Herndon Man Arrested for Abduction, Sexual Assault — Joseph Dean-Alan Minnig, 34, of Herndon, was arrested for the abduction and sexual assault of a victim he knows, according to the Herndon Police Department. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. The incident happened on May 17 on the 400 block of Elden Street. [Herndon Police Department]
Herndon Violinist Plays So Others May Eat – “Susan McIntosh, a violinist with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, entertains her neighbors and collects food for an area nonprofit.” [Reston Patch]
First Case of Syndrome Linked to COVID-19 Confirmed — “The Fairfax Health District has confirmed a case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first case of MIS-C reported in Virginia. The child was hospitalized on May 5 and has since been discharged and is recovering at home. To protect privacy, no other patient information will be disclosed.” [Inside NOVA]
Donations for Cloth Face Coverings Needed — The county’s health department is asking for donations of sewn cloth face coverings. Donations will support nonprofit providers and low-income client households they serve. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fairfax County police are investigating a shooting that they say took place in front of a 7-Eleven in Herndon early Thursday (May 7) morning.
After receiving a report for possible gunshots, police said that they found out that a man was being treated for a non-serious gunshot wound at a local hospital.
“Further investigation determined the shooting took place in front of [13190 Parcher Avenue],” police said, adding that the front of the 7-Eleven at that address was damaged.
Police also said that they found several shell casings in the area.
The case is currently an active investigation, according to police. Anyone who has information can contact the police department at 703-246-7800
The DNA technology company is featured in “The Genetic Detective,” a new ABC docuries that will premiere on May 19 at 10 p.m. The show takes a deep dive into the company’s genetic genealogy division, which is led by genetic genealogist CeCe Moore.
Here’s more from ABC on the show:
From ABC News comes “THE GENETIC DETECTIVE” debuting TUESDAY, MAY 19 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m. EDT). The all-new series follows investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore as she uses her unique research skills to transform the face of crime solving. By working with police departments and crime scene DNA, Moore is able to trace the path of a violent criminal’s family tree to reveal their identity and help bring them to justice. “The Genetic Detective” is a co-production with ABC News and XCON Productions. Carrie Cook and Marc Dorian serve as co-executive producers for ABC News. Christine Connor is executive producer and Christopher K. Dillon is co-executive producer for XCon Productions. CeCe Moore is producer.
Moore, who is known for her genealogy work and the PBS series, “Finding Your Roots,” was hired by Steven and Paula Armentrout, the founders of the company, two years ago.
The series takes a look at Moore’s first case, the 1987 double homicide of a young Canadian couple, and the 1988 murder of an eight-year-old in Indiana. The show will air on Tuesdays from 10 to 11 p.m.
A Herndon man who was the former procurement director for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. pled guilty to a bribery conspiracy yesterday (Monday).
According to court documents, Jeffrey Donahue, 42, received cash payments and other items — including the promise of a job — amounting to $1 million from Nadeem Ansari, a Haymarket resident, in return for steering PBGC contracts to Ansari’s company.
Nearly five years ago, Donahue offered to help Ansari’s new company win a $55 million contract in exchange for a future job with the company. The Herndon resident helped Ansari complete the proposal process, including the disclosure of labor pricing estimates. When the company did not win the contract, Donahue helped Ansari write bid protest.
Here’s more from the U.S. Department of Justice on the case:
In 2016, Donahue proposed a second arrangement with Ansari in which Donahue would receive up to $125,000 from Ansari and his company in exchange for steering a contract to Ansari’s company. PBGC awarded the contract to Ansari’s company, which resulted in payments to the company totaling approximately $3.29 million. Donahue steered the contract by, among other things, providing sensitive, non-public information and work product to Ansari; providing guidance for contract pricing; and adjusting the terms of the contract to align with the qualifications of the company’s personnel. Donahue received at least $48,000 in cash, plus additional gifts. Donahue and Ansari also took steps to conceal the scheme and their communications with each other, including using separate, dedicated cellular telephones and e-mail accounts and communicating through encrypted software.
Ansari also pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to bribe a public official. Sentencing for both men is set for Sept. 11.
The PBGC is a federally-chartered corporation that aims to protect retirement security through single-employer and multi-employer plans.
Photo via PBGC/Facebook
Local police are bracing for an increase in the number of domestic violence cases with a stay-at-home order in effect in Virginia.
The Fairfax County Police Department has seen an “incremental uptick” in domestic violence calls in the county.
“While not an alarming uptick, we’re seeing slightly more than what we experienced prior to three weeks,” Sgt. Greg Bedor told Reston Now.
In the last three weeks, FCPD has received a weekly average of 235 domestic-related calls, data show. Most incidents are reported over the weekend on a weekly basis.
The police department is attempting to triage calls by separating people from their homes and conducting interviews over the phone wherever possible, according to FCPD.
Officers are also making an effort to encourage individuals to turn themselves in if an arrest is warranted.
Although the county’s Domestic Violence Hotline has not seen any increases in reported incidents, county officials are encouraging people to seek help.
They say rising unemployment and the pressure of bounding bills “during the already stressful coronavirus pandemic could lead to an increase in domestic violence.”
“For victims of domestic violence, being home may not be the safest place, particularly as people are financially and emotionally stressed,” said Toni Zollicoffer, Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services division director. “Victims and survivors of recent sexual and intimate partner violence face unique challenges during this period of extended social distancing and isolation.
Her office offered the following tips:
Call or Text for Help 24/7
Call Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence hotline: 703-360-7273, TTY 711. It’s available for help 24-hours a day, every day.
As always, anyone who is in immediate danger should call 9-1-1.
There are actions people can take to prepare, including:
- Be aware of safe rooms with locks and which rooms have doors or windows for quick exit. Discuss these with children and other family members.
- Make a list of safe contacts and emergency resources. Some people find it helpful to hide copies of important documents and safe contacts somewhere outside the home, such as buried in a planter or at a safe neighbor’s home.
- Plan with kids and other family members if you can. Think about their safety options. Think of a place you can go or send other family members in an emergency or long term.
- Arrange daily check-ins or code words with people you trust.
What You Can Do
“If you are concerned about a friend or family member, it’s more important than ever to check in with them,” said Zollicoffer. “For resources or information on ways to assist those you are concerned about, call the Domestic Violence hotline.”
We can all play a role in preventing domestic violence. Encourage people who are experiencing abuse to make a safety plan, call for help and guidance and let them know that the abuse is not their fault. Let them know you are there to listen, help and support them without judgement.
Photo via Fairfax County Police Department
A children’s entertainer who used to perform at Reston Town Center pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, NBC4 reported.
Steven Rossi, who used the stage name “Mr. Knick Knack,” was charged with 10 felony counts of possession of child pornography in the spring.
Prior to his arrest in April, Rossi performed regularly at Reston Town Center.
“A tip from an internet service provider led Fairfax County police to search his home in Reston. Police discovered over 50 electronic files containing illicit images of children,” NBC4 reported.
Photo via FCPD
Police said in an update today (Thursday) that around 3:30 p.m. a man who was previously banned from the Verizon store (11830 Spectrum Center) “set a suspicious package on the counter and indicated to an employee that it was a bomb.”
Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, police tweeted that several businesses were evacuated as a result of the investigation, and then around 8 p.m. that the suspicious package was determined to not be hazardous.
“Officers from the Special Operations Divisions examined the device and determined it to be a hoax,” police said today.
Police arrested Timothy Stein, 54, today and charged him with felony bomb threat, felony hoax explosive device and trespassing.
Image via Google Maps
Police said the vehicle was likely a sedan, according to witness accounts. The make, model and driver of the car are unknown.
The Fairfax County Police Department requests any with information to call the department’s crash reconstruction unit at 703-280-0543. Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling 1-866-411-TIPS or by text by sending “fccs” to 847411.
Seranno was killed while walking across South Lakes Drive towards Castle Rock Square on December 31.
Photo via Madison Grace Shannon/Facebook
A Herndon man was sentenced to one year in prison last week for cyberstalking a woman in New York for more than three years.
Brandon Theresa, 21, used the woman’s online accounts without her permission, created fake accounts using her name and sent information from her account in order to embarrass her, according to court documents.
Investigators said that when the victim tried to cut off communication with Theresa, the man made U.S. Postal Service delivery accounts in the names of her friends and family to receive updates on the victim’s activities and the people in her life.
“He used this information to track down the victim, using anonymizing technologies that made it difficult for the victim to block the communications,” according to a release by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
He continued to stalk the victim until federal authorities searched his home after receiving a search warrant in December last year.
Investigators believe Theresa stalked the woman between May 2015 and December 2018.
Andre Irick, 23, was arrested near the home on the 12000 block of Fox View Way around 12:07 a.m. that day, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
The homeowner saw the man from his security camera and also heard noise coming from downstairs. Police believe Irick ran away as the homeowner shouted at him to leave his home.
Irick was charged with unlawful entry.
In an unrelated incident, a home on the 13000 block of Shea Place was ransacked sometime in mid-to-late July. FCPD released no other information about the incident.
FCPD’s Reston District Station also reported the following minor incidents in recent days:
1700 block of Business Center Drive, cell phone from business
7100 block of Capitol View Drive, tool from location
1600 block of Chimney House Road, cash from location
1300 block of Cold Harbor Court, package from residence
13400 block of Farm Crest Court, bicycle from residence
1800 block of Fountain Drive, cash from business
11400 block of Isaac Newton Square, wallet and keys from location
2200 block of Gunsmith Square, cash from vehicle
11600 block of Hunters Green Court, license plate from vehicle
13000 block of Laurel Tree Lane, wallet from vehicle
11900 block of Market Street, merchandise from business
13300 block of Misty Dawn Drive, purse from vehicle
1600 block of Reston Parkway, merchandise from business
11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, golf cart from location
12500 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, cell phone from location
12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, purse and cell phone from vehicle
12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from vehicle
As we reported earlier in the week, a Reston man was charged with obstrucion of justice on Thursday (July 25).
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is holding a community meeting to provide updates on a suspicious death investigation near Hunters Woods Plaza.
The meeting will be held on Monday, July 29 at 7 p.m. at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
Hudgins, police officers from the Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station and representatives from the Hunters woods Neighborhood Coalition will attend the meeting.
Attendees will receive an update on the investigation and discuss how to keep the Hunters Woods area safe.
Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia, 24, of Reston, was found dead on June 23 near a path between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court.
Police are investigating the incident as a “suspicious death.” Gunshots were reported moments before police responded to the scene. The state’s Office of the Medical Examiner declined to release the cause and manner of death to Reston Now.
Photo via FCPD
Fairfax County to Seek Flood Recovery Funds — “At its July 16 meeting, the county’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency for Fairfax County as a result of the July 8 torrential rainstorm that caused substantial damage to both public and private property. The heavy rains caused several county closures, numerous road closures, damage to homes, businesses, roads and dams as well as multiple rescues from our fire and rescue personnel of motorists stranded in flooded roadways.” [Fairfax News]
Previous Charges for Sex Offender in Custody for Assault in Reston — Gregg MacDonald reports that the suspect arrested in connection with a June 11 sexual assault was originally convicted of a sex crime in Greenville, S.C. in 2006. He is listed as wanted in the Virginia State Police Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. [Fairfax County Times]
Free Yoga on Reston Station Plaza Today — Beloved Yoga hosts a free yoga session for all at Reston Station Plaza today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Yoga sessions continue throughout the summer. Attendees should bring water, a mat and a “zen-ready mind,” according to event organizers. [Reston Station]
Photo by vantagehill/Flickr
Parents Respond to Herndon High School Porn Case — Concerned parents gathered this week to discuss the case of a former Herndon High School drama teacher who is accused of possessing child pornography and unlawful filming. Police believe Raphael Schklowsky may have also set up two cameras at the school. [WUSA 9]
Fireworks Safety Demonstration Tomorrow — As the Fourth of July approaches, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is hosting a demonstration on how to safety use fireworks. The demonstration is set for 10 a.m. at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Free Yoga at Reston Station — Beloved Yoga will offer free yoga lessons today (Thursday) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the plaza. [Reston Station]
Registration Deadline for Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta — The deadline to register a boat to participate in the event is on Monday, July 1. The event is set to take place at Lake Anne on Saturday, August 10. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Local police are investigating an indecent exposure incident that happened this month in Herndon.
According to the Herndon Police Department, a woman said a driver approached her while she was walking down Vine Street toward Ferndale Avenue on Friday, June 14.
When the woman declined to accept his offer for a ride, the man exposed himself to her.
Police described the suspect as a white male, between 40 and 50 years old, and of medium build.
The case is under investigation.
Virginia State Police arrested a Caroline County Man and a juvenile in connection with a carjacking that started in Reston on Wednesday (June 19).
Police believe Jaquan McNeil, 21, of Ruther Glen, and a juvenile suspect, assaulted a man as he was leaving his car on the 11400 block of Isaac Newtown Square at around 5 a.m.
The suspects then stole the BMW X5 and sped down I-95 when state police spotted them, according to police.
An officer spotted the car traveling south near a line marker in Prince William County and called more troopers to help. As police approached, the car swerved suddenly to the right shoulder and sped away from approaching law enforcement.
The pursuit continued for some time until the car crashed into a curve on the exit ramp and struck the guardrail.
McNeil fled the scene on foot, but was arrested a short while later. He was charged with one felony count of eluding police, one count of driving on a suspended license, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of reckless driving. McNeil is being held at the Stafford County Jail.
The 15-year-old passenger was taken into custody without incident. Both suspects declined medical assistance for injuries that happened during the crash.
Police continue to investigate the incident.
Logo via Virginia State Police