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Arlington County police are investigating a shooting that happened around 8 p.m. in the Virginia Square neighborhood.

The incident happened around 8 p.m. along Washington Blvd at N. Nelson Street, near Quincy Park.

Initial reports suggest that two cars were driving down the street and at least three gunshots were fired from one vehicle at the other. Responding officers were unable to locate the suspects or any victims, according to scanner traffic.

Update at 2 p.m. — ACPD just released the following about the incident in the department’s daily crime report.

SHOTS FIRED, 2023-02210199, 1000 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 7:59 p.m. on February 21, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the drivers of two vehicles became involved in a dispute, during which the male suspect exited his vehicle, brandished a firearm and discharged rounds, striking the victim’s vehicle. No injuries were reported. The suspect then fled the scene in a gray coupe vehicle. Responding officers canvassed the area yielding negative results.

Police respond to fight that ended with an arrest on gun charges (via Dave Statter)

A Falls Church man allegedly placed his gun in a flowerbox and asked someone to watch it in the midst of an argument in Ballston.

The incident happened around 9 p.m. Saturday along Wilson Blvd, in front of Ballston Quarter mall.

“The male victim had exited a business when the male suspect approached and began acting disorderly,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “The suspect and victim became involved in a verbal dispute, during which the suspect allegedly assaulted the victim and made threatening statements.”

“The victim then walked away and the suspect removed a firearm from his person, placed it into a flowerbox and asked a witness to watch it before reapproaching the victim,” the crime report continued. “Responding officers took the suspect into custody without incident and during a search of his person incident to arrest, located suspected narcotics.”

During the incident 911 callers reported a man with a gun, prompting a large police response. The argument and the response were both caught on camera and posted on Twitter by local public safety watcher Dave Statter.

The suspect, a 32-year-old man from Falls Church whose first name is Justice, “was arrested and charged with Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Concealing a Weapon, Assault & Battery, Possession of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Possession of Schedule I/II Controlled Substance while Possessing a Firearm, and Drunk in Public,” the crime report said. “He was held without bond.”

Also in today’s crime report, a 59-year-old man has been charged with burglary and destruction of property after a series of business break-ins in the Virginia Square and Ballston area.

The suspect was out on bond but wanted for violating pretrial conditions, court records show. He was previously arrested in 2021 for assault and in February 2022 for allegedly throwing a brick through the window of Olive Lebanese Eatery in Ballston, stealing $50 in cash and causing thousands of dollars in damage, as we previously reported.

Our previous reporting also noted that the suspect was wanted at the time for violating the conditions of an earlier release.

More from the crime report:

BURGLARY, 2023-02200040/02200044/02200051, 3800 block of Fairfax Drive/4300 block of Fairfax Drive/4300 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 4:15 a.m. on February 20, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary alarm in the 3800 block of Fairfax Drive. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect allegedly forced entry into the business and tampered with two cash registers before fleeing the scene on foot. During the course of the investigation, it was determined the suspect forced entry into businesses in the 4300 block of Fairfax Drive and the 4300 block of Wilson Boulevard, rummaged through items and tampered with safes. Officers located the suspect in the area and took him into custody without incident. Steven Pugh, 59, of No Fixed Address, was arrested and charged with Burglary (x2) and Destruction of Property (x2).

Joe’s Kwik Mart and an above-ground utility pole (via Google Maps)

Arlington County is preparing to make street improvements at the busy intersection of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N.

The project will widen public sidewalks on both sides of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N., between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations, and put existing utilities underground so that the sidewalks can be more accessible for people with disabilities.

“The newly constructed, wider public sidewalks will enhance the outdoor ambiance for pedestrians and establishments within the Project alignment,” according to a county report. “The Project limits will also serve to connect previously enhanced sections of Wilson Boulevard.”

The project spans Wilson Blvd from N. Kenmore Street to 10th Street N. and 10th Street N. between N. Jackson Street and N. Ivy Street.

To construct new sidewalks, the county needs an easement from Joe’s Kwik Mart, a convenience store attached to the Exxon gas station at 3299 Wilson Blvd. On Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved the easements.

The county says affected property owners “are supportive of the project’s scope and goals.”

According to the report, the convenience store will receive $11,300 in exchange for the easements, though the owner was fine with granting them without compensation.

“The agreed-to monetary compensation of $11,300.00 for [the] acquisition of the perpetual easement is based upon the appraisal of the fair market value of the property interest by an independent fee appraiser,” per the report. “The owner agreed to convey the aforementioned temporary easement areas to the County without any monetary payment or valuable consideration.”

This project is the last phase of a series of street treatments along Wilson Blvd that began in 2009. Between then and 2019, the county completed work between N. Monroe and N. Kenmore streets.

As part of the project, the county added new curbs, gutters and streetlights, made traffic signal and storm sewer improvements, planted street trees and repaved and repainted the street.

Wilson Blvd improvements map (via Arlington County)

The Wilson Blvd CVS with a large blank, brick wall facing the street is set to open next month.

A new CVS, on the former site of the Highlander Motor Inn at 3336 Wilson Blvd near Virginia Square and Clarendon (and next to Mario’s Pizza), is aiming to open in a few weeks, we’re told.

“Barring any unexpected delays, we plan open in mid- to late-February,” a company spokesperson told ARLnow.

What makes this CVS notable to many passersby is the nearly 20-foot-tall windowless, brick rear wall of the building facing Wilson Blvd, one of Arlington’s main commercial corridors.

When it first went up in August, ARLnow received emails from locals calling the wall an “eyesore, “unfit for the area,” and “The Great Wall of Clarendon.”

This was just the latest dust up about this particular site.

In 2016, the county sued long-time property owner and local businessman Billy Bayne about what exactly could be built on the site after he signed a lease with CVS.

That was the beginning of a multi-year legal battle that eventually led to the Virginia Supreme Court declining to consider an appeal from the county, effectively allowing Bayne to move forward with his plans to bring a CVS to the site and handcuffing the county in terms of regulation.

The court fight didn’t sit well with Bayne, who said he lost nearly $2 million while the project stalled.

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

(When Bayne’s Highlander Motor Inn became a Covid quarantine location in 2020, however, there appeared to be a warning of relations. County officials praised Bayne for “stepping up” in a time of need while Bayne said the deal helped him pay bills with the county being “very good” to him.)

The motel finally closed in early 2021 and was demolished later that year, but not before one final party. Then, the CVS began to be built and neighbors saw a huge wall go up. The store also has a sizable surface parking lot between the building and Wilson Blvd.

CVS spokesperson told ARLnow at the time that the wall was “included in the overall construction and design plan approved by Arlington development officials.”

But that didn’t soothe some unhappy locals or put to bed the unsubstantiated rumors that this was the long-awaited revenge against the county.

“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 back in August. “Can’t wait for the future graffiti — I mean, community arts project!”

Billy Bayne told ARLnow that he had no say in the construction project or the wall, but he also had a few other things to say about upset neighbors, the county, and other matters.

“CVS can do whatever they want. This is not the People’s Republic of China. Who do [locals] think they are telling local businesses what to build?” he said. “If people think they can tell CVS what to do, I must be missing something. Does CVS tell them what they can put on their front lawns?”

He continued, blasting the county for not being “business-friendly” and reiterated that he still felt personally attacked by the county for its multi-year legal fight with him.

“This isn’t revenge, but I do think what [the county did to me] was personal,” he said. “I blame [the wall] on Arlington not working with CVS. I call them the ‘socialist government of Arlington.’ And CVS is just trying to do good for the neighborhood.”


There’s a Korean fried chicken restaurant coming to Virginia Square.

A new location of bb.q Chicken is planning to open in April at 3503 Fairfax Drive, franchise co-owner Lydia Om confirmed to ARLnow.

It’s opening along Fairfax Drive at the corner of N. Lincoln Street. That’s the former location of Cosi restaurant, which closed about three years ago.

It’s also about half of a block from the Virginia Square Metro station and just down the street from the Arlington campus of George Mason University.

There are more than 130 locations of Korea-based bb.q Chicken in the United States, specializing in Korean-styled fried chicken. Among them: five locations in Northern Virginia, including in Chantilly and Falls Church.

However, those are run by different franchisees than that which is opening in Virginia Square.

The location in Virginia Square, Arlington’s first, is set to be run by Om and her husband Harrison Om. This will be their first restaurant after running a grocery store in D.C. for years. They’ve decided to open their restaurant in Arlington because they “love” to come to eat here and know there is a crowd hungry for Korean fried chicken.

Om and bb.q Chicken have applied for a Virginia ABC license and are set to serve alcohol.

Nearby, the Arlington campus of George Mason University is currently undergoing a $250 million expansion.


(Updated at midnight) The driver of a pickup truck struck a pedestrian at a busy Ballston area intersection this afternoon.

The crash happened around 3 p.m at the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Quincy Street. Initial reports suggest that the pedestrian, a woman, was in the crosswalk when she was struck.

The woman was said to be injured and in the roadway, but conscious and breathing, per the medic dispatch. A man is also reported to be in medical distress after the crash, though it was not immediately clear whether he was struck by the truck.

A small crowd could be seen gathered around the crash scene.

Arlington County police tell ARLnow that the driver was cited for the crash.

“At approximately 3:01 p.m., police were dispatched to N. Quincy Street at Fairfax Drive for the report of a crash with injuries involving two pedestrians,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The two pedestrians, an adult male and adult female, were transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene and was cited for failure to yield to the pedestrians in the crosswalk. “

Eastbound Fairfax Drive and northbound N. Quincy Street was blocked for a time by the emergency response.


Work on an apartment complex on the border of Clarendon and Virginia Square could be completed in the spring.

Mill Creek Residential broke ground on a 270-unit apartment building at 3415 Washington Blvd, dubbed Modera Clarendon, in December 2020.

A representative tells ARLnow that residents may be able to start moving in this April, with interior finishing touches occurring through the summer.

“We’re in the home stretch,” says Joe Muffler, the Mid-Atlantic senior managing director of development for Mill Creek Residential. “We’re on schedule if not even slightly ahead.”

External construction will be done in the first three months of 2023 and internal finishes will be done in late summer.

Those who have driven on N. Kirkwood Road recently may have noticed people in orange vests conducting traffic and replacing asphalt, known as mill and overlay.

“We did the mill and overlay last week, and we’re working with utilities and utility connections, doing streetscape elements,” Muffler said. “That’s the big stuff right now.”

Even when Modera Clarendon is complete, one community benefit will not be ready until redevelopment plans for the YMCA building next door are approved.

“The puzzle is not complete until YMCA advances. We’ve constructed an alley on the north side and a pedestrian alley on the west side,” Muffler said. “Eventually those will connect… those are streets the county will have for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”

The multimodal path through the developments in the block bounded by Washington Blvd and N. Kirkwood Road (via Arlington County, edited by ARLnow)

After dealing with the “continuous challenge” of supply chain and labor shortage issues, Mill Creek Residential is “excited to bring more people to the neighborhood starting early next year,” Muffler said.


Plans to redevelop a local YMCA may have too many apartment units and not enough community benefits, county planners say.

The YMCA is proposing to tear down its existing facility on N. Kirkwood Road in Virginia Square and build an 87,850-square-foot facility with indoor swimming pools, pickleball and tennis courts, a fitness space and a conference and lounge area, as well as 203 parking spaces. To finance the project, the nonprofit is building a separate 7-story, 374-unit apartment building.

County planners say the baseline for this project is around 270 units and that the YMCA it needs to provide more community benefits to build beyond that.

The reason for the 104-unit gulf is a disagreement over whether the gross floor area of the recreation facility should be excluded from the overall project area. This number determines, for instance, the size of a developer’s affordable housing contribution, either in cash or in on-site units.

The nonprofit’s attorney, David Tarter, says it is financially necessary to exclude the entire facility from density calculations and cites the “best in class” facility as a community benefit to be included in the benefits package.

“This full exclusion is necessary to provide the YMCA the resources needed to construct the proposed YMCA facility,” Tarter writes in the nonprofit’s site plan application.

On its website, the nonprofit says the new building “will serve an estimated 11,415 children, adults and seniors annually, creating 108 new permanent living wage positions and 175 construction jobs.”

Other benefits include three open spaces totaling about an acre and an east-west pedestrian and bicycle connection through the site.

County planner Michael Cullen says past precedent for site plans and ordinances support including the building’s square-footage in density calculations. He said in a presentation these extra 104 units “must be earned through a comprehensive community benefits package” that goes beyond earning LEED Gold certification in exchange for more units.

He says the nonprofit will also have to do more for affordable housing to obtain approval to build apartments in the first place. In the Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road Special GLUP Study governing the site, the land is zoned for commercial use.

The county developed the plan, with community input, to guide the YMCA development and two other projects on the same block.

That includes Terwilliger Place, which Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing completed this September on the American Legion site, and a 270-unit apartment building dubbed Modera Kirkwood, on which Mill Creek Residential broke ground in December 2020. The latter could be completed next year.

Projects in this situation “have generally been expected to achieve greater achievements in accordance with the affordable housing master plan,” Cullen said.

Arlington Dept. of Community Housing, Planning and Development spokeswoman Erika Moore says the county is discussing with the applicant ways to offset the 104 units with more sustainability and affordable housing commitments. Potential approaches will be discussed at a Site Plan Review Committee meeting, a date for which has not yet been set.

The public review process has just kicked off for the project. An online feedback opportunity, which opened on Tuesday, will run through Monday, Dec. 19.

File photo

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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