Newsletter
Person holding a pumpkin with a Jack-o’-lantern face (via Julia Raasch/Unsplash)

At least one mystery fiend has been terrorizing vehicles across the Town of Vienna, with the pumpkin as its seasonally appropriate weapon of choice.

The Vienna Police Department first reported the spate of squash-tossing vandalism in its incident round-up for the week of Oct 8-14, which included three separate reports from residents who said someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicles.

Those incidents all occurred sometime between 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 13, resulting in shattered windows in two cases and a damaged trunk in the third.

However, what appeared to be a one-night anomaly has turned into a full-fledged crime spree, according to the department’s latest report.

Covering the week of Oct. 15-21, the report lists seven different cases of vehicles being hit and damaged by thrown pumpkins, including one that has now been targeted twice.

As of Friday (Oct. 22), police hadn’t identified a culprit or motive behind the attacks, but VPD has stepped up its presence throughout the town in response.

“It is unknown at this time if they are caused by the same person or if specific vehicles are targeted,” VPD spokesperson Juan Vazquez said. “We continue to increase our patrol presence in all areas of the town to deal with the issue. Residents are also encouraged to contact the police department with any information that may help us.”

The new incidents span midnight on Oct. 14 to 1 a.m. on Oct. 20, according to the police report:

Vandalism 21-006176
1100 Cottage Street, SW
October 14 between 12:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m.
A resident reported that his parked vehicle was damaged when someone threw a pumpkin at it.

Vandalism 21-006139
1100 Block Cottage Street, SW
Between October 14 at 9:00 p.m. and October 15 at 7:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicle, smashing the windshield and damaging the hood.

Vandalism 21-006119
1400 Block Cottage Street, SW
Between October 14 at 11:00 p.m. and October 15 at 8:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicle, shattering the rear window.

Vandalism 21-006118
1200 Block Ross Drive, SW
October 15 between 12:00 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, causing damage to the windshield and driver’s side door above the window. This was the second time the vehicle was vandalized in this manner within a few days. (Reference October 15 Highlights — Incident #21-006081).

Vandalism 21-006173
400 Block Echols Street, SE
Between October 15 at 9:00 a.m. and October 15 at 10:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, smashing the windshield.

Vandalism 21-006246
500 Block Valley Drive, SE
Between October 19 at 11:00 p.m. and October 20 at 1:00 a.m.
A resident reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, shattering the rear window.

Vandalism 21-006245
200 Block Talahi Road, SE
October 20 12:53 a.m.
A resident reported that her parked vehicle was damaged when someone threw a pumpkin at it.

The Ross Drive resident previously reported that someone threw a pumpkin at his parked vehicle, shattering the rear window, between 10 p.m. on Oct. 12 at 10:00 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 13.

This week’s crime round-up also includes a report of someone throwing eggs at a resident’s parked vehicle in the 100 block of Tapawingo Road between Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. and Oct. 17 at 7 a.m.

Photo via Julia Raasch/Unsplash

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The Vienna Oaks Office Center, where Leroy Bazzarone’s chiropractic office was located (staff photo by David Taube)

A local chiropractic doctor recently surrendered his license after allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with six patients.

The move came just under a year after the Virginia Board of Medicine voted to suspend Leroy Bazzarone’s license after he reportedly engaged in sexual contact or conduct that a reasonable patient would consider lewd or offensive.

A consent order from the board alleges that Bazzarone, who ran a chiropractic practice in the Vienna area, would provide services to receptionists for free and that he touched some of the women inappropriately when working with them.

The board’s doctors unanimously determined his actions were problematic and agreed on Sept. 2, 2020 to suspend his license following the incidents, which took place from 2013 to 2020.

“The Board determined that Dr. Bazzarone’s ability to practice constituted a substantial danger to the public health and safety and voted to summarily suspend his license,” meeting minutes said.

With a notary present, Bazzarone signed the consent order prepared by the board on Aug. 27, stating that he neither admitted nor denied its facts.

As part of the settlement, he waived his right to a formal hearing and his right to contest the report’s facts and legal conclusions in any future court or administrative proceeding involving the board.

For half of the patients involved, he had no record of treatment, and for others, he didn’t document all of the treatment he provided, according to the report.

Department of Health Professions spokesperson Diane Power said the settlement involves a permanent surrender of the license.

In a letter through an attorney to a Department of Health Professions investor, Bazzarone said he was retiring as of June 30, 2021. The board recorded his license as surrendered as of Sept. 1.

The reported behavior involved Bazzarone offering free treatment to women he employed as receptionists and massaging their breasts and genital areas. Sometimes, he removed their clothes or took off his own.

The Fairfax County Police Department said it has several reports involving Bazzarone on file.

According to Fairfax County General District Court records, he was arrested on Sept. 4, 2020 and charged with misdemeanor sexual battery for a Sept. 14, 2019 incident. He was found guilty and sentenced on March 11, 2021 to six months of jail. The prison sentence was suspended. Read More

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Morning Notes

Metro Announces Reduced Service Today — “As part of the investigation into the Blue Line derailment, Metro is holding out of service all of its 7000-series railcars, which is nearly 60% of its rail fleet. Without these railcars, Metro will operate about 40 trains tomorrow — offering a basic service pattern on all lines of trains departing about every 30 minutes.” [WMATA]

Why a Police Helicopter Dropped by Vienna on Friday — “Look what dropped into Vienna today — Fairfax 1, the FCPD helicopter! More than 100 children of police officers who were killed in the line of duty spent the day at the Vienna Community Center to participate in fun activities, including getting a close-up look at Fairfax 1.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Major I-66 and I-495 Closures Start Tonight — “All lanes of I-66 West approaching Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) will close nightly, Monday through Thursday, October 18-21, for continued bridge beam installation at the I-66/I-495 Interchange…Additionally, multiple lanes will be closed on the northbound I-495 general purpose lanes near I-66, as well as a full closure of the 495 Express Lanes, and associated ramps at the I-66 and I-495 interchange so that this work may be implemented.” [VDOT]

Vienna Hit by Pumpkin-Throwing Spree — Three different Vienna residents told police that someone threw a pumpkin at their parked vehicle overnight between Oct. 12 and 13. The tossed squashes shattered the windshield of a resident in the 500 block of Birch Street, shattered the rear window of a vehicle at 1200 Ross Drive SW, and damaged the trunk of a resident in the 900 block of Echols Street SE. [Vienna Police Department]

McLean District Police Report Robberies — Five or six men with a gun approached a victim in the 7200 block of Arlington Boulevard on Thursday (Oct. 14) and took personal property, according to police. Three days earlier, two men reportedly assaulted an individual and demanded property in the 7900 block of Tysons Corner Center. No injuries were reported in either case. [FCPD]

Volunteers Sought for Tysons Block Party — Celebrate Fairfax is seeking volunteers for its next Tysons Block Party, which will take place at the former Container Store now known as The PARC (8508 Leesburg Pike) on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 22-23). Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up through a form linked in the organization’s Twitter bio. [Celebrate Fairfax/Twitter]

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The Rotonda condominiums community in Tysons (via Google Maps)

Thieves have been stealing items from unlocked vehicles in a local gated community, residents say.

Doug Doolittle, the president of the Rotonda Condominium Unit Owners Association in Tysons, said in an email that four professional, hooded thieves rifled through unlocked vehicles last week and stole small items from unlocked cars.

“This is the first time that something like this has happened at the Rotonda and we are, of course, very concerned and are looking at a number of enhancements we can take to prevent this from happening again,” he told Tysons Reporter.

The condo association, which is located at 8352 Greensboro Drive, is reminding residents to lock their vehicles and looking at ways to enhance patrolling, remote video camera, and lighting plans to improve coverage, particularly at night in some of the more remote areas of the residential compound.

Rotonda is also coordinating with Fairfax County police and trying to see if there are any lessons learned from other communities that have experienced similar issues.

The incidents have not yet been reported on Spot Crime, which uses county data to map reported crimes, but it does show that a vehicle tampering incident was reported nearby last month at an office park in the 8200 block of Greensboro Drive.

A female victim reported that after getting off work around 5:50 p.m. on Sept. 28, she began to reverse her vehicle in a second level of a parking garage when her front passenger-side wheel fell off and the rear one became loose and wedged at an angle.

Police later found that all of the lugnuts on her front passenger side wheel had been undone, along with four out of the five lugnuts of her rear passenger side wheel.

“It appeared as though someone was attempting to steal her tires but was scared off by someone or something halfway through the process,” police said in a report.

Police offered to jack up the vehicle and reattach the wheels if the victim had the proper equipment, which she did, but police found there was damage to the undercarriage and the fix wouldn’t be simple.

Police said they stayed on scene until the woman’s husband could arrive.

Photo via Google Maps

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Vienna police car (via Vienna Police Department/Facebook)

It was a busy month in Vienna, with police responding to multiple drunken incidents and violent crimes.

The Vienna Police Department’s Crime Report details incidents cross the town where Vienna Police have responded or made arrests. The police report for the week of Sept. 10-16 said a man was arrested for an intoxicated hit-and-run on Nutley Street in late August.

According to the police report:

Vehicle-1 was traveling northbound on Nutley Street at a high rate of speed. Vehicle-2 was on Tapawingo Road stopped at the traffic light for Nutley Street. Vehicle-1 struck Vehicle-2 as it turned onto Tapawingo. Driver-1 fled the scene of the accident, abandoning the vehicle on Hillcrest Drive. Driver-2 was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

On September 15, after completing their investigation, officers obtained two warrants for Driver-1 charging Felony Hit & Run and Driving While Intoxicated. With the assistance of Fairfax County Police, the officers responded to Driver-1’s residence. Ofc. Reed arrested the 25-year old man from Midlothian Court in Vienna. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where the warrants were served.

Also in vehicular crime, last month an employee at Loyal Companion (144 Maple Avenue W) came back to their car in the lot and found their brake lines had been cut.

On September 10, an employee reported that on August 23 he left his vehicle legally parked in the lot behind Loyal Companion. When he returned to the vehicle he found that someone had cut his brake lines.

The report also captured several altercations at local restaurants. At Crumbl Cookies (203 Maple Avenue), a former employee returned to the store intoxicated and became verbally abusive toward the staff, and on Sept. 12, police were called on a family having a domestic dispute behind the Chipotle in the same shopping center.

Most notable, though, was an assault at McDonalds that occurred last Monday (Sept. 13).

A customer, who frequently comes into the restaurant and makes inappropriate comments to the employees, made a comment to a female employee that upset her brother who is also an employee. The customer continued to antagonize the male employee, resulting in a physical altercation in the parking lot. The customer left the store before officers arrived. At the request of the manager of the restaurant, officers responded to the customer’s home and trespassed the man from the McDonalds. The man was advised that he may be charged with trespassing if he returns to the premises.

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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Vienna police car (via Vienna Police Department/Facebook)

Two unusual hit-and-run crashes were among the most notable incidents of the past week for police officers in the Town of Vienna.

In its list of highlights for the week of Aug. 27 to Sept. 2, the Vienna Police Department says its officers responded to two separate hit-and-run incidents last Thursday (Aug. 26), though injuries have not been reported in either one.

The earlier crash occurred around 7:25 a.m. when a drive struck a bicyclist at the intersection of Tapawingo Road and Nutley Street:

A driver reported she was traveling eastbound on Tapawingo Road, turning right onto Nutley Street with a green traffic signal. As she entered the intersection, she struck a bicyclist. The driver exited her vehicle and offered to call the police and make a report. The bicyclist refused to exchange information or call the police. Instead, the bicyclist demanded money from the resident as compensation for the accident. The bicyclist left the scene before police arrived.

Then, around 5:40 p.m. that day, a scrape that caused “minor damage” to two vehicles in the 800 block of Glyndon Street SE concluded with one driver facing an assault charge:

Vehicle-1 was traveling southbound on Glyndon Street. Vehicle-2 was traveling northbound. The two vehicles sideswiped each other as they passed causing minor damage. Driver-1 refused to exchange information and an argument ensued. Driver-1 left the scene and returned a short time later with a hammer and threatened Driver-2. Driver-1 fled the scene again before officers arrived.

Driver-1 was issued two summonses charging Hit & Run and Assault.

Police also arrested a woman from Maryland at 6:46 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 28) after she sped through a red light at the Maple Avenue and Park Street intersection and collided with another vehicle.

The woman went to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, but the responding officer arrested her when she was discharged after detecting signs of impairment and the odor of marijuana. While it’s now legal to possess small amounts of the drug in Virginia, driving while stoned remains illegal.

The woman was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and failure to obey a traffic signal.

In non-traffic-related incidents, Vienna police received a report of disorderly conduct at Chick-fil-A (538 Maple Avenue W) around 9:06 a.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 31):

Officers responded to the report of a disorderly man who was damaging property and chasing employees. They located the man in the parking garage where he was acting erratically and was not responding to the officers’ attempts to speak with him. The man was foaming at the mouth, appeared under the influence of an unknown narcotic, and showed signs of mental instability. The officers were able to subdue the man safely. Rescue personnel responded to the scene and transported the man to an area hospital for evaluation.

The police report says the case remains under investigation.

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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A man who allegedly raped a woman at a home in West Falls Church and threatened her with a machete is now facing felony charges, including rape and abduction.

An Annandale woman testified in a preliminary hearing in Fairfax County General District Court on Monday (Aug. 30) that she thought she was going to die the night that she says Juan Pablo Guzman-Gonzalez, 51, sexually assaulted her.

During the encounter, which took place on Dec. 1 and 2, 2020, she closed her eyes and told the man to think about her daughter, the woman said in court in Spanish, speaking through an interpreter.

The alleged rape occurred after Guzman-Gonzalez was arrested and arraigned for a separate Aug. 30, 2020 incident involving the same woman.

A judge found probable cause on the felony charges for rape, strangulation, and two abduction counts, one each for the August and December incidents. The case will now go before a grand jury, which will determine whether to formally indict Guzman-Gonzalez.

An attorney for the Commonwealth said the state isn’t looking to prosecute misdemeanor charges.

In August at his West Falls Church home, Guzman-Gonzalez and the woman got into an argument and he bit her hand, which was holding her keys. He also took away her phone and punched her in the stomach, she testified.

Gonzalez told police it was only a verbal argument with no physical contact between them, according to a police report.

The woman said in court that she then barricaded herself and her daughter, who was in the home at the time, in a vacant room and used a chair to block the door. She said Guzman-Gonzalez tried using an electric saw to get into the room. According to police, he was cutting a hole in the door to open it.

“My daughter was terrorized,” she said, adding that she told her daughter to call 911.

Court records listed addresses in West Falls Church and Centreville for Guzman-Gonzalez, which also said he lives with his wife, but the Annandale woman described having an on-again, off-again relationship with him that included vacationing together and text message exchanges before she filed a police report on Dec. 8.

“He asked her to come over and she trusted him that he was sorry,” the police report said of the December meeting. “He convinced her things would be better. She asked him if he would hit her again and he said no.”

However, when they met at his West Falls Church residence, Guzman-Gonzalez instead started choking the woman, squeezing her neck to the point she had difficulty speaking, and calling her offensive words, she said at Monday’s hearing.

She tried to leave and even attempted to run toward a kitchen door when he was in the bathroom, according to the police report.

Stephen Sheehy, the defendant’s attorney, said yesterday (Tuesday) that he did not want to comment on the charges.

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Lumber (via Marissa Daeger/Unsplash)

The Town of Vienna had a bit of a rough week, according to the Vienna Police Department’s most recent crime report.

The weekly round-up of investigated incidents and arrests featured a few cases of police breaking up fights, assaults, and destruction of property.

At Bear Branch Tavern (133 Maple Avenue) on Aug. 6, around 2:30 a.m., police responded to a report of a fight in the bar.

A citizen advised them that a man was intoxicated inside the restaurant and attempted to punch a woman,” the report said. “The citizen broke up the altercation and assisted the man out of the establishment. Upon the officers’ interaction with the man, they detected signs of impairment.”

A 29-year-old local man was arrested and transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he was charged with Drunk in Public.

Two days later, police broke up a fight at a local party in an apartment:

Officers observed a driver in a pickup truck trying to back out of a parking space while he was being assaulted by a man. The man had smashed the window of the truck with a piece of lumber and began to assault the driver. Another man was in the parking lot holding a gun. Officers were able to quickly take control of the incident. They determined the gun the man was holding was a BB gun, and he was the owner of the vehicle.

The driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two others at the party, an infant who was sick and a woman in need of medical assistance, were also evacuated. A 37-year-old Annandale resident was arrested and charged with assault and destruction of property.

Last Thursday (Aug. 12), there was an alleged assault inside the restaurant Zoe’s Kitchen (418 Maple Avenue East) when someone who had allegedly caused issues there in the past returned and started to scream at an employee.

“An employee reported that a man, who has caused issues in the restaurant in the past, entered the restaurant and began screaming at one of the employees,” the report said. “The man then attempted to assault the employee. Another employee came to assist his co-worker and forced the man out of the restaurant…Officers advised the man that he would be arrested if he returned to the property.”

The last curious incident was a charge of vandalism for a man trying to break into his parents’ house.

According to the report:

A resident reported that she observed her adult son running outside of her apartment toward the rear of the home. A short time later she heard a window being smashed in her son’s bedroom and immediately called a relative and police for assistance.

While officers were investigating the damaged property, additional officers were requested to assist rescue personnel near the park at Branch Road and Locust Street with a man suffering from a laceration to the chest. It was determined that the man was the resident’s son. The man was transported by rescue personnel to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The man was ultimately charged with destruction of property.

Photo via Marissa Daeger/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

More Rain Soaks Northern Virginia — Up to five inches of rain fell across the region early Sunday morning (Aug. 15), causing flash flooding in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William counties. High water closed Arlington Boulevard near Route 7 in Falls Church, while downed wires shut down Clarks Crossing Road at Elgin Drive in Vienna and Melbourne Drive at Van Fleet Drive in McLean. [Inside NoVA]

New Scotts Run Fire Station Begins Operations — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s new Station 44 at Scotts Run officially went into service on Saturday (Aug. 14). Located at 1766 Old Meadow Lane, the station had been under construction since 2019 and contains three vehicle bays, offices, and living quarters for up to 12 people per shift. A grand opening is scheduled for Sept. 18. [Chief John Butler/Twitter]

Construction Starts on Bridge Over I-495 — Work is now underway on the bicycle and pedestrian bridge over I-495 near Route 123 and a shared-use path that, when extended along Old Meadow Road, will connect Tysons Corner Center to the McLean Metro station. Traffic impacts, including lane closures, will occur on the Capital Beltway and Old Meadow during construction, which is expected to finish in summer 2022. [VDOT]

Woman Assaulted Near Tysons Corner Center — A man yelled derogatory statements at two women who were sitting on a bench in the 7900 block of Tysons One Place at 9:55 p.m. on Aug. 10 and assaulted one of them before fleeing the area. The Fairfax County Police Department has labeled the incident a bias or hate crime. [FCPD]

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Vienna police car (via Vienna Police Department/Facebook)

The Independence Day fireworks that lit up the evening sky over Yeonas Park weren’t the only source of smoke in Vienna this past Saturday (July 4).

Early that morning, burglars snatched some vaping cartridges, cigarettes, and cash boxes from Tobacco & Vape King in Jades Shopping Center at 332 Maple Avenue West, according to the Vienna Police Department’s crime recap for the week of July 2-8.

The incident occurred at 4:04 a.m., and when officers responded to the report of a burglary at the business, they found that the front glass door had been smashed.

“The persons involved had already fled the scene,” the police report says.

The missing items were reported by a store employee.

Evidently, the suspects had first attempted to break into House of Vape at 141 Church Street NW, based on security footage from just two minutes earlier:

Due to a burglary that had just occurred at a similar business in town, officers responded to check the House of Vape. They found someone smashed one of the double-paned windows to the business, but were unable to gain entry to the store. Security video shows the incident occurred just a few minutes before the burglary at Tobacco & Vape King.

Other highlights from the past week include a dispute between neighbors in the 200 block of Church Street over two trees that one resident planted along their shared property line. The resident reported on July 1 that his neighbor had cut down one of the trees.

Vienna police officers also took down a report on Thursday (July 8) from a resident who said that, while walking around Ware Street and Kingsley Road SW the previous night, she and her husband saw an older man in a parked vehicle with another person and “thought their behavior was suspicious.”

As part of its weekly report, the Vienna Police Department is also asking community members to lock up their houses and vehicles amid a regional investigation into a rash of vehicle tampering and theft incidents.

Fairfax County Police Department Capt. Dalton Becker, the station commander for the McLean District, which has seen the majority of Fairfax County incidents, said at a “State of the McLean District Station” virtual meeting last night that the car theft ring appears to have filtered into the county from Arlington and Maryland.

Vienna police are advising residents to lock their car doors, remove any valuable items and keys, and report “suspicious activity.”

“The Town of Vienna Police Department is dedicated to the safety and protection of all persons and property in the Town of Vienna,” the VPD said in a media release. “However, much of our success comes from the assistance of its concerned and observant residents.”

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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