Tysons, VA

A girl reported that she was harassed and followed by an older man outside the Dunkin Donuts at 314 Maple Avenue West on March 17, the Vienna Police Department says in its round-up of highlights from the week of March 19-25.

According to the report, the incident occurred at 3:15 p.m. when the “female juvenile reported that she was harassed by an older man in the Dunkin Donuts’ parking lot.”

“When the juvenile observed that the man appeared to be waiting for her to exit the store, she requested an employee escort her to her vehicle,” the VPD said. “As the juvenile drove away, the man appeared to follow her for several blocks.”

The report classifies the incident as a “suspicious event.”

This past week also saw Vienna police officers respond to a reported assault at Chick-fil-A (538 Maple Avenue West) at 1:45 p.m. yesterday (Thursday).

The weekly highlights report describes the incident as follows:

An employee reported that a woman parked her vehicle in the drive-thru line, walked into the restaurant, and began acting disorderly. When the employee asked her to leave, she crawled out the drive-thru window, kicking the manager, and throwing food at a customer. The woman got back into her vehicle, drove onto Maple Avenue, parked her car on the roadway, and began trying to climb into a delivery truck that was stopped in traffic. The woman got back into her vehicle and fled the area before officers arrived.

In a particularly oddball occurrence, a resident on the 600 block of Hine Street SE told the VPD at 2:59 p.m. on Tuesday (March 23) “that he had a cannonball that he wanted to dispose of.”

“The resident found the cannonball while gardening in his yard several years ago,” the police report says.

Vienna officers were accompanied by an explosive ordinance disposal team from the Fairfax County Police Department when they responded to the request. The cannonball was handed off to the county team for destruction.

Image via Google Maps

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A 27-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at the Tysons West shopping mall earlier this month, the Fairfax County Police Department announced today (Tuesday).

According to the police report, the assault occurred around 4 p.m. on March 3 and was reported to the police on March 4 when officers were called to the 1500 block of Cornerside Boulevard in Tysons.

The FCPD says that the woman was sitting on a bench near the shopping center when “an unknown man approached her, engaged her in conversation then sexually assaulted her.”

“The woman screamed and was able to leave,” the police report says. “As she walked away, the man continued to follow her. A bystander saw the man following her and escorted her inside a business.”

The man was spotted in the area again on March 12, and responding officers took him into custody. Police have identified the individual as Mohamed Souidi and says he has no fixed address.

Souidi has been charged with object sexual penetration and abduction. He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

The FCPD says detectives with its major crimes bureau are continuing to investigate the case and are looking for potential witnesses.

“Considering the time and location of the assault, detectives believe there may have been people in the area who unknowingly witnessed this crime,” the department said.

Information can be shared with the investigating detectives by calling 703-246-7800, option 3, or submitting an anonymous tip through the FCPD’s Crime Solvers phone line (1-866-411-TIPS), app, and website.

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A Bed Bath & Beyond in Tysons was robbed last week, Fairfax County police said this afternoon (Friday).

According to the Fairfax County Police Department’s latest weekly recap, someone forced their way into the store at 2051 Chain Bridge Road around 5:58 a.m. on Feb. 19. The person then “took property and ran away.”

The FCPD also reported today that they had arrested two suspects in a robbery that occurred around 8:23 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 24) at the intersection of Robert Lane and Monticello Drive in the West Falls Church area.

Here is the full summary of the incident:

A man walking home was approached by two juveniles who displayed a firearm, stole his personal property and left the area. No injuries were reported. The suspects were found by officers nearby and taken into custody after a foot pursuit. Charges for the juveniles are pending.

Photo via Google Maps

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A Door Dash driver’s vehicle was stolen when he stopped at Wawa to pick up a delivery last week, the Vienna Police Department says in its latest round-up of notable criminal and suspicious incidents around town.

The driver told police that, around 12:35 a.m. on Feb. 4, he left his vehicle running in the Wawa parking lot at 465 Maple Ave. W while going inside to pick up a food order. While he was inside the convenience store, someone stole the vehicle.

The citizen waited “several minutes” before calling to report the incident, according to the police report.

Vienna police alerted surrounding jurisdictions to look out for the missing vehicle. Fairfax County police officers soon located the vehicle at Chain Bridge Road and Glengyle Drive just outside the Town of Vienna. The vehicle was unoccupied and still running.

“The citizen reported that a Play Station 4, a keyboard, and marijuana were missing from the vehicle,” the VPD report said. “The citizen did not wish to pursue charges and did not wish further investigation on the incident.”

More recently, Vienna police responded to a Feb. 9 report of an alarm going off around 9:23 p.m. at the CVS at 264 Cedar Lane SE.

Officers did not find anyone or notice anything suspicious when searching the store, but the alarm company said that surveillance cameras had captured video showing someone inside. The footage suggested that the last employee at the CVS had “closed and secured the store without realizing there was a customer inside.”

“The customer, who was observed on the camera, approached the register to make their purchase, realized there were no employees in the store, left the items they were going to purchase, and left the store,” the police report said.

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An employee of a Best Buy in Tysons was repeatedly stabbed during an argument on Wednesday (Feb. 3), Fairfax County police said today (Friday).

According to the police report, the worker was involved in a dispute with a man who stabbed them “multiple times before running away.” The encounter took place at 12:15 p.m. in the Best Buy located at 8449 Leesburg Pike.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers reportedly “located” a 25-year-old Maryland resident named Jose Reyes who was taken into custody and charged with malicious wounding.

“The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.

Photo via Google Maps

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The Falls Church Use of Force Review Committee is nearly done compiling experiences and reviews of policies and investigations for a report on how police officers and sheriffs utilize force in their work.

The report is slated to go before the Falls Church City Council on Feb. 22 and will address the committee’s findings from pouring over 113 reports of uses of force by local law enforcement, nearly 400 community responses to a survey about experiences with officers, and the department’s policies governing the use of force.

It will also include 10 recommendations, ranging from procedural changes to community engagement.

The committee reviewed the results from the community survey, which drew 393 responses, last night (Wednesday).

“We would have loved to receive comments from every last citizen within the City of Falls Church,” Committee Chair Janis Johnson said during the meeting. “We did not, so we do appreciate those folks who were able to take time out to respond. It does inform the committee’s work and helps us validate some of our recommendations and discussions.”

The most-represented respondents were white women between the ages of 35 and 64, and 111 respondents identified as non-white or withheld their demographic information.

Committee vice chair Brian Creswick said the number of responses was encouraging, and neither the demographic percentages nor the distribution of answers surprised him. Broadly, he said the results of the survey mirror what the committee has found after reviewing policies and use of force reports.

“There was a generally positive view [of law enforcement],” he said. “I think there was a slightly more negative view among minority populations. I don’t want to editorialize whether it was significant or not — the numbers showed a decrease.”

Across the board, more than 96% of respondents said they had not experienced force by the Falls Church Police Department or sheriff’s department. Nearly 90% of respondents reported never seeing law enforcement use force, but among people of color and people who did not specify race — two groups that were combined in the committee’s data breakdown — the share was lower at around 77%.

About 10% of people of color/people who did not specify race said the police or deputies they interacted with displayed poor or very poor levels of professionalism. That was twice as high as when white people were included in the overall rate.

Around 85% of respondents said the police department and sheriff’s office keep the city safe. About 81% of people of color/unspecified race shared that sentiment.

Although nearly 400 people responded, the survey yielded 858 comments, which will be included in the report.

Some comments after the survey indicated feelings toward law enforcement that were not captured by the questionnaire responses. Committee members said the comments indicate some people of color feel targeted by law enforcement and perceive a sense of arrogance among officers.

Public representative Raymond Touomou cautioned against only looking at what the majority said because this group is “overwhelmingly white.”

“One of the best ways is to look at what the minorities think happened to them,” he said. “When I read the results, there were some things that are alarming, and transcend statistical significance…such as kids who report being harassed on their way to and from school.”

Public representative Toni Lewis said the group was intentional about reaching out to minority communities. Although she phoned apartment complexes and churches, she said that “as in many surveys and initiatives, we ran into the problem of engaging the usual suspects.”

“I’ll own that we could have made this better marketed,” she said.

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 was set to go before the city council in December but requested an extension so it would have enough time to collect data and debrief the results of the city-wide survey with the community.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Vienna Town Councilmembers Announce Reelection Bids — Howard Springsteen, a 12-year veteran of the council, and newcomers Steve Potter and Nisha Patel announced earlier this week that they will seek reelection on May 4, though no candidates have formally filed paperwork yet. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

CVS to Offer COVID-19 Vaccine in Virginia — “CVS plans to offer COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting Feb. 11 at select locations in Virginia for people eligible in phases 1a and 1b…According to a CVS spokesperson, the list of specific stores for vaccines will be provided on the CVS website as stores receive shipments and appointments become available.” [Patch]

Police Charge Maryland Man for Using Stolen Identities to Buy Cars — “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau charged Nickolas Mathis, 36, of Maryland, with multiple felony offenses following a serial crime spree involving the fraudulent purchases of several automobiles at dealerships in Fairfax, Tysons and Chantilly.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

Tysons Start-Up Seeks to Create 5G Network — “Tysons satellite communications company Omnispace LLC has raised $60 million in fresh funding…The startup, founded in 2012, aims to create seamless 5G connectivity to companies that operate across urban and more rural areas across the world.” [Washington Business Journal]

Virginia Senate Passes Bill Requiring Schools to Have In-Person and Virtual Learning Options — “Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax, a co-sponsor of the measure, said the nearly yearlong stretch of remote learning has frustrated families, including his own, and threatened the loss of a generation of students.” [Associated Press/WTOP]

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With downtown D.C. transformed into a heavily guarded “Green Zone” for the past week, President Joe Biden’s inauguration unfolded on Wednesday without disruption, but the D.C. region was not entirely free of disgruntlement over perceived acts of betrayal.

A resident of DeSale Street SW reported to Vienna police at 4:10 p.m. on Jan. 14 that he had observed three men walking around his neighbor’s house and looking in the windows.

When the man confronted the trio, they said “they were looking for a traitor, and then walked away,” according to the Vienna Police Department’s weekly crime highlights.

That suspicious event was followed on Jan. 17 by a report from a DeSale Street resident who told police he saw a person spray-paint the word “traitor” on the asphalt roadway in front of his neighbor’s house. The VPD report does not indicate whether it was the same resident who called in the Jan. 14 incident.

The act of vandalism was reported again the following day.

Vandalism 21-000335
DeSale Street, SW
January 18 7:52 p.m.
Someone used spray chalk to write “traitor” on the roadway in front of a residence.

The Vienna police did not return Tysons Reporter’s query regarding whether there are any indications that the incidents were political in nature by publication time.

“This investigation is continuing,” the department said in its report.

Other unusual incidents from the past week include pranksters who concocted a fanciful vision of Vienna being overrun by big cats for the Vienna Police Department:

Suspicious Event 21-000380
Vienna Police Station
215 Center Street, South
January 20 8:56 p.m.
Unknown individuals began making prank calls to the police department, reporting tigers on the loose in town.

A Town of Vienna employee also reported on Jan. 15 that profanity had been written on the turf of the ballfields next to the Vienna Community Center at 130 Cherry Street SE.

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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(Updated at 5:45 on 1/21/2021) A Falls Church resident who reportedly shot a teenager and had an armed confrontation with police last month has been indicted on two counts of attempted capital murder.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced yesterday (Tuesday) that a grand jury also indicted Glenn Allen Meyer, 61, on two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

“My top priority as Commonwealth’s Attorney is to keep our community safe in a manner that accords with our values,” Descano said in a statement. “I will therefore always act to hold individuals who needlessly attempt to take the lives of others accountable.”

Fairfax County police arrested Meyer on Dec. 19, two days after responding to a report that a 17-year-old boy had been shot in an apartment on Peach Orchard Drive in Falls Church. Upon entering the apartment, two police officers exchanged gunfire with Meyer, ultimately shooting him.

A member of the police SWAT team was also struck by a bullet in the exchange, according to Descano’s statement.

Both Meyer and the teenager were transported to a local hospital and survived their injuries. Meyer is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

Upon announcing the indictment, Descano also said that his office “found no violations of criminal law” by the police officers who fired their weapons.

Identified as Master Police Officer Lance Guckenberger and Police Officer First-Class Matthew Grubb earlier this month, the officers were put on administrative leave for the duration of the criminal and administrative investigations into the incident.

The Fairfax County Police Department told Tysons Reporter that both officers have returned to full-duty status following the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s declaration that there was no basis for criminal liability. The department’s internal administrative investigation is still ongoing.

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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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