Reston, VA

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.

If it’s not safe to talk, text LOVEIS to 22522 to connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline. You also can online chat with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network).

As always, anyone who is in immediate danger should call 9-1-1.

Plan Ahead

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

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The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station is hosting a community meeting next week.

The station’s neighborhood patrol unit will discuss their mission, training and community engagement efforts on Jan. 28.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the North County Governmental Building (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).

This month’s meeting is coordinating through FCPD’s Citizen Advisory Committee, which aims to create an opportunity for dialogue between residents and local police districts. 

Photo via FCPD

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Updated 12/19/19 — Police arrested a Reston man in connection to the incident. 

Earlier: Fairfax County Police are conducting a suspicious package investigation at The Spectrum at Reston Town Center.

Police said on Twitter that several businesses were evacuated as a result of the investigation. People are being asked to avoid the area.

It was not immediately clear which businesses were affected.

Update at 11:45 p.m. — The suspicious package was determined to not be hazardous.

Photo via Google Maps

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The autopsy of a Reston woman who died shortly after being brought to the emergency room by two men could take months to complete, according to authorities.

The autopsy of Julia Crabbe, 21, is pending due to toxicology results that could take several months, the WTOP reported on Monday (Nov.25).

Crabbe was brought to the hospital by two men, one of whom was a Washington Redskins player Montae Nicholson. She arrived unconscious and unresponsive to the hospital on Nov. 14.

Crabbe’s family members said they were concerned Nicholson never called 911.

Here’s more from WTOP’s report:

Crabbe was brought to the Inova Emergency Room-Ashburn HealthPlex after 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 14, with what hospital personnel described as a drug overdose. She was unconscious and unresponsive.

Crabbe’s family has said one of the men who brought her to the hospital was Redskins safety Montae Nicholson.

Nicholson has not been charged with any crime, although a search warrant of his Ashburn home allegedly turned up pills, marijuana and foil with residue on it. It is unclear whom the drugs belonged to.

Sources said that was the only search warrant issued at this point.

In a separate incident, Nicholson was arrested last December for being involved in a street brawl, according to a report.

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Fairfax County officials want to take a closer look at the costs linked to adding body worn cameras to the county’s police department.

After studies observing the impact of police officers wearing body cameras while on duty, several members on the Board of Supervisors came out in support of the new proposal draft. As body worn cameras get closer to receiving the board’s approval, two supervisors want more information to determine the fiscal impact of the project.

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity kicked off the discussion of the body worn cameras at the Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday (Sept. 17) by asking what the fiscal impact would be.

The program would cost about $6.2 million by fiscal year 2022, Deputy County Executive for Public Safety Dave Rohrer told the board.

“That includes the Commonwealth Department of Information Technology, the police officers, the cameras, the storage and equipment,” Rohrer said. “It’s an all-in number.”

Braddock District Supervisor John Cook said that if Board of Supervisors approves the action items on the body worn cameras at the meeting next Tuesday (Sept. 24), he will request a report on how it could affect the budget for the Public Defenders’ Office.

Cook noted that the presentation about the pilot program included information about costs for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a body-worn camera program for the Fairfax County Police Department later this month.

If the board’s public safety committee votes in favor of the program today (Tuesday), the board will likely vote on the project on September 24.

Earlier this year, American University researchers analyzed the effects of body-worn cameras on the use of force, changes in policing activities, community members’ assessments of police legitimacy, and the number of community complaints. The report detailed mixed findings. While residents supported the adoption of the program, there was no evidence the cameras directly impacted community member’s satisfied with FCPD.

The program, which would be phased out over three years, will cost $4.3 million next year — a sum that will be covered from the county’s reserve funds. In 2021, the program is expected to cost $5.5 million and roughly $1.1 million in 2022.

If approved, more than 1,200 camera will be deployed to all district stations. Overall, 34 new full-time employees will be hired, including five staff members for FCPD, 23 staff members for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and six positions with the Department of Information Technology.

Police officers at the Reston District Station — which was included in last year’s pilot program — would be the first to receive the devices if the program is approved.

School Resource Officers are also expected to receive body-worn cameras. However, the committee cautioned that decisions to deploy the devices will be made in concert with the Fairfax County School Board and the Board of Supervisors.

The county contracted American University researchers to study the effects of the pilot program after FCPD Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. recommended implementing the program in June 2015. A six-month pilot began in March last year in the Mason, Mount Vernon and Reston district stations.

At a committee meeting in June, board supervisors largely expressed support for the program.

Photo via FCPD

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Virginia State Police arrested a Herndon man for allegedly trying to murder a police officer following a Clarke County shooting.

Police charged 33-year-old Timothy B. Neal with attempted capital murder of a police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and shooting into an occupied vehicle, according to Virginia State Police.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Monday (Aug. 5), a Clarke County sheriff’s deputy responded to a medical emergency call at a farmer’s market in the 4800 block of Harry Byrd Hwy (Route 7), Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said.

“When the Deputy and an ambulance arrived on scene, the male subject who reported being in distress had left the market on foot,” Geller said.

More from the Virginia State Police:

The Deputy began a search of the area for the male — later identified as Neal — and located him walking in the median of Route 7. Neal was compliant with the Deputy’s request for an ID. The Deputy had returned to his patrol car and was seated inside checking the man’s information when Neal pulled a concealed weapon from his waistband and fired at and struck the Deputy’s vehicle.

The Deputy immediately took cover and returned fire. Neal was struck and was transported to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The Deputy was not injured in the incident.

At the request of the Clarke County Sheriff, the Police Shooting Investigation Team, out of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Culpeper Field Office, is investigating the officer-involved shooting. The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Neal is being held without bond at the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center.

File photo

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A police cruiser hit a pedestrian early Sunday in Reston.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, a officer was driving through the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunset Hills Road around 2 a.m. when the cruiser hit the 42-year-old woman as she was crossing.

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries and was released from the hospital.

Police believe alcohol may have been a factor for the woman.

Speed and alcohol were not considered factors for the officer, police said.

Anyone with information about the crash should call FCPD’s crash reconstruction unit at 703-280-0543.

Photo via FCPD

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A 19-year-old Reston resident was arrested on July 6 at around 8:30 p.m. for assaulting police.

Local police found Mario Rodriguez unconscious near a bus stop. When medical staff tried to help him, Rodriguez assaulted an officer during the arrest.

He was charged with two counts of assault on law enforcement, possession of marijuana and drunk in public.

Rodriguez is being held without bond.

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

LARCENIES:

2100 block of Astoria Circle cash from residence

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from location

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, package from residence

1800 block of Fountain Drive, backpack from business

2000 block of Durand Drive, laptop computer from vehicle

12900 block of Highland Crossing Drive, tip jar from business

1400 block of Lake Fairfax Drive, cash and property from business

11900 block of Market Street, wallet from location

1400 block of West Ox Road, cell phone from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None

In other news, three golf carts were taken from Hidden Creek Country Club on July 1 just a few minutes after midnight. The carts were found on a nearby street a short while later.

In a separate incident, police also charged Brian Baker, 47, for assault and disorderly conduct on July 2. Police believe Baker threatened staff at Reston Hospital Center.

On July 6, a burglary was reported at Frying Pan Farm Park. Police responded to an alarm and found that the building had been broken into. Nothing was taken.

Photo via FCPD

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The results of an analysis on the county’s pilot body-worn camera program are officially in. Researchers at American University found that the six-month pilot project could have limited results in enhancing policy-community relations increasing police legitimacy and accountability.

In a 119-page report that uses survey data from residents and police officers, researchers found that people had “modest expectations” about the necessity and benefit of body-worn cameras.

Less than half of survey respondents and interviewees noted that the devices would reduce complaints against officers, improve legitimacy or increase police accountability. Police officers also noted that it was unlikely that the devices would change their behavior or how community members responded to the police department.

“If the decision is not to deploy them, the high regard for the department will lead nearly everyone to conclude that it was the right decision for all,” the report states.

Researchers did not find any statistically significant changes in officer behavior and performance once the devices were deployed. They also found that respondents were unconvinced that the cameras would lessen the use of force by police.

The pilot program went into effect in March last year after Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler and a police commission suggested the idea. Last year, 191 cameras were deployed at the Mason, Mount Vernon and Reston District Station, yielding more than 12,000 hours of video.

The police department found that judges, clerks of the courts and staff from the office of the public defendant generally supported the program.

If the program is implemented, the county would deploy 1,210 body-worn cameras to all operational police officers over five years. The Reston, Mason and Mt. Vernon district stations would be the first to get the cameras.

The program could cost nearly $30 million over a five-year contract period. The county would have to hire staff to manage the technical aspects of the equipment, improve station infrastructure and ensure public records laws were being followed.

Additionally, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney would need nearly $3.1 million for 23 positions to help review the footage, roughly $773,000 to help the court system use the videos generated by the cameras in the court-rooms, and $150,000 to boost storage capacity to capture video evidence.

The county still has to mull several issues:

  • The impact of the devices on prosecutors, public defenders and the court system is entirely unclear
  • The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office cannot accommodate planned growth
  • Whether or not cameras should be given to School Resources Officers
  • Training requirements for the defense bar
  • The possibility that future contract costs could increase

The report will be presented to the county’s Public Safety Committee today (July 9).

Photo via FCPD

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Missing Reston Man Found — Steven Stoller, 59, went missing on Monday when he left Bethesda, Maryland. He was located safe and unharmed on Tuesday, according to police. [Montgomery County Police Department]

Comscore Expands into West and Southern Africa — The Reston-based company is expanding its box office measurement services to nine African countries, including Nigeria and South Africa. Company executives say the move can capture the effectiveness of the African film market — one of the “most remarkable cultural developments in recent decades.” [Comscore]

Planning Commission Vote on Prince Towne and Reston Heights Development Proposal Tonight — The panel is expected to vote on scaling back already approved plans for Reston Heights, a mixed-use development already in progress on Sunrise Valley Drive. A vote is also expected on plans for single-family homes on the north side of West Ox Road. [Fairfax County Planning Commission]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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City of Fairfax police arrested a Herndon man after police received reports that his car rental had not been returned on time.

Police arrested the 32-year-old Herndon resident on the afternoon of March 7, the police report says.

He is currently being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on a secured bond of $1,000.

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

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cash from location

12100 block of Eddyspark Drive, wallet from vehicle

12000 block of Heather Down Drive, jewelry from residence

1400 block of North Point Village Center, merchandise from business

1800 block of Old Reston Avenue, laptop computers from residence

11800 block of Spectrum Center, merchandise from business

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

1300 block of Pavilion Club Way, 2009 Nissan Murano

1100 block of Vantage Hill Road, 2008 Ford Expeditio

File photo 

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The queue of proposed projects for the Town of Herndon has two new items — plans for more police storage and a traffic signal along Elden Street.

Senior Planner Dana Heiberg presented the draft Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission last night (Feb. 25).

The draft CIP spans a six-year period from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2025.

One new addition would give police officers more space to store police bicycles, bulky equipment and other police property. The CIP budgets the creation of the exterior garage at $700,000 from FY 2020 funding.

That isn’t the only police project. Another one would update police radio equipment as Fairfax County moves toward encryption technology.

Meanwhile, the second new project — a traffic signal at Elden Street by the Herndon Centre — originated from a developer proffer.

Heiberg also gave an overview of the 50 projects for this year — many of which he said are on-going ones from the FY 2019-FY 2024 CIP.

For this year, planning and permitting software will is set for implementation. The information technology project is supported by the town’s reserves.

Renovating the Bready Park tennis courts, which will include converting the lighting to LEDs, is a part of the 10 planned park projects.

Nine projects sponsored by community development are set to tackle street improvements; pedestrian and bike trail upgrades, including trails leading to Herndon’s metro station; and wayfinding signs and historic markers.

Public works-sponsored projects include:

  • nine street or intersection improvements
  • a storm drainage project
  • major maintenance for buildings
  • a road repaving program
  • utility relocation downtown

The Herndon Centennial Clubhouse is also set for an expansion to take place over three phases. Once construction funding is decided upon in FY 2024, the renovation and expansion of the existing structure, which was built in the 1980s, will begin.

The General Fund projects for the six years in the draft CIP total $58.1 million, with about $6 million for FY 2020 General Fund projects. Grant funding will support most of the projects — acounting for 46 percent — while the General Fund will support a little over 20 percent, Heiberg said.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend that the draft CIP move forward to the Town’s manager.

Photo via Google Maps

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City of Fairfax police arrested a Reston man after he assaulted two police officers.

On Thursday, Jan. 3,  police officers found a male subject knocking on doors and checking doorknobs around 1:21 a.m. in the 9400 block of Fairfax Blvd. A police investigation determined that a possible larceny had occurred and that the subject was intoxicated, according to the report.

Elias Bouazer, a 20-year-old from Reston, allegedly assaulted two officers as they were in the process of arresting him, the report says.

Bouazer was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was charged with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, larceny and being drunk in public. He was held without bond.

Last Friday (Jan. 11), police in the City of Fairfax arrested another Restonian — this time for drunk driving.

At around 1:44 a.m. police stopped a vehicle that was driving erratically in the area of Revel Run and Fairfax Blvd and arrested and charged Mohiyadin Abukar Abdi of Reston for driving under the influence, according to the report. Abdi was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

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

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, laptop computer from residence 

10200 block of Colvin Run Road, wallet from residence

Emeral Heights Court/Green Range Drive, cell phone from location

11600 block of Plaza America Drive, bag from location

8700 block of Potomac Hills Street, purse from vehicle

1600 block of Reston Parkway, merchandise from business

2200 block of Southgate Square, shovel from residence

2200 block of Stone Wheel Drive, clothing from location

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, merchandise from business

11400 block of Waterview Cluster, wallet from location

1800 block of Wiehle Ave, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

City of Falls Church police arrested a Herndon man last week.

Last Tuesday (Jan. 8) around 10:45 a.m., police responded to a complaint about suspicious activity at the 7-Eleven at 201 S. Washington Street. They arrested and charged 26-year-old Jason Wesley of Herndon with possession of a controlled substance, obstruction of justice and public intoxication, according to the report.

File photo

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Fairfax County Police are still looking for the driver who killed a Reston teen who was crossing the street Saturday evening.

The victim was identified by police Sunday as 16-year-old Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano, who friends are remembering as “kind and selfless.” The South Lakes High School student was struck by a vehicle while returning home from work at Reston’s Cafesano, NBC 4 reported.

“At about 5:40, officers responded to the report of a pedestrian hit-and-run crash on South Lakes Drive and Castle Rock Square in Reston,” police said in a press release. “The teen was attempting to cross South Lakes Drive… when he was hit by a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“There is a crosswalk at the intersection and detectives are still conducting their investigation to determine if the teen was using the crosswalk,” police added. Police are now seeking information that can lead them to the driver, who fled the scene.

More from FCPD:

Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit are asking anyone with information on the fatal hit-and-run crash over the weekend to come forward. 16-year-old Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano of Reston was hit while crossing the street Saturday night, and the driver left the scene. The car involved was likely a sedan based on witness accounts, but we don’t know the model or color. The vehicle would have heavy front-end damage but still be drivable.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit witness phone line: 703-280-0543. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting http://www. fairfaxcrimesolvers.org, or calling 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). They can also be sent in via text by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637). Text STOP to 274637 to cancel, or HELP to 274637 for help. Message and data rates may apply. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1000 if their information leads to an arrest.

We are able to share Serrano’s identity publicly, despite him being a juvenile crime victim, because his family provided our detectives their written consent.

Map via Google Maps

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