Reston, VA

Morning Notes

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

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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.”

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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

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Volunteers coordinate donations to Shelter House, Inc.

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

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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

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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

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Friday Morning Notes

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

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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

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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

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Monday Morning Notes

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

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The Herndon Police Department announced an arrest in a 2019 sexual assault case yesterday (Tuesday).

Police arrested a 15-year-old boy for sexual assault on Saturday, Jan 18. The incident happened on Oct. 17 on the 600 block of Dulles Park Court, according to authorities.

The suspect is believed to have had sexual contact with a minor that he knew.

Due to privacy restrictions for minors, no other information about the incident was made public.

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A Herndon man was arrested in connection with a robbery of a home on the 1100 block of Casper Drive in Herndon earlier this month.

Police believe Jose Mendoza Banegas,  20, broke into the home and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and other items of value.

The Herndon Police Department indicated that the suspect entered the home through a basement window sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 2. Banegas was arrested on Dec. 12.

In a separate incident, Jose Alfredo Ardon Castillo, 47, of Herndon, was arrested in connection with the sexual battery of an individual known to him on Dec 13.

On Dec. 14, Ermes Urbano Castillo, 47, of Herndon was also arrested for the aggravated assault of a victim known to him. Both men were taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention enter where they were held without bond.

An attempted burglary was also reported at a business on the 1200 block of Old Heights Road in Herndon. No arrest was made in connection with the Dec. 11 incident.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station also reported the following minor incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

 2100 block of Astoria Circle, cash from location

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from location

2500 block of Farmcrest Drive, gun from vehicle

2400 block of Masons Ferry Drive, property from vehicle

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, wallet from location

12900 block of Centre Park Circle, license plates from vehicle

1500 block of Chatman Colony Court, package from front steps

1800 block of Jonathan Way, cash from residence

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, wallet from location

11700 block Sunrise Valley Drive, luggage and computers from vehicle

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

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A woman was arrested for assaulting a restaurant manager and police officers at Willard’s BBQ (11790 Baron Cameron Avenue).

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Shayla Davis, 38, assaulted the restaurant’s manager when she was asked to pay on Nov. 19. Police said the woman also shoved police officers and attempted to resist arrest by kicking the officers.

Davis was charged with assault on law enforcement, simple assault, and obstruction of justice.

No further information about the incident was released.

File photo

 

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Fairfax County police are looking for four of the five suspects involved in a robbery and assault in Herndon.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 9) in the 13100 block of Parcher Avenue.

“The victim was walking home when five suspects surrounded him,” according to a police report. “They assaulted him and removed personal items.”

Police said that they found one juvenile connected to the robbery after a lookout was provided. The juvenile was charged with robbery.

“The other suspects were described as Hispanic males in their late teens,” police said.

FCPD’s Reston District Station also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11700 block of Arbor Glen Way, license plate from vehicle

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, property from residence

12900 block of Centre Park Circle, purse from vehicle

12000 block of Creekbend Drive, property from residence

11800 block of Freedom Drive, camera from business

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, liquor from business

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, liquor from business

11900 block of Market Street, jewelry from residence

11600 block of Plaza America Drive, wallet from location

1000 block of Preserve Court, license plate from vehicle

12100 block of Sunset Hill Road, electronic device from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

On Saturday, Sept. 7, a man was robbed by two men while walking home. The incident occurred in the 1700 block of Ascot Way around 12:30 a.m.

“The men were described as being in their late teens to early 20s,” police said.

File photo

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