Tysons, VA

Fairfax County police received multiple reports of robberies and larcenies in the McLean District this week.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department’s weekly recap, two men shoplifted merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue (2051 International Dr.) at Tysons Galleria around 4:04 p.m. on Jan. 10. When leaving, they threatened to assault a store employee.

Then, at 8:15 p.m. on Jan. 14, a man and a woman took two carts of merchandise without paying from Safeway on 6244 Old Dominion Dr. in McLean. They reportedly assaulted two employees while leaving the grocery store.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

The FCPD also confirmed today that it received two separate reports of larceny on Jan. 13 from people whose vehicles were robbed at Clemyjontri Park in McLean around 5 p.m. that day. In both cases, the vehicle windows were broken, and personal items were taken.

“We would like to remind our community members to hide valuables that must be left in a vehicle, even if you are stepping away for just a few minutes,” FCPD Sgt. Tara Gerhard said.

Fairfax County police suggest placing purses, laptop bags, and larger items in the trunk of the vehicle and hiding loose change, phones, or other small valuable items “that could make your vehicle an easy target for a criminal.”

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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The Fairfax County Police Department released the names of two officers who fired their weapons and shot a reportedly armed man in Falls Church on Dec. 17.

Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler Jr. identified the officers as Master Police Officer Lance Guckenberger and Police Officer First-Class Matthew Grubb in a statement issued on Friday (Jan. 8).

Guckenberger is a 20-year Fairfax County police veteran, and Grubb has been with the department for 18 years. They are both members of the department’s special operations division, according to Roessler.

The officers were among those who responded to a teenager’s report that he had been shot by a man in an apartment in the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive in Falls Church. After attempting to negotiate with the man, police entered the apartment, and there was reportedly an exchange of gunfire.

Guckenberger and Grubb “discharged their firearms at Myer to end his imminent threat to the sanctity of all human life present at the event,” Roessler said in his statement.

The teen and the man, who has been identified as Falls Church resident Glenn Allen Meyer, were both transported to a local hospital and survived their injuries.

Meyer was released from the hospital on Dec. 19 and charged with aggravated malicious wounding. He is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Fairfax County policy requires police officers who use potentially deadly force to be publicly identified within 10 days of the incident unless the police chief determines “there is a credible threat to the safety of those involved or if additional time is required to thoroughly complete the risk assessment process,” the FCPD says.

The department said on Dec. 26 that Roessler needed more time to finish a risk assessment “to make an informed decision regarding the release of the involved police officers’ names.”

The criminal and administrative investigations into the Falls Church shooting both remain ongoing.

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(Updated 5:05 p.m.) Police in the Town of Vienna were kept busy this week responding to reports that ranged from a political protest to ketchup-related vandalism.

The Vienna Police Department’s crime round-up for the week of Dec. 30 to Jan. 7 states that officers responded to “group of people protesting political issues in the street and on the sidewalk in front of a residence” on DeSale Street NW at 7:28 p.m. on Jan. 4.

While the report does not provide any additional details, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday (Jan. 5) that protestors had gathered outside the home of Republican Sen. Josh Hawley to decry the Missouri senator’s plan to object to Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Hawley had accused the protestors of vandalism and threats against his family on Twitter, but Vienna police described the scene as peaceful. The group dispersed when informed that they were violating local laws against picketing in front of a house, littering, and noise, according to the AP.

In a more innocuous event, police were summoned to the Historic Vienna Train Station (231 Dominion Rd.) on the morning of Jan. 4 when a Town of Vienna employee reported seeing “a red liquid on the south wall” of the station.

“It was determined that someone squirted ketchup on the wall,” the VPD says. “There was no permanent damage to the wall.”

Photo via Google Maps

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The man involved in a shooting and armed confrontation with police last week in Falls Church has now been charged with aggravated malicious wounding, Fairfax County police announced on Saturday (Dec. 19).

The Fairfax County Police Department identified the individual as Glenn Allen Myer, 61, of Falls Church. He has been arrested after allegedly shooting a teenager and exchanging gunfire with responding police officers.

Earlier on Saturday, Myer was released from the hospital where he was transported after being injured in the confrontation with police. He is now being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

The two officers who fired their weapons during the incident remain on administrative leave, as criminal and administrative investigations into the shooting are still ongoing, the FCPD said.

Virginia law defines aggravated malicious wounding as any instance where a person “maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds any other person, or by any means causes bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill.”

If the victim is severely injured and suffers permanent and significant physical impairment, aggravated malicious wounding is classified as a Class 2 felony, which carries potential punishments of imprisonment for life or a term of at least 20 years, and a fine of up to $100,000.

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The Vienna Police Department received three separate reports of vehicle break-ins at the Vienna Dog Park on Courthouse Road earlier this week.

The incidents all reportedly occurred between 3:45 and 4:34 p.m. last Sunday (Dec. 13).

There were two grand larceny cases involving women who said someone broke one of their vehicles’ windows and stole their purses. One of the women said other items were also missing.

In the third case, a male town resident said someone broke a window in his vehicle and seemed to have rummaged around, but nothing appeared to have been taken. Police have classified the incident as an act of vandalism.

This week’s Vienna police report includes two other crimes involving vehicle break-ins outside of the dog park incidents.

One resident reported that, between 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 13, someone had entered her unlocked vehicle and “rummaged through” it, though nothing appeared to have been taken.

Another citizen reported on Dec. 13 that his wallet and cell phone were stolen from his unlocked vehicle sometime between 8 and 10:50 p.m. The man’s car had been parked in the alley behind Domino’s Pizza at 331 Maple Ave. East.

Past issues with rampant vehicle tampering and thefts have prompted the town police department to advise residents to lock their car doors and remove all valuables and keys from the vehicle.

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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Fairfax County police have arrested a man who allegedly shot a teenager and engaged in an armed confrontation with law enforcement in Falls Church yesterday (Thursday).

According to the latest update on the situation from the Fairfax County Police Department, police officers responded to an apartment in the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive at 10:49 a.m. after a teenager called 9-1-1, saying he had been shot in the face by a man who lives in the apartment.

The caller told the dispatcher that he had taken shelter in a bedroom, but the man was attempting to break in.

Upon arriving at the scene, police officers and a deputy from the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office tried to negotiate with the armed man, but the talks “yielded no progress toward deescalating the situation, and it was evident the victim’s life was in imminent danger,” the FCPD says.

Police then entered the apartment and reportedly exchanged gunfire with the armed man, who is now identified as a 61-year-old Falls Church resident. Two officers shot the man in the upper body, and another officer was grazed by a bullet, resulting in a minor injury that was treated at the scene.

The victim and armed man were both transported to a local hospital by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department medics.

The victim’s injuries were not considered life-threatening. Roessler told reporters Thursday afternoon that the man underwent surgery, and he has now been taken into police custody.

The FCPD has identified the two officers who discharged their weapons as a 20-year and an 18-year veteran of the department assigned to the special operations division. They have both been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of criminal and administrative investigations.

The criminal investigation is being led by the FCPD’s major crimes bureau, while the administrative investigation is being conducted by the internal affairs bureau. Fairfax County’s independent police auditor will also conduct an independent review.

Police say Roessler will release the names of the officers within 10 days. The suspect’s identity and the charges he will face will be made public once arrest warrants are served.

“All information provided in this release is based on preliminary investigative findings and may be subject to revision as the investigation progresses,” the FCPD says.

Photo via FCPD

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Updated at 5:00 p.m. — The victim in a shooting at a Falls Church apartment complex is expected to survive, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said earlier this afternoon.

Fairfax County police officers and deputies from the county sheriff’s office responded to a 9-1-1 call that came in around 10:49 a.m. from a man who said he had been shot by an acquaintance in his apartment on the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive.

Roessler says the suspect was still armed when police arrived on the scene and “actively trying to attack the victim again.”

When police entered the apartment, they exchanged gunfire with the armed individual and ultimately shot him. Contrary to a previous report saying no officers were injured, Roessler said that one officer suffered a minor grazing injury that was treated on the scene.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department medics transported both citizens to a local hospital, where they remain. Roessler said the suspect was undergoing surgery when he was last briefed on the situation.

“I am very proud of the Fairfax County Police Department…and the women and men of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office,” Roessler said. “Today, they are heroes, because they saved the life of the victim in this matter.”

Earlier: Two people have been taken to the hospital after police officers engaged in an armed confrontation in Falls Church, the Fairfax County Police Department says.

According to the FCPD, McLean District officers responded to a report of a shot person at the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive just off of Leesburg Pike. An armed confrontation between the officers and an individual ensued upon their arrival to the scene.

Police say no officers were injured, and the scene is now contained.

 

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Following a months-long review, the City of Falls Church Use of Force Review Committee is slated to recommend police reforms by February 2021 after the city council granted the committee an extension on Monday (Dec. 14).

Originally, the committee was set to disband after it presented its report to the Falls Church City police chief, city manager and city council at the end of December. That deadline has now been changed to Feb. 28, 2021.

The report will cover the committee’s discoveries from pouring over 113 reports of uses of force by local law enforcement, nearly 400 community responses to a survey about experiences with the police, and the department’s policies governing the use of force. It will also include a variety of recommendations, ranging from procedural changes to community engagement.

The 133 documented uses of force in the city since 2015 comes with a few caveats. At least 25 of the reports involve animals, since the Falls Church City Police Department’s definition of “uses of force” includes animal euthanasia, Use of Force Review Committee Vice Chair Brian Creswick said.

“Matching policy and procedure with practice, that is where the rubber meets the road…that’s where problems arise,” said Falls Church City Human Resources Director Steve Mason, who is the staff representative to the committee.

Falls Church established the committee on June 12 after recent deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, fueled calls for action on racial justice issues.

The committee received 72 online applications, along with some mail applications. That is more than any other in the city’s history, Mason said.

The committee is part of the city council’s commitment to the Reimagining Policing Pledge, which urges mayors and local officials to review and reform use-of-force policies over the course of 90 days.

In Virginia, Alexandria, Vienna, Dumfries, Richmond and Winchester have also formed similar committees. Creswick commended Falls Church for being part of the small group.

“We could’ve taken the easy road out because these things weren’t happening here,” he said. “We have a city council and a government that is really trying to make the city welcoming and inclusive.”

The committee consists of seven community members and six government officials, an intentional ratio to avoid the city government “controlling the narrative by sheer numbers,” Mason said. There are four Black people on the committee, and six women, representing a range of professional experiences, from social services to law.

“The seven community members selected are second to none and really added great expertise to this committee,” Mason said.

To learn about the community’s experiences with the police, the committee sent out a survey from mid-November through Dec. 4, though Johnson admits it was hard to engage people that would typically not answer a survey.

Respondents were asked, but not required to provide, demographic information, and the results indicate white women are the primary group to respond to surveys, Creswick said. Still, some respondents reported experiences that the committee is looking into more thoroughly.

Taken together, the committee’s survey, procedural review, and review of use-of-force reports will give people a “rich understanding of where there’s opportunities to improve,” according to Creswick.

Despite the adversarial tenor to national discussions on police reform, Creswick says the committee’s work here has been collaborative. Committee Chair Janis Johnson hopes the committee will help keep attention on police reform even when it isn’t dominating national headlines.

“The reasoning behind these committees and reviews is so that this stays on people’s minds, and there is change that lasts,” she said.

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Three businesses at the Eden Center near Seven Corners in Falls Church experienced break-ins early this morning, the City of Falls Church Police Department reported today (Tuesday).

According to police, the incidents occurred between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., and no one was injured. Police are currently seeking witnesses and any additional information that members of the public may have about the break-ins.

“At this point, there is no description of a suspect or suspects, and no photos or video,” Falls Church City police said. “Any additional materials, photos, videos, and descriptions will be released once available.”

The department says anyone with information can call its non-emergency number at 703-241-5053.

Photo via Google Maps

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For more than 14 years,  the Fairfax County Police Department has offered information about calls for service using a web-based mapping system. 

The latest platform — which recently took on a new name after CrimeReports.com merged with Motorola — is called CityProtect.

Although the platform now has a different name following the merger, FCPD Sgt. Tara Gerhard says the features are the same. The department’s internal reporting system connects with the website to automatically publish an interactive map.

The service is free, and users can sign up to receive alerts. Users can also filter the data based on the type of incident and the date.

“CityProtect provides a convenient, web-based platform which allows us to continue to be transparent with our community by sharing local police-related information,” Gerhard said.

Incidents like domestic violence, traffic-related incidents, and homicides are not captured by the platform.

FCPD also recently launched a new data dashboard, which provides public information about arrests, citations, warnings and department training procedures and other policies.

Image via CityProtect

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