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by Dave Emke — June 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm 11 Comments

The possibility that 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was sexually assaulted during the events leading to her death is being investigated, police say.

Edwin Roessler, Fairfax County Police Department chief, told media prior to the start of a vigil in Nabra’s honor Wednesday that test results are being awaited before any official statement can be made.

“At this point in time right now, it’s an active investigation,” Roessler said. “We’re pursuing that possibility [that a sexual assault happened], but we have to wait for forensic examination results and the report of autopsy from the medical examiner to confirm whether or not that took place.”

The assaults Nabra suffered prior to her death were “one continuous event” that began in Fairfax County and ended in Loudoun County, Roessler said. He reiterated once again, emphatically, that no evidence has emerged that points to the killing as being a hate crime.

“Right now, that is a myth on social media,” Roessler said. “There is no evidence at this point in the investigation, at all, that this was hate-motivated.”

Roessler said if anyone has information that would point toward the crime being bias-motivated, he wants to hear it. But he shot down several questions from media regarding rumors about the suspect’s motives.

Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society expressed his confidence in the work of the Fairfax County Police Department, and he thanked them for all they have done already to help put the pieces together.

“We are so glad that they were able to find [the suspect] and get him into custody very quick,” Magid said. “The community has trust in [the police] in this investigation. They told us they will not leave any stone unturned in this investigation, and we appreciate that.”

The suspect, a 22-year-old Salvadoran national named Darwin Martinez Torres, remains in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He has a court date set for July 19.

by Dave Emke — June 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm 19 Comments

Homicide detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department will continue to lead the investigation into the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston.

Jurisdictional issues have arisen since the crime, which took place just before 4 a.m. Sunday. Police say Nabra was assaulted and abducted near the intersection of Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive, which is just east of the Fairfax/Loudoun county line. Police say she was then taken to Loudoun County, where she was assaulted again and her body was thrown into a pond.

According to police accounts, Nabra and a group of friends had been at a Ramadan service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society and were on their way back after going to breakfast at the McDonald’s in the Town Center at Sterling plaza. Both of those places are just west of the Fairfax/Loudoun line.

“The Fairfax County Police Department has partnered closely with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office with the common goal of justice for Nabra as well as for her family, friends and community,” FCPD said in a news release. “Our department will continue to work alongside the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney as this case moves forward.”

Police have charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, a Salvadoran national, with murder in the case. They say Torres became enraged with the group of teens and exited his car wielding a baseball bat, striking Nabra. An autopsy revealed her cause of death as blunt force trauma.

Nabra was finishing her sophomore year at South Lakes High School.

Police say they are not investigating Nabra’s death as a hate crime; however, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh has said he will continue to weigh the possibility before deciding how to proceed with the case. Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman says he supports the decision to keep the case in Fairfax County and “will lend any assistance if requested.”

(more…)

by Katherine Berko — June 20, 2017 at 10:30 am 4 Comments

A Herndon man is one of three suspects arrested early Saturday morning after a Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy responded to a larceny in progress in Sterling.

The incident took place at a store in the 24000 block of Dulles Landing Drive, where security reported at about midnight that three suspects had stolen several electronics items and forced entry into the jewelry case. An LCSO deputy confronted the suspects, at which time police say one of the men lifted his shirt and revealed a handgun. The deputy took the man to the ground and the weapon was secured.

The suspects were identified as Anthony A. Moaf, 20, of Herndon; Jalen P. McMahan, 22, of Centreville; and Angel L. Gaskins, 24, of Centreville. Moaf was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon, grand larceny, destruction of property, public intoxication and conspiracy to commit a grand larceny. McMahan was charged with grand larceny, conspiracy to commit a grand larceny, possession with intent (Schedule IV), possession of a controlled substance (Schedule IV) and manufacturing possessing/distributing narcotics. Both men are being held at Loudoun County Adult Detention Center with bond.

Gaskins was charged with grand Larceny, conspiracy to commit a grand larceny and public intoxication. He was released on a secured bond.

In other crime news, a woman in the 13300 block of Coppermine Road in Herndon reported an indecent exposure between 4:30-5 a.m. Saturday. She said a black man was standing on a fence near her residence when he exposed himself and touched himself inappropriately. Officers did not find the suspect, who was described as being about 5 feet 9 inches, between 140 and 160 pounds.

FCPD also reported in the past week:

LARCENIES:

2100 block of Astoria Circle, gun from residence

2400 block of Centreville Road, cell phone from business

2200 block of Ferdinand Porsche Drive, property from business

13100 block of Fox Hunt Lane, license plates from vehicle

12000 block of Glade Drive, merchandise from business

1500 block of Moorings Drive, bicycles from residence

1900 block of Reston Metro Plaza, merchandise from business

11800 block of Saint Trinians Court, medication from vehicle

2100 block of San Moritz Circle, Four-wheeler from residence

11100 block of South Lakes Drive, groceries from business

2300 block of Soapstone Drive, food from business

2000 block of Sunset Hills Road, golf cart from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Anyone with information about any of the incidents reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

by Dave Emke — June 20, 2017 at 9:30 am 16 Comments

The suspect in Sunday’s killing of a South Lakes High School sophomore is under an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.

Carissa Cutrell, a spokesperson for ICE, confirmed that the detainer was lodged Monday against 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling. Torres is facing a murder charge in the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was attacked on Dranesville Road in Herndon early Sunday morning. Her body was found later that day in a Sterling pond.

Torres is a citizen of El Salvador living in the United States. An ICE detainer is filed to “identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens who are currently in federal, state or local custody,” according to the ICE website.

“ICE lodges detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges when the agency has probable cause to believe an alien is removable from the United States,” Cutrell said, adding that Torres had no encounters with ICE prior to this case.

The Fairfax County Police Department believes Torres killed Hassanen after becoming enraged by the group of teens walking from McDonald’s toward the All Dulles Area Muslim Society following a Ramadan service. He chased after the teens, police said, and caught Hassanen. He allegedly struck her with a baseball bat before putting her in his car and taking her to Loudoun County, where police say he killed her.

Torres remains in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He has a court date set for July 19.

by Dave Emke — June 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm 29 Comments

A 17-year-old Reston girl was killed early Sunday morning because a driver became extremely enraged, police say.

At a press conference Monday evening, representatives of the Fairfax County Police Department continued to fight rumors that Nabra Hassanen was killed because she was Muslim. Instead, they said, she was killed because of the quickly escalating temper of the assailant, who police say is 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling.

Police confirmed Monday evening that a body found in a Sterling pond Sunday afternoon is Nabra. They say she was part of a large group of teenagers walking and biking back on Dranesville Road, toward the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, from McDonald’s at about 3:40 a.m. Sunday when the altercation began.

“Torres drove up to this group, and a male teen who was on a bike began arguing with Torres,” said Julie Parker, director of FCPD’s media relations bureau. “At that point, the group scattered. Witnesses say that Torres caught up with the group a short time later in a nearby parking lot and got out of his car armed with a baseball bat.”

The suspect began chasing the group of about 15 teens, Parker said, and Nabra was the one he caught. Police said they do not yet know why the suspect was so enraged, but that there is no indication that he had any particular bias against Muslims.

“His anger over that earlier encounter led to violence when he hit Nabra with the baseball bat,” Parker said. “Torres then took Nabra with him in his car to a second location nearby, in Loudoun County.”

Lt. Bryan Holland of FCPD’s Criminal Investigation Unit said that Nabra was assaulted a second time in Loudoun County before the suspect dumped her body and returned to the area of the altercation, where his car was identified by a patrolling officer and he was arrested at about 5:15 a.m.

Police believe the suspect acted alone, and they are not searching for any others. Torres is being held without bond.

Both FCPD and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said they stand with the Muslim community as some live in fear, despite police statements that no religious or ethnic bias was at play in this case.

“Law enforcement will not know for sure until all of the facts are uncovered in this case, and it is still an ongoing investigation,” Bulova said. “While the police work to uncover the motive, the fact remains that any violent murder is a senseless and hateful act.”

The case may be prosecuted in Loudoun County if the continued investigation merits such a move, police said.

by Dave Emke — June 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm 4 Comments

Aniq Bhatti, one of Nabra Hassanen’s classmates at South Lakes High School, said the girl had no enemies.

“No enemies at all,” Bhatti reiterated. “She would never want to or have to. That’s the way she is.”

Bhatti was one of many friends and neighbors who came to Nabra’s home Monday afternoon as a tight-knit community mourned the untimely loss of the beloved young girl. They gathered around Nabra’s mother, Sawsan Gazzar, in her stairwell to provide their condolences and share in her grief.

Nabra was killed early Sunday morning after being attacked and separated from her friends while walking on Dranesville Road near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, police say.

The line of mourners stretched down the stairs and, at times, far down the sidewalk of the apartment complex on Becontree Lane. Tears abounded as dozens of Nabra’s friends from SLHS joined the line, fresh off an emotional day at the school.

“No one hated her. No one ever talked bad about her,” said Yanis Gribi, one of those friends. “She didn’t deserve to die like that.”

Police say a man attacked Nabra as she was walking back from breakfast with her friends following an overnight activity at the ADAMS Center. A body, presumably Nadra’s, was recovered later Sunday in a pond in Sterling.

A suspect in the case, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling, was arrested Sunday and faces a murder charge. He is being held without bond.

Fairfax County Police said Monday morning that the case is not being investigated as a hate crime, but rather as a case of road rage. However, county prosecutor Ray Morrogh said later in the day that he would wait until more information is collected before deciding how to proceed.

“For what happened, and how she is, I don’t think she deserved to die like that,” Gribi said. “And to be thrown in a lake, like she was trash, like she was nothing.”

Her friends decorated her locker at South Lakes with pictures, flowers and notes. Nabra was finishing her sophomore year.

“She was everyone’s friend — everyone,” said Liban Issak. “She loved everybody and everything. She brought everyone together.”

A vigil to celebrate Nabra’s life is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Anne Plaza.

Photo of locker courtesy Yanis Gribi

by Dave Emke — June 19, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Update: Police Not Looking at Teen’s Death as Hate Crime — The Fairfax County Police Department says the killing of a 17-year-old Muslim girl from Reston is not being investigated as bias-motivated. We are continuing to follow this story and will provide more information as it becomes available. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Connolly Hosting Town Hall Tonight — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will host a town-hall meeting at Sunset Hills Montessori School (11180 Ridge Heights Road) from 7-8:30 p.m. tonight. The congressman will provide a congressional update and then take audience questions. [Eventbrite]

County Seeks Volunteers for Attack Prep — The Fairfax County Health Department has robust plans in place to respond to a wide-scale bioterrorism attack. Volunteers are needed to help with a training exercise Saturday, July 29. [Fairfax County Health Department]

County Office for Children Gets Grant — The grant will allow the office to work with high-quality family child care programs in areas of Fairfax County with concentrated poverty to provide preschool services for eligible children. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

Herndon Woman Sees Central Asia — Cathy Alifrangis says her special birthday journey to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan was filled with culture, history and pleasant surprises. [Washington Post]

by Dave Emke — June 19, 2017 at 8:20 am 8 Comments

(This article was updated at 8:50 a.m. after FCPD announced that the killing is not being investigated as a hate crime.)

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society says it is “devastated and heartbroken” after a 17-year-old girl was killed near the mosque early Sunday morning.

The teen, who has been identified by family and friends as Nabra Hassanen of Reston, was a “dear daughter, sister and friend,” the ADAMS Center said in a Facebook post late Sunday night.

Police and the ADAMS Center both report the girl was walking with a group of teens along Dranesville Road early Sunday morning when a man exited his vehicle and assaulted and abducted Hassanen. The other members of the group were helped by “community members,” according to ADAMS, and directed back toward the mosque. ADAMS Center personnel contacted authorities in Loudoun and Fairfax counties, who began their search for the girl.

A suspect, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling, was arrested a few hours later when he was spotted “driving suspiciously” in the area of the abduction. A female body was found at about 3 p.m. Sunday in a pond in Sterling; the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will provide identification and determine the exact cause and manner of death.

“We thank both Fairfax County Police and Loudoun County Sheriff’s departments for their diligent efforts in investigating and apprehending a suspect,” the ADAMS Center said. “We call on law enforcement to investigate and determine the motive of this crime and prosecute to the full extent of the law.”

The Fairfax County Police Department says Hassanen’s killing is not being investigated as a hate crime.

Hassanen was a sophomore at South Lakes High School, where counselors will be on site today. Counselors will also be at the ADAMS Center to assist anyone in need of support.

A vigil has also been slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Anne Plaza.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Image via LaunchGood.com

by Dave Emke — June 18, 2017 at 8:25 pm 12 Comments

(This article was updated at 9:05 p.m. with information that the girl is believed to be a South Lakes High School student, and again at 9:45 p.m. after police confirmed the girl was from Reston.)

Police say a body found this afternoon is likely that of a Reston teenager who went missing after an overnight activity in the Herndon area, and a Sterling man is in jail facing a murder charge.

Tawny Wright, spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Deparment, said during a media briefing that officers responded at about 4 a.m. Sunday for a report of friends who couldn’t find a member of their group. Officers initiated a search for a 17-year-old girl in the area of Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive, near an unidentified facility the teens had left.

“Our investigation has determined that she was out walking with her friends when, for some reason, they got into a dispute with a man driving a car,” Wright said. “We’re looking into the details of exactly what happened, but for some reason, the man got out of the vehicle and he assaulted one of the group.”

Wright said the girl who was assaulted was the missing teenager, whom she did not identify. After a search that was assisted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the grisly discovery was made at about 3 p.m. Sunday.

“Remains of a female were found in a pond off of Ridgetop Circle,” Wright said. “Detectives unfortunately do believe that was our victim, but the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will confirm the remains’ identity and determine the exact cause and manner of death.”

South Lakes High School sent an email Sunday evening saying it is believed the girl was a student there. Principal Kim Retzer wrote:

“Police are investigating the death of a teen who was reported missing earlier today. It’s believed that the missing teen is one of our students and while we await further news about this very sad incident, I would also ask that you refrain from engaging in rumor and speculation on social media about today’s events.

I wanted you to be aware of these developments and to inform you that we will have crisis counselors at the school beginning tomorrow morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.”

(more…)

by Dave Emke — June 15, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

RA Slates Community Meeting — As a follow-up to the recently held district meetings, Reston Association will host a community-wide meeting for residents at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 28 at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). Feedback from the four prior meetings will be discussed. [Reston Association]

Open At-Large Seat on School Board — A special election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 29, to fill a vacancy on the Fairfax County School Board. The At-Large seat, vacated by Jeannette Hough last month, has a remaining term through Jan. 1, 2020. The filing deadline for prospective candidates is Friday, June 30. [Fairfax County Office of Elections]

Update in Substitute Teacher Solicitation Case — John Torre, public information officer for Fairfax County Public Schools, told Reston Now that a man charged earlier this week with soliciting a young girl for sex worked as a substitute teacher for FCPS for four days at two schools, and he is no longer a FCPS employee. The alleged solicitation did not involve any FCPS students, Torre added. [Reston Now]

by RestonNow.com — June 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm 9 Comments

(This article was updated at 8:40 a.m. Thursday, June 15, after additional information was provided by Fairfax County Public Schools.)

A 22-year-old from Reston who formerly worked as a substitute teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools is accused of soliciting a minor.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Hatim Khalid Abdelrahman was arrested by detectives from the Child Exploitation Unit after he “arranged to meet a young girl with the apparent intent of having sex.” The arrest was made at about 6 p.m. Monday in the Herndon area, police say.

John Torre, public information officer for FCPS, said Abdelrahman worked as a substitute teacher for FCPS for four days at two schools, and he is no longer a FCPS employee. The alleged solicitation did not involve any FCPS students, Torre added.

Abdelrahman is charged with solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties. Anyone who thinks their child or children may have had inappropriate contact with Abdelrahman is asked to contact FCPD’s Child Exploitation Unit at 703-246-7800.

Information about the case can also be reported by calling 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637), or by visiting Crime Solvers online.

by Brooke Giles — June 13, 2017 at 11:30 am 6 Comments

The Fairfax County Police Department reports of two cases of unlawful entry in Reston this past week.

The first was in the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square, between the morning of June 1 and night of June 3. Investigators believe the intruder entered the apartment by forcing their way through a door. Nothing was stolen from the residence.

The second was in the 11000 block of Villaridge Court, at around 2:20 p.m on June 8.  The homeowner told police that her spare key was in the door, which was slightly opened. Some items in the home were moved, but nothing was taken.

In other crime reported recently by FCPD:

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, property from vehicle

11500 block of Leesburg Pike, merchandise from business

12900 block of Centre Park Circle, medication from residence

1500 block of Crowell Road, property from residence

1800 block of Fountain Drive, credit cards from business

12500 block of Rock Ridge Road, license plates from vehicle

11900 block of Killingsworth Avenue, purse from business

2400 block of Masons Ferry Drive, package from residence

11100 block of South Lakes Drive, beer from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

11900 block of Winterthur Lane, 1993 Honda Civic

Anyone with information about any of the incidents reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

Also last week, a Reston man police say had been drinking was arrested in Loudoun County. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says it responded to calls of a drunk and disorderly man at 11:11 p.m. on June 8 in the 44000 block of Riverside Parkway in Leesburg. Eugene D. Shaw, 45, was charged with being drunk in public and was transported to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center.

by RestonNow.com — June 7, 2017 at 4:30 pm 4 Comments

A Reston man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after allegedly touching himself inappropriately inside the Reston Regional Library.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, the incident took place at about 3 p.m. Tuesday. Timothy W. Steele, 33, was arrested after being spotted.

Steele faces a charge of indecent exposure.

by Dave Emke — June 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

A 19-year-old Reston man is charged with stealing from a car over the weekend.

The Fairfax County Police Department says they were dispatched just after 2 a.m. Saturday when a homeowner in the 2000 block of Beacon Place called 911 after hearing someone in his garage. Responding officers say the found the suspect in a neighbor’s car, and he attempted to flee to his own car.

Police say they caught the suspect, Daniel Fleischer, as he was getting into his car. Evidence was found in the car, police say.

Fleischer was arrested and faces charges of burglary, destruction of property, possession of marijuana and being drunk in public.

Also over the weekend, FCPD says a midday armed robbery took place at the GNC Store (2451 Centreville Road, Herndon). According to the report, a man entered the store at 12:11 p.m. Saturday, displayed a knife and demanded money from an employee. The employee handed over cash, and the suspect fled the scene on a bicycle.

The suspect is described as white, around 5 feet 11 inches tall, with a slim build. He was wearing a red hat and khaki pants. The victim was not injured.

Late last week, FCPD reported an incident of a peeping tom in Reston. According to the report, a man returned home to the 12200 block of Laurel Glade Court just after midnight Wednesday and “saw someone standing next to the bedroom window of his apartment.” The suspect fled when he was seen, and officers were unable to locate him.

Other crime reported by FCPD in the past week includes:

LARCENIES:

2300 block of Bedfordshire Circle, package from residence

1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive, electronic device from vehicle

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, license plates from vehicle

1700 block of Clubhouse Road, wallet from business

13300 block of Coppermine Road, medication from residence

2700 block of Crystal Wood Court, property from residence

9800 block of Georgetown Pike, purse from vehicle

11900 block of Market Street, merchandise from business

2400 block of Masons Ferry Drive, bicycle from residence

1300 block of Shallow Ford, wallet from vehicle

11700 block of Stevenage Road, wallet from vehicle

1300 block of Stourhead Court, backpack from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Anyone with information about any of the incidents reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

In Loudoun County, a 20-year-old Reston woman was charged Friday with stealing from the JCPenney store at Dulles Town Center. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says Estefani A. Davis was charged with petit larceny and possession of burglarious tools. She was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

by Dave Emke — June 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm 11 Comments

Crime reports provided by Fairfax County Police Department in the month of May, plotted in the interactive map above, show a wide variety of incidents through the Reston District Station. Use the icon in the top left corner of the map to toggle the types of crimes displayed.

In total, FCPD’s May reports included the following breakdown of criminal incidents in the area:

  • 49 larcenies
  • 3 armed robberies
  • 3 burglary investigations
  • 2 shoplifting arrests
  • 2 commercial robberies
  • 1 indecent exposure report
  • 1 stolen vehicle

The three armed robberies took place in Reston within an hour and a half, between 12:23 and 1:50 a.m., on May 30. The two commercial robberies were part of a string of three (the other was in Loudoun County) in the early-morning hours of May 25.

Anyone with information about any of these crimes should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

The Reston District Station of FCPD covers Reston, Great Falls and portions of Herndon and Vienna.

Fairfax County’s police reports are not comprehensive lists of every police event in the stated time frame. Addresses shown indicate blocks and not specific locations, unless otherwise noted. This data was compiled using the reports released by police between May 1 and May 31, meaning some of the incidents occurred in late April.

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