Tysons, VA

Police arrested, and then released on bond, former Thoreau Middle School Principal Yusef Azimi after police say he failed to report complaints of suspected child abuse.

The investigation into the failure to report complaints to either child protective services or police spun out of the investigation into Matthew Snell, who was arrested last year on charges of sexually abusing a student.

“As a result of an investigation involving former teacher Matthew Snell, Detectives confirmed that complaints of suspected child abuse were reported to Thoreau Middle School Principal, Yusef Azimi in Oct. 2019,” police said. “However, the complaints were not subsequently reported to CPS or the police, as required by law. Detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Azimi, 41, of McLean, with failure to report suspected child abuse.”

Police said Azimi turned himself in Wednesday afternoon at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where the warrant was served. Azimi was released with a $3,000 unsecured bond.

The Thoreau Middle School website indicated that Azimi is no longer principal at the school, replaced with interim Principal Sharamaine Williams

“This arrest is the culmination of an exhaustive investigation into Snell which lasted nearly 12 months, included approximately 30 interviews and 24 search warrants,” police said. “If you suspect a child may be a victim of abuse you are asked to call our Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800, option 4.”

Police said tips can also be submitted anonymously by phone via 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or by text, typing FCCS plus the tip to 847411. Tips can also be submitted online. Tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest.

Fairfax County Child Protective services can also be contacted at Fairfax County Child Protective Services (CPS) Hotline 703-324-7400.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Fairfax County police arrested a 50-year-old man who allegedly inappropriately touched a child at an in-home daycare in the Falls Church area.

Police arrested Falls Church resident Santiago Alvarado Garcia on Friday (March 27).

“Detectives were contacted on Thursday, March 26, after a child from Digna Alvarado Garcia Daycare disclosed that they had been inappropriately touched by Garcia,” police said.

The Falls Church-area daycare has been at 2988 Monticello Drive since 2017 and was previously located at 7503 Parkwood Court in 2016, police said.

“Garcia is employed by a general contractor and has lived in the homes as his primary residence while the daycare has been in operation.”

Garcia has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery.

“Victim specialists from our Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the identified victim is receiving appropriate resources and assistance,” police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Detectives are looking to talk to people who are concerned that their child might have had inappropriate contact with Garcia.

Photo of Garcia via FCPD

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Police arrested a Falls Church resident who works for the Town of Vienna for allegedly having child pornography.

City of Falls Church police arrested 36-year-old Tyler Weepie this morning (Tuesday) and charged him with four counts of possession of child pornography, the city said in a press release.

Weepie has worked as an engineering technician for the Town of Vienna since 2016, according to a Vienna press release, which said that Weepie has been placed on administrative leave.

Officers participating in the regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force made the arrest, according to the City of Falls Church.

“We’re obviously disappointed and disturbed by this news,” Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton said in a statement. “We support the important work of the ICAC task force and have zero tolerance for crimes against children.”

Currently, Weepie is being held without bond in in the Arlington County Jail, the press releases said.

Separately Tuesday afternoon, a Vienna man pleaded guilty to multiple child exploitation offenses, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced.

Alan Tabish pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and the attempted transfer of obscene material to minors and will be sentenced on June 23, facing 7 to 12 years in prison, according to a press release.

Photo via Arlington County

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Fairfax County police said that a 21-year-old man from Falls Church is facing felony charges for allegedly soliciting sex from minors via social media accounts.

Police said that they began their investigation last month after a minor told their parents about unwanted sexual contact with the man.

Detectives believe the man “used several social media accounts with false names while also misrepresenting his age to solicit sex from minors,” police said.

The man, who was arrested yesterday (Wednesday), is facing two felony charges of carnal knowledge and the use of a communication device to solicit a minor, according to police.

He was taken to the Adult Detention Center and released on bond, police said.

File photo

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Updated at 1:20 p.m. — Updates address of Jun Hou Classic Music LLC.

Fairfax County police arrested a man who offers private music lessons in the Tysons area for allegedly inappropriately touching a minor.

Vienna resident Jun Hou, 56, runs Jun Hou Classic Music LLC (8850 Lee Hwy), which provides private music lessons, mostly to children, and music camps in the summer, police said.

Police arrested and charged Hou with aggravated sexual battery on Monday (Dec. 23). “He was released on Dec. 30 after posting $10,000 bond,” police said.

Fairfax County detectives said they would like to hear from anyone who is concerned their child may have had inappropriate contact with Hou.

More from FCPD:

The investigation began in September when a juvenile disclosed being inappropriately touched by Hou. Our detectives worked to corroborate the allegations and received authorization from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to obtain warrants…

Victim specialists from our Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the identified victim receives appropriate resources and assistance.

Detectives are asking for anybody with information about this event to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org, or text-a-tip by texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Haycock Elementary School recently told families who will head the school for the time being after the school’s newly hired principal faces charges related to alleged abuse of students at a different school.

Scott Bloom was hired as the principal for Haycock Elementary School in Falls Church in August and was placed on leave in September involving a personnel matter.

Bloom, a 39-year-old Reston resident, was indicted for allegedly failing to report assaults on students with intellectual disabilities during his time as the principal at Freedom Hill Elementary School in Vienna.

August Frattali became the interim principal in September.

In a letter to Haycock families on Monday (Dec. 16), Region 2 Assistant Superintendent Fabio Zuluaga said that Frattali will continue that role.

“We are in the process of updating the policy and regulation that covers the procedures for reporting cases of suspected child abuse or neglect to ensure that all of us understand our reporting obligations,” Zuluaga said in the letter.

More from the letter:

FCPS Administration was made aware of these allegations in September, following Mr. Bloom’s appointment at Haycock. Staff members under investigation were immediately removed from their positions and placed on leave for the duration of the investigation.

We are saddened and distressed by these allegations involving our employees. There is no greater responsibility of a school system than the safety and well-being of our students and, as a result of these incidents, we have learned that we need to do more. Our teachers and staff have been trained annually in best practices and legal requirements regarding mandated reporting of suspected abuse and received additional training this year to reinforce reporting requirements.

Image via Google Maps, photo via FCPS

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Fairfax County police said two employees at Freedom Hill Elementary School — and the school’s former principal — have been indicted by a grand jury in connection to assaults on students with intellectual disabilities.

Major Crimes Bureau Commander Edward O’Carroll said at a press briefing today that “18 counts have been handed by a grand jury.”

The two former employees — Cylmeera Gastav and Cecilia Maria Benavides — face charges for allegedly assaulting non-verbal children with intellectual disabilities, O’Carroll said.

Benavides, 59, of Alexandria, was hired by FCPS in 2000, while Gastav, 48, of Herndon, was hired full-time in 2019 after working for FCPS part-time, O’Carroll said.

They were both charged with felony cruelty and injuries to children and misdemeanor assault and battery.

All of the assaults happened at the Vienna school between April and September this year, O’Carroll said.

The investigation began in mid-September after a teacher reported seeing bruises on students, police said.

Police said they believe six children were allegedly assaulted by the Gustav and Benavides.

“We believe with all certainty that all of the victims in this case have been identified,” O’Carroll said, adding that people with any information about the case are urged to contact the police.

O’Carroll said that complaints of suspected abuse were reported to the former principal, Scott Bloom, “however those complaints were not subsequently reported to Child Protective Services or to law enforcement that is required by law.”

Bloom, 39, of Reston, was indicted for allegedly failing to report the assaults.

Bloom was originally hired by FCPS in 2012 as the principal for Freedom Hill Elementary School, according to the Falls Church News-Press. He was hired as the principal for Haycock Elementary School in Falls Church in August and was placed on leave in September involving a personnel matter.

O’Carroll said that the current school administration at the elementary school reported the concerns once they made aware of them.

Marty Smith, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools, said the school put the two female employees on leave during the investigation.

FCPS assigned new teachers to the classrooms of the former employees and let families know about the staffing changes, Smith said.

The case is an active investigation, and FCPS is cooperating with the police, Smith said.

“We are deeply saddened by this situation,” Smith said. “While the investigation is still underway we are committed to doing all we can to prevent similar actions from happening in the future.”

O’Carroll declined to answer questions about whether or not the victims were in a restraint and seclusion situation or what kinds of injuries the victims sustained.

“The actions of these offenders is shocking. It’s unacceptable,” O’Carroll said.

Image via Google Maps, three mugshots via FCPD

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Updated 12/13/19 — Falls Church police said today (Friday) they reclassiffied the incident as a “suspicious incident.”

More from police:

While this incident is suspicious in nature and police would still like to speak with the individual, officers have determined there was no criminal act and doesn’t meet the criteria for attempted abduction. However, this incident serves as an example of the importance of speaking to your children about their personal safety and what to do when approached by a stranger. Parents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to police.

Falls Church police are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect linked to an attempted abduction of a child outside Aldi.

Police said a man approached a child outside of the grocery store, told the child to leave with him and then left when the child’s mother returned.

The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 9) outside of the grocery store at 133 Hillwood Avenue.

Police said the incident was reported to them on Thursday (Dec. 12) and that the suspect is wanted for questioning.

“The suspect is described as a black male, about 6′ tall, medium build and wearing a gray hooded jacket with black sleeves, light blue jeans, and white sneakers, carrying an umbrella, and possibly wearing a baseball hat,” police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 703-248-5053.

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A Thoreau Middle School teacher, who allegedly sexually abused a student, is facing another felony charge after a second teen victim was identified, according to Fairfax County police.

Back in October, police arrested 31-year-old Maryland resident Matthew Snell in El Paso, Texas for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a minor. NBC 4 reported that the investigation started after the mother of a Thoreau student “found inappropriate messages from Snell on the student’s phone.”

Earlier this fall, Snell was charged with carnal knowledge of a child and taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship.

Now, he faces an additional felony charge of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial relationship, FCPD announced today.

Snell is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center as the investigation continues, police said.

“Detectives are seeking anyone who has information or may have had inappropriate contact with Snell to call our Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800,” police said.

First image via Google Maps, second image via FCPD

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A cyber tip led Vienna police to charge a 53-year-old Vienna man with more than 20 felonies after police say they discovered child pornography at his home.

The tip from the Northern Virginia/Washington DC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force said that a local internet account had uploaded child pornography videos, according to a Vienna police press release.

The Vienna Police Department investigated the tip, which brought them to a house in the 1200 block of Cottage Street SW.

“A search warrant was executed at the home, and several electronic storage devices were seized,” the press release said. “A forensic examination of the devices was completed and numerous files containing child pornography were uncovered.”

Police charged resident Charles Snow with 20 counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of unauthorized videotaping.

Snow is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

First photo via Facebook, second photo via Town of Vienna

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