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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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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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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 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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Updated: Winter Weather Advisory for Fairfax County Extended

Local police and law enforcement officials are advising commuters to exercise caution as they head out today. A winter weather advisory, which was initially in effect until 1 p.m. today, has been extended to 4 p.m.

Two roads in Reston, Fox Mill Road at Folkstone Drive and Wiehle Avenue at Inlet Court, which were closed earlier this morning, are now open, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. FCPD is maintaining a list of all closures in the county online.

Here’s more from social media:

This story has been updated.

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Local Police Search for Missing Herndon Man

Local police are searching for a Herndon man who may be endangered due to mental or physical health issues.

James Hampson, 52, was last seen on Oct. 29 near the 700 block of Center Street in Herndon. It is possible he may be in the Aldie area, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

He is roughly 6’1” and weight 180 pounds. He may also be in a Black 2002 Ford Expedition with Virginia tags VXJ -9037.

Anyone with information should call 703-691-2131.

Photo via FCPD

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Cycling on — New Trail Cycling Studio, which is scheduled to open soon, is hosting an open house for visitors to take a sneak peek at progress on Oct. 27. [New Trail Cycling Studio]

Feedback sought on Metro parking and fare changes — Metro is considering increase fares for peak service by about $1. The change is intended to “respond to market trends and improve the customer experience,” especially when it comes to covering the “extraordinary” costs of providing rush-hour service and staffing to support large-scale regional events. [Washington Metropolitan Area Authority]

A local project that changed Greater Washington — This article posits that Reston Town Center is a project that changed the area and continues to “rack up accolades” as a model for national development. [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Former sheriff’s deputy arrested — A former Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was charged with carnal knowledge of an inmate and one count of sexual battery. The inmate said she was sexually assaulted by the deputy in December 2016 or January 2017. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Crime Roundup: Indecent Exposure Incident Reported on Sunrise Valley Drive

The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating an indecent exposure incident that took place on Wednesday (Oct. 10) on the 11700 block of Sunrise Valley Drive.

A woman went out to take the trash when she saw a man expose himself to her. The victim called her boyfriend, who attempted to find the man. Police described the man as a white man with a medium build, between 30 and 40 years of age, and between 5’7” and 5’8”. He has curly, reddish-brown hair, and was wearing glasses. The investigation is ongoing.

Two home burglaries were reported on Thursday (Oct. 11). Local police responded to an alarm on the 1100 block of Mountain Hope Court at around 1:32 p.m. to discover that someone broke into the home. Property was stolen.

Another burglary on the 9700 block of Lindsay Blake Lane was reported the same day at around 6:20 p.m. The victim came home to find that several items had been taken. Both incidents are under investigation.

FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

2100 block of Astoria Circle, phone from residence

2200 block of Castle Rock Square, airbag from vehicle

2400 block of Clover Field Circle, airbag from vehicle

11400 block of Commerce Park Drive, camera from business

2300 block of Field Point Road, hat from park

12200 block of Leesburg Pike, license plate from vehicle

11000 block of Market Street, wallet from business

11600 block of Plaza America Drive, bottle of wine from business

1900 block of Sagewood Lane, ladder from business

11000 block of Spectrum Center, merchandise from business

12000 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

12000 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, cell phone from business

11120 block of South Lakes Drive, merchandise from business

11100 block of South Lakes Drive, wine from business

11000 block of Ring Road, package from residence

13100 block of Plotner Farm Road, airbag from vehicle

2300 block of Soapstone Drive, airbag from vehicle

10800 block of Patowmack Drive, money from residence

2700 block of Viking Drive, stroller from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

File photo

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Crime Roundup: Stranger Found in Reston Home

A stranger was founding lingering in the back of a home on the 12100 block of Stirrup Road on Oct. 1 at around 11:34 a.m.

The homeowner found the man after she heard her dog bark, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

He drove away in a dark silver or gray sedan when she approached him. Police said he is white, roughly 55 years old, 6′ tall and around 180 pounds. He also has gray hair and a short beard.

FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, beer from business

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, wine from business

13100 block of Parcher Avenue, beer from business

1000 block of Seneca Road, license plate from vehicle

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, property from location

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, purses from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Local law enforcement also advises drivers to be on the alert for deer. Fall is breeding season and almost half of all crashes with deer happen during October, November and December.

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Crime Roundup: Police Department Fires Reston Police Officer Charged in Baby’s Death

A police officer who last worked in the Reston District Station and was charged in connection with the death of his six-month-old daughter was fired on Friday (Sept. 28).

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. fired Jason Colley, 38, following his arrest in Maryland in connection with the baby’s death, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Colley, of Monrovia, Md., turned himself in after an indictment was signed in late August by a Maryland judge. He was charged with child abuse in the first degree resulting in death, child abuse in the first degree resulting in severe physical injury and felony assault in the first degree. The baby died on in October last year.

Roessler Jr. called the charges against Colley “abhorrent.” No other information was released by the police department about the incident.

Colley was relieved of all law enforcement powers on April 20 when Fairfax County police learned he was a suspect in the care.

In a separate incident, a man was robbed on Friday while walking near Hunters Woods Shopping Center at around 1:30 p.m. The suspect assaulted the victim and stole personal items from him when he said he did not have any money. Police described the suspect as a white male approximately 5’11” – 6’2″ and about 150 to 180 pounds. 

Sometime between Sept. 18 and 26, a man was found sleeping inside a vacant house on the 12000 block of Kinsley Place. The owner of the house discovered a man in his 20s who appeared to be sleeping inside the home as it underwent repairs, according to police.

FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, wallet from location

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, wallet from location

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, liquor from business

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, liquor from business

2500 block of John Eppes Road, steering wheel and airbags from vehicle

1400 block of North Point Village Center, cash from business

12900 block of Park Crescent Circle, airbag from vehicle

2000 block of Royal Fern Court, wallet from location

South Lakes Drive/Pinecrest Road, wallet from vehicle

1800 block of Town Center Parkway, ring from location

13500 block of Virginia Randolph Avenue, airbag from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Photo via FCPD

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Police Investigate Indecent Exposure Incident

A man was spotted masturbating in a parking lot on the 13000 block of Woodland Park Road on Wednesday (Sept. 27), according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Police say the man is middle-aged and was driving a blue Subaru station wagon. The victim said he was walking through the parking lot to get lunch when he noticed a car at the back the parking lot that was still running.

When he walked near the car, he spotted the man and confronted him. The driver then sped away, police said.

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Crime Roundup: Investigation on Target Shoplifting, Home Burglary Underway

Police continue to investigate a shoplifting incident at Target earlier this month that resulted in a multi-car police pursuit. Officers responded to Target on Sept. 17 at around 8 p.m. after an employee noticed a man was stealing merchandise. Police cars pursued the car, but the man was not found.

In a separate incident, police are investigating a home burglary on the 2200 block of Castle Rock Square. Sometime between Sept. 19 and Sept. 20, someone broke into the apartment and took electronic equipment, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The Herndon Police Department also continues to search for a man who they believe robbed M&T Bank in Herndon on Sept. 14. Police issued photos from a security camera but have not found the suspect yet.

FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from location

12900 block of Highland Crossing Drive, medication from residence

1900 block of Reston Metro Plaza, wallet from location 

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from vehicle

11900 block of Democracy Drive, cell phone from business

11800 block of Spectrum Center, merchandise from business

5900 block of Kingstowne Towne Center, luggage from business

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, liquor from business

STOLEN VEHICLES: 

None reported

On Sept. 16 just before 7 a.m., Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded found a disabled car parked in the middle of the road on Waxpool Road in Ashburn. The driver and passenger were found attempting to get into another vehicle.

Maria Alevromagiros, 34, of Herndon, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, possession of narcotics and driving on a suspended driver’s license, according to LCSO.

File photo

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Friday Morning Notes

Absentee voting begins today — Voting begins today at the Fairfax County government center and ends on Oct. 13 at nine additional locations. Absentee votes can also be cast by mail. The ballots for Town of Herndon residents will include options for mayor and town council members. [Fairfax County Government]

How about some hairspray — Reston Community Players will kick off its 52nd season with the musical Hairspray. It opens on October 19 and runs through November 10 at Reston Community Center. [Reston Community Players]

Missing endangered man found — Patrick Brown, 74, an endangered man who went missing yesterday, was found and is safe. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo by Kit Allgaier

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Updated: Police Find Missing Endangered Man Last Seen in Reston

Updated at 8:55 p.m.: Patrick Brown was found and is safe, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Earlier:

Local police are looking for a 74-year-old missing man who was last seen this morning near Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road.

The Fairfax County Police Department said Patrick Brown is considered endangered due to mental or physical health issues. His height is 5’10” and he weighs roughly 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt, a green T-shirt and black shorts.

If you have any information, call  703-691-2131 w/ any info.

Photo via FCPD

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