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(Updated at 1:30 p.m.) A driver was pulled from their overturned vehicle after reportedly running into a gas pump.

The unusual incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. at the Sunoco station at 5501 Langston Blvd, across from the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. Employees hit the emergency gas shut off after the crash, per scanner traffic.

The driver, an elderly woman, was extricated from the Chrysler coupe by firefighters after they stabilized the vehicle. She and a second vehicle occupant were transported to a local hospital via ambulance with unspecified injuries.

“At approx. 10:54am the Arlington County Fire Department was dispatched for a report of a single vehicle crash in the 5500 block of Langston Blvd,” Capt. Nate Hiner told ARLnow. “Crews arrived on scene and found a single vehicle crash with 1 occupant trapped inside. The vehicle was stabilized and the individual was extricated. Two adults were transported from the scene with non-life threatening injuries.”

There were no reports of the crash sparking a fire nor causing a significant fuel spill.

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A vehicle overturned in the garage of a single-family home in the Yorktown neighborhood this afternoon.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. near the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and 29th Street N., across from Washington Golf and Country Club.

It’s unclear how exactly the vehicle overturned. A large contingent of firefighters worked to stabilize the vehicle and rescue a woman who was reported to be trapped inside.

The victim was transported via ambulance to a local hospital with unspecified injuries.

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A new Thai restaurant has opened in the space formerly occupied by Ghin Na Ree Thai at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center.

Khun Yai Thai opened last week at 2509 N. Harrison Street, next to Duck Donuts. It’s taking the place of Ghin Na Ree Thai, which announced last month it was closing after more than two decades and being sold to another family.

“Arlington is a special place with a great community, we knew we wanted to be part of,” a Khun Yai Thai rep wrote ARLnow in an email. “After meeting the family of Ghin Na Ree, they were very open and accommodating. It felt right, as they wanted to transition into retirement.”

The changeover from one restaurant to the next took less than a month.

The owners of Khun Yai Thai are local veterans in the restaurant business, having previously owned eateries in Tysons, Rehoboth Beach, and Falls Church.

Khun Yai Thai means “Thai grandma,” per the owners. The restaurant is owned by three sisters, including at least two who are grandmothers.

“[The name] signifies the journey of the family that immigrated to the US over 40 years ago, achieved the American dream of opening a business, and now continuing to pursue the American dream generations later,” the restaurant rep wrote. “Thai grandma is someone who wants to share their story and heart through their recipes. At Khun Yai Thai, we want to achieve a sense of comfort, like dining with family.”

The menu is traditional Thai, with dishes like panang curry, kao pad, pad gra pow, tom kha gai soup, and pad thai. All are family recipes, we’re told.

The new restaurant owners have some big shoes to fill given that Ghin Na Ree Thai was generally well reviewed during its more than two decades in business.

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) It happened again.

More Arlington residents woke up this morning to find their car windows shattered by an unknown vandal or group of vandals who had previously damaged nearly three dozen vehicles in a week-long smashing spree.

ARLnow has received reports of freshly smashed car windows in the Westover and Yorktown neighborhoods and in Ballston, near Washington-Liberty High School. That follows reports of damaged cars yesterday in parts of Clarendon, Lyon Village, Virginia Square, Courthouse and Glencarlyn.

We are awaiting additional details from Arlington County police, but a crime report just posted online says 54 vehicles were damaged by a BB gun between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning.

From ACPD:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY (Series), Between the evening of October 25 and early morning of October 27, an unknown suspect damaged the windows of approximately 54 vehicles with a bb gun. Detectives are investigating this as a series with the previously reported destruction of property series. Community members in these areas are asked to review their home surveillance for any footage that may assist the investigation. Information can be reported to the Arlington County Police Department’s Tip Line at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] The investigation is ongoing.

The vast majority of the damaged vehicles listed by police were parked in various parts of northern Arlington.

Yesterday police confirmed 10 damaged vehicles; the latest report adds 44 vehicles to the two-day total. Combined with the vandalism spree late last week, ACPD has received reports of more than 80 cars with shattered windows over the past seven days.

“Since October 21, there have been 81 vehicles reported to have damaged windows,” ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “It’s important to note that since some of these reports are filed online and the reporting party does not always note if the damage appears to be from a BB gun, some of these reports may ultimately be determined not to be part of the series.”

Update on 10/28/22 — A suspect has been arrested in the case.

https://twitter.com/Lucifersmith420/status/1585622657747255298

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Ghin Na Ree Thai at Lee Harrison Shopping Center (photo by Jay Westcott)

Ghin Na Ree Thai is currently closed at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center, having been sold to a “new family.”

The two-decade-old Thai food restaurant near the Yorktown neighborhood shut down within the past few days, with both its website and phone message announcing its closure.

“Thank you for 21 years of great food! Ghin Na Ree has been sold to a new family and will reopen under another name in the future,” reads the restaurant’s website.

Ownership began telling regulars of the impending closure several weeks ago, saying in a note that “our parents are retiring and we’ve made the decision to sell the restaurant.”

The note also says that a “wonderful Thai family will be taking over in the next few weeks” while asking customers to “please continue to support this restaurant.”

ARLnow was in touch with the now-former owners last week — when the restaurant was still open — but they have so far declined to share who that new family might be.

The restaurant was generally popular with locals, earning 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp, with recent reviews calling the owners “beyond nice” and mentioning how large the portion sizes were.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Seeing his cart flipped in the middle of what was then called Lee Highway in Rosslyn, with eggs and taco shells spilling down the street, Osiris Hoil was close to giving up his dream.

The co-founder of District Taco, which in 2011 was but a simple taco cart, called his neighbor and business partner Marc Wallace for help. He came to Hoil’s rescue bearing tools, know-how, and resolve to fix the cart’s broken hitch.

“I’m so stressed out, so tired,” Hoil said as he recounted the story of the flipped taco cart to ARLnow. “But then Mark said, ‘don’t worry man, someday we will be laughing about this.'”

Sure enough, more than a decade later, Hoil and Wallace are indeed laughing at the memory of their flipped taco cart, an incident that was covered by ARLnow at the time (and followed soon thereafter by another Rosslyn fender bender).

Today, the two Arlington-based entrepreneurs have just sold their 10 millionth taco and are on the verge of franchising the Mexican fast-casual restaurant that started as a taco cart on the streets of Rosslyn (and then Crystal City) in 2009.

District Taco founders Osiris Hoil and Marc Wallace (courtesy of District Taco)

As Hoil and Wallace explain it, the idea of District Taco and their partnership came out of two neighbors drinking beers on each others’ porches and lamenting about the economic downturn.

It was 2008 and both were living near Yorktown High School at the time. Wallace had just sold his tech company and would often chat with Hoil about the hardships of the construction business, the industry that Hoil worked in at the time. They’d also scarf down chips and Hoil’s homemade salsas, made from traditional recipes that his mom used back in Yucatan, Mexico.

With both at transition points in their careers — Hoil was laid off during the 2008 financial crisis — they decided to partner and open a Mexican food truck, at a time when those were still a bit of a novelty. But an actual food truck proved to be too pricey.

“So, we got a cart which we pulled behind a pick-up truck,” said Wallace. “A food truck costs $100,000, so we went with a cart.”

They got the necessary permits from Arlington County (D.C. initially denied their request) and set up their cart by the building that houses WJLA in Rosslyn.

The original District Taco cart in Crystal City (courtesy of District Taco)

Within months, breakfast tacos became District Taco’s calling card.

They also had help from local notables. WJLA’s meteorologist Brian van de Graaff would grab a couple of breakfast tacos before work and talk about it on-air, Wallace remembered.

“Before he went on the news, he would come down and get his tacos,” he said. “It was great PR for us.”

ARLnow wrote about the popular Rosslyn food cart a number of times in those early years too.

In late 2010, Hoil and Wallace opened their first brick-and-mortar location at 5723 Lee Highway (now Langston Blvd), near their homes. The original District Taco is still there today.

The first brick-and-mortar District Taco in Arlington’s Yorktown neighborhood (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Despite that initial success, both say it was not an easy road. Beyond a flipped taco cart, there were also lean times, delays, and near disasters.

“If I told you how many times I wanted to give up, you wouldn’t believe it,” said Hoil. “I was working so many hours, wasn’t making any money… and, one time, I almost burned down my house cooking.”

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(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A Crumbl Cookies location is expected to open at Lee Harrison Shopping Center.

A poster from leasing company A.J. Dwoskin & Associates that states Crumbl Cookies is “coming soon” has been seen on a window at the shopping center, next to the Wild Birds Unlimited store. The cookie bakery also appears on a published retail leasing plan for the shopping center at the corner of Langston Blvd and N. Harrison Street.

“I think it’s exciting, I think a lot of kids are going to be happy they can get some cookies,” Harrison Drier, commercial operations manager at A.J. Dwoskin, told ARLnow about the shop.

Founded in Utah in 2017, Crumbl has since expanded to more than 370 franchised bakeries in 40+ states, according to a press release. It claims to offer “the world’s best chocolate chip cookie” and has a rotating weekly menu of specialty cookies including options like Buttermilk Pancake, Orange Creamsicle, Lemon Blackberry and Iced Oatmeal.

Crumbl also offers drinks and several flavors of ice cream. Its offerings are available via delivery, pickup, catering and national shipping services.

A Crumbl Cookies spokesperson could only say that the Lee-Harrison store “is in the very early stages” and details would not be available until later this summer. The spokesperson noted that there is another location planned nearby in Falls Church.

Drier said the cookie store is likely to open “more towards November, December” this year.

“They haven’t gotten keys to the space yet,” he said.

Crumbl appears to be replacing the urgent care clinic, which has since moved to a larger space in a recently-built structure on the shopping center’s property.

Other Crumbl Cookies locations in Northern Virginia include Reston, Chantilly and Vienna, according to the company’s website.

Hat tip to @HawkeyeKevin 

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Morning Notes

Athletics Ban Not Consistent with County — “Arlington’s newest School Board member opened her tenure by intimating that, if the county school system’s ban on athletics and extracurricular activities is extended past its current Jan. 14 deadline or resurrected later, the county government should follow suit and shut down park programs for adults.” [Sun Gazette]

Universal Basic Income in Arlington? — “Every Arlingtonian, rich and poor alike, could be given $550 a month, leaving few families below the poverty line, if the property tax rate were tripled. The net income of a family of four living in a house worth less than $1.36 million would be higher, as this UBI dividend would exceed the increase in tax.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Yorktown Hockey is Undefeated — “In high-school club ice hockey action in recent days, the undefeated Yorktown Patriots (7-0) won two matches. Yorktown nipped Georgetown Prep, 2-1, then blanked the Langley Saxons, 5-0, in league play.” [Sun Gazette]

Local Dry January Deal — Ballston’s recently opened taqueria El Rey is offering up $1 zero-proof cocktails with meals, for those participating in Dry January. [Twitter]

Falls Church Jewelry Store Robbed — Falls Church Police are searching for two men who stole $200,000 to $300,000 worth of jewelry in an armed robbery of a jewelry store on W. Broad Street on Friday afternoon. [City of Falls Church]

Questionable Covid Testing Location in F.C. — “A COVID-19 testing company with a location in Falls Church is the subject of numerous complaints from across the U.S. about its practices.” [Tysons Reporter, USA Today]

Camera Discovered in Laundromat Restroom — A teen girl discovered a camera in the restroom of Surf ‘N’ Suds in Bailey’s Crossroads and Fairfax County Police need help identifying a man who was seen leaving an adjacent restroom at the time of the incident. [Fairfax County Police]

It’s Wednesday — Today will be sunny, with a high near 44. South wind 6 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Sunrise at 7:26 a.m. and sunset at 5:07 p.m. Tomorrow will be partly sunny, with a high near 46. [Weather.gov]

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The man who suffered potentially life-threatening injuries in a bicycle crash in Yorktown last month says he is making a full recovery.

“I can’t believe I was almost killed in the bicycle accident,” said Joseph Schanuel. “I have nobody to blame but myself — nobody caused my bike to fall.”

Schanuel, 25, was riding his bike — which he modified to be powered by a two-stroke gas engine — along N. George Mason Drive on the afternoon of July 28 when suddenly it fell apart.

“The front wheel came off after my carbon fork [a part that attaches the front wheel to the frame] broke in half due to overuse and local bumpy terrain,” he said. “My skull dropped into the pavement, face-planted at 20 mph.”

The crash happened around 1 p.m. on the 2700 block of N. George Mason Drive, just south of Yorktown Blvd, and the detached wheel could be seen next to the bike. According to a Nextdoor post, a woman walking her dog called the paramedics.

“I was on a work call when my wife, who was walking our dog, screamed for me to come outside,” a man said on Nextdoor. “She was already on with 9-11. I saw you lying in the road and ran into the middle of the road to stop traffic. Within minutes, the paramedics were there. We were worried sick about you and are so glad to hear you are ok and on the mend.”

Another poster said she drove by the scene before the road had been blocked off. She saw Schanuel surrounded by Arlington County Fire Department personnel.

“I was horrified to see you lying unmoving on the street,” she said. “I was very shaken and am so relieved to hear that you survived!! I wish you well in your recovery!”

Schanuel was rushed to Virginia Hospital Center, which was only five minutes away. According to his Instagram, he was discharged Aug. 13, a Friday.

“I owe my thanks to the 911 caller at the… scene of the accident and to the [Emergency Medical Services], also [Emergency Room] physicians and facial neurologist trauma doctors at VHC, which was only five minutes away,” he said. “Thank you for providing me rapid transport — I am alive because of your heroism.”

Schanuel was wearing a helmet at the time and said it might have saved his life. Still, the force of hitting his face on the pavement knocked him unconscious “for at least five hours,” according to his account of the crash on Nextdoor. Firefighters had to use water to wash Schanuel’s blood from the pavement.

His fall resulted in shattered facial bones and traumatic injury to Schanuel’s brain. He says he suffered a concussion so bad that he could have had permanent cognitive impairment, as well as deficits in balance, agility and the ability to sense his body’s movements. But he’s happy to be alive.

“I’m lucky I can still bathe and swallow and lift objects and walk in a straight line without any mobility assistance,” he said.

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(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) A bicyclist has suffered potentially life-threatening injuries after a crash 2-3 blocks from Yorktown High School.

The crash happened around 1 p.m. on the 2700 block of N. George Mason Drive, just south of Yorktown Blvd. Initial reports suggest the front wheel of the bike somehow came off and the cyclist flipped over the handlebars, suffering a possible head injury.

The detached wheel could be seen next to the bike, which appeared to have a motor that powered it. A pool of blood was nearby, in the middle of the bike lane.

The cyclist was rushed to a local trauma center for treatment. So far there are no reports of any vehicles being involved in the crash.

“ACFD arrived on the scene of a single-bicycle crash in the 2700 block of N. George Mason Drive,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said. “The bicyclist was transported to an area hospital in critical condition. Police were dispatched to the area and remain on scene investigating the crash.”

Drivers should expect the northbound lanes of N. George Mason Drive to remain closed while police document the scene and investigate the crash.

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) One person was hospitalized after a crash that sent one vehicle careening off the road and onto its side near Yorktown High School this morning.

The two-vehicle crash happened around 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Yorktown Blvd and N. Harrison Street, about two blocks from the high school.

“Units quickly arrived on scene and found a 2 vehicle crash with 1 vehicle off the roadway, on its side,” said Lt. Nate Hiner, a spokesman for the Arlington County Fire Department.

“Crews found that there was one patient trapped in the vehicle on its side and went to work stabilizing and extricating a single patient from that vehicle,” Hiner said. “That patient was quickly removed from vehicle and transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.”

There’s no word as to what led to the crash.

Photo courtesy Ed L.

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