Officers with the Fairfax County Police Department have been deployed to Washington, D.C., as part of a region-wide emergency response to far-right extremists who have stormed the U.S. Capitol, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay’s office confirmed to Tysons Reporter.
Fairfax County has also opened its emergency operations center to Virginia State Police.
Earlier this week, McKay advised county residents to avoid visiting downtown D.C. as several right-wing groups planned to hold demonstrations to protest Congress’ scheduled certification of the November 2019 general election results.
Fairfax County police previously said they did not anticipate needing to assist D.C. authorities in managing the demonstrations. Like other law enforcement agencies in the D.C. region, the county has a mutual aid agreement in place for situations where additional help may be needed.
McKay’s full statement is below:
What is happening in Washington D.C. right now is nothing short of a coup. This is a dark day in American democracy and I am personally sad and angry. I’m hopeful residents of the county heeded our advice to stay home today.
We have deployed members of our police department and opened our emergency oerpations center ot Virginia State Police. Let us pray for their safety as well as the safety of the innocent people impacted. Our democracy will not be destroyed by violent, lawless mobs.
I’m in constant communication with County officials to ensure we provide as much help as possible and also protect our communities in Fairfax.
Photo via Sherry Xu on Unsplash
Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr. will step down from his position early next year, the Fairfax County Police Department announced this morning (Thursday).
The FCPD says Roessler will retire after eight years as Fairfax County’s police chief effective February 2021 in order to transition the agency, which is the largest police department in Virginia, to a new generation of leadership.
The FCPD’s announcement confirms news that was first reported by Washington Post journalist Justin Jouvenal.
“The FCPD is blessed with women and men, past and present, who understand their noble calling in life and are deidcated to serving and protecting others,” Roessler said. “…Our county leaders, community and its great police department are positioned to continue to serve as a model for the next generation of policing in America.”
Roessler’s tenure with the Fairfax County Police Department spans more than three decades. First hired as a police recruit in 1989, he rose to the position of deputy chief before serving as interim Chief of Police in early 2013 to replace then-Chief David Rohrer, who had been promoted to deputy county executive for public safety in October 2012.
Roessler was officially appointed as Fairfax County’s police chief by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July 2013.
Roessler became police chief as the FCPD was facing increased scrutiny by county officials and community members after a Fairfax County police officer shot and killed Springfield resident John Geer in August 2013.
After the Board of Supervisors established an independent Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission to examine the FCPD’s policies and relationship to the community it serves, Roessler oversaw the implementation of many of the commission’s recommendations, including the creation of a body-worn camera program, the establishment of a civilian review panel and independent police auditor, and modifications to the department’s use-of-force policy.
The FCPD also started a Chief’s Diversity Council and worked with county leaders and community advocates through the Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee, which was formed in 2015 by then-Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and led by then-Fairfax County NAACP President Shirley Ginwright.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay thanked Roessler for “his years of service to Fairfax County and his dedication to protecting our county,” emphasizing Roessler’s efforts to work with the board to implement reforms “that have solidified the police department as a leader in transparency and community trust.”
“I know I join many in wishing the Chief continued good health and success in his next chapter,” McKay said. “I look forward to beginning the search for his successor and continuing to build on our successes in Fairfax County.”
Photo via Fairfax County
An employee at an affordable senior living facility in Tysons has tested positive for COVID-19, according to memos from the building’s management.
Tysons Reporter obtained copies of two memos signed with the name of a Polinger employee.
A memo dated Thursday (March 26) says that a Tysons Towers employee went to the hospital with coronavirus symptoms, later receiving a positive test result for the virus on Thursday.
An earlier memo says that the building management can’t provide more information on the case, citing HIPAA laws.
The employee was last in the senior living facility’s community on Friday, March 20, according to the memos.
“At this time, we have closed the Management Office and have sent all employees home until further notice,” the most recent memo says, adding that half of the staff was sent home on Monday (March 23).
The memo says that the building received a deep cleaning earlier this week, cleaning of common areas has since increased in the building and visitors are being screened with a questionnaire.
The memo includes information on preventing the spread of the virus — like reminding people to wash their hands and social distance.
The Polinger employee who signed the memo did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Health Department declined to comment on the Tysons Towers case.
“We currently have 124 cases of COVID-19 in Fairfax County, including 44 cases new cases that were reported today,” John Silcox, the spokesperson, said. “As our numbers increase, we won’t have information on every new case in the community.”
As for cases in assisted living facilities or skilled nursing facilities in general, Silcox said that the health department works with the building’s management on infection control policies.
“These include isolating all residents who have symptoms of illness; restricting congregating and eliminating gatherings; screening of staff for symptoms at the beginning of each shift; discouraging cross-facility employment; guiding appropriate use of personal protection equipment (PPE); providing guidance on enhanced cleaning practices; and implementing visitor restrictions,” he said.
Image via Google Maps
Updated at 12:10 p.m. — Normal service has resumed at the Vienna Metro station as of noon, Metro tweeted.
A man has been struck by a train at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.
Firefighters from Fairfax and Arlington counties are currently on scene after the man was struck around 9 a.m.
The man appears to have intentionally “placed himself in the path of the train,” according to Metro Transit Police. He is reportedly deceased.
Riders should expect delays on the Orange line. Train service has been suspended between the West Falls Church and Vienna Metro stations, Metro tweeted.
Shuttle buses are now available at:
- West Falls Church: bus bay B for service toward Vienna
- Vienna: bus bay Q for service toward New Carrollton
- Dunn Loring-Merrifield: bus bay F for service in both directions
Orange Line Metrobus alternatives:
At Vienna – 29N to King St (BL, YL).
At Dunn Loring – 1B to Ballston (OR, SV), 2A to East Falls Church (OR, SV) & Ballston (OR, SV) and 2B to Vienna (OR).
At West Falls Church – 3T to East Falls Church (OR) & 28A to Tysons Corner (SV). #wmata
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 9, 2020
Vienna: MTPD and @ffxfirerescue have responded to a person struck by train. Unfortunately, this is a "recovery" operation, as opposed to a rescue. Camera review shows adult male intentionally placed himself in the path of the train. Rail service temp suspended WFC-Vienna. #wmata
— Metro Transit Police (@MetroTransitPD) March 9, 2020
UPDATED: Orange Line Delay: Train service suspended btwn West Falls Church & Vienna due to a person struck by a train at Vienna. Shuttle buses requested.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 9, 2020
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm, call 911 or the Department of Human Services’ emergency services line at 703-228-5160. CrisisLink also has a 24-hour crisis hotline at 703-527-4077 or 800-SUICIDE, or text 703-940-0888.
Late this morning, a vehicle ran into the window of a building in downtown McLean.
The incident occurred in the 1400 block of Center Street shortly before noon, according to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesperson.
An adult male driver drove into the front of a building, causing “minimal” damage, a Fairfax County police spokesperson said.
No one was injured, according to the fire department spokesperson.
It is unclear at this time what caused the incident. The fire department spokesperson said that there will be a police investigation.
The police spokesperson was not able to share the type of vehicle and specific building address.
Units on scene of vehicle into building in 1400 block of Center Street in McLean. Minor damage. No injuries at this time. Several units returning to service. #FCFRD #FairfaxCounty pic.twitter.com/j0N4lI1Axt
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) January 15, 2020
Catherine Douglas Moran contributed reporting
Map via Google Maps
(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) A man died this morning following an incident at the Capital One construction site in Tysons, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
FCPD said that the man, Nelson Aguilar-Salamanca, was brought to the hospital and pronounced dead after he was struck by a rebar that fell from a crane at the 1600 block of Capital One Drive.
A police spokesperson said the first 911 call was received around 7:30 a.m. and that the incident happened in front of the Capital One headquarters.
Aguilar-Salamanca was a 55-year old Maryland resident, according to an FCPD press release, which added that he was working on the site as a subcontractor.
Construction is still underway on the second phase of Capital One’s corporate campus in Tysons, which is set to include a Wegmans grocery store and a performing arts center. Construction is set to wrap up in 2021.
Anyone who witnessed this accident is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800 or submit an online tip.
Officers are on scene of a workplace accident in the 1600 blk of Capital One Dr. A man was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries. Detectives are responding to the scene. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/hpwFsKcaJX
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) December 30, 2019
Map via Google Maps
Updated at 1:35 p.m. 8/9/19 — Police said that after a thorough investigation, “our detectives have concluded no criminal activity occurred.”
More from FCPD:
An ex-employee of a business within the building sent a suspicious group text message to some of his formercolleagues but there were no direct threats made. The following day, an employee in the building overheard two co-workers discussing the text message and asked another employee for additional information.
There was a language barrier and through the use of a cell phone translator program, the message was interpreted as a present threat of a man in the building with a gun. Building security relayed the information they received to our dispatch center, prompting the emergency response.
Our investigation determined that no one was actually seen with a gun and we do not have any evidence that the subject who sent the text message was at the building on Wednesday.
Earlier: Fairfax County police responded en masse to reports of a man with a weapon at Gannett headquarters in Tysons shortly after noon on Wednesday.
The police department tweeted about the incident at 7950 Jones Branch Drive, in the Valo Park office complex, at 12:25 p.m. today (Wednesday). Police vehicles swarmed the area as the building was evacuated.
Gannett, which publishes USA Today and hundreds of local newspapers across the country, this week announced a merger with fellow newspaper chain GateHouse.
USA Today reported around 1:15 p.m. that the incident resulted from “a mistaken report of a person with a weapon.” Fairfax County Police said that they “have found no evidence of any acts of violence or injuries.”
Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said police received a 911 call around noon that said a former employee was spotted inside the building with a gun. Roessler said there is a person of interest being sought, but that there are no gunshots reported in the building. As of 2 p.m., Roessler said police were still searching the building floor by floor.
“Right now, we do not have any reports of gunshots being fired,” Roessler said. “This is a very large office complex, going to take several more hours to clear the building and make the determination that it’s all clear.”
A reunification center was established at the McLean Hilton (7920 Jones Branch Drive) for evacuated employees.
At a later press conference, Roessler said that police were talking to the person of interest, who was said to be a former employee of a company at the Valo Park complex. The person was located in a different part of Fairfax County and there is no evidence of a crime, Roessler said, adding that officers had “cleared every single inch of that building, from the basement to the roof to the parking garages.”
Police are still reviewing surveillance video to determine if the person of interest was actually in the building, as reported by the 911 caller.
Roessler said the large police response — which included heavily-armed SWAT officers and the Fairfax County Police helicopter overhead — was consistent with how the department would respond to an active shooter situation. The response was necessary, he said, given the initial report of an armed ex-employee.
In a press release this evening, police said that the person of interest “was identified in an unrelated area of the county and officers spoke with him, however, criminal charges are not expected.”
“The investigation is ongoing but we don’t have any evidence that a crime occurred – we’re thankful that this was a non-event,” Roessler said in the press release.
“The right decision was made today, even though it disrupted businesses,” he said. “Our prayers have been answered, everyone is safe.”
— Mike Valerio (@MikevWUSA) August 7, 2019
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) August 7, 2019
— Trevor K. Chan (@TrevorKChan) August 7, 2019
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 7, 2019
(Updated at 4 p.m. 8/6/19) A driver has been arrested after police say he struck and killed a woman who was walking with a child in the West Falls Church area Saturday afternoon.
The victim was identified by police Sunday (Aug. 4) as 60-year-old Betty Ana Bernstein-Zabza of Falls Church. Police said Bernstein-Zabza died as a result of injuries from the crash, which happened shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Shreve Road and Hickory Street.
“Detectives from our Crash Reconstruction Unit have preliminarily determined that [Bernstein-Zabza] was walking with a juvenile northbound on a pedestrian pathway adjacent to Shreve Road,” police said. “They entered a crosswalk that connected the pathway to a sidewalk when they were hit by a stolen 2013 Nissan Titan pickup truck.”
While police said that couldn’t unable to provide any information about the identity of the child, WUSA9 reported that the child was Zabza’s son.
The crash scene was near the busy W&OD Trail.
Police arrested the vehicle’s driver — 46-year-old South Riding resident David Alan Francis.
“Detectives believe [Francis] lost control of the truck causing it to exit the roadway and hit Bernstein-Zabza and the juvenile,” police said.
More from FCPD:
Bernstein-Zabza was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
The juvenile was treated for minor injuries. Francis ran from the scene but was arrested a short time later. He was not injured.
Both speed and drugs appear to be factors. Francis was charged with one count of felony hit and run. He was taken to the Adult Detention Center where he is being held without bond. Additional charges are anticipated.
Detectives believe Francis may have been involved in additional criminal events yesterday in both Fairfax County and adjoining jurisdictions.
Since 2009, Francis has faced 30 charges including many traffic-related ones like driving under a revoked or suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle, speeding and improper driving, according to court records.
An FCPD spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that police preliminarily believe that within the hour prior to the fatal pedestrian crash, Francis was involved in the following incidents:
- hit and run crash with injury at Route 50/Pleasant Valley Rd around 2:15 p.m.
- hit and run property damage crash in the 7600 block of Virginia Lane
- subsequent hit and run property damage crash in the 7600 block of Virginia Lane
- Falls Church City incident
- subsequent Falls Church City incident
- fatal pedestrian crash dispatched at 2:47 p.m.
Police ask that anyone with information contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit at 703-280-0543. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477).
Image via Google Maps, photo via FCPD
Updated at 4:50 p.m. 8/8/19 — “The case is still an active investigation and we can confirm that the manner of death has been ruled accidental with the cause being asphyxiation,” a police spokesperson told Tysons Reporter.
Earlier: Fairfax County police are investigating a boy’s death following a construction accident in McLean.
Police tweeted that two males were involved in a fatal construction accident that happened in the 1800 block of Solitaire Lane.
James Curry, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that police responded around 3:15 p.m. after a ditch collapsed on a residential construction site, trapping two people. The individuals were extricated and taken to nearby hospitals, Curry said.
“The adult male sustained injuries that are considered non-life threatening,” he said. “Unfortunately, the juvenile did pass away.”
Investigators from the police department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are currently trying to determine the exact circumstances of the incident.
Anyone who might have witnessed or who has information about what happened is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to confirm the cause of death, according to FCPD.
Map via Google Maps
A person has been struck by a train at the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.
The incident was first reported by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue around 2:15 p.m. Firefighters were “working to access” the person struck by the train, the fire department said via social media; the person has since been extricated from under the train and taken to a local hospital.
Orange Line trains heading toward Vienna are instead terminating at West Falls Church, Metro said, with shuttle buses running between the West Falls Church and Vienna stations.
UPDATE – person struck by metro train in the 2600 block of Avenir Place in Merrifield: person has been extricated from under metro train. Crews will be transporting to an area hospital momentarily. #FCFRD #FairfaxCounty @MetroTransitPD pic.twitter.com/kwGypBi761
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) July 17, 2019
Orange Line Alert: Trains originating from New Carrollton will terminate at West Falls Church due to a person struck by a train at Dunn Loring.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) July 17, 2019
Orange Line Alert: Shuttle trains operate between Vienna and West Falls Church only due to a person struck by a train at Dunn Loring.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) July 17, 2019