Tysons, VA

Updated at 6:30 p.m. — Blake Lane has reopened. The person who was injured in the crash is a bicyclist, and they remain hospitalized. The incident is under investigation by Fairfax County police detectives.

Blake Lane is currently closed between Hibbard Street and Bushman Drive in Oakton due to a vehicle crash that occurred this afternoon.

Fairfax County police reported the accident just after 3:30 p.m. today (Thursday). One person has been transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police are asking people to avoid the area, and travel delays should be expected.

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The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating two different armed robberies that took place in Tysons last week.

The first took place in the 8300 block of Greensboro Drive at 3:39 p.m. on Nov. 14. The victim was approached by a man with a knife who demanded money. The man “forcibly took a wallet from the victim before walking away from the area,” the FCPD reported in its weekly recap on Nov. 20.

The victim in that incident suffered injuries, but they were not life-threatening.

The second reported incident occurred at 2:19 a.m. on Nov. 19 in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive.

According to Fairfax County police, two men armed with guns forced their way into a hotel room occupied by three victims. The men assaulted one of the victims and took cash and personal property before walking away from the area.

The assaulted victim was taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police say.

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A man is now facing charges for unlawfully filming people at the Nordstrom in Tysons Corner, Fairfax County police announced this morning (Friday).

The Fairfax County Police Department says it first learned about possible unlawful filming at the store after a janitor reported finding a concealed video camera inside a bathroom on Oct. 24.

A woman then reported on Nov. 7 that she had been illegally filmed while in a dressing room, prompting the FCPD’s Tysons Urban Team to launch an investigation.

Officers arrested a man identified as Gerson A. Rosales Miranda of Woodbridge on Nov. 14 after Nordstrom alerted police that an unidentified woman who investigators had linked to the two reported incidents had returned to the store.

Officers searched the area and found Rosales Miranda “disguised as a woman.” Major crimes bureau detectives confirmed that he was responsible for the Nov. 7 incident, according to the department.

Rosales Miranda has been charged with five counts of unlawful filming with additional charges pending the outcome of the continuing police investigation. He was given a $2,500 bond.

“The investigation is ongoing and we will provide updates regarding charges and victims at a later time,” the FCPD public affairs bureau said when asked for more details about the number of incidents involved in the case.

This is not the first time that unlawful filming has been reported at Tysons Corner Center.

A case involving over 100 videos allegedly taken in store dressing rooms at Tysons Corner Center, Fair Oaks Mall, Springfield Town Center, and Fair Lakes Promenade in December 2018 ended with Fairfax County police charging an Alexandria resident with unlawful videotaping and other crimes in January 2019.

The FCPD also charged a man from Maryland with unlawful filming and trespassing on Dec. 14, 2019 after he was seen recording two women at Tysons Corner Center.

A Tysons Corner Center spokesperson says the mall has no comment on the current case, noting that the FCPD is leading the effort.

The FCPD has officers assigned to Tysons Corner, Fair Oaks Mall, and Springfield Town Center for anyone who needs assistance or sees “anything suspicious while out shopping this holiday season,” the public affairs bureau says.

Photo via FCPD

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The Fairfax County Police Department is seeking a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for additional non-ballistic riot helmets with riot face shields.

With the unanimous approval of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at a Tuesday meeting, FCPD will apply for $114,017 in funding through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in order to purchase 370 helmets and face shields.

Currently, FCPD has 120 riot helmets which are primarily used by its Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU). JAG grants are used to provide states and units of local government to support law enforcement equipment, crime prevention programs, technological improvements, and other resources.

In a staff memo, Deputy County Executive David Rohrer and FCPD Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. noted that the purpose of the grant is to replace some aged equipment, boost office safety, and “increase the capability of the police department to respond to incidents of civil unrest within Fairfax County.”

“Protective equipment is not required for every situation CDU handles, but must be available when needed to protect officers,” they wrote.

Jeff McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, clarified that the riot gear is not military-grade and no county dollars will be used for the effort.

“It is for the protection of those officers should something be needed but obviously these are personal protective devices, not military-grade equipment, that could be deployed in the event of civil unrest, which we’ve been blessed not to have here in Fairfax County,” McKay said at the Tuesday meeting.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, who supported the grant application, also sought additional clarification on the purpose of more riot gear.

“We’re not exactly anticipating a dramatic upsurge in civil unrest are we? I wouldn’t think we are,” Alcorn said, adding that the board “reinforces the right to peaceful protest.”

“We’re not going to down a different road with approval of this,” Alcorn said.

Photo via FCPD

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The City of Falls Church’s Use of Force Review Committee has created a survey to gauge public perception of and experiences with the city’s police department and sheriff’s office. The survey will be open until Friday, Dec. 4 at 5 p.m.

According to a press release from the city, the survey aims to provide anecdotes to help the UFR Committee inform their work and provide recommendations to the City Council based on responses. 

The survey results will be available on the UFR Committee’s website once evaluated.

The Falls Church City Council established the UFR Committee in June amid nationwide protests of police brutality prompted by George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minn.

The committee is part of the city council’s commitment to the Reimagining Policing Pledge, which urges localities to review use-of-force policies, engage the community, report findings to the community, reform the use of force policies, and seek community feedback. 

The committee is made up of seven community members, five City employees, and one Falls Church City Public Schools employee. 

The National Institute of Justice says the use of force by law enforcement officers becomes necessary and is permitted under specific circumstances, such as in self-defense or in defense of another individual or group. 

However, there is no universal definition of force. For instance, the release states that the International Association of Chiefs of Police has defined force as “the amount of effort required by police to compel compliance by an unwilling subject.”

A “National Consensus Policy and Discussion Paper on Use of Force” that 11 different law enforcement leadership and labor organizations, including the IACP, published in 2017 and updated this year states:

Officers shall use only the force that is objectively reasonable to effectively bring an incident under control, while protecting the safety of the officer and others. Officers shall use force only when no reasonably effective alternative appears to exist and shall use only the level of force which a reasonably prudent officer would use under the same or similar circumstances.

The Falls Church City Police Department’s use-of-force policy says “force may be used to the extent reasonably necessary in light of the circumstances confronting the officer and deadly force shall not be employed except as a last resort in any situation in which such force is justified.”

The Fairfax County Police Department defines force as a “physical strike or instrumental contact with an individual, or any significant physical contact that restricts an individual’s movement,” excluding the act of escorting or handcuffing a person who is showing little or no resistance.

Under General Order 540, the FCPD says that force should only be used “to the extent it is objectively reasonable to defend oneself or another, to control an individual during an investigative or mental detention, or to lawfully effect an arrest.”

Falls Church City police are responsible for investigating crimes and public safety-related calls, while the City of Falls Church Sheriff’s Office handles court security, prisoner transport, and civil and criminal processes, such as evictions and seizures. Deputies also assist with traffic enforcement, emergency response, and security for city events like parades and festivals.

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Amidst national calls for transparency and accountability in policing, the Fairfax County Police Department is launching a new interactive data dashboard.

The tool, which is based on Geographic Information System mapping, houses data related to arrests, citations, warnings, and police department training and policies. FCPD will debut the new platform at a series of virtual town halls beginning on Nov. 18.

“We look forward to implementing this additional layer of accountability and leveraging data analytics to continue to strengthen trust and confidence in your police department,” FCPD wrote in a statement.

The department says the tool was designed based on community input.

“Our new GIS-based data dashboards were designed with input from stakeholders and we will continue to. Have healthy discussions with each of you concerning police policies and operations in all communities,” FCPD Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. wrote in a letter to the community on Oct.  16.

A renewed focus on FCPD’s operations is expected in early 2021 when a team of researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is expected to complete an academic analysis of FCPD’s data and its relationship to core operations today.

The review was initiated at the direction of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the county’s Independent Police Auditor.

Researchers at UTSA are studying the department’s culture after a study released in 2017 found that roughly 40 percent of all use-of-force incidents involve a Black individual.

Across the country, similar conversations about transparency in policing have resulted in reform and additional policy directives.

Recent arrest data released by the departments shows some evidence of disproportionate policing in the county. The data indicate that Black individuals make up roughly 39% of all arrests last year. Black residents account for 9.7% of the total population.

FCPD officers arrested 34,330 people in 2019, 57% of whom were white. White residents make up roughly 61% of the total population.

In 2017, a study found that roughly 40% of all use-of-force incidents involve a Black individual.

Roessler Jr. says his department is grateful for “the additional layer of accountability” provided by the data sets and the ongoing academic review.

“Together, we shall continue to leverage data analytics to build trust,” he said.

FCPD plans to host virtual town halls with district station commanders to discuss training and policies related to the data sets. The complete schedule, including links to the meetings, is below:

All meetings will be recorded and released the public at a later date.

Image via FCPD, Fairfax County Government

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A man suspected of robbing a Capital One Bank in McLean has been arrested in Maryland as part of a joint investigation between Fairfax County and Montgomery County police, the Montgomery County Department of Police announced today.

Montgomery County police have charged a suspect identified as Rockville resident Noel Omar Lorenzo, 41, with committing three armed bank robberies in Maryland between Sept. 25 and Oct. 15.

The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed that Lorenzo is also a suspect in its investigation of an Oct. 27 robbery of the Capital One Bank at 6890 Elm St. in McLean.

Police said that a man had entered the bank, implied that he had a weapon, and demanded money. He then left with cash, though the department has not specified how much. No injuries were reported.

According to the Montgomery County Police Department, FCPD detectives contacted its major crimes investigators on Oct. 28, saying that they believed the two departments were looking for the same suspect.

MCPD officers arrested Lorenzo on Nov. 4 around 11:10 a.m. at his residence and issued a criminal warrant charging him with three counts of armed robbery and firearm-related offenses. He is currently being held without bond in Montgomery County.

A search of Lorenzo’s vehicle turned up evidence from the Montgomery County and McLean bank robberies, including a BB gun that police believe to be the weapon he used, according to the MCPD.

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Police have arrested five people after a robbery and assault in Tysons on Wednesday.

According to a police report, a group came into the Burlington (8355 Leesburg Pike), stole merchandise, and attacked an employee with pepper spray before fleeing in a sedan with a small child.

Police said officers tried to stop the car as it fled, but the driver refused and led police on a pursuit. Eventually, the car lost a tire and became disabled.

According to the report:

Officers took the occupants into custody including a small child who was not injured. Bryttany Richardson, 18, Jordan Jacobs, 20, Joylynn Queen, 22, and Gregory Parker, 25, all of Washington, D.C., were charged with robbery. Linda Pone, 50, of Washington, D.C., was charged with robbery, disregarding a police command to stop, possession with intent to distribute a schedule I/II narcotic, wanton child endangerment, and reckless driving.

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Fairfax County Police Chief Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr. will step down from his position early next year, the Fairfax County Police Department announced this morning (Thursday).

The FCPD says Roessler will retire after eight years as Fairfax County’s police chief effective February 2021 in order to transition the agency, which is the largest police department in Virginia, to a new generation of leadership.

The FCPD’s announcement confirms news that was first reported by Washington Post journalist Justin Jouvenal.

“The FCPD is blessed with women and men, past and present, who understand their noble calling in life and are deidcated to serving and protecting others,” Roessler said. “…Our county leaders, community and its great police department are positioned to continue to serve as a model for the next generation of policing in America.”

Roessler’s tenure with the Fairfax County Police Department spans more than three decades. First hired as a police recruit in 1989, he rose to the position of deputy chief before serving as interim Chief of Police in early 2013 to replace then-Chief David Rohrer, who had been promoted to deputy county executive for public safety in October 2012.

Roessler was officially appointed as Fairfax County’s police chief by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July 2013.

Roessler became police chief as the FCPD was facing increased scrutiny by county officials and community members after a Fairfax County police officer shot and killed Springfield resident John Geer in August 2013.

After the Board of Supervisors established an independent Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission to examine the FCPD’s policies and relationship to the community it serves, Roessler oversaw the implementation of many of the commission’s recommendations, including the creation of a body-worn camera program, the establishment of a civilian review panel and independent police auditor, and modifications to the department’s use-of-force policy.

The FCPD also started a Chief’s Diversity Council and worked with county leaders and community advocates through the Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee, which was formed in 2015 by then-Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and led by then-Fairfax County NAACP President Shirley Ginwright.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay thanked Roessler for “his years of service to Fairfax County and his dedication to protecting our county,” emphasizing Roessler’s efforts to work with the board to implement reforms “that have solidified the police department as a leader in transparency and community trust.”

“I know I join many in wishing the Chief continued good health and success in his next chapter,” McKay said. “I look forward to beginning the search for his successor and continuing to build on our successes in Fairfax County.”

Photo via Fairfax County

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Updated at 9:45 a.m. on 11/4/2020 — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says the vehicle crash on Hunter Mill Road at Water Falls Lane in Vienna involved a dump truck that rolled down an embankment. Crews responded to the incident at approximately 1:18 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday).

Updated at 2:15 p.m. on 11/3/2020 — Fairfax County police say Hunter Mill Road has now reopened.

A vehicle crash that occurred before 2 p.m. today shut down Hunter Mill Road at Water Falls Lane in the Wolf Trap area of Vienna.

While the incident is still under police investigation, Fairfax County police spokesperson Tara Gerhard says that the crash involved a single vehicle, possibly a truck that turned over on the road. One person has been taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash has closed Hunter Mill Road in both directions, and the Fairfax County Police Department is advising drivers to find an alternate route.

“It looks like the road is going to be tied up for a little while,” Gerhard said.

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