A 26-year-old man from Vienna, Va. has died after crashing his Range Rover on I-66 early Saturday morning.
The crash happened around 3:30 a.m. in the Rosslyn tunnel. Virginia State Police say the driver was not wearing his seat belt and was likely traveling at an excessive speed.
A passenger suffered minor injuries in the rollover crash.
More from a VSP spokesperson, below.
At 3:37 a.m. on Saturday (March 3), Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on westbound I-66 at the Rosslyn Tunnel.
A 2018 Range Rover was traveling west on I-66 when it ran off the right side of the road and struck a jersey wall just before the tunnel. It then traveled into the tunnel and overturned.
The driver, Talaat B. Hamooh, 26, of Vienna, Va., died during transport. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.
A passenger, Hussain A. Aljahdali, 29, of Arlington, Va., sustained minor injuries in the crash. He was wearing a seatbelt.
Excessive speed is being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.
A police chase ended last night in Arlington with a state trooper injured and the alleged fleeing driver in custody.
The chase started on I-395, when a Virginia State Police trooper’s automated license plate reader flagged a Cadillac that was wanted by Fairfax County police. During the chase, a trooper’s vehicle was rammed and crashed along northbound I-395 in Arlington.
The suspect then abandoned the car on the GW Parkway at Route 50, near the Roosevelt Bridge, according to state police. He was subsequently taken into custody and identified as a 31-year-old D.C. man.
More from a VSP press release today, below.
At 8:55 p.m., a Virginia State Police trooper’s automated license plate reader (ALPR) alerted to a 2006 Cadillac sedan that Fairfax County Police was looking for. The trooper activated his emergency lights and sirens to initiate a traffic stop, but the Cadillac refused to pull over and sped away northbound on I-395. A pursuit was initiated.
As state police attempted to contain the vehicle to bring it to a stop, the Cadillac rammed one of the trooper’s vehicles. The impact caused the trooper’s vehicle to run off the side of the interstate and strike the Jersey wall. The Cadillac, meanwhile, kept going.
The pursuit ended when the Cadillac stopped on the George Washington Parkway near Route 50. The driver fled on foot. The driver was apprehended a short time later and taken into custody. A passenger was also taken into custody and later released. A handgun was recovered from inside the Cadillac.
State police charged the driver of the Cadillac, Nelson Bowman, 31, of Washington, D.C., with one felony malicious wounding on law enforcement, one felony assault of a law enforcement officer, one felony count of eluding police, one felony count of illegal possession of a concealed firearm, one felony count of hit and run, one felony count of destruction of property and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice
The trooper who struck the Jersey wall was transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries.
The investigation remains ongoing.
The suspect is facing a half dozen felony charges, from eluding to assault on police to a gun charge.
He has previous criminal convictions, including an Arlington home break-in for which he received prison time and was currently on probation, according to court records cited by a Twitter user who tweets about public safety incidents.
Wanted driver by #FCPD, Nelson Bowman arrested by @VSPPIO last evening is a career criminal w/long history in VA/MD. Previous penitentiary time & jail time served, currently on 5 years probation from penitentiary release last year. @ARLnowDOTcom #DMVCrime @RealTimeNews10 pic.twitter.com/nSWloGrhYt
— Romeo (@RVANOVA01) February 9, 2023
Carjackings appear to be rising again in Arlington and across the D.C. area.
An uptick between 2019 and 2020 spurred Arlington County Police Department to focus prevention efforts on robbery, burglary and destruction of property incidents. Increased enforcement in 2021 resulted in fewer carjackings, after ACPD made two significant carjacking arrests, per ACPD’s 2021 annual report.
“The combination of the collaboration and the education and proactive work that ACPD did reduce the carjackings and then reduced the stealing of cars in general,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who participated in a regional effort to crack down on carjackings during that time. “With that reduction, less collaboration was needed, but we are working together to make sure that we’re doing the same coordination as before with other jurisdictions.”
But now the crime — in which a person steals a victim’s car by force, threat or intimidation — seems to be ticking up again, with five carjackings in January 2023 compared to zero carjackings in January 2022 and 14 throughout the 2022 calendar year, according to stats provided by ACPD.
Meanwhile, across the river in D.C., one Arlingtonian was carjacked near Union Station and another resident’s Rolls Royce was stolen near Logan Circle, according to police reports.
Dehghani-Tafti said the social science data shows the certainty of being caught is the strongest deterrent from people committing crimes, but deterrence can be harder with carjacking.
“These can be hard crimes to solve because people get away so fast and cars change hands so quickly, they take a lot of collaboration and coordination and proactive action,” she said.
Law enforcement and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney say they’re devoting more resources to combat these crimes.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says the department “continues to deploy increased police resources, to include both visible and non-visible assets, in Crystal City and the surrounding neighborhoods to address this crime trend.”
“The Arlington County Police Department remains a member of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force which coordinates on offenses such as carjackings,” she said. “As part of our ongoing investigative efforts into these incidents, detectives are working collaboratively with our regional law enforcement partners to share information, identify trends, apprehend suspects and hold them accountable for their actions.”
Dehghani-Tafti, meanwhile, is meeting with a division of Virginia State Police on vehicle thefts, generally.
Two units in the VSP Fairfax Division are “partnering to take a more concentrated and analytical look at vehicle thefts within the Northern Virginia region,” state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. “This is not uncommon for state police to do, as we consistently look for ways to address any crime patterns that develop and identify ways to strategically address and resolve them.”
Of the five reported carjackings last month in Arlington, four were in the Crystal City and Pentagon City areas — where many such incidents were concentrated during the last spree — and three involved BMWs.
“In recent cases, carjacking suspects have generally approached victims as they were inside their idling parked vehicles, brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s keys and property,” per an Arlington police press release, sent in response to the uptick. “In some cases, the suspects approach the victim by pulling alongside them in a vehicle, which is later determined to be stolen. Reported incidents in Arlington have generally involved multiple suspects.”
While some are threatened with guns, other victims are attacked when they exit their cars.
On Jan. 27, a Columbia Pike resident was exiting his car near Union Station in D.C. to let out an Uber customer when he was attacked and the attacker drove away in his car. The victim and another driver idling behind him chased the alleged carjacker for nearly a mile. Stuck behind a dump truck, the suspect reversed the stolen car and hit the pursuing car. The duo apprehended the suspect but ultimately let go, citing fear for their safety and a growing crowd, according to a Metropolitan Police Department incident report.
The car was later returned to the owner.
Arlington police issued the following safety tips for residents in response to the recent spate of carjackings.
- When inside your vehicle, keep your doors locked and windows up
- Exit your vehicle and continue to your destination promptly after parking
- Be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle
- Limit your use of devices that may distract you, such as cell phones and headphones
- Don’t leave items unattended or visible in your vehicle
One woman’s story
Some two-and-a-half years ago, then-Alexandria resident Lauren Brown was similarly attacked while waiting to turn left onto S. Glebe Road near the Harris Teeter in Potomac Yard. She told ARLnow her experience as a cautionary tale.
A group of 18-year-olds in a stolen car hit Brown. After pleading with her not to call the police — with whom she was already on the phone — they drove away. They returned, and one occupant hit her while the other got in her car and they drove away.
“It’s a really crazy thing what adrenaline does to your body,” she said. “I didn’t feel [the injury] until a few days later.”
(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A theft suspect in a U-Haul managed to flee from police in Pentagon City last week.
The theft happened just before 4 p.m. at or near the Pentagon Row shopping center. The suspect, a woman, reportedly stole a large quantity of clothing and beauty items before fleeing in a rental truck driven by second suspect, a man.
An Arlington sheriff’s deputy then spotted the truck stopped near Virginia Highlands Park and took the driver into custody, at which time the female suspect allegedly started driving off. Arlington officers followed the truck onto I-395 but did not give chase after the driver refused to pull over, given police department policies about chasing non-violent suspects.
Virginia State Police appear to have caught up to the truck as it traveled south in the I-395 Express Lanes, based on traffic camera feeds viewed by ARLnow at the time, but it is unclear what happened after that.
A Virginia State Police spokeswoman deferred to Arlington County police for comment. An Arlington police spokeswoman deferred comment on the actions of the VSP troopers.
“I can’t speak to specifics regarding Virginia State Police and would defer to their agency for additional information,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
ACPD released the following report about the incident.
LARCENY, 2022-12080166, 1100 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 3:57 p.m. on December 8, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the female suspect allegedly entered a business, concealed merchandise and exited without paying. An employee observed the female suspect enter a rental truck, driven by the male suspect, and flee the area. A responding officer located the vehicle stopped in the area of 15th Street S. and S. Hayes Street and took the male suspect, who was outside the vehicle, into custody without incident. The female suspect, who had [remained] inside the rental truck, then fled the scene in the vehicle. A lookout was broadcast and an Arlington County Sheriff’s deputy observed the suspect vehicle traveling on S. Hayes Street and attempted a traffic stop. The female suspect refused to stop and fled onto I-395. The suspect is described as a White female, 30 – 40 years old, with brown curly hair, wearing jeans, a multicolor sweater and black shoes. Attempts to identify the male suspect were unsuccessful and he was booked as a John Doe on charges of Grand Larceny, Identity Theft and Public Intoxication. The investigation is ongoing.
Thanksgiving week is here and, based on past polls, that means about 45% of you are traveling.
Our 2015 morning poll on the topic found that most local Thanksgiving travelers — about 75% — will do so by car, while 20% will travel by plane.
With that in mind, we have three key tips for Thanksgiving road and air travelers.
1. If driving, leave earlier or later in the day
Expect plenty of traffic if you’re planning to drive to your destination on Wednesday, but you can avoid some of it by leaving earlier in the morning or later at night. The same applies for those driving back on Saturday or Sunday.
“Based on the traffic data, periods of heavy congestion are most likely to occur from mid-morning to evening on Wednesday, Nov. 23, afternoon on Saturday, Nov. 26, and all day on Sunday, Nov. 27,” said a VDOT press release last week.
Based on a VDOT map of past travel trends, there is likely to be a fair amount of traffic in and out of Northern Virginia on Tuesday as well, particularly around the evening rush hour.
VDOT will be suspending most work zones and lane closures from Nov. 23-28, but that will only marginally ease the traffic onslaught.
2. Reserve your airport parking now
If you’re flying out of Reagan National Airport and planning to drive there, parking is currently widely available in all three lots.
However, you’re unlikely to find much — if any — parking by the time Wednesday rolls around. Fortunately, as of publication, online reservations were still available for Terminal 2 and economy parking.
Meanwhile, if you’re flying out of Dulles International Airport, don’t forget that the new Silver Line extension to Dulles is now open.
3. Drive carefully (and if you don’t, State Police might stop you)
With so many people on the roads, sometimes after having a few drinks, Thanksgiving weekend is sadly a time of many serious crashes nationwide.
That’s why authorities regularly encourage drivers to be extra careful this time of year.
Virginia State Police announced this morning that it would be conducting extra patrols and enforcement for Thanksgiving. More from a press release, below.
For many Virginians, gathering with family and friends is the true meaning for Thanksgiving. Some will even travel long distances to share in these wonderful family moments. Just as important as it is to make sure those pies and casseroles make it to the dinner table safely, motorists need to make their own safety a priority, as well. Virginia State Police is reminding all drivers and passengers of all ages to buckle up this holiday weekend. Preliminary data show that 54% of those who have died in traffic crashes this year were not wearing a seatbelt or safety restraint.*
“The fact that more than half of those who have lost their lives in traffic crashes this year were not wearing a seatbelt is a tragic and inexcusable reality for Virginia,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Your family wants you to arrive safely and clicking a seatbelt can help that happen. Virginia State Police and your loved ones want you to arrive at your destination safely – ditch distractions, comply with posted speed limits, never drive buzzed or drunk, and, again, always buckle up.”
(Updated at 10:30 p.m.) All but one lane of northbound I-395 was blocked just before the 14th Street Bridge after a police chase ended in a big crash.
The crash happened around 3 p.m., and followed scanner reports that Virginia State Police were pursuing a vehicle northbound on I-395. According to initial reports, the suspect vehicle rear-ended another driver just before the bridge.
Debris and police activity had most of the highway blocked.
Four people from the suspect vehicle were taken into custody. Medics responded to evaluate them, the driver who was rear-ended, and a state trooper for possible injuries.
It was not immediately clear what led to the chase. Virginia State Police will often give chase when a driver tries to flee, even if only for traffic charges, while local police departments including Arlington’s typically require more serious charges in order to authorize a pursuit.
A number of chases originating in Fairfax County have sped through Arlington on I-395 in recent weeks.
The end of the chase was captured on video by Pentagon City-based public safety watchdog Dave Statter.
#CaughtOnCamera: @VSPPIO high speed chase I-395N. Crashed into a car & guardrail at Boundary Channel. Sources say #police found guns & drugs in car. @ARLnowDOTcom @WTOPtraffic @charlienbc @phscoop @RealTimeNews10 @AllisonPapson @breakingnews123 @tomroussey7news @TomJackmanWP pic.twitter.com/TTJFSLuOYZ
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) November 14, 2022
Later Monday, a Virginia State Police spokesperson released the following statement on the chase and the arrests.
At 2:54 p.m. this afternoon on northbound I-395 near the Duke St. exit, Virginia State Police initiated a traffic stop for reckless driving on a 2020 Dodge Charger.
After the Trooper initiated the traffic stop, the Charger accelerated at a high rate of speed and a pursuit ensued. After reaching speeds in excess of 110 miles-per-hour, the pursuit ended near the exit for Boundary Channel Dr. where the Charger collided with another vehicle and then struck the guardrail.
Virginia State Police detained four individuals and recovered three firearms, including a “ghost gun,” as well as suspected narcotics. All firearms were loaded and had ammunition in the chamber.
The driver of the second vehicle was treated at the scene for minor injuries suffered in the crash.
Charges are pending… The pursuit and crash remain under investigation.
A number of police chases initiated outside the county have careened through Arlington this month.
An armed robbery last Tuesday at the Home Depot in Seven Corners resulted in a police chase up I-395 before the driver got stuck in traffic approaching the 14th Street Bridge and tried to escape on foot at the exit for the GW Parkway.
Here's another view of the @FairfaxCountyPD chase of robbery suspects into Arlington that shut I-395N yesterday. The suspects got stuck in 14th St. Bridge traffic & #police boxed them in. @ARLnowDOTcom @matthewyoung31 @RealTimeNews10 #traffic #vatraffic #dctraffic #395cam pic.twitter.com/FFGXHL76wb
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 19, 2022
In another chase last week, Fairfax County police initiated a chase after a cruiser was struck in Lincolnia.
Two weeks ago, the Alexandria police department followed a car into Arlington and Virginia State Police joined the pursuit — until the driver escaped across the river into D.C. and the chase was called off.
#caughtoncamera: Just before noon, an @AlexandriaVAPD officer followed a car reported to be connected to a felony into Arlington on I-395. The car ran & escaped into DC as @VSPPIO tried to stop it. @ARLnowDOTcom @HCBright10 @charlienbc @RealTimeNews10 #police #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/dZ5j71t7Ej
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 11, 2022
Public safety watchdog Dave Statter keeps records of most these chases from his perch in Pentagon City. While there has been a recent mini-rash of Fairfax County-initiated pursuits, he tells ARLnow this is a less common phenomenon compared to VSP chases.
“From my experience, those two recent chases by Fairfax County Police into Arlington are more of the exception that the rule,” said Statter. “In fact, they are so infrequent I had to put in a new folder in my police video file for FCPD.”
The same night as the Lincolnia chase, Statter said state police troopers were pursuing someone, too.
“Just a few minutes earlier, VSP chased and stopped someone on I-395 N near Washington Blvd,” Statter wrote. “VSP was still working that one when the FCPD chase went by. They had a little warning from the dispatcher and a couple of troopers joined in.”
(2) The @FairfaxCountyPD chase passed by the scene of a @VSPPIO chase that ended 10-minutes earlier when troopers boxed in a vehicle on I-395N at Route 27 & made an arrest. Some of those troopers joined in the second chase as Fairfax officers passed by.
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 18, 2022
Other VSP chases through Arlington happened on Saturday and in the early hours this morning. In the early Wednesday morning chase, VSP was following a car in connection to catalytic converter thefts in Fairfax County. On Saturday, VSP was chasing a possibly stolen car.
Recent chases involving or started by VSP that went through Arlington — including those this month — concluded with the cars escaping across the Potomac River and into D.C. Often, state police abandons pursuit once the person being chased reaches the jurisdictional line.
While you slept: Two videos showing a 12:30 a.m. chase of a car #police were looking for following catalytic converter thefts in Fairfax County. It escaped across the Potomac. @ARLnowDOTcom @HCBright10 #police #traffic #vatraffic #395cam #statcam https://t.co/EolA0LR48a pic.twitter.com/cGiypFX0Cu
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 26, 2022
The reason for this is that VSP has relatively loose restrictions for starting a chase, but they tighten when troopers reach state lines.
“Sworn employees may initiate a pursuit when a driver fails to stop after the sworn employee has given a lawful order to stop by activating emergency lights and/or siren,” according to Virginia State Police policy.
Anyone under pursuit for a possible misdemeanor or traffic violation is almost always in the clear if they can cross the 14th Street Bridge.
Meanwhile, Fairfax’s back-to-back chases come 13 months after the police department rolled out new, more restrictive guidance for when officers can chase suspects.
Effective September 2021, Fairfax County eliminated pursuits for misdemeanors, traffic violations and nonviolent felonies. Now, police conduct chases within Fairfax County and within Virginia for violent felonies, serious crimes with the threat or use of a firearm or explosive device, and at the authorization of a commander.
Fairfax officers join chases when they meet the department’s criteria, and officers can only pursue a car into D.C. or Maryland if the driver or passenger has attempted or is wanted for a felony crime.
Prior to the decision, Fairfax had one of the most liberal chase policies in the D.C. area, according to a police presentation from spring 2021. At the time, officials said the updated guidelines would bring the county in line with chase policies throughout the region.
“FCPD updated several pertinent policies in 2021 to further align the department with national best practices; improve officer and community safety and ensure our commitment to transparency,” according to the department’s annual crime summary for 2021. “The most significant revision included a modification to the traffic pursuit policy, which now focuses on apprehending offenders who pose the greatest risk to our community and doing so with an eye on safety.”
Arlington has similar police chase policies: those wanted for relatively minor crimes are usually allowed to flee an attempted traffic stop without a chase, while violent criminals may be pursued, as happened earlier this month after an armed suspect firing shots at police was chased from Arlington to Fairfax County. Arlington’s policy follows a lawsuit nearly 40 years ago by a man who lost his legs when struck in D.C. by bank robbery suspects being chased at high speed by an ACPD officer.
Someone driving the wrong-way on I-66 in Arlington caused a crash that seriously injured three people, state police say.
The crash happened early this morning around 1:30 a.m., near one of the Langston Blvd exits between Rosslyn and Glebe Road.
“At approximately 1:23 a.m. Monday (Sept. 19), Virginia State Police received an emergency call concerning a vehicle driving west in the eastbound lanes of I-66,” VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller tells ARLnow. “As state troopers were responding, the wrong-way vehicle struck an eastbound vehicle head-on near Exit 72.”
“The driver of the wrong-way vehicle, and the driver and passenger in the eastbound vehicle were all transported to a nearby hospital for treatment for serious injuries,” Geller continued. “The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.”
ARLnow is awaiting an update on the condition of the three people seriously hurt in the crash.
Hat tip to Dave Statter. Photo via Google Maps.
Virtual Learning Program Audit — “An audit of Arlington Public Schools’ calamitous start to its virtual-learning program during the 2021-22 school year was about as damning as expected, with school-system leadership responding to it by accepting some blame but also suggesting they did the best they could under trying circumstances.” [Sun Gazette]
Road Rage Drink Toss — “Lorcom Lane and Langston Boulevard. At approximately 7:33 p.m. on August 2, police were dispatched to the report of an aggressive driver. The investigation determined the victim was driving in the area when the suspect vehicle pulled in front of her abruptly. The unknown male suspect then pulled next to the victim’s vehicle and allegedly threw a beverage at her vehicle before fleeing the scene.” [ACPD]
Hit-and-Run Fundraiser Update — The GoFundMe campaign for the family of a woman killed by a hit-and-run driver is now approaching $30,000 after exceeding its $25,000 goal in just over a day. [Twitter, Twitter]
APS HR Mystery — “Mike Krulfeld recently returned to his job as director of student activities at Yorktown High School, having been put on administrative leave in early June for reasons that were not made clear to the 24-year employee of Arlington Public Schools or the public that rallied to his cause… there was no further explanation given of what the school system had been investigating, according to sources.” [Sun Gazette]
I-395 Rush Hour Drama — From public safety watcher Dave Statter: “#caughtoncamera: Rush hour drama on I-395N when a car won’t stop for [Virginia State Police] & takes off. It hit another vehicle before coming to a stop on GW Parkway where arrests occurred.” [Twitter]
Boeing Comms Chief Based Here — “The Boeing Company today named Brian Besanceney as the company’s senior vice president and chief communications officer effective September 6… He will be based at the company’s global headquarters in Arlington, Va.” [PR Newswire]
Police Shooting in Seven Corners — “A Fairfax County detective shot a man last night (Tuesday) during what police say was a narcotics investigation in the Seven Corners area. The shooting occurred near the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Patrick Henry Drive, the Fairfax County Police Department tweeted at 11:27 p.m.” [FFXnow]
It’s Thursday — Humid throughout the day with storms and heavy rain possible later. A Heat Advisory goes into effect at 11 a.m. High of 95 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:14 am and sunset at 8:18 pm. [Weather.gov]
An Alexandria man has died after a crash last week on I-395 in Arlington.
The single-vehicle crash happened around 1:30 a.m. Friday. The driver was ejected from the vehicle and later died from his injuries.
More from Virginia State Police:
At 1:28 a.m. on Friday (June 10), Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on the on-ramp from southbound Washington Blvd. to southbound I-395.
A 2014 Chevrolet Camaro was on the ramp when it ran off the left side of the road, struck a curb and overturned.
The driver, Jose T. Villanueva, 31, of Alexandria, Va., was transported to George Washington Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.
Speed and alcohol are being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.
Several lanes of southbound I-395 were closed during the overnight hours as a result of the crash.
MD #Arlington I-395 SB near VA-27/Washington Blvd (x8), crash & response. 1 left lane gets by. #vatraffic #dctraffic Listen live to WTOP's latest traffic reports every 10 minutes on the 8s. https://t.co/k7ONQAzTiR
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) June 10, 2022
(Updated at 2:25 p.m.) Northbound I-395 traffic is partially blocked at King Street, near Arlington border, after a reported high speed chase involving Virginia State Police.
After the chase ended with a crash, an apparent arrest could be seen being made in the middle of the highway, with a man kneeling down with his hands in the air.
Numerous Arlington police units were dispatched to the area, near Fairlington, to look for a suspect who may still be on the loose. Initial reports suggest that person may now be in custody.
Arlington medics are also en route due to at least one reported injury from the crash. The chase reached speeds of up to 120 mph as it traveled through Alexandria, Arlington officers were told by state police.
The highway was completely blocked immediately after the crash, but some traffic is now squeezing by the scene. Delays have been building and are now approaching the Landmark Mall.