A man sleeping in his car chased off a pair of would-be carjackers, according to Arlington County police.
The incident happened around 4 a.m. near the intersection of N. Woodrow Street at 20th Road N. That’s in the residential Waverly Hills neighborhood, about a block from Woodstock Park.
The carjacking attempt was reported to police about two hours after it happened, ACPD said today in a crime report.
“At approximately 3:55 a.m. the victim was asleep inside his parked vehicle when he was awoken by two unknown male suspects opening one of the vehicle’s back doors,” said the crime report. “The suspects demanded the victim exit the vehicle and made threatening statements implying they had a weapon.”
“The suspects then attempted to open the driver door and a struggle ensued during which the suspects struck the victim with an unknown object resulting in the victim sustaining lacerations,” the crime report continues. “The suspects then fled the scene on foot and the victim briefly gave chase. The victim then returned to the scene and called police.”
The victim’s injuries were described as non-life threatening. He declined treatment on scene.
Thieves damaged 25 vehicles in several North Arlington neighborhoods over the past few days.
That’s according to Monday’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
The first theft spree happened last week, overnight Thursday into Friday, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood, not far from the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Langston Blvd.
Thieves damaged five vehicles while stealing the glass from side mirrors, according to police.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series) (Late), 2023-05190101, 4700 block of 20th Road N. At approximately 9:57 a.m. on May 19, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between approximately 10:00 p.m. on May 18 and 7:30 a.m. on May 19, the unknown suspect(s) stole the glass from the sideview mirrors of four vehicles and damaged the glass of the sideview mirror of a fifth vehicle. No other items were reported damaged or stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
An even larger spree was reported over the weekend in and around Rosslyn, with some 20 Honda vehicles broken into and their airbags stolen.
From the crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2023-05210011, 1300 block of N. Fort Myer Drive. At approximately 12:44 a.m. on May 21, police were dispatched to a vehicle tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined the reporting party observed three men in their 20’s breaking into vehicles. When she yelled out to them, they fled the scene in a gray sedan. During the course of the investigation, it was determined approximately 20 parked vehicles in the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights, Rosslyn and Colonial Village neighborhoods had a window shattered and an air bag stolen. The involved vehicles are Honda models. The investigation is ongoing.
Sports bar Thirsty Bernie is closing this weekend.
The 15-year-old local watering hole, at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Langston Blvd, will serve its last pints on Sunday (May 21), co-owner Gobind Ghai confirmed to ARLnow. Sales have slowed since the pandemic, which led ownership to decide not to renew its lease at the Glebe Lee Shopping Center.
“I wish we could continue, but we had a great run. It’s just our time,” Ghai said. “Sales were not high enough to continue but weren’t low enough… where we had to close right away. We could wait out the lease.”
He says there are no plans to open elsewhere and does not know what will come next to 2163 N. Glebe Road.
Last summer, rumors began circulating that the sports bar might be closing come mid-2023. Those in charge denied it at the time, but it ended up being true.
Ghai said what made Thirsty Bernie special is the diverse mix of customers.
“We had customers and patrons from all walks of life… different cultures, different communities, different races. Everyone just sitting together,” he said. “It was such a special place. A melting pot.”
Ghai called Thirsty Bernie a “family-friendly” sports bar, a rarity in Arlington, with plenty of parking. He said his staff and regular customers were “family.”
“We are sad to go but happy for the time we had at Thirsty Bernie,” Ghai said.
The pair of homes are a few doors down from the first home it purchased last month on 18th Street N.
The county will pay $1 million for the home at 4423 18th Street N. and $1.3 million for the other at 4433 18th Street N., per county reports prepared for each sale contract. The Arlington County Board is set to review these contracts during its meeting on Saturday.
The two will be torn down for $350,000 apiece and the land will be replanted to create green spaces that will act as overland relief — essentially a safe pathway for water to flow during large flooding events, such as the floods of July 2019. Such flooding events have particularly impacted the Spout Run watershed, where the county is targeting its land acquisition efforts.
Neither home has a historic designation nor architectural significance but staff from the county’s Historic Preservation Program recommend that viable parts of the home be salvaged and photos taken of the interior and exterior for the program’s archives.
Sales are expected to be settled in about five months and the residents will have two months beyond that to move out.
Arlington County previously told residents of the Waverly Hills and Cherrydale neighborhoods it is considering several stormwater management strategies but voluntary property acquisition will be “necessary” for reducing flood risk.
At the time, it said it would first focus its efforts on the Waverly Hills neighborhood and touted benefits of selling to the county such as lower closing costs and peace of mind.
At least five cars were damaged by airbag thieves in a pair of North Arlington neighborhoods yesterday.
The thieves made off with airbags from three of the vehicles, all of which were Hondas, according to Arlington County police. The thefts were reported Thursday morning along N. Glebe Road, just north of Langston Blvd, and in the nearby Waverly Hills neighborhood.
More from today’s ACPD crime report, below.
LARCENY FROM AUTO/VEHICLE TAMPERING (Series) (Late), 2023-03160084/03160162/03160165/03160186, 2000 block of N. Woodstock Street/4400 block of Cherry Hill Road/26th Street N. at N. Glebe Road/N. Utah Street at Cherry Hill Road/2500 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 10:32 a.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. During the course of the investigation, it was determined five vehicles had their driver’s side windows shattered and airbags were stolen from three of the vehicles. All involved vehicles are Honda models. No other items were reported stolen. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
(Updated at 1 p.m. on 03/21/23) Arlington County is looking to buy its first home for flood prevention.
The county has entered an agreement to buy the home at 4437 18th Street N. in the Waverly Hills neighborhood for $969,200, according to a staff report to the Arlington County Board.
The Board is set to review and approve the agreement during its meeting on Saturday.
The single-family home and detached garage is located in the Spout Run watershed, which has been hit hard by recent flooding events, such as the floods seen in July 2019. It will be torn down and the property will be replanted to serve as “overland relief,” at a cost of around $350,000.
Overland relief is a safe flowpath for flood waters to the nearest stream or storm drain during a large storm event. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly explained overland relief.)
Arlington County is looking to step up its mitigation efforts in response to severe weather events. While the 2019 flood has been described as a “100-year flood” — or a flood that has a 1% chance of happening each year — some research suggests these may occur more frequently due to rising sea levels and more frequent and severe storms, which are linked to climate change.
As part of this effort, last year county staff sent letters of interest to 38 properties in parts of the Waverly Hills and Cherrydale neighborhoods where overland relief is “an essential element” to manage extreme flooding, the report says. Funding for this voluntary property acquisition program was included in the adopted one-year 2022 capital improvement plan.
“The County will pursue acquisitions of properties whose owners are willing to sell to the County, and whose properties would allow for greater access to existing stormwater infrastructure for potential future upgrades, provide overland relief during periods of intense rainfall,and other future engineering solutions,” it says.
“Several” owners have indicated interest in selling to the county, the report added.
ARLnow last reported that there is some interest among residents in selling, while a number of others say that uprooting their families would come at too high a cost.
We were also told several had unanswered questions about the process and how these properties will be managed. One concern is that a piecemeal acquisition process would result in a “checkerboard” of homes and blighted-looking properties.
That “checkerboard” could result in “community fragmentation, difficulty with providing municipal services, and inability to restore full floodplain functionality,” and is one reason local governments may have a hard time getting enough community support for buyouts, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
Other reasons include the potential impacts on property values and housing stock and fears of displacement, it says.
Still, people are more likely to be interested in selling after a major flooding event.
“Buyouts are often a politically unpopular option unless there is a particularly catastrophic event that changes people’s willingness to move and creates unified state and local support for relocation,” the report noted.
Other research shows that property buyouts are one of the most effective tools at the disposal of local governments to combat frequent flooding.
“At their best, they provide a permanent solution,” according to Pew Research. “Effective buyouts prevent future damage, make people safer, and ideally protect entire neighborhoods or communities. Moreover, once bought-out properties become natural open space, they can provide an added benefit of absorbing additional stormwater, further reducing flooding and helping to conserve habitats.”
Arlington County is looking to buy homes within the Spout Run watershed for flood mitigation.
Since last fall, the county has notified some three dozen property owners in the Cherrydale and Waverly Hills civic associations by letter of its interest in buying their properties for stormwater management. The letters targeted areas that were hit hard by recent flooding events, like the floods seen in July 2019.
Should they agree to sell, the county would tear down the homes, remove infrastructure such as driveways, and then regrade and replant the land to minimize erosion. Properties would be preserved for open space.
“Phased property acquisition is a necessary component of a resilient stormwater improvement program to provide overland relief and reduce flood risk to the community,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien said. “Voluntary property acquisitions will be targeted to areas in the five critical watersheds at higher risk of flooding due to existing topography.”
The county’s first priority is to create “overland relief,” or a safe path for stormwater to flow during large rain events, per presentation materials on the county’s website. It contends that there is not enough public space to provide those paths or make infrastructure upgrades, and, crucially, that existing stormwater systems were built assuming sufficient overland relief to handle anything stronger than a 10-year storm (which has a 10% chance of happening annually).
“There is not sufficient available space within existing rights-of-way to maintain the infrastructure, make resilient system upgrades, or to provide overland relief,” the presentation says. “There is no long-term solution to reduce flood risk in Spout Run without adding overland relief.”
The solution is a long time in coming for some in the Waverly Hills Civic Association, which — along with the Cherrydale Citizens Association — has met with Arlington County about stormwater management solutions since 2018.
WHCA President Paul Holland says he has heard several residents express frustrations related “to the extended timeline to identify a solution” to the flooding that occured in recent years.
“For the Waverly Hills Civic Association, stormwater issues are our top priority. Our neighbors were dramatically impacted by major flooding events in 2018 and 2019,” he said.
Both Holland and Cherrydale Citizens Association President Jim Todd said several questions remain unanswered, however.
“There was a lot of concern that the county was really, really vague and didn’t seem to know or be willing to share what they intend to do with any of the properties they intend to acquire,” Todd said, adding that he heard from constituents who felt they didn’t get much clarity after calling the county’s real estate office.
Although WHCA members worked with the county to develop an FAQ page addressing many of the questions, they too have outstanding concerns.
“Our primary concern is that the acquired lots will be well designed and taken care of by the County to become usable park land and/or attractive open space as neighborhood amenities,” said Holland.
Todd, however, said he is unsure how the county will be able to create any meaningful overland relief if only a smattering of people sell.
Arlington police handled several significant incidents over the weekend, including a fight in Clarendon that sent a man to the hospital.
The fight happened in the heart of Clarendon’s bar district, on the 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd, early Saturday morning. The victim was trying to break up a dispute between the suspect and a friend when he was struck and seriously injured by the suspect, police say.
More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-11050009, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 12:28 a.m. on November 5, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim attempted to break up a verbal dispute between the male suspect and a friend when the suspect allegedly struck the victim, causing injury. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of serious, non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was located on scene and taken into custody without incident. [The suspect], 30, of Arlington, Va. Was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held without bond.
Also this weekend, police investigated gunfire in the Waverly Hills neighborhood of northern Arlington on Sunday morning.
In the end, officers determined that a woman accidentally fired a shot while trying to package her gun.
SHOT FIRED, 2022-11060089, 1900 block of N. Woodrow Street. At approximately 9:37 a.m. on November 6, police were dispatched to the report of a shot fired. Upon arrival, it was determined the female subject was allegedly packaging the firearm to be transported when it discharged. Minor property damage was reported within the home. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.
Earlier today (Monday), police were dispatched to a report of suspicious individuals in a parking lot and found a half dozen Honda vehicles that had been broken, with the airbags stolen.
The suspects remain at large but officers found a backpack with tools and six airbags, according to ACPD.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series, Late), 2022-11070017, 2600 block of S. Cleveland Street. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on November 7, police were dispatched to the report of a late larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined the reporting party observed two unknown individuals wearing face coverings allegedly acting suspiciously in a parking lot. Responding officers canvassed the area and located six Honda vehicles with broken windows and stolen airbags. A search of the area for the suspects yielded negative results, however, a backpack was recovered containing burglarious tools and six airbags. There are no suspect descriptions at this time. The investigation is ongoing.
Crime and comment policy: As a reminder, ARLnow generally does not name suspects in crime report articles such as this. We do name suspects if they are a public figure, if their identity is important to the story, or if they are accused of a significant crime — for instance, if they’re the subject of a police press release. Suspect descriptions from police are generally included when not overly vague. Comments are disabled in crime report articles that describe or name a suspect.
If you like the arts, 5Ks or family- and earth-friendly events, Arlington is the place to be this weekend.
Three separate events in the county will make it bit harder to get around by car.
The Arlington Festival of the Arts will take pace on Saturday and Sunday (April 23-24), shutting down several roads in the Clarendon area. The outdoor event offers art for display and sale over several blocks, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The Arlington County Police Department announced the following road closures for the event.
The following roads will be closed from approximately 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 through 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24:
- N. Highland Street will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be allowed to access the public parking garage to 3033 Wilson Blvd.
- N. Hartford Street will be closed from N. Highland Street to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be able to access the parking garage for 1210 N. Highland Street.
- The alleyway between N. Herndon Street and N. Hartford Street will be closed at N. Hartford Street
Meanwhile, starting at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, the Bunny Hop 5k Race will close streets in the Ashton Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. and involves the following road closures, according to ACPD.
The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:
From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- N. Irving Street, between 7th Street N. and 5th Street N.
From approximately 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- N. Irving Street, between 2nd Road N. and 5th Street N.
- N. Pershing Drive, between N. Piedmont Street and N. Edgewood Street
- N. Fillmore Street, between 3rd Street N. and Pershing Drive
- N. Garfield Street, between Pershing Drive and 3rd Street N.
- 4th Street N., between N. Fillmore Street and N. Garfield Street
- 2nd Road N., between N. Irving Street and the Columbia Gardens Cemetery
A portion of the course winds through the Columbia Gardens Cemetery. The Cemetery will be closed to vehicular traffic and have a delayed opening at 10:00 a.m.
Finally, on Sunday, the 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will be held off Langston Blvd in front of the Lee Heights Shops. The event will include various family activities, live music, sidewalk sales, food and drink specials, and its own art market.
“Let’s come together as a community to celebrate the beauty and promise of our local environment and the planet,” says the website for the Earth Day event. “Every year, communities worldwide uplift Earth Day to mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It reminds us all to do what we can, in ways small and significant, restore, conserve and protect our environment.”
The 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2022 and will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The following roadways will be closed from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. in order to accommodate the festival:
- Cherry Hill Road, between N. Woodstock Street and N. Woodrow Street
- Northbound N. Woodrow Street, between 20th Road N. and Cherry Hill Road will be restricted to local traffic only
Community members should expect to see an increased police presence in the area around these events, and motorists are urged to follow law enforcement direction, be mindful of closures, and remain alert for increased pedestrian traffic. Additional closures not mentioned above may be implemented at police discretion in the interest of public safety.
Residents of the affected neighborhood areas will be escorted through the road closures to minimize the impacts on the community, only when safe to do so. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No parking” signs, as street parking in the area around these events will be limited. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.
Police are investigating an incident in which a man fired a gunshot inside a residents one block from Woodstock Park, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood.
The gunfire rang out around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Police say the man who fired the gunshot called police and was carrying a gun when police detained him.
He was brought to a local hospital for evaluation after alleging that “several armed individuals” were coming to get him.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
WEAPONS VIOLATION, 2021-12070040, 4600 block of 20th Road N. At approximately 7:31 a.m. on December 7, police were dispatched to the report of a person with a gun. Upon arrival, officers located the reporting party walking in the area with a firearm in his hands and detained him. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the reporting party had discharged the firearm inside of the residence and then left the scene as several armed individuals were allegedly approaching. The reporting party was transported to an area hospital for medical evaluation. There is no description of the other individuals. The investigation is ongoing.
(Updated at 8:20 a.m.) The Inova Urgent Care at 4600 Langston Blvd is temporarily closed.
An Inova spokesperson tells ARLnow the clinic near the Waverly Hills neighborhood should reopen by the end of the year, after closing due to staffing issues.
“The Urgent Care temporarily closed two weeks ago,” the spokesperson said. “As with other health systems across the country, Inova has been experiencing significantly high volumes driven by patients with a variety of healthcare needs and the temporary closure of select locations allows us to consolidate staffing at other UCCs to better accommodate patient volumes.”
Several other Inova urgent care centers are also closed, according to the health system’s website. Like the clinic in Arlington, those in Tysons, Reston, and Purcellville are “temporarily closed for in-person visits.”
Signs posted on the windows in Arlington direct patients to either the Inova Fairfax Hospital emergency room or an Inova Urgent Care in Vienna.
The Arlington center served as a COVID-19 testing site since March 2020.