Herndon Police Warn of Scam — After reports of a scam, the Herndon Police Department is reminding residents that town employees do not request access to homes in order to check water quality or for any other reason. Water meters are always checked outside and town employees always present proper identification. [HPD]
Local Businesses Make Best Workplaces List — County-based companies dominated Virginia Business magazine’s 12th annual list of 100 best places to work in Virginia. Reston-based Troika Solutions came in at number two. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Spanish Captioning Available for Public Meetings — Beginning Feb. 8, Spanish closed captions will be available for all public meetings and live events on the county’s governmental channel. [Fairfax County Government]
Reston Man Charged with Assault for Punching Window — City of Fairfax police charged a Reston man with assault Tuesday afternoon in Old Town. The victim said the man walked up to a car, pushed the passenger side of the window and cursed at them. [Reston Patch]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
A 41-year-old Herndon resident is facing an assault charge for a fight that ended in him reportedly stabbing another man.
According to a weekly crime report released yesterday (Wednesday), the Herndon Police Department has taken out a warrant for aggravated assault against Dennis Cruz Antunez for the stabbing, which occurred on Aug. 26 in the 1000 block of Elden Street.
Police say the incident started as a “verbal altercation” between the suspect and the male victim, who was transported to Reston Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Herndon police also recently arrested a 21-year-old man for a 2019 rape.
“Oscar Martinez Alarcon, 21, of Herndon, was arrested for the forcible rape of a juvenile victim whom he met via social media,” the police report says. “He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was held without bond.”
According to police, the incident occurred on Feb. 12, 2019 in the 1200 block of Elden Street. Martinez Alarcon was arrested on Aug. 23.
The HPD did not return a request for comment from Reston Now on what led to the arrest and whether there might be any additional victims by publication time.
Other major incidents in the weekly crime report include three cases from Aug. 24: another verbal argument that escalated into a stabbing on Elden Street and two robberies in the 1200 block of Springtide Place.
Labeled as an aggravated assault, the stabbing occurred in the 1100 block of Elden Street. The victim was reportedly punched and stabbed. Police say they have identified the suspect, but the case remains under investigation.
In one of the robberies, the victim reported that he was assaulted and had his wallet stolen “by a subject that is known to him.” In the other, the victim was assaulted and had his wallet and “other personal property” stolen by two men.
According to the report, police have identified the subjects in both cases, which are still under investigation.
The Town of Herndon also saw 11 reportable traffic crashes during the week of Aug. 23-29, which are defined by Virginia State Police as incidents that result in injury or at least $1,500 in property damages.
Virginia General Assembly Convenes for Special Session — “The General Assembly returns on Monday to the Capitol it left 17 months ago as the coronavirus first gripped Virginia…Legislators meeting in a scheduled two-week special session have just two tasks on their to-do list, both highly consequential: allocating $4.3 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds and appointing a slew of judges to the state’s second-highest court.” [The Washington Post]
Fairfax County Man Arrested for Participating in Capitol Breach — “A Fairfax County, Virginia, man was arrested on six charges Thursday after a high school acquaintance tipped off the FBI about his alleged participation in the Capitol riot on January 6…[Luke Wessley] Bender faces six counts, including a felony count of obstruction of Congress that carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.” [WUSA9]
Reston Community Center Candidate Filing Now Open — “Help your community by becoming a candidate for RCC’s Board of Governors. Candidate filing for the 2021 RCC Preference Poll is now open. Please download the candidate handbook and candidacy statement from our website and return by August 15.” [RCC/Facebook]
Reston Community Remembers Local Humanitarian — Described as a “pioneer, humanitarian, and entrepreneur,” longtime Reston resident Burton “Burt” Emmanuel Lamkin died on June 24 at the age of 86. Though he went to California a few years ago to be closer to family, he and his wife Kathryne were among the first African Americans to live in Reston when they moved there in 1966, and he was heavily involved in the Rotary Club of Herndon. [Connection Newspapers]
Photos: Reston Association Hosts Annual Tennis Tournament — “The 2021 Reston Simon Cup tennis tournament was held from mid through late July. Men’s and women’s singles and doubles matches were played at the Lake Newport tennis courts.” [RA/Facebook]
Second COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be Approved for Teens — “Biotechnology company Moderna announced Tuesday that its two-shot coronavirus vaccine produced the same protective immune response in teens as it does in adults, and the firm said it plans to submit the data to U.S. regulators for review in early June. If authorized, the vaccine would become the second available for adolescents as young as 12.” [The Washington Post]
Fairfax County Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard — The Fairfax County Health Department launched an updated version of its vaccine dashboard yesterday (Tuesday) with data on administered doses, how many people have gotten vaccinated, demographic breakdowns, and other information. [FCHD]
Preliminary Work Begins on W&OD Wiehle Bridge — “Preliminary work is being performed @ the Wiehle Ave intersection in Reston in preparation for the eventual bridge there. Over the next couple of weeks, Dominion Energy will be making improvements to the gravel trail so that it may be used as a detour as they relocate facilities.” [The W&OD Trail/Twitter]
Man Hit with Bottle in Castle Rock Square — Police responded to the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square in Reston around 11:49 p.m. on Monday (May 24), when a man was hit “in the upper body with a bottle by someone known to him,” the department says. The victim in the incident, which was not a stabbing as initially reported by a scanner, said that he didn’t want the case to be investigated by officers. [FCPD]
County to Hold Meeting on Proposed Bicycle Lanes — Fairfax County will hold a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on June 8 to discuss striping changes that would create bicycle lanes on several roads. The Hunter Mill District proposals focus on Herndon, adding lanes on segments of McNair Farms Drive and Thomas Jefferson Drive and converting the “underutilized” outside travel lanes on Coppermine Road to buffered bike lanes. [FCDOT]
Herndon Company Recognized for Veteran Hiring — “Herndon-headquartered Serco North America earned the designation VETS Indexes 5 Star Employer as part of the 2021 VETS Indexes Employer Awards. The designation recognizes Serco’s commitment to recruiting, hiring, retaining, developing and supporting veteran employees, military spouses and others in the military community.” [Fairfax County EDA]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Reston Man Hospitalized After Assault — A man was “assaulted by several acquaintances inside his home” at the 11600 block of Stoneview Square on March 26, according to police. The victim reportedly “sustained cuts to his lower body” and was taken to the hospital “with serious injuries.” [FCPD]
Police Arrest Four Suspects in Home Burglary — The Fairfax County Police Department arrested four men after determining that they were involved in taking property from a house in the 10600 block of Water Falls Lane on March 28. “Detectives continue to investigate this case, confirm the men’s identities and their involvement in other burglaries,” police say. [FCPD]
Longtime Chemical Engineer Dies at Reston Hospital — William “Bill” Friend built a 41-year career in engineering that included election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and 21 years of work for the Reston-based Bechtel Group. At 86, he died from complications due to COVID-19 at Reston Hospital on Jan. 27. [The Washington Post]
Reston Association Opens Tennis Courts –“Reston Association’s clay courts at the North Hills and Glade tennis facilities opened April 1. Lights at these locations will be operational seven days a week between 6 p.m.-11 p.m. All players must have an RA 2021 recreation pass or a 2021 non-resident tennis pass to access the courts. Court monitors will be on site to check passes. Players are required to sweep the courts when they are done.” [RA Newsletter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
A former Oakton High School student is seeking a new trial in her lawsuit against the Fairfax County School Board involving a sexual assault that occurred on a school band trip in 2017.
Attorneys representing the plaintiff, known as Jane Doe, and the school board delivered oral arguments to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit remotely on Monday (Jan. 25).
According to Public Justice, the nonprofit representing the plaintiff and her family, Jane Doe — then a junior — and another bandmate — then a senior — were sitting next to each other on a bus when he touched her without her consent.
Filed in 2018, the nonprofit’s original complaint alleged that administrators and employees failed to take meaningful and appropriate action. According to the complaint, administrators threatened to discipline her and discouraged her from reporting the assault to police or taking legal action.
In August 2019, a jury with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria found that Jane Doe was sexually harassed and that the experience negatively impacted her education. But the jury did not find the Fairfax County School Board could be held liable for the deprivation of her education as a result of her assault.
The jury determined that the school board did not have “actual knowledge” about the assault, though one juror later said there was confusion over the term’s definition. As a result, the jury did not discuss the final question in the case, which asked whether the school board acted with deliberate indifference toward Doe’s complaint.
FCPS’s liability, which appears to hinge on the extent to which school officials knew an assault had taken place and whether they took sufficient action to address the plaintiff’s concerns, is now being relitigated.
“There may be hard actual knowledge cases, but this isn’t one of them. This family did all they could to put the school on notice,” Public Justice attorney Alexandra Brodsky said in her argument on Monday. “This court should remand a new trial so a jury can reach, for the first time, the question of whether the school did enough.”
Stuart Raphael, the attorney for the school board, argued that the board did not have “actual knowledge” because Doe — in a conversation with Fairfax County Public Schools Director of Student Services Jennifer Hogan — did not describe her experience as sexual assault or nonconsensual. He added that Doe was “incredulous” when another administrator asked if she would press charges.
He argued that these facts, as well as inconsistencies between the stories that reached administrators, support the jury’s initial finding that the school board had no “actual knowledge” of the sexual assault.
“It cannot be that a school administrator’s failure to understand what constitutes sexual harassment is an absolute bar to liability,” Brodsky said. “That’s why this court and others have treated a failure to categorize reports of sexual harassment as evidence of a deficient response.”
The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating three sexual assaults that happened over the last two weeks, including two incidents in Reston and Herndon.
In all the incidents, the suspect was described as a light-skinned Black or Hispanic male between 5’10” and 6′, police said. Police believe the man is in his 20s to early 30s.
In the first incident on Nov. 27 around 7:30 p.m., a man pushed a woman against a wall and assault her in the hallway of a hotel on the 13400 block of Sunrise Valley Drive. She suffered minor injuries and was able to call for help and run away.
In a separate incident on Dec. 3 around 11:45 p.m., a man assaulted a woman as she was walked near the intersection of Centreville Road and Woodland Park Road. Police believe the man hit her with an object and sexually assaulted her. She was treated in a hospital for injuries.
In Ashburn, a man took personal property from a woman while she was standing in the common area of an apartment complex of 13500 block of Virginia Randolph Road on Dec. 3.
It’s possible the incidents may be connected, according to FCPD.
Here’s more from FCPD on how to submit information about any of the above incidents:
Detectives are asking anyone with information about these events or who may be able to provide suspect information to please call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text – Type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411, and by web – Click HERE. Please provide your contact information in the tip if you would like to be contacted by a detective. Download our Mobile tip411 App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest. For ongoing updates, please read our blog and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @FairfaxCountyPD
Photo via FCPD
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in what some local advocates and law enforcement officials are calling a pandemic within a pandemic for domestic violence victims.
In Fairfax County, the Fairfax County Police Department reported a slight uptick in calls related to domestic abuse. Following statewide orders to remain at home when possible, the average number of monthly calls jumped from 158 in February to 191 in April.
Between then and July, that number remained near the upper 190s, with a high of 200 calls in July and 200 calls in September, according to FCPD data released to Reston Now.
More victims are coming forward with serious injuries than before the pandemic, particularly strangulation attempts and the types of weapons used.
Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have also presented new challenges for police officers who cannot have face-to-face contact with victims.
“It has been stressed from the very beginning of the pandemic to be aware of domestic issues that arise from long hours confined in a home,” FCPD Sergeant Hudson Bull said.
“Officers adapted to the new safeguards but still respond to calls in progress utilizing personal protective equipment and social distancing to ensure victims of crime are safe,” he added.
The Fairfax County Department of Family Services reported a 28 percent increase in the number of monthly calls to the county’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline. Since then, the numbers have stabilized, according to Angela Yeboah, a project coordinator for the department’s domestic violence action center.
“Emotional and psychological abuse also has been used as a tactic to keep victims in the home and fearful that if they leave, they will have limited housing and economic options due to the pandemic,” she said.
But at Shelter House, Inc., a Reston-based nonprofit organization that offers services to homeless families and victims of domestic violence, advocates have seen a different story.
The nonprofit organization reports a significant decrease in the number of calls since the pandemic began — a silence that concerned many service providers.
“We believe that this initial decrease was a direct result of stay-at-home orders and victims not being able to find safety from their abusive partner in order to reach out for help,” said Terrace Molina, the organization’s marketing and communications manager.
Now, Shelter House, Inc. is seeing case counts return to their previous levels. But the type of abuse is more severe as more victims enter the shelter. More serious injuries were also reported, Molina said.
She says victims need our support “now more than ever.”
High rates of unemployment and added pressures of children attending school virtually have produced more stressors for victims.
“For victims who are in our emergency shelter or other programs, maintaining employment has been a challenge, particularly while also tending to the needs of children who are attending school virtually,” she said
Advocates hope to bring more awareness about the issue in light of domestic violence month, which happens in October.
Shelter House operates the county’s only 24/7 emergency hotline for victims of domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking. Individuals in need of help can call 703-435-4940. A domestic violence detective and a victim services specialist are also assigned to each district station. Anyone in immediate danger should call 911.
Photo courtesy Shelter House
Fairfax County firefighter Andrew Cruikshank has been charged with one count of misdemeanor assault after he slapped a patient who spat on him in the back of an ambulance.
Body camera footage from Sept. 14 shows that Cruikshank was span on while he was treating a man who was strapped down in an ambulance. The incident happened in Reston.
The man was in the custody of the Fairfax County Police Department. The police department authorized the release of the video, which was captured by a police officer’s device.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Fire Chief John Butler said the action “goes against the values” of. The department.
“We respect our role in the community and strive to build and maintain public trust. We remain dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of our community and will continue to ensure that our members are held to the highest standards of the profession.”
Cruikshank has been placed on administrative leave as the department’s internal investigation continues. He has been with the department for two years.
Video footage is embedded below. View discretion is advised.
Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
Two Herndon men have been charged in connection with the assault of two victims, according to the Herndon Police Department.
Marian Jose Acuna Palma, 27, and Hesler Alexis Merida Rivas, 22, were charged with aggravated assault, robbery, and gang participation in connection with the assault of two victims, HPD said.
The incident occurred on Sept. 5 on the 1100 block of Elden Street.
Rivas was also charged with possession of false documents and assault.
Both victims were taken to Reston Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. They are being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.
The Herndon Police Department is investigating a robbery that happened on the 500 block of Early Fall Court earlier this month.
Four suspects approached the victim at around 4:35 p.m. on August 4 and attempted to rob the individual, police said.
The suspects fled when the victim got the attention of residents outside of their home, according to the Herndon Police Department. The incident is under investigation.
HPD is also investigating an Aug. 9 stabbing on the 200 block of Elden Street.
John Patrick Murphy, 45, of Herndon, was arrested for attempting to stab someone he knew, according to HPD. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.
Information about both issues was released late yesterday (Wednesday) in HPD’s weekly crime report.
Photo via Herndon Police Department
Planning for Reston’s Ultimate Population — “In discussing the need for the plan study, Alcorn acknowledged that most of the initial planning of Reston was based on the master plan Robert Simon created when he established the community in the 1960s. It’s only been in the last decade or so, as Reston has undergone redevelopment, that comprehensive plan language has been updated.” [Reston Patch]
Man Assaulted on North Shore Drive — A man was treated for injuries at a local hospital after two men assaulted him on the 11400 block of North Shore Drive at around 1:11 a.m. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Reston Firm Acquired by French Company — “Reston-based managed security firm Paladion will be acquired by Bezons, France-based information technology company Atos. A transaction amount was not disclosed.” [Virginia Business]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
A teenager from Leesburg has been arrested in connection with an assault early this month.
Town of Herndon police arrested and charged Ta’Nyjha Davis, 18, with malicious wounding,
Police said the incident happened during an argument on the 400 block of Virginia Avenue on July 1 at around 11:20 a.m.
The victim, who was wounded in the upper torso area, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
Photo via HPD
A Herndon man faces multiple felony charges in connection with an early morning fire that happened at a home in Franklin Farms last week.
Fairfax County Police arrested and charged Rogerio Ribeiro, 52, with arson and setting fire to damage another’s property.
When police officers arrived at the scene, they spotted Ribeiro attempting to leave in a car at around 4 a.m. outside the home (13500 block of Coates Lane), which was engulfed in flames. The Herndon resident attempted to thwart police by pointing a gun at officers.
Ribeiro was arrested after a struggle with police officers. He is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
After further investigation, police also charged Ribeiro with aggravated malicious wounding, cruelty to animals and two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer.
One person was treated for injuries at a local hospital and an injured dog remains under the care of a veterinarian.
Photo via Fairfax County Police Department
Reston Man Charged with Aldie Assault — “A man was arrested in Aldie Thursday morning after allegedly assaulting a coworker at the workplace, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded to the 41000 block of Collaboration Drive around 8:06 a.m. for reports of the incident.” [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Surviving Tax Season — The county offers several resources on how to navigate rules and filing procedures. The Board of Supervisors is also hosting a series of free tax relief workshops through the county. [Fairfax County Government]
Endorsements for Reston Association Board Election — The Coalition for a Planned Reston endorsed Bob Petrine, a candidate for an at-large seat of three years, and Sarah Selvaraj-Dsouza, a candidate for an at-large seat for one year. [Reston 20/20]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr