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Vienna police car (via Vienna Police Department/Facebook)

A driver began yelling and acting aggressively to another man walking a dog around 6:45 a.m. on Feb. 9, Vienna police say.

The incident allegedly occurred in the 1400 block of DeSale Street SW. Police report that it began when a resident was on the sidewalk, waiting for a vehicle to pass so they could cross the street.

Per a police summary:

The driver of the vehicle was agitated and began yelling at the resident, then drove away. A few minutes later, the vehicle returned. The driver parked in front of the resident’s home and continued to act aggressively. The driver grabbed a hatchet from the trunk of his vehicle and began chasing the resident.

Tensions were quelled when family members came out of the home, and the driver got back into the vehicle and drove away.

Police said they advised the dogwalker of the warrant process if he wished to pursue charges.

Warning about Car Thefts

In other news, the Vienna Police Department continues to warn that the D.C. region, including the Northern Virginia area, has seen increased vehicle thefts and tampering incidents.

The department received a number of vehicle theft reports over the past week. In one incident on Feb. 13, a worker found that the rear window of her vehicle, which was parked behind Taco Bamba (164 Maple Avenue W), had been smashed and her purse stolen.

Items reported stolen in other vehicle larceny incidents include a Swiss army knife, a piece of jewelry, and coins.

The VPD advises community members to lock doors of residences and garages and to report suspicious activity or persons at 703-255-6366 or, in the event of an emergency, 911.

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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Morning Notes

Johns Hopkins Medicine’s McLean Office Now Open — Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (JHCP) announced yesterday (Thursday) that its new primary care office in McLean Gateway (6849 Old Dominion Drive) is now open. The group’s first in Virginia, the practice operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. [JHCP]

Founders Row Secures Movie Theater — Developer Mill Creek told the Falls Church City Council’s Economic Development Committee that a letter of intent has been signed for an eight-screen movie theater planned for the 4.3-acre mixed-use project on Broad and West streets. The name was not revealed, but the company is reportedly headquartered in the D.C. area. [Falls Church News-Press]

Fairfax County Adds Spanish Closed-Captioning — All public meetings and live events that air on Fairfax County’s cable channel will have Spanish closed captions available, starting Tuesday (Feb. 8).  This includes Board of Supervisors and planning commission meetings as well as budget town halls and public safety press conferences. [Channel 16]

Metro Appoints New Police Chief — “Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld today announced that Interim Chief Michael L. Anzallo will serve as Metro Transit Police Department’s new chief. Anzallo was asked to lead MTPD in August 2021 and helped steer the department through pandemic-related challenges with an emphasis on community policing throughout the region.” [WMATA]

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Morning Notes

Silver Line Phase 2 Ready for Metro — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is handing the long-delayed project over to Metro after reaching substantial completion on construction. Metro says it needs another six months to complete testing and prepare for riders, suggesting the five new train stations could open in May 2022. [Reston Now]

Vienna Signs Off on Police Station Furniture — “Vienna Town Council members on Nov. 1 agreed to ride a Fairfax County Public Schools contract and buy $162,188 worth of workstations from Interiors by Guernsey to serve all 51 employees at the new police headquarters building.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday — “Remember, we move our clocks back one hour early Sunday morning! You also need to remember that when you change your clock, our firefighters and paramedics want you to check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Tysons Bowlero Holds Grand Opening — After getting a soft launch in October, the new Bowlero at Tysons Galleria will hold an official grand opening celebration starting at noon tomorrow (Saturday). The party will include free bowling, arcade play, food specials, and giveways. [Bowlero/Facebook]

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Local and federal authorities are offering more reward money for information about an early morning killing from Oct. 20 at a Wells Fargo walk-up ATM on Annandale Road in West Falls Church.

Police reported last Saturday (Oct. 23) that the 73-year-old victim, Nelson Alexander Sr., of Falls Church, died after the robbery attempt and shooting.

The Fairfax County Police Department has been joined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in its investigation of the case. The ATF is now offering a $10,000 reward.

“We owe it to his family and to our community to relentlessly pursue justice,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a news conference today (Friday).

Police released additional security footage, stating that they have received many tips but are asking people to look again. Video from Metro showed individuals on a bus, but authorities are looking for other footage where the group may have been.

Authorities are hoping to identify three individuals that they believe include the person who killed Nelson, Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics Bureau Maj. Ed O’Carroll said.

Special Agent in Charge Charlie Patterson pledged full support of ATF in finding the person responsible, calling the killing a “horrific act.”

Tips can be sent to the ATF at [email protected], by phone at 888-ATF-TIPS (888-283-8477), or online.

A passing cyclist noticed the victim in the parking lot around 6:14 a.m., and officers later responded to the 2900 block of Annandale Road.

Police previously shared how the attack occurred:

Preliminarily, detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau determined the victim entered the parking lot in his Jeep around 5:20 a.m. to use the walk-up ATM. As he was standing in front of the ATM, he was approached by a man wearing a mask who displayed a small revolver. The man was seen on surveillance footage threatening the victim and made demands before shooting him. The suspect left the area in an unknown direction.  

Alexander received surgery following the attack but was still in life-threatening condition in the hospital before dying from his injuries, police said Saturday (Oct. 23).

A vehicle was stolen in Alexandria, abandoned, and recovered by police about a half mile from the scene, O’Carroll said, adding that there may be more than just three people who were directly or indirectly involved.

FCPD has continued to ask for help in solving the crime. The department said if you have information or if you believe you have surveillance footage that. Police also asked people to look at home surveillance video not only from Oct. 20 but from previous days, too.

People may reach the Major Crimes Bureau by calling 703-246-7800 and pressing option two. FCPD also noted that tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text (type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411) and online. Info can also be sent through the mobile app Fairfax Co Crime Solvers.

Tips to the county can get cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 if information leads to an arrest.

Police have classified the shooting as a murder investigation, the 19th so far this year in Fairfax County.

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Fairfax County Police Department footage of Park Police shooting McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar (via FCPD)

A federal judge in Alexandria agreed with legal arguments for two U.S. Park Police officers after they pursued a 25-year-old motorist in 2017 and fatally shot him in his Jeep.

Judge Claude Hilton dismissed criminal charges against the officers on Friday (Oct. 22), writing in an opinion that McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar was driving erratically after another vehicle hit his Jeep on George Washington Memorial Parkway, leading the officers on a pursuit.

Hilton wrote in his decisions for officers Alejandro Amaya and Lucas Vinyard that they “were authorized by federal law to act as they did” and “the officers did no more than was necessary and proper.”

The officers sought immunity under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which gives federal laws and powers precedence over those of a state.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano and Attorney General Mark Herring said in a joint statement that the state plans to appeal the case in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.

“[We] do not believe the law allows an individual to circumvent the accountability of the criminal justice system simply because of who their employer is,” the joint statement said. “We believe that a jury should have the opportunity to hear all of the evidence and determine whether these men committed a crime when they shot and killed Bijan Ghaisar.”

According to Hilton’s ruling, a dispatcher initially told police that Ghaisar’s vehicle hit another vehicle but then corrected that information, saying the Jeep was hit. The crash involving a Toyota Corolla occurred in Alexandria just north of Slater’s Lane on Nov. 17, 2017.

The court wrote that Ghaisar ignored officers’ commands to stop and pull over, failed to stop at a stop sign, and repeatedly drove away while Amaya’s hand was placed on Ghasiar’s door handle.

When Amaya approached the vehicle on foot around Tulane Drive and ordered him to open the door, Ghaisar took off while Amaya’s hand was on the door, the court wrote.

Police later pulled him over in a residential neighborhood off the parkway and yelled commands at Ghaisar on foot, but Ghaisar drove away again, according to the court.

When the officers pulled him over at the intersection of Fort Hunt Road and Alexandria Avenue, they exited the patrol car. Amaya shouted commands to Ghaisar when his Jeep lurched forward toward Amaya, prompting him to fire through the Jeep’s windshield.

“The Jeep initially stopped but then moved forward again, causing both officers to fire at Ghaisar,” the court wrote. “The Jeep then rolled over into a ditch.”

Ghaisar placed the officers in a life-or-death situation, the judge found.

“The officers’ decision to discharge their firearms was necessary and proper under the circumstances and there is no evidence that the officers acted with malice, criminal intent, or any improper motivation,” the judge wrote.

It wasn’t immediately clear how a postponed federal wrongful death lawsuit by Ghaisar’s father against the U.S. will proceed.

Ghaisar’s family, the McLean community, and elected officials have criticized the Park Police and FBI over their handling of the investigation into the shooting, including the prolonged withholding of the identities of the officers involved.

Federal prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice ultimately announced in November 2019 that they would not pursue charges against Amaya and Vinyard.

Descano put together a grand jury last year, and the officers were indicted in October 2020, both with a charge of manslaughter and another for reckless discharge of a firearm.

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Updated at 12:15 p.m.The crash site has been cleared, and all travel lanes on George Washington Memorial Parkway are now open with no delays reported as of noon, according to Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination.

Earlier: A driver was killed in the crash that shut down southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean this morning (Friday), the U.S. Park Police says.

Park Police officers responded to the one-car crash on the parkway near the entrance to the CIA headquarters at approximately 5:18 a.m. The driver, who was the vehicle’s sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This incident is currently under investigation,” a U.S. Park Police spokesperson said. “Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”

Traffic closures remain in effect at the I-495 ramps to southbound George Washington Parkway and Turkey Run, according to police.

Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination reported at 5:51 a.m. that all southbound lanes on the parkway were blocked between the Capital Beltway and Route 123, slowing traffic to a crawl.

A traffic camera at the I-495 interchange shows congestion on southbound George Washington Parkway after crash (via VDOT)

Ramps from the Inner and Outer Beltway Loops to George Washington Parkway were also closed, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/1451512631483895818

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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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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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Morning Notes

Silver Line Phase 2 Construction Could Finish This Fall — Construction on the long-delayed Silver Line Phase 2 could reach substantial completion in November, letting Metro take control of the project for a potential opening in the first half of 2022, officials said yesterday (Thursday). The project will add six stations to the rail line, whose first phase opened in the Tysons area in July 2014. [The Washington Post]

Vienna Town Council Gets Peek at Police HQ — “Donning hard hats, members of the Vienna Town Council got a first-hand look at the new police headquarters construction [Thursday] morning. Later they joined staff and contractors to sign one of the steel beams. As of now, the new facility is on schedule to open in summer 2022.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Tysons Consultant and IT Firm Merge — Tysons-based consulting company Guidehouse has agreed to acquire the McLean-based Dovel Technologies Inc., which provides data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other technology services. Expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, the sale will add 1,800 employees from Dovel to Guidehouse, which plans to expand with a new global headquarters on International Drive later this year. [Virginia Business]

Annandale Resident Dies in Helicopter Crash — “An Annandale man was one of the five sailors killed in a helicopter crash following a flight operation off the coast of San Diego on Aug. 31. Lt. Paul R. “Boo” Fridley, 28, of Annandale was part of the crew…conducting a routine flight operation from USS Abraham Lincoln when the aircraft crashed into the sea roughly 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego at 4:30 p.m.” [Patch]

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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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