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A warrant has been issued for a suspect who beat a victim with a spatula, causing a significant injury.

The incident happened the afternoon before Thanksgiving, around 3:30 p.m., on the 3400 block of Washington Blvd in Virginia Square. Police did not say exactly where it took place, but that block includes a barbecue restaurant, a hot pot restaurant and a grocery store.

“Police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the victim and known suspect were involved in a verbal dispute, during which the suspect allegedly struck the victim with a spatula, causing a laceration. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.”

The victim was hospitalized and the resulting criminal charge suggests that his or her injury was significant, though not life-threatening.

“The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries,” the crime report continued. “A warrant for Malicious Wounding was obtained for the suspect. The investigation is ongoing.”

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Reported carjacked vehicle speeding down the HOV lanes of I-395 towards D.C. (via @STATter911)

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) The brief pursuit of a carjacking suspect in Arlington ended the way many police pursuits do: on a bridge over the Potomac.

The driver of an Audi station wagon was carjacked just before 11 a.m. Sunday near the Staples store in Virginia Square, according to scanner traffic. Later, the stolen vehicle was spotted by an Arlington officer on eastbound Washington Blvd near Columbia Pike, but was able to speed down I-395 and cross the 14th Street Bridge into D.C., after which the chase was called off.

The chase was caught on video and the Audi was reportedly found abandoned near L’Enfant Plaza a short time later, as seen in tweets from public safety watchers Dave Statter and Alan Henney.

“Members of the MPD observed the listed vehicle parked at 970 D Street SW,” said a D.C. police report obtained by Henney. “The listed vehicle was unoccupied and left running with the driver side window half opened…. [A database] check revealed the car was reported stolen out of Arlington. Officers contacted Arlington police who took custody of the vehicle.”

Arlington County police did not respond to ARLnow’s request for additional information by publication time, but released the following as part of its daily crime report late Monday afternoon.

CARJACKING, 2022-11270066, N. Oakland Street at Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 10:53 a.m. on November 27, police were dispatched to the report of a carjacking just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim was sitting in his parked vehicle when the suspect approached, opened the driver’s side door, grabbed the victim’s arm and told him to get out of the vehicle. The victim exited the vehicle and the suspect entered and drove away. No injuries were reported. A lookout was broadcast and a responding officer observed the vehicle in the area of Arlington Boulevard and Washington Boulevard. The officer activated their emergency equipment and attempted a traffic stop. The suspect continued to flee and a vehicle pursuit was initiated. The pursuit was terminated after the suspect entered Washington D.C. on I-395. The vehicle was later recovered in Washington D.C. by the Metropolitan Police Department.

“The investigation is ongoing,” ACPD said.

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The Gold’s Gym near Ballston (via Google Maps)

There has been even more drama in the Gold’s Gym parking lot near Ballston.

The parking lot has gained notoriety after featuring prominently into the Virginia Attorney General’s largely unsuccessful lawsuit against Advanced Towing last year and, more recently, being the scene of an alleged assault that led to the resignation of a D.C. deputy mayor this week.

The latest incident happened around noon yesterday (Thursday). Police were dispatched to the parking lot on the 3900 block of Wilson Blvd for a report of a man with a crowbar smashing the window of a car while someone was inside.

“At approximately 12:13 p.m. on October 13, police were dispatched to the report of a destruction of property,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim was inside his vehicle when the suspect approached and smashed the front passenger side window. The suspect fled the scene when he noticed the victim was inside the vehicle.”

The getaway vehicle was said to be a black Honda Civic, according to scanner traffic.

While the timing was conspicuous, given the highly-publicized case involving the D.C. official, police said it does not appear to have any connection to that incident and was likely an attempted theft.

“The victim’s wallet was in the passenger seat at the time of the incident and it appears this incident may have been an attempted larceny from auto,” Savage told ARLnow. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Photo via Google Maps

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The Gold’s Gym near Ballston (via Google Maps)

A D.C. deputy mayor is on leave after a reported assault in Arlington.

The incident happened Saturday around 12:30 p.m. but was not reported to police until Monday evening, an Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman said. It took place in the parking lot of the Gold’s Gym near Ballston, on the 3900 block of Wilson Blvd.

“The suspect and male victim became engaged in a verbal dispute after the door of the suspect’s parked vehicle struck the vehicle the victim was entering,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The dispute escalated, during which the suspect allegedly grabbed the victim by the throat.”

“During the course of the investigation, a suspect description was developed and on Tuesday, the victim responded to the Office of the Magistrate, completed a criminal complaint and a warrant for Assault and Battery was issued for Christopher Geldart, 53, of Falls Church,” Savage said. “He was notified by telephone of the warrant, turned himself in and was released on a summons.”

Geldart has served as the District of Columbia’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice since being appointed in January 2021, according to his biography on the District’s website.

NBC 4 first reported on the incident and that Geldart is now on personal leave pending an investigation, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser. Fox 5 published surveillance video (below) apparently captured by the gym, which shows the parking lot confrontation.

The victim of the alleged assault suggested that this is not the first time Geldart was involved in an incident at a Gold’s location.

“Something should be done. It’s not okay,” Dustin Woodward, who’s identified as a trainer at the gym, told Fox 5. “We’ve been dealing with him a while at Gold’s. Multiple locations actually that’s how we even figured out who he was.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Driving west on Wilson Blvd from Clarendon, there’s a new addition to the landscape near Mario’s Pizza: a large cement block wall.

The wall is the rear of a new CVS going up along the 3330 block of Wilson Blvd, the former site of the Highlander Motor Inn. The nearly 20-foot-tall, windowless monolith is oriented so that it faces the street. The entrance to the new CVS is set for N. Kenmore Street.

The large blank wall has already attracted the ire of some residents. ARLnow recently received emails from several locals calling the structure an “eyesore,” a “failure,” and “The Great Wall of Clarendon.”

This all comes after a multi-year legal battle that included an unsuccessful appeal by Arlington County to the Virginia Supreme Court. It ended with the county being handcuffed in terms of regulating what’s built at the site.

“The design for this project shows a solid wall fronting on Wilson Blvd. The store frontage will be on N. Kenmore St,” a Department of Community, Planning and Housing Development spokesperson told ARLnow. “This project is occurring through by-right development; therefore there are no Zoning requirements for the orientation of buildings or structures. In addition, the County is limited in its overall regulation of by-right development projects.”

For more than five decades, the 3330 block of Wilson Blvd was the home of the Highlander motel, owned by the family of local businessman Billy Bayne.

In 2015, Bayne made the decision to lease the land to CVS, which planned to build a new store and pharmacy. However, there were complications to the deal, with the county balking at allowing the existing parking lot on N. Kenmore Street to be used again for parking.

Decisions were appealed several times before a circuit judge ruled that Bayne, as owner, was allowed to do what he wished with the property. The case was denied consideration by the state’s top court after a series of appeals.

Bayne, who also owns the Crystal City Gentlemen’s Club and Restaurant, claimed he lost nearly $2 million while the project stalled.

“It’s not okay to do this to somebody,” Bayne said in 2018. “There will be ramifications for this.”

He ended up suing the county for civil rights violations in 2019, but the suit was ultimately dismissed.

The project moved forward, with the motel closing early last year before being torn down. Before it shuttered, though, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services rented out the hotel as a Covid quarantine location. While it probably didn’t resolve all animosity, the county thanked Bayne as someone who “really stepped up and helped” during a time of crisis.

But now it is neighbors in the Ashton Heights and Virginia Square area who are upset with what’s being done to the property.

“After the long court battle with the owner of the Highlander, CVS is throwing its ‘f you very much’ by placing a blank wall along Wilson Boulevard,” one resident told ARLnow. “Can’t wait for the future graffiti — I mean, community arts project!”

“There is no other commercial enterprise on Wilson Blvd in the area that presents so brazenly (or more likely thoughtlessly) a facade that is so grossly inconsistent with the urban ‘smart growth’ model,” another resident wrote, calling it “unfit… for this area.”

ARLnow reached out to CVS about the wall and received the following response.

“A new CVS Pharmacy store is currently under construction on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The wall that is currently facing Wilson Boulevard will be part of the permanent structure and is included in the overall construction and design plan approved by Arlington development officials,” a CVS spokesperson said.

So, the “Great Wall of Clarendon” is apparently here to stay and there isn’t much the county or residents can do at this point.

“It could be a major eyesore on the street for the next 30 to 40 years,” said a local resident.

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(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) A dispute among acquaintances led to an attack outside of and then inside Arlington Central Library, police say.

Police were dispatched to the library around 1:45 p.m. Thursday after receiving multiple calls about two people arguing or fighting. They arrived and found at least one person “covered in blood,” according to scanner traffic.

“At approximately 1:47 p.m., police were dispatched to the 1000 block of N. Quincy Street for the report of trouble unknown,” said Arlington County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, it was determined two known male acquaintances became involved in a verbal dispute outside the library. The dispute escalated when the suspect struck the victim with an object and physically assaulted him.”

One tipster described the incident as a “really savage beating.”

“I was in the library at the time, he was thrown to the ground and punched multiple times for several minutes, bloodied face,” another tipster told ARLnow. “I am not aware of the reason for the attack… the victim kept asking ‘Why did he attack me? What did I do?'”

The second tipster noted that “there were several… eyewitnesses” and said that the attack “continued inside the library” after starting outside.

The man who was attacked was taken via ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.

“The victim was transported to an area hospital and is in stable condition,” said Savage. “The suspect was taken into custody by responding officers and charges are pending.”

The suspect was questioned by police and ultimately arrested near the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Pollard Street. A dog he had been walking was picked up by animal control officers.

In a crime report released Friday, police said the victim was struck with a stick outside and further assaulted by the suspect when he went inside the library to seek help.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-08250137, 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 1:47 p.m. on August 25, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined two known male acquaintances became involved in a verbal dispute outside the library, during which the suspect allegedly struck the victim with a stick. The victim ran into the library for assistance and the suspect followed and physically assaulted him. Responding officers located the suspect at the intersection of N. Pollard Street and Fairfax Drive and took him into custody without incident. The victim was transported to an area hospital it stable condition. [The suspect], 35, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held without bond.

Jay Westcott contributed to this report

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The former Next Day Blinds will soon be serving caprese and wine.

The vacant storefront at 3865 Wilson Boulevard, across the from Gold’s Gym in the Ballston area, is becoming “Carbonara: Old School Italian & Wine Bar,” a 150-seat restaurant with 4,800 square feet of indoor and outdoor space.

The eatery — technically in Virginia Square — is currently expected to open next July.

Standout menu items included in a press release are a veritable tour of Italy: Carpaccio, Eggplant Parmigiana Stack, Tortellini Di Michael, Linguini Cardinale, Chicken Cacciatore, Vitello Alla Marsala, Cioppino, and Stuffed Cannoli.

The restaurant comes from a recognizable local name: Chef Mike Cordero.

Cordero owns and operates Bronson Bier Hall, Barley Mac, Bronx Pizza, Don Tito, and Taco Rock in Arlington, as well as other Northern Virginia establishments like Don Taco in Alexandria.

“I’m ecstatic to relive my early years of training as an Italian chef with Carbonara and work with my sons on this project,” said Cordero. “My new concept will offer delicious old school Italian cuisine with a twist where nothing is store bought and everything is made from scratch. Cooking fresh Italian food is in the Cordero blood.”

More from a press release, below.

Chef Mike Cordero is going back to where it all started for him. The Northern Virginia Restauranteur announced today that his Cordero Hospitality restaurant group, which include his sons Nick Cordero and Anthony Cordero, will open Carbonara: Old School Italian & Wine Bar in Ballston. Set to deliver in July 2023, the 4,800-square-foot indoor and outdoor restaurant will take over the corner retail space in the Ballston Gateway building at 3865 Wilson Boulevard, which formerly housed Next Day Blinds, and is located on the corner of Wilson Boulevard and North Pollard Streets. Cordero, represented by Chris Saa with Divaris Real Estate, Inc., signed a 20-year lease with landlord Cushman & Wakefield. Designer Yvette Irene will develop the interior design and Carlos Construction will conduct the buildout. Cordero will serve as executive chef.

Carbonara will offer a substantial menu featuring old-world Italian cuisine, focusing on the southern region of Italy, with all food made in-house and fresh homemade pasta prepared daily. Hearty Sicilian pizzas, classic Italian baked dishes like Eggplant Rollatini Parmigiana, zesty Italian sandwiches, decadent tiramisus and savory chicken, veal and seafood dishes top the bill- of-fare. A wide selection of wines from all regions of Italy, featuring a flavorful varietal from Tuscany, will nicely pair with each menu item. To better dispense and preserve each bottle, Carbonara will showcase a state-of-the-art cruvinet system, used widely by international sommeliers, that will extend the flavor and life of the vino served. A collection of specialty aperitivos and craft Italian cordials will adorn the Carbonara cocktail menu and include bellinis, puccinis, negronis and spritzes. […]

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A man allegedly got mad and drew a gun when an employee at a local car wash asked him to move his vehicle.

The incident happened around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday at the Mr. Wash car wash on the 100 N. Glebe Road, according to scanner traffic. No one was hurt.

Police say they have since identified the suspect.

From today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

BRANDISHING, 2022-08160067, 100 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 10:16 a.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined an employee of the business approached the suspect and requested he move his parked vehicle which was blocking other customers. A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect allegedly brandished a firearm before fleeing the scene in his vehicle. No injuries were reported. During the course of the investigation, officers identified the suspect and obtained a warrant for Brandishing a Firearm within 1,000 feet of a School. The investigation is ongoing.

Also Tuesday morning, a man allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store in Virginia Square, assaulted an employee, and then went back into the store to steal more items.

ROBBERY, 2022-08160042, 3500 block of Fairfax Drive. At approximately 8:42 a.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of a dispute in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined the unknown male suspect entered into the business, took several items off of the shelves and attempted to leave without paying. An employee confronted him, during which a verbal dispute ensued. Another employee attempted to intervene and the suspect struck him before leaving the business. The suspect quickly reentered the business, stole additional merchandise and fled the scene on foot. A lookout for the suspect was broadcast and officers canvassed the area yielding negative results. No injuries were reported.

That afternoon, another retail robbery led police on an ultimately futile search for the suspect, who is believed to have fled via Metro.

The robbery happened at the Costco store in Pentagon City.

“At approximately 12:54 p.m. on August 16, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery,” ACPD said. “The investigation determined the unknown male suspect was allegedly attempting to leave a business with unpaid merchandise when he was confronted by loss prevention.”

“A verbal dispute ensued, during which the suspect implied he had a knife before fleeing the scene with the stolen items,” the crime report continues. “The employees followed the suspect out of the business as he continued to verbally threaten them.”

The suspect was seen fleeing into the Pentagon City Metro station, but officers arrived at the platform just as a Blue Line train was departing, according to scanner traffic. That led to unsuccessful efforts to get Metro to stop the train at the Pentagon, at the Arlington Cemetery station, and finally in Rosslyn, per police radio traffic.

“A lookout for the suspect was broadcast and officers canvassed the surrounding area with negative results,” said the crime report.

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The outdoor temporary tents at SER in Ballston in 2021 (image via Google Maps)

Arlington is returning to the pre-pandemic process for restaurants to apply for outdoor tents, a move that has left at least a couple of local restaurants unhappy.

For the last two years, the county has made an effort to streamline the application process for outdoor tents as part of helping restaurants set up temporary outdoor seating areas, or TOSAs.

Back in December, however, the process for applying for outdoor tents was separated from the TOSA process, which was recently extended to February 2023. Arlington, meanwhile, is letting its Covid state of emergency expire on Aug. 15.

“The application process is returning to the pre-pandemic process that has always been in place. The process for tents was streamlined to help businesses during the pandemic,” County spokesperson Jessica Baxter tells ARLnow. “As they were before the pandemic, applications for tents must be submitted via the temporary structure/tent here. The guidelines for tents remain the same and have not changed.”

Those guidelines are enforced by the Arlington County Fire Department and fire marshall. Among the rules: a tent cannot be larger than 900 square feet and there needs to be a separate permit and inspections for gas heaters.

There is also a limitation on how long an outdoor temporary tent can be up: only six months (180 days) out of the year. What’s more, a business can’t apply for another permit to put up another tent until a six-month period has lapsed since the last tent was taken down.

These rules exist, said Baxter, because of the statewide fire code and there’s not much the county can do.

“The six-month temporary tent allowance is part of the Virginia Statewide Fire Code, which the County is required to follow. If an applicant wishes to make the tent more permanent, they can apply for a building permit and enter that process,” she wrote. “At this time, no tents should be up, with the exception of restaurants that received a building permit and single, pop-up tents smaller than 120 square feet.”

Of course, the fire code seems to be in conflict with the desire of many to dine outdoors, while being protected from the elements. With the state health department still reporting more than 100 Covid infections per day in Arlington, eating outside is widely viewed as a less risky alternative to indoor dining.

Baxter said the county is “actively working to create longer-term solutions that offer permanent outdoor dining options,” but temporary outdoor tents are not part of that effort because of the restrictions laid out in the fire code.

With most of the outdoor tents coming down in December, many businesses could have started reapplying for outdoor tents for the upcoming fall and winter season in June.

But reverting to a pre-pandemic process and guidelines has left a couple of restaurants that talked with ARLnow confused, frustrated, and at a loss on how to explain this to customers.

One is Medium Rare, the local steak restaurant with locations in Maryland, D.C., and one in Arlington’s Virginia Square neighborhood.

In the previous pandemic years, the restaurant did have an outdoor tent for diners, but Medium Rare had to take it down this past December, said owner Mark Bucher.

The outdoor temporary tents at Medium Rare in Virginia Square in 2021 (image via Google Maps)

He told ARLnow that compared to other local jurisdictions, Arlington’s TOSA process, as well as the one to apply for outdoor tents, is “complicated and cumbersome.”

Bucher also wondered what the logic was behind the directive that a restaurant a tent had to come down after six months.

“Arlington has always been so restaurant-friendly, so this goes against everything,” he said. “Why put up a tent, take it down, and pay to put it back up again?”

As the weather turns cooler again, and as Covid and other respiratory diseases ramp up, customers are going to want to sit outside in a heated tent, he said. But Bucher worries that a number of restaurants are not going to go through the process to get a temporary tent again, and diners are going to take their business to other nearby jurisdictions.

For his part, Bucher said Medium Rare in Virginia Square will not be reapplying to put up an outdoor tent.

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El Pollo Rico (file photo)

Tennis legend Serena Williams was apparently served up some Peruvian chicken at Virginia Square’s El Pollo Rico this past weekend.

An Instagram story posted on Williams’ account on Sunday (July 31) afternoon shows her inside of the local Peruvian chicken spot on N. Kenmore Street getting served up a heaping portion of chicken and rice.

The IG story was first spotted and tweeted by local restaurant and bar influencer Barred in DC.

Williams is in town to support her equally-famous sister Venus, who is playing in the Citi Open in D.C. tonight. Serena surprised onlookers yesterday when she showed up on the Rock Creek Park courts to practice with her sister.

It’s unclear what lead her to El Pollo Rico, though Barred in DC guesses that her husband Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit and a UVA alum) may have had something to do with it.

ARLnow reached out to the restaurant this morning, but the manager there said he was unaware of the sports great stopping by. ARLnow also emailed owner Victor Solano but has yet to hear back as of publication.

Serena did some sightseeing in the District over the weekend as well, posting videos of her scootering around while checking out the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in the rain. It appears that McLean resident Mark Ein, who runs the Citi Open, was also with her.

ARLnow has reached out to Ein and his representatives to see if perhaps he’s the one who suggested the well-known local spot, but also has yet to hear back.

This isn’t El Pollo Rico’s first brush with fame. The late Anthony Bourdain featured the restaurant on his Travel Channel show “No Reservations” back in 2009.

This unassuming Peruvian chicken eatery is located on a side street off of Fairfax Drive and in the back of a low-slung building. It opened in 1988 and has continued to be a popular spot since.

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A man is facing numerous charges for allegedly going on a shopping spree immediately after stealing someone’s wallet in Virginia Square.

The incident started Thursday morning at a building along the 3800 block of Fairfax Drive, a block or two down the road from the Metro station.

“At approximately 11:02 a.m. on July 14, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered the lobby of a business and allegedly stole the victim’s wallet and car keys from behind the counter.”

“The victim then began receiving multiple notifications of attempted and approved fraudulent charges on his credit cards,” the crime report continued. “A lookout was broadcast and officers located the suspect in the area of Langston Boulevard and N. Glebe Road and took him into custody without incident. During the course of the investigation, the victim’s property and the fraudulently purchased merchandise were recovered.”

The 34-year-old suspect from Montgomery Village, Maryland is facing nearly a dozen charges, including “Credit Card Theft (x3), Attempted Identity Theft (x3), Identity Theft, Attempted Credit Card Fraud (x3), Credit Card Fraud (x1), and Petit Larceny,” according to ACPD.

“He was held on bond,” the crime report noted.

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