schools students have the day off today for Diwali as part of a three-day week that also saw Tuesday off for Election Day.

Friday’s police presence at Kenmore, located at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, comes as APS charts a path forward for its relationship with the police department, after voting to remove School Resource Officers from school grounds earlier this year.

The full emails from the Kenmore principal are below.

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A 40-year-old man has been arrested in connection to an incident in which a Wakefield High School student allegedly made threats of violence.

As first reported by ARLnow, Wakefield was placed in “secure the school mode” late Tuesday morning after a student — who was reportedly wearing a bulletproof vest — made threats during an altercation that happened off school property, according to Arlington County police. Officers swarmed the area around the school, located the student and detained him.

This morning ACPD announced charges against a man they say was driving the car the student was riding in just before he was detained. Michael Davis, 40, is facing weapons charges after a gun was found in the car, police say.

Davis, an Arlington resident, previously pleaded guilty to drug and other charges nearly two decades ago. He is also facing trial this summer on drug and weapons charges after being arrested last year, according to court records. He’s due in court on the new charges on July 1.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

An Arlington man is facing charges of weapons violations following an investigation into reported threats near Wakefield High School. Michael Davis, 40, is charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility without bond.

Just prior to 11:45 a.m. on May 11, the School Resource Officer (SRO) Supervisor received a call from a staff member at Wakefield High School regarding a student who had been involved in a physical altercation off school property with several other individuals. The student was allegedly wearing what was described as a bulletproof vest and, upon leaving the scene, made a statement to bystanders implying threats of violence.

The student [returned] to the area and was reportedly observed traveling in a vehicle near the school. The SRO Supervisor coordinated a police response and officers located the student outside of the parked vehicle in the area of S. Frederick Street and S. George Mason Drive. The student and the two occupants of the vehicle were detained without incident. In plain view inside the vehicle, officers observed a ballistic vest carrier. During a search of the vehicle, a firearm was recovered from under the driver’s seat. The driver was arrested and charged.

For the safety of students and staff, Wakefield High School was placed on “secure the building status” while police investigated the circumstances of this incident.

This remains an active investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Lt. E. Pilco of the School Resource Officers Unit at [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

A student allegedly made threats that led to Wakefield High School being placed in “secure the school mode” this morning.

The incident happened shortly before noon, prompting a large police response. It involved a student who was reportedly wearing a bulletproof or similar style vest.

“Just prior to 11:45 a.m., the School Resource Officer Supervisor received a call from a staff member at Wakefield High School regarding a student who had been involved in a physical altercation off school property,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “The student allegedly retrieved what was described as a bulletproof vest and made verbal threats.”

Multiple police units then started responding to the school and looking for the student.

“The SRO Supervisor coordinated a police response and officers located the student, who was a passenger in a vehicle, traveling in the area of S. Frederick Street and S. George Mason Drive and conducted a traffic stop,” Savage said. “The student was detained without incident. As a result of the incident, Wakefield High School was placed on secure the building which has since been lifted. The investigation is ongoing at this time.”

Arlington Public Schools is currently considering changes to its School Resource Officer program. A work group is expected to make recommendations to the School Board next month.

Jo DeVoe contributed to this report

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Police and bomb squad investigation on N. Stuart Street in Ballston (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington police say they’re working with the FBI after two pipe bombs were found in a Ballston home.

The discovery was made Tuesday afternoon after police arrested 34-year-old Ryan Bosnick, while he was walking back to his house on the 1100 block of N. Stuart Street. Bosnick had been accused of making violent threats and possessing a sawed-off shotgun that he reportedly showed to friends at a Clarendon restaurant the day before.

The county bomb squad safely removed the pipe bombs from the home last night. Bosnick is being held without bond on numerous charges.

ACPD said in a press release this afternoon, below, that they’re conducting a joint investigation with the FBI. There is “no apparent ongoing threat to public safety,” police say.

The Arlington County Police Department is announcing the arrest of a suspect following an investigation into threats and the recovery of two improvised explosive devices (commonly referred to as pipe bombs). Ryan Bosnick, 34, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with Possession of Explosive Materials or Devices (x2), Possession of a Sawed-Off Shotgun, and Threats of Death or Bodily Injury to a Person. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

At approximately 7:47 p.m. on March 22, police were dispatched to the 1000 block of N. Fillmore Street for the report of an individual making threats. Upon arrival, it was determined that the two witnesses were eating at a restaurant when the suspect joined them for drinks. As they were conversing, the suspect made threatening statements to harm individuals known to him. The suspect later opened his backpack and revealed what was described as a two-piece shotgun made from metal pipes and a bag containing suspected shotgun ammunition. Upon leaving the restaurant, the witnesses reported the incident to police. During the course of the police investigation, officers identified the suspect and made contact with the female victim who was one of the targets of his threats. The victim revealed the suspect had also been sending her threatening text messages. A warrant for Threats of Death or Bodily Injury to a Person was obtained for the suspect at that time.

On the afternoon of March 23, officers took the suspect into custody without incident as he was walking in the area of Fairfax Drive and N. Stuart Street. At approximately 3:40 p.m., officers executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence located in the 1100 block of N. Stuart Street. During the execution of the search warrant, a homemade sawed-off shotgun and two improvised explosive devices were located. The Arlington County Fire Department’s Bomb Squad responded to the scene and assisted with the removal of the devices from the residence.

Federal authorities from the FBI Washington Field Office responded to the scene and this remains an active joint criminal investigation. There is no apparent ongoing threat to public safety. Anyone with pertinent information related to this incident and/or the suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Tip Line at [email protected], or anonymously to the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477)

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Classes are expected to go on as usual at Washington-Liberty High School on Monday after a threatening message on social media prompted a police investigation over the weekend.

A tipster tells ARLnow.com that the social media message in question was an Instagram account that said “don’t come to school on Monday.” That tip could not be immediately confirmed.

In an email to parents Sunday night, school officials said that Arlington County Police “determined there is and was no direct threat to the safety of the students and employees of Washington-Liberty High School.”

The full email is below.

Earlier today (Oct. 6, 2019), Wshington-Liberty High School and Arlington Public Schools became aware of and alerted Arlington County Police Department to a social media account that contained concerning language. The Police Department has investigated the post, identified the individuals involved and determined there is and was no direct threat to the safety of the students and employees of Washington-Liberty High School.

Arlington Public Schools takes the report of threats and concerning language/behavior seriously. Students who make concerning comments of a threatening nature can face disciplinary action to include suspension, alternative school placement, and up to a recommendation for expulsion. The safety of our students, employees, and visitors is always a top priority and we want to remind all families that if they “see something, say something.”

We encourage all families to also review our webpage dedicated to threat assessment located at https://www.apsva.us/emergency-management/threat-assessment/. Students and families can take in a 15 minute training from the University of Virginia Curry School of Education as part of the Youth Violence Project. This training program is designed for all students ages 12 and up and parents to learn about the threat assessment process, what are concerning behaviors and how using threat assessment can help prevent violence in our schools.

In the event that your student raises questions about the social media account, we wanted to share this information with you. If you have any concerns or questions about the incident, please feel free to contact Principal Dr. Gregg Robertson during normal school hours at [email protected]

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A pair of students at Washington-Lee High School are now facing criminal charges after they allegedly posted baseless threats to carry out a shooting at the school on social media.

Arlington Police say the two students posted a Snapchat video last Wednesday (Oct. 31) which “contained verbal and written threats of a possible shooting at the school.”

Police then worked with school administrators to identify the students, and “detectives determined that the students did not actually have the means to carry out the threat.”

The department declined to release the names of the students, saying only that they’re under the age of 18, and said both were charged with threatening to commit serious bodily harm to persons on school property, a felony.

“The Arlington County Police Department is committed to working with Arlington Public Schools to ensure the safety of our entire school community,” police wrote in a news release. “We encourage parents and guardians to talk to their children about the serious nature of making threats. All reports of threats made at our schools and in our community are thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and where appropriate, charges will be sought against those responsible.”

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A man who was “making verbal threats” against customers of a Clarendon cafe was tasered by police Monday morning.

The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. at the Peet’s Coffee at 3003 Washington Blvd, but it was preceded by a police dispatch less than an hour earlier, according to an Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman.

“At approximately 9:47 a.m., police were dispatched to the 3000 block of Washington Boulevard for the report of a suspect making verbal threats to customers inside a restaurant,” ACPD’s Ashley Savage told ARLnow.com. “Upon arrival, officers made contact with the suspect and he was subsequently banned from the property.”

She continued: “At approximately 10:28 a.m., police were again dispatched to the location for the report of trespassing as the suspect had returned to the restaurant and was causing a disruption. As officers attempted to place the suspect into custody, the suspect became combative and a struggle ensued. The suspect did not obey the lawful commands of the officers and a Taser was deployed.”

The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. He is under police custody and charges are currently pending, Savage said.

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Morning Notes

Motorcycle Crash Closes Columbia Pike — Columbia Pike was closed in both directions for just over two hours this morning while police investigated a serious accident. A motorcycle reportedly crashed into a minivan between S. Frederick and Dinwiddie street, near the Arlington Mill Community Center. The motorcycle rider was seriously hurt and two people in the van were also taken to the hospital. [WJLA, Twitter]

Man Arrested for Threatening FCC Chair’s Family — A California man has been arrested and charged with sending emails that threatened to murder FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s family, over his support of the rollback of net neutrality rules. Pai has two children and lives in Arlington. Per an affidavit, one of the emails “listed the names and addresses of three preschools located in or around Arlington, Virginia, followed by the following sentence: ‘I will find your children and I will kill them.'” [Gizmodo, Washington Post]

Car Fire in Cherrydale — A car caught on fire in the garage of an apartment building in Cherrydale early this morning. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [Twitter, Twitter]

Plane Evacuated on DCA Tarmac — “Passengers were forced to evacuate a United Airlines plane at Reagan National Airport on Sunday after smoke was reported in the cabin… The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said that about 1 p.m. Sunday, Houston-bound flight 6122 was taxiing for takeoff when emergency crews were called for a report of smoke in the cabin. The plane’s emergency slides were deployed, and all passengers and crew members exited ‘without incident.'” [Washington Post, Fox News]

Lee Highway Planning to Move Forward? — “It’s been delayed, delayed and delayed some more. But, Arlington’s top elected official promises, the long-awaited study of development options along the Lee Highway corridor will be up and running by the end of the year.” [InsideNova]

Photo courtesy R. Johnson

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Arlington County Police have investigated 30 school-related threats since the start of school in September, the department announced today.

The police department released the statistics after another series of threats against Yorktown High School and Williamsburg Middle School last night.

“The Arlington County Police Department continues to work with our partners at Arlington Public Schools to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff,” the department said. “[ACPD] encourages parents and guardians to talk to their children about the seriousness and possible consequences of making threatening statements.”

According to police, 13 of the 30 threats have been reported since the Parkland, Florida school shooting one month ago.

More from a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department has investigated 30 school-related threats or complaints this academic year, with 13 having been reported since February 14, the day of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. These include alleged threats to commit serious bodily harm as well as reports from concerned parents and community members regarding individuals who have made suspicious comments or social media postings. Following a thorough investigation into each report, police determined there were no credible threats to the safety and security of the students, staff or schools.

The Arlington County Police Department continues to work with our partners at Arlington Public Schools to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. All allegations of threats and suspicious activity are taken seriously and each report is properly investigated and documented by police. We all play an important role in keeping our school community safe and students and staff are most well-acquainted with what activity may be suspicious at their schools. The community is encouraged to continue reporting suspicious activity by calling the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or by filing an online crime report. Tips can also be reported anonymously by calling Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.

The Arlington County Police Department encourages parents and guardians to talk to their children about the seriousness and possible consequences of making threatening statements. Following an investigation by police and a review by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, those making threats to schools may be charged with Virginia Code §18.2-60 Threats of death or bodily injury to a person or member of his family; threats to commit serious bodily harm to a person on school property, a Class 5 felony; Virginia Code §18.2-83 Threats to bomb or damage buildings or means of transportation; false information as to danger to such buildings, etc.; punishment; venue, a Class 1 Misdemeanor; and/or Virginia Code §18.2-427 Use of profane, threatening, or indecent language over public airways or by other methods, a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

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