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President Trump Praises Fairfax County Detective Last Friday

President Donald Trump praised two local police officers for helping to dismantle the gang MS-13 during his speech at a conference last Friday.

Trump lauded Fairfax County Police Department Detective Ray Betts, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger and Sgt. Claudio Saa from the Herndon Police Department as “three trailblazing leaders.”

The praise came during remarks Trump made at the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference in Kansas City, Mo. last Friday (Dec. 7).

The conference brings together U.S. Attorneys; federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement; community partners; and others to share ideas on violent crime reduction.

Trump’s remarks included the following:

Every American citizen is entitled to a safe community and a secure border. Here in the audience today are three trailblazing leaders — they truly are — who are working to dismantle MS-13 over the past two years. They’ve helped so much. They’ve done such an incredible job. Twenty-nine MS-13 members have been charged and convicted just recently, despite being targeted for retaliation.

These three patriots are U.S. Attorney Zach Terwilliger — where is Zach?  Hello, Zach. Heard great things about you. Herndon Police Sergeant Claudio Saa. Thank you, Claudio. Thank you very much. And Fairfax County Police Detective Ray Betts. Thank you. Thank you. All three, thank you very much.

At the conference, Terwilliger, Betts and Saa joined Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Miller and Rebeca Bellows, Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew and Major Roger Russell of the Richmond Police Department in a team presentation on best practices for investigating and dismantling MS-13.

MS-13 started in Los Angeles before heading to Virginia and then making its way to El Salvador.

Betts accounted for more than 100 felony arrests and 30 misdemeanors in a one-year time period two years after he joined the gang investigations unit. He has been to El Salvador to investigate cases and train his Salvadoran counterparts, WTOP reported.

Saa has also traveled to El Salvador, where he explored MS-13’s ties to Virginia, NBC4 reported.

Photo via FCPD/Twitter

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Fairfax County Receives Grants to Boost Crime Justice Services

The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) and the county’s Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services are slated to receive nearly $180,000 as part of grants to boost criminal justice services across Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced yesterday (Dec. 6) that law enforcement and services for crime victims across the Commonwealth will receive $5.9 million in grants administered by the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

“This funding is key to our ability to respond to the diverse needs of our communities and build a safer, healthier Virginia,” Northam said in a Dec. 6 statement. “From survivors of violent crimes to the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line each day to protect our Commonwealth, these resources will help ensure that all Virginians have the opportunity to thrive.”

The DCJS approved the grants at its meeting in Richmond on Thursday (Dec. 6.) The federal Violence Against Women Act and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program allocated the funds to Virginia.

The awards include more than $4.5 million to bolster the response to crimes of violence against women and services for survivors and $1.4 million to provide equipment, technology and training.

Fairfax County received about 3.1 percent of the funding. Here is a breakdown:

“Each year, DCJS administers nearly 1,000 grants totaling over $250 million in state and federal funds.” Shannon Dion, the director of DCJS, said in a statement. “These grants support programs and initiatives across the criminal justice system and enable DCJS to provide extensive training and technical assistance to agencies throughout Virginia.”

File photo

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Police: Sleeping Man Assaulted in His Herndon Home

A man sleeping on his couch was assaulted last week by a person he knows, according to the Herndon Police Department.

The suspect entered the house on the 700 block of Cordell Way last Monday (Nov. 26), woke up the sleeping man and began assaulting him, the report said.

The victim was transported to Reston Hospital.

The Herndon Police Department is currently investigating the case.

Map via Google Maps

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Trial for 1995 Sexual Assaults Opens With Victim Testimonies

The trial began earlier this week for Jude Lovchik, charged with abduction and sodomy.

In 1995, four roommates in Reston were held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted. The case had gone cold until Lovchik’s ex-wife told Arlington County police that Lovchik had confessed the actions to her and had her recreate the scenes.

According to the Washington Post, the victims of the assault testified during the opening day of the trial. The women said their attacker had forced the women to perform sexual acts on each other and on him, then worked meticulously to cover his tracks.

One woman testified that she was made to drink Gatorade to remove the evidence from her mouth and that he vacuumed the bedroom where the assault occurred. After going through their address book, the women said the attacker also threatened to kill their friends and family if they reported the assault.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jessica Greis-Edwardson, who said DNA swabs from Lovchik matched biological material found in the mouth of one of the victims.

But Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac said the evidence tying Lovchik to the crime was flimsy, saying there were inconsistencies in the DNA evidence and noting that Lovchick’s ex-wife, who was in the middle of the divorce when she reported Lovchick’s confession, had motive to lie.

Lovchik faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, including abduction and sodomy. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Photo via Marion County Jail

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Crime Roundup: Reston Teen Arrested for Fire, Vandalism in Vienna

Vienna and Fairfax County Police arrested a 13-year-old Reston resident and a 14-year-old Vienna resident last Wednesday.

The pair was charged Nov. 28 with a series of crimes, including setting fire to a Vienna restaurant in October.

The boys were charged with both felony and misdemeanor crimes, including arson.

The Oct. 14 fire destroyed most of the building for the Marco Polo Restaurant, which had been vacant. There were no injuries. The site is set for redeveloped as a retail and townhouse complex.

The teens were also charged with the vandalism of several buses in the rear parking lot of the restaurant on Sept. 9.

Police said other charges are also being filed in relation to a Nov. 4 vandalism of two historic government-owned buildings near Lahey Lost Valley Park in Vienna, which caused several thousand dollars in damage.

The pair is being held in the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center.

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

LARECENIES:

1700 block of Business Center Drive, watch from location

1100 block of Dranesville Road, ornaments from residence

12800 block of Graypine Place, wallet from location

1700 block of Whitewood Lane, wallet from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Photo via FCPD

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Trial to Begin Next Week for 1995 Sexual Assaults in Reston

A man accused of a series of sexual assaults across Fairfax in the 90’s, including four women in Reston, is scheduled to go to trial this Monday (Dec. 3).

Jude Lovchik is charged with a series of felonies including multiple counts of abduction, sodomy, robbery and firearms offenses.

While Lovchik is being investigated for other assaults in Fairfax and Prince William counties, his charges stem from a 1995 assault where Lovchik is alleged to have climbed onto the balcony of an apartment building and subseqently tied up, blindfolded and sexually assaulted four roommates.

According to the Washington Post, the break in the cold case came when Lovchik’s wife went to the Arlington Police after she said Lovchik assaulted her during their divorce. She also told the police that Lovchik had told her about his string of assaults throughout Fairfax in the early 1990’s and had her recreate the sexual assault scenes for him. Police said Lovchik’s wife provided information about the case that had not been disclosed to the public.

After Lovchik’s wife spoke with the police in early 2017, his home was placed under surveilence until DNA was collected from trash that police say was connected to DNA collected from the Reston assault.

Lovchik moved to Florida in 2017, but was arrested in October and returned to Vriginia, where he is currently being housed in the Fairfax County jail.

Photo via Marion County Jail

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Darwin Martinez-Torres Pleads Guilty to Murder of Nabra Hassanen

Darwin Martinez Torres, 25, pleaded guilty today (Nov. 28) to raping and murdering Nabra Hassanen of Reston, according to news reports.

His trial was set for January, according to the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.

The prosecution agreed not to pursue the death penalty after consulting with the Hassanen’s family, NBC 4 reported.

Torres’ defense team said Torres has a learning disability and a low IQ, but that he is competent enough to take responsibility for the crime and to plead guilty to eight counts in Hassanen’s murder trial, ABC 7’s Tim Barber tweeted.

The plea deal imposes a life sentence, and he will not be eligible for probation, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors in the case planned to introduce evidence that Torres was a member of MS-13, though police are not saying that the crime was gang-related, according to the Washington Post.

The Washington Post also reported that Torres’ defense team planned to allege that Torres is intellectually disabled as a result of toxins in a gold mine near where he grew up in El Salvador.

Torres faces the possibility the deportation after ICE placed a detainer on Torres following his arrest.

Hassanen was attacked when she was walking with a group of Muslim teens after a Ramadan service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling in June 2017. Fairfax County police say Hassanen was attacked with a baseball bat before she was abducted, sexually assaulted and killed.

Her body was found in a pond near Torres’ apartment.

Police said they believed the crime was not motivated by Hassanen’s religion, but by a road rage incident.

Hassanen’s death drew widespread attention, with #JusticeForNabra vigils held in Reston and across the country.

Photos via FCPD and LaunchGood.com

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Police: Herndon Man Arrested in Connection with Abduction of Wife and Child in March

(Updated at 10:28 a.m.) Police arrested Osman Osman, a 37-year-old resident of Herndon, in Manhattan Beach, New York yesterday (Nov. 27) in connection with the assault and abduction of his wife and child, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

“Osman was arrested in [New York] for charges related to the assault and abduction,” FCPD 2nd Lieutenant John Lieb told Reston Now. “NYPD will need to be contacted for clarification on any local charges he may face there.”

Detectives from the FCPD’s Major Crimes Bureau worked with the New York City Police Department and the United States Marshal’s Task Force to locate Osman and take him into custody, the report said.

Osman is currently awaiting extradition to Fairfax County.

FCPD sought the public’s help in March to help find Osman, who was wanted at the time for two counts of abduction, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of assault on a family member, a protective order violation and transporting a firearm while subject to a protective order.

Detectives had said they believed Osman headed to New York after the assault and temporary abduction, which happened on March 24 in Chantilly.

Photo via FCPD

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Crime Roundup: Three Herndon Men Arrested After Traffic Stop

Loudoun County police arrested three Herndon residents after a traffic stop early in the morning last Saturday (Nov. 24) in Sterling.

A sheriff’s deputy stopped a car going over the posted speed limit by Atlantic Blvd and Warp Drive at 1:14 a.m., according to the Loudoun County’s Sheriff Office.

The car’s driver, 19-year-old Moises A. Ayala of Manassas, was arrested and charged with possession of alcohol under 21, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving by speed and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The deputy also arrested two of the three passengers in the car — Briayan A. Navarro-Cerritos, 20, and Orlin Chirino-Hernandez, 21, who are both Herndon residents. The third passenger was a juvenile male who police released to his guardian.

Navarro-Cerritos was arrested and charged with possession of alcohol under 21, public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Chirino-Hernandez was arrested and charged with public intoxication and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

All three males were released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on unsecured bonds, the report said.

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

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, clothing, shoes and speaker from residence

1000 block of Cedar Chase Court, jewelry from residence

11900 block of Market Street, wallet from location

11800 block of Spectrum Center, cell phone from location

1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, license plate from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

On Monday, Herndon police charged a 20-year-old Herndon man with first-degree murder for the death of a 40-year-old Herndon resident in May.

As we reported yesterday, police arrested a Reston man on Friday after determining that he had fired his handgun several times into the air from his porch. He was charged with reckless handling of a firearm and shooting in a public place.

Photo via FCPD

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Police: Herndon Man Arrested in Connection with Murder

Yesterday, police charged a 20-year-old Herndon resident with first-degree murder, according to the Herndon Police Department.

Herndon police said they found the victim, Alexander Alfaro Castillo, 40, of Herndon, dead on the morning of May 25 at the 400 block of Patrick Lane.

Police said Castillo sustained trauma to the upper body that resulted in his death.

Police arrested and charged Denis Castillo Hernandez on Monday (Nov. 26). He is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Hernandez was arrested earlier this year.

In June, Fairfax County police arrested and charged him with aggravated malicious assault in connection to a stabbing. The stabbing happened on the 1300 block of Parcher Avenue on May 31, police said.

Photo via Herndon Police Department

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Police: Reston Man Arrested After Firing His Handgun Into the Air

A Reston man was arrested and charged with reckless handling of a firearm and shooting in a public place on Friday, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Police responded to a report of gunshots in the 2200 block of Cocquina Drive at 5:49 p.m. on Nov. 23. A witness then directed the officers to the house where the shots had been fired.

Officers instructed everyone inside the house to come out, which they did “without incident,” according to the report.

Police say they then arrested and charged Manuel De Jesus Cruz, 45, of Reston, after determining he had fired his handgun several times into the air from his porch.

Photo via FCPD

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Crime Roundup: Arrests Made for Public Intoxication

(Updated at 2:33 p.m.) Loudoun County recently had a pair of arrests of Herndon residents for public intoxication.

Loudoun County police were called to Ashburn on Saturday (Nov. 17) around 8:35 a.m. for a report of a man walking in the roadway at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Waxpool Road.

Juan V. Berrueta-Clement, 43, of Herndon was arrested and charged with public intoxication, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. He has since been released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

In a separate incident, another Herndon resident was arrested on Nov. 10 and charged with public intoxication. Police responded to a report of Isaias Serano, 30, acting confrontational with security officers at Town Center Plaza in Sterling. Serano was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

Over in Fairfax County, a dozen larcenies occurred last week.

The Fairfax County Police Department reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1700 block of Business Center Drive, cash from location

1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive, mail from residence

2100 block of Centreville Road, beer from residence

2400 block of Centreville Road, liquor from business

11100 block of Harbor Court, jewelry from residence

2300 block of Horseferrry Court, property from business

11400 block of Isaac Newton Square, credit cards and wallet from location

900 block of Locust Street, cash from school

11900 block of Market Street, cell phone from business

2100 block of Monaghan Drive, cell phone from residence

11700 block of Putting Green Court, jewelry from residence

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Photo via FCPD

This story has been updated

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Full Trial on Nabra Hassanen Murder Goes to Court Early Next Year

Darwin Martinez Torres, 23, accused of raping and murdering Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston, will be going to trial in January.

According to the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, motions for the case are scheduled for Nov. 29 and the date for the full trial in January has not been established yet.

Torres’ seven-count indictment includes charges of rape and capital murder.

Prosecutors in the case plan to introduce evidence that Torres was a member of MS-13, though the police are not saying that the crime was gang-related, according to the Washington Post.

Hassanen was attacked when she was returning from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling after a pre-dawn meal in June 2017. Fairfax County police say Hassanen was attacked with a baseball bat before she was abducted, sexually assaulted, and killed. Her body was found in a pond near Torres’ apartment and police believe the crime was not motivated by Hassanen’s religion, but was a road rage incident.

The Washington Post also reports that Torres’ defense team is alleging that Torres is intellectually disabled as a result of toxins in a gold mine near where he grew up in El Salvador. If Torres is found to have significant mental issues, he cannot receive the death penalty.

Photo via FCPD

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Crime Roundup: Discovery of Body Remains Under Investigation

The discovery of a body on the 1500 block of Browns Chapel Road remains under investigation.

The Fairfax County Police Department has not released any additional details about the incident. The body was found the morning of Nov. 2. No information about the nature of the investigation was available as of today (Tuesday).

Major crime incidents were minimal this week, but FCPD did report the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11200 block of Chestnut Grove Square, cash from location

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, watch from residence

1900 block of Reston Metro Plaza, electronic devices from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

As we reported last week, four men were arrested after a high-speed police pursuit Wednesday night.

Photo via FCPD

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Developing: Body Found on Browns Chapel Road

A body has been found on the 1500 block of Browns Chapel Road.

Detectives are investigating the scene, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

In a tweet at around 8:43 a.m., FCPD stated they preliminarily believe there is no threat to public safety.

An observer on the scene said the body was found off of the path on the dam side of Lake Newport. Access to both ends of the dam has been cut off, the observer noted.

No other information was immediately available.

This story will be updated.

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