Big Tree Fall on Car — A large tree fell across 8th Street S. late last week, crushing a parked car and causing a widespread power outage. [Twitter]
Local NAACP Reflects on Progress — “The Arlington NAACP’s 71st-anniversary Freedom Fund Banquet was a chance to look back on progress, but also to press for vigilance so it doesn’t slip away… The banquet on Oct. 13 drew a large crowd to the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel.” [InsideNova]
Rosslyn LED Art Unveiled — “Cliff Garten Studio is pleased to announce, ‘Gravity and Grace,’ a site-specific large-scale LED public artwork integrated into the architecture of JBG SMITH’s Central Place Plaza in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington.” [LiveDesign]
Yorktown Tied for First — “With an important homecoming victory over the visiting Langley Saxons in Oct. 12 football action, the Yorktown Patriots (4-3, 2-0) upped their winning streak to three to remain tied for first place in the Liberty District.” [InsideNova]
ACPD Again Holding Take-Back Day — “On Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 16th opportunity in seven years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
The Taco Bell on Lee Highway will be out of commission for the next few months, as its owners tear down the existing store and replace it with a new one.
The fast food restaurant, located at 4923 Lee Highway near Yorktown, shut down last week and construction tape now blocks off its drive-through lane. The eatery will remain closed for the next three to four months, general contractor Steve Taylor told ARLnow.
Taylor said the exact timeline for the project will depend on the weather in the coming weeks, but current plans call for the old restaurant to be demolished and completely replaced.
County records show its owner, the Ionedes Family Corporation, received the necessary permit approvals for much of the project in April.
The records also show that the current restaurant was built back in 1993.
Chill Zone, a Yorktown cafe, might be serving alcohol soon.
The shop recently applied for a license to sell beer and wine at its location at 2442 N. Harrison St., said Chill Zone’s manager Daniel Bui.
Pending license approval, Chill Zone will serve red and white wine, and local beer, according to Bui. Initially the coffee shop plans to serve alcohol only on Fridays and Saturdays.
Chill Zone, which just celebrated its first anniversary, currently serves bubble tea, Vietnamese coffee and its signature “volcano mango frap,” in addition to food options like wings and sandwiches.
Nothing was reported stolen during the hold up, which happened around 7:45 p.m.
More from the crime report:
BRANDISHING, 2017-12220221, 5200 block of Yorktown Boulevard. At approximately 7:41 p.m. on December 22, police were dispatched to the report of a suspect holding an individual at gunpoint. Upon arrival, it was determined that three victims were walking in a park when a male suspect jumped out from the bushes and brandished a firearm. The suspect forced the victims onto their knees and threatened them, before dismissing two of the victims. The suspect instructed the third victim to empty his pockets before dismissing him from the scene. None of the victims were injured and nothing was stolen from the contents of the third victim’s pockets. Units canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as a young, white male, in his late teens or early twenties, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a black mask.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
ROBBERY, 2017-12220160, 1700 block of McKinley Road. At approximately 3:26 p.m. on December 22, police were dispatched to the report of a bank robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a bank, approached the counter and passed a note to the bank teller claiming to be armed and demanding money. The suspect fled on foot prior to police arrival. Nobody inside the bank was injured. Units established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as as a chubby white male, 40-50 years old, approximately 5’6, wearing a gray winter hat, dark red coat and blue jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY, 2017-12220252, 1600 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 11:55 p.m. on December 22, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that two unknown suspects entered a business, brandished firearms, and demanded everyone to the back of the business. The suspects stole items of value from the business before fleeing. Units established a perimeter and a K9 track was conducted with negative results. None of the victims were injured. Suspect One is described as a black male in his early 20’s, approximately 5’10, with a slim build, medium skin tone, short, brown hair, dark brown eyes, a black jacket, black pants, a black mask and black gloves. Suspect Two is described as a black male in his early 20’s, approximately 5’7, with a medium build, medium skin tone, wearing a black jacket, black pants, a black mask and black gloves. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2017-12260158, 600 block of S. Carlin Springs Road. At approximately 11:53 p.m. on December 26, police were dispatched to the report of an audible interior alarm. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect(s) forced entry to a business, causing damage. Nothing was reported missing. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
LARCENY/LARCENY FROM AUTO (series), 2017-12220113, 12220127, 12220131, 4600 block of 4th Street S., 4800 block of 8th Street S., 4400 block of 1st Street S. At approximately 12:41 p.m. on December 22, police were dispatched to the report of packages being taken off of porches. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect was observed removing numerous packages from the front porches of residences and stole items of value from a vehicle. Units canvased the area and located several discarded items from the packages and vehicle. The suspect is described as a younger black male, wearing red headphones, a light denim jacket, a dark shirt, light jeans and brown shoes, carrying a black backpack. The investigation is ongoing.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-1221094, 600 block of N. Irving Street. At approximately 3:45 a.m. on December 21, police were dispatched to the report of an unlawful entry. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered a church overnight. Nothing was reported missing or damaged. The suspect is described as a white male, 300-350 lbs., approximately 5’10, with a beard and long, unkempt hair, wearing baggy, dark clothes and carrying a backpack. The investigation is ongoing.
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-12200018, 1100 block of N. Vernon Street. At approximately 2:10 a.m. on December 20, police were dispatched to the report of an unknown person who had entered a residence. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown male suspect entered an unlocked residence. A resident encountered the suspect inside the home and asked him to leave, which he complied with. The suspect was located by arriving officers nearby and taken into custody. Nothing was reported missing from the residence. Edgar Barrera, 25, of Lanham, MD, was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry and Drunk in Public.
INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-12200271. 1300 block of N. Meade Street. At approximately 11:35 p.m. on December 21, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking home when she noticed the male suspect walking behind her. When the victim stopped outside of her residence, the suspect walked beside her with his genitals exposed. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’7, with a thin to average build, approximately 150 lbs., with short, trimmed facial hair, wearing a dark colored zip up jacket with the hood tied tightly around his face, and blue jeans. The investigation is ongoing.
A Falls Church couple is searching frantically for their missing dog, which disappeared last week in Arlington under some strange circumstances.
Solange and Craig Bone said they left their dog Sookie with a dog-sitter on N. Frederick Street in Waycroft-Woodlawn while they went out of town. They returned around 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 17, only to be greeted by the news that Sookie had disappeared earlier that day at around noon.
Solange Bone said they began putting fliers up immediately, and received phone calls from people nearby who said they had seen Sookie going along N. George Mason Drive, near Virginia Hospital Center.
Three days later, Bone said they received a call from a woman who said Sookie crossed Lee Highway on August 17 and walked to the area of N. Dickerson Street, where she was cornered by two good Samaritans.
But then, Bone said, when someone went inside to grab a leash for the dog, a man appeared and began to hold the dog. He then allegedly got into his car and drove away with her.
The man is described as being Hispanic and in his late 50s or early 60s, wearing thick black-rimmed glasses. He had a medium build and was driving a brown Toyota Camry or Corolla.
Bone said they have tried everything to get Sookie back, from putting up fliers to alerting local animal shelters, sending out automated calls and hiring a dog tracker to try and follow her scent. Bone said it is complicated by the fact that her collar has been removed.
“Literally, we haven’t slept,” Bone said. “We’ve been looking for her non-stop since we found out.”
Bone added that the Arlington County Police Department took a report on the case, but were unlikely to do more as the department typically does not search for missing pets. ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed Bone’s account of events, but had no further information.
There have not been additional sightings since the one in the Yorktown neighborhood, Bone said. The couple is offering a $1,500 reward to anyone who has any information on Sookie’s whereabouts.
Bone said that she is most concerned with getting her dog back, and is not as interested in punishing anyone who might have taken her, accidentally or otherwise.
“I don’t want to couch it as she’s been stolen or anything like that,” Bone said. “I just want her safe return. I just want whoever it is to just, no questions asked, we just want her back.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call 949-606-2598.
Photo No. 3 via Google Maps.
The incident happened around 8 a.m. this past Thursday, on the 3000 block of N. Harrison Street, not far from Yorktown High School. Police say a middle-aged man in a silver car asked the boy where he was going and whether he wanted a ride.
More from an ACPD crime report:
ENTICEMENT(Late), 2017-05250276, 3000 block of N. Harrison Street. At approximately 9:15 p.m. on May 25, police were dispatched to the report of an enticement. The investigation revealed that at approximately 8:00 a.m. on May 25, a juvenile male was walking in the area when an adult male subject in a silver four-door sedan pulled alongside him. The subject asked the juvenile where he was going and if he wanted a ride. When the juvenile responded no, the subject drove off in an unknown direction. The subject is described as a white male between 40-60 years old with gray hair. The investigation is ongoing.
Photo via Google Maps
Metro Station Manager Arrested — A Metro station manager at the Pentagon has been arrested and charged with assaulting a fellow employee. The fight happened Wednesday afternoon inside the station manager’s kiosk, police say. [Washington Post]
Yorktown Grad’s Music Video Goes Viral — Budding hip-hop artist Hovey Benjamin has tallied nearly 1.5 million YouTube views of his new, NSFW music video. Benjamin lived in Arlington and attended Yorktown High School and Virginia Commonwealth University before moving to Los Angeles and signing a record deal. [Real House Life of Arlington, Uproxx]
New Condo and Townhouse Sales Center — Sponsored — Learn about all of the newest and most well-appointed properties in Arlington and DC without the hassle of finding all the information for yourself. Stop by the Sales Center this Sunday from 2-4 p.m. to learn about amenities, features, floor plans, fees, available units, and everything else you could ever want to know about all the condo buildings in the area. Located at 1600 Wilson Blvd. [Keri Shull Team]
Dozens of Arlington Runners Competing in Boston — Seventy-six Arlington runners will be shipping up to Boston next month for the Boston Marathon, one of the sport’s most prestigious races. The field includes local running superstar Michael Wardian, who is also competing in this weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Marathon. [InsideNova]
CERT Training Still Open — A few spaces are still available in Arlington’s Community Emergency Response Team spring training class. The eight-session, 26-hour course begins next week. [Arlington CERT]
Library Exhibit on Baltic WW2 Refugees — Arlington Public Library is hosting an exhibit through April 17 on Baltic refugees from World War II. “‘No Home To Go To’ is the story of people living in refugee camps and finding a home in a new land, as told through their memories, documents, photographs, and memorabilia,” according to the library website. [Arlington Public Library]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Two Northern Virginia men have been sentenced after being convicted of ripping off elderly homeowners in Arlington’s Yorktown neighborhood.
John Walsh and Mark Sisk were sentenced to serve at least two years in prison and pay $62,100 in restitution to the victims, in addition to several years of probation. Prosecutors say the pair conned the elderly residents of a home on 27th Street N. into believing that they “were in need of serious home repair.”
More from an Arlington County Police Department press release, below.
Two men were sentenced on Friday, March 3, 2017 in the Arlington County Circuit Court for their role in a fraud scheme targeting Arlington County residents. John Patrick Walsh, 32, of Culpepper, VA was sentenced to seven years in prison, with all but two years suspended, on the charges of false pretenses and conspiracy. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $62,100 and ordered to five years of probation upon release from incarceration. Mark Sisk, 31, of Boston, VA was sentenced to six years in prison, with all but two years and five months suspended, on three charges of false pretenses. He was ordered to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $62,100 and ordered to three years of probation upon release from incarceration.
On September 10, 2016, Walsh and Sisk approached the victim’s residence in the 4800 block of N. 27th Street and fraudulently claimed to be contractors working in the area. They advised the elderly residents that they were in need of serious home repair and that failure to comply could result in the home catching fire. Throughout the month of September, Walsh and Sisk misrepresented the need for work and provided false information to the victims that work had been performed. Through a series of repeated home repair scams, the victims were defrauded of $62,100 in cash.
Arlington County Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division said, “The individuals who perpetrate these scams target and victimize our most vulnerable populations. While there was a substantial loss of money in this investigation, the greater loss was the victim’s sense of security in their own home. This prosecution serves as another opportunity to warn residents to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Residents should beware of any smooth-talking salesman who comes to your home unannounced.”
Detective K. White was the lead detective.
Norovirus Outbreak at School — More than 80 students at Oakridge Elementary in south Arlington are out sick as a result of a suspected norovirus outbreak. The virus causes symptoms like “stomach aches, fever, vomiting and, in some cases, diarrhea.” [NBC Washington]
Sign Controversy at Yorktown — Some conservatives are upset that teachers at Yorktown High School are being allowed to hang “politically suggestive” signs in their classrooms. The signs read: “Patriots Know: Facts are not political. Diversity strengthens us. Science is real. Women’s rights are human rights. Justice is for all. We’re all immigrants. Kindness is everything.” [Daily Caller]
Yorktown Lacrosse Star Nears 200 Goals — Yorktown senior lacrosse star Laura Crawford is nearing the 200-goal mark for high school career. Crawford, a three-time team MVP, has committed to Penn. [Washington Post]
Female UAE Hockey Player Visits Caps — Fatima Al Ali, a hockey player and coach from United Arab Emirates, has been visiting with the Washington Capitals this week as part of the NHL’s “Hockey Is For Everyone month.” The visit has included taking the ice at the Caps practice facility in Ballston and dropping the puck at last night’s game at Verizon Center. [Fox 5, Al-Arabiya]
Levine, Favola Advance Rape Kit Bill — Updated at 9:40 a.m. — Legislation sponsored by Del. Mark Levine and state Sen. Barbara Favola, which Arlington County Board member Katie Cristol helped to craft, has passed unanimously in the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill calls for police to keep rape kits for a longer period of time even if the victim is not ready to prosecute. [WVTF]
MMA Studio Gives Parents a Night Off — A mixed martial arts gym is not a place that one would usually think of as a babysitting venue, but that’s precisely what Pentagon MMA on Columbia Pike will be Saturday night. The business is hosting a “parents’ night out” event for Valentine’s Day, letting mom or dad “enjoy a worry-free evening with your special someone this Valentine’s Day while your child enjoys a night of structured activities in a supervised environment.” [Pentagon MMA]
Reminder: Inauguration Closures Today — Many Arlington County facilities are closed today, Inauguration Day, and parking meters are not being enforced. Traffic is light around Arlington but drivers should expect closures and delays approaching the District. [ARLnow]
Arlington EOC Open — Arlington’s Emergency Operations Center is open and fully functional today for the inauguration. [Twitter]
Two Local Neighborhoods Among D.C.’s Hottest — Arlington Heights, between Columbia Pike and Route 50, and Yorktown in north Arlington, are No. 2 and 3 respectively on real estate firm Redfin’s list of the hottest Washington, D.C. area neighborhoods for 2017. [Redfin]
Schlow May Open Arlington Restaurant — Restaurateur Michael Schlow, the man behind Tico and The Riggsby in D.C., is “close to a deal” to open a new restaurant in Arlington. [Washington Business Journal]
School Bus Accident — There was a minor collision between two school buses at Randolph Elementary yesterday afternoon. According to initial reports more than a dozen students were evaluated by medics, but ultimately no injuries reported. [Twitter]
Schmuhl Sentenced for Home Invasion — Former lawyer Alecia Schmuhl was sentenced to 45 years in prison for her role in the home invasion attack on her former boss and his wife. Leo Fisher, a shareholder in Arlington law firm Bean, Kinney & Korman, was held captive by Schmuhl’s husband, who shot, stabbed and tased the couple during a three hour torture session. [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin
Someone spray painted “heil Trump,” “KKK” and two poorly drawn swastikas on a dumpster in north Arlington over the weekend, but neighbors quickly painted over the graffiti and turned it into symbols of love and peace.
Neighbors first spotted the graffiti on a dumpster in front of a house under renovation on the 5300 block of Little Falls Road Sunday morning, a couple of blocks from Yorktown High School.
“It’s very shocking,” said Daphne Lathouras, who lives near where the vandals struck. “That’s the gut reaction that one has when this kind of thing happens.”
Lathouras said the owners of the property are currently not residing in the home but posted about the hateful graffiti on Facebook.
“There seems to be a boys-will-be-boys kind of consensus among people about this, which is very alarming,” Lathouras added. “But boys should behave better. “
Neighbors used orange paint to paint over the messages Sunday afternoon, according to Lathouras. Late last night, someone once again tagged the dumpster with spray paint — this time, though, with hearts, a peace symbol and the word “love.”
On the Yorktown Civic Association Facebook page, neighbors debated whether the intent of the original graffiti was hate — or a youthful prank.
“Some kids from Yorktown HS or Williamsburg MS trying to get a rise out of you,” said one resident. “Chill! Don’t give the kids the satisfaction they are looking for.”
“I’m sorry, but hate speech is never ever ever something to ‘chill’ about,” responded another, “No matter the origin or presumed intent.”
Lathouras said on Facebook that she was told by police, “this is happening all over Arlington” and “it’s anti-Trump kids trying to get a rise out of people.” Arlington County Police, meanwhile, released the following crime report about the incident.
GRAFFITI, 2017-01080091, 5300 block of Little Falls Road. At approximately 11:43 a.m. on January 8, police were dispatched to the report of graffiti. Upon arrival, officers located a rented construction dumpster with ‘KKK,’ ‘Heil Trump’ and a swastika spray painted on it. There are no suspect(s) descriptions and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department at 703-558-2222. Tips can also be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Yorktown Neighborhood Profiled — Schools and a sense of community are two of the biggest attraction to the north Arlington neighborhood of Yorktown. Safety is another plus: there were no burglaries or robberies reported in the neighborhood in the past 12 years. [Washington Post]
County Still Seeking Private Money for Aquatics Center — Arlington County is still looking for private partners and sponsorships before moving forward on construction of the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. It’s unclear if additional private money would be used to expand the center or reduce the estimated $40-44 million in taxpayer funding. Even without additional money, park bonds already approved by voters are expected to fully fund construction. [InsideNova]
Rosslyn Metro Express Guy Featured — The Express newspaper distributor who works at the Rosslyn Metro station was featured in a “happy news” video on the Facebook page of Seattle television station KING. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
A car slammed into a low stone wall outside of a home at the corner of N. Harrison Street and 26th Street N. this afternoon.
The single-vehicle crash happened around 1:30 p.m., not far from the Lee-Harrison shopping center and Yorktown High School.
An adult male driver was the only occupant inside the car, a gray Oldsmobile, when emergency crews arrived. He was reported to be semi-conscious after the crash and not responding to police commands. A fire department rescue squad was dispatched to the scene to remove the man from the car.
The driver was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for evaluation. The cause of the crash and the cause of the driver’s semi-conscious state is still under investigation, a police spokeswoman said.
A large portion of the wall and some shrubbery was destroyed by the crash, but no other injuries were reported.
The Capitol Steps will perform at Yorktown High School on Sunday, Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m. The ensemble was formed by a group of Senate Staffers and has been performing their comedy — which combines both musical and political elements — for more than 30 years.
The troupe will perform songs from their latest album entitled Mock the Vote at the show. Together, the performers in the group have worked in 18 Congressional offices and have a combined 62 years of experience in the Senate and House.
General admission tickets are $35 per person. There will also be a pre-show cafe from 6-6:50 p.m. that requires separate tickets for $10 apiece. Both are available for purchase online.
A portion of the proceeds from all ticket sales will support the Yorktown Theatre Arts Program.
Photo via Yorktown High School Theatre Arts
Next Saturday, neighborhoods like Clarendon, Bluemont, Westover and Barcroft are each holding events intended to bring neighbors together and celebrate their immediate surrounding area.
In Clarendon, county officials will gather to celebrate the now-upscale neighborhood’s time in the post-Vietnam War 1970s and 1980s when it was known as “Little Saigon” for its high population of Vietnamese immigrants. At 1:30 p.m., former Little Saigon residents and historians will narrate a tour of the area, displaying historic and still-standing businesses from the era.
The whole event, called Echoes of Little Saigon will run from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and will include displays of Vietnamese art and Lemongrass food truck, a frequent Arlington visitor during lunch hours, will provide the country’s cuisine.
Below is a list of the neighborhood day events from other areas of the county, via the Department of Parks and Recreation (all events are on Saturday, May 9).
- Bluemont: Bluemont Park (601 N. Manchester Street), 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The annual Walk for the Animals fundraiser for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington is back for Neighborhood Day. The 20th anniversary walk has already raised more than $50,000, and this year will include its first “pet festival.” The festival will include vendors, food trucks, photos with pets, adoptable shelter dogs available to play and more.
- Westover: Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road), 3:00-5:00 p.m. A “family fun afternoon” with activities that include face painting.
- Penrose: Penrose Park (2200 6th Street S), 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The south Arlington is hosting “Family Fitness day,” holding activities for nutritional and fitness awareness, a moon bounce and fitness classes for all ages.
- Yorktown: Chestnut Hills Park (2807 N. Harrison Street), 11:30 a.m. Celebrate the ribbon-cutting on the renovated playground with neighbors. FitArlington will be on hand promoting its new website and fitness initiative. Children can participate in the free scavenger hunt for prizes.
- Barcroft: Barcroft Elementary School (625 S. Wakefield Street), 4:00-6:00 p.m. The Barcroft Elementary Spring Fair is intended to be an early evening of pure fun, with activities likea bounce house, games and a cake walk, all for prizes.
- Old Glebe: Gulf Branch Nature Center (3608 N. Military Road), 10:00-11:30 a.m. The north Arlington nature center will join the neighborhood to “welcome back hummingbirds.” Each family will make its own feeders as the birds with the fastest wings in the world migrate back to the county. Register online.
- Glencarlyn: Long Branch Nature Center (625 S. Carlin Springs Road), 7:00-8:00 p.m. The nature center will host families in the amphitheater for a campfire discussion about snakes. Games, songs and s’mores will all be in abundance.