Alexandria, VA

Alexandria Police reported another shots fired call for service over the weekend in the West End, and there was also a serious crash with four cars in Old Town that sent two men to the hospital.

The shooting is the third in Alexandria this month, and occurred at around 5 a.m. on Sunday morning in the 200 block of Century Place in the West End near Holmes Run. Multiple shell casings were found at the scene, but no one was reported injured.

The recent string of shots fired calls remain under investigation, with police increasing patrols in an effort at curbing the 2020 uptick. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact Sgt. Taylor at 703-746-6271.

There was also a four-car accident at the intersection of Duke and S. Patrick Streets in Old Town. The accident occurred at around 9 p.m. on Saturday night, and while police initially reported that there were life-threatening injuries, an update later proved that two men involved in the crash were injured but that their lives were not in danger.

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It was a short, but news-filled week in Alexandria.

With Monday off in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we started the week running with a COVID-19 update. Cases of COVID-19 in the city now stand at 8,975 and fatalities are at 99. That’s an increase of three deaths and 165 cases since Tuesday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Our top story this week was a story that was published before election day in November, when residents with Joe Biden for president signs in their yards received anonymous letters stating that Biden is a pedophile.

Our second most-read story was the widely reported plans to close Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, brought worldwide attention to Alexandria’s neighboring jurisdiction of Washington D.C. for Biden’s inauguration, and while there were calls from members of the community for a 6 p.m. curfew, there were no reported incidents from protestors in Alexandria.

In fact, Alexandria Sheriff’s deputies and police officers helped during the inauguration by working with regional partners to shut down the 14th Street Bridge to traffic.

In case you missed them, here are a few important posts:

Here are our top stories of the week:

  1. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  2. Atlantis Pizzeria and Family Restaurant Closing on Jan. 24
  3. New Boarding House Planned Over Old Town Barber Shop
  4. Man Charged With DWI After Horrific Crash in West End Parking Lot
  5. Contested Parker-Gray Townhouse Returns to City Tomorrow
  6. Police Chief: Many Recent Shootings in Alexandria Are Related
  7. Curfew Not Likely for Alexandria on Inauguration Day, No Known Threats Detected
  8. BREAKING: Woman Gets Arm Amputated, Police Investigate if She Was Thrown From Car in West End
  9. Vice Mayor Bennett-Parker Asks Alexandria Hotels to Cancel ‘Proud Boy’ Reservations
  10. Local Business in Hot Water with City Architects After Unauthorized Paint Job
  11. COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expanded, City Says Aggressive Calls to COVID-19 Hotline Not Tolerated

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via Atlantis Restaurant/Facebook

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Alexandria Police are investigating a series of hit-and-runs that damaged cars in the West End last month.

On Dec. 13 at around 11:15 p.m., Alexandria police responded to the area of N. Van Dorn Street and Sanger Avenue in the West End in reference to a motor vehicle crash.

Police found a blue Subaru Impreza “sitting across the sidewalk and in the grass of the north side of Sanger Avenue,” according to a search warrant affidavit. “Upon further examination, (the officer) observed damage to not only the blue Subaru Impreza, but also the red Hyundai Elantra parked behind it, and a red Honda Civic parked behind that.”

The 911 caller told police that she saw a silver or gold SUV drive past her on the wrong side of the road at a high rate of speed, and then reported that it crashed into parked cars. The witness told police that a man exited the car, approached her car and pulled on the door handle.

Another witness was on his balcony and saw a silver or gold sedan crash into parked vehicles. He then said that the driver got out of the car briefly, got back into it and then drove away from the scene. He also said that the car was smoking when he left, and that the suspect was a Hispanic male about 5-foot-9 with black hair, a black T-shirt and blue jeans.

At around the same time, Alexandria Police responded to another hit and run by a gold Acura in the 1400 block of N. Beauregard Street. The car was later found less than a half mile away in the 5400 block of Sheffield Court, according to the search warrant.

Police spoke with the registered owner of the car three days later, and he told police that he let another man use the car from Dec. 11 to Dec. 14. Police contacted that man, who had a key to the Acura, but said that it must have been stolen.

No one has been arrested in connection with these incidents.

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(Updated 4 p.m.) Police are investigating a pair of violent crimes that occurred this [Monday] morning.

The first was a felonious assault around 6 a.m. on the 1100 block of Quaker Hill Drive, right behind the Alexandria Commons shopping center near Taylor Run.

Police said a victim was shot multiple times but managed to reach a nearby 7-11 and call for help.

The shooting took place near where a car was stolen at gunpoint late last month.

The other incident was a carjacking that occurred shortly after 6 a.m. on the 3800 block of Florence Drive in Arlandria. Police said a victim was approached by a suspect with a gun. The person assaulted the victim and stole the car.

Photo via Google Maps

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Two men have been arrested after allegedly trying to resell stolen cars and nearly running over an Alexandria Police officer.

Michael Daugherty, an 18-year-old resident of Washington, D.C., and a 20-year-old man from Prince George’s County, Maryland, were arrested on Dec. 7 after allegedly fleeing the Yasini Auto Gallery near the King Street-Old Town Metro station in a stolen white Toyota RAV4.

The suspects allegedly refused an Alexandria Police officer’s order to stop and nearly hit him, according to a search warrant affidavit. The vehicle was later found abandoned less than a half mile away on Roberts Lane near the Mason Garden Apartments.

Alexandria Police have connected the incident with the November theft of multiple cars that were listed on the OfferUp website. In those cases, owners who advertised their vehicles for sale on OfferUP met the suspects at predetermined locations and were given false checks of up to $22,000. The suspects then drove away in the cars and at least one of the cars was listed on the same website.

The auto gallery ended up buying a Chevrolet Camaro for $4,000 that had been stolen on Nov. 4 after the victim had been given a false check for $23,000. The auto gallery then posted the car for sale on its OfferUp profile.

“We gonna bring you more cars anyway but we want at least 5 (thousand dollars for the Camaro),” the suspects allegedly told the Yasini representative, according to the affidavit.

After being contacted about the stolen car by Alexandria Police, the owner of the dealership reported on Dec. 7 that two of the suspects responsible for selling the vehicles were trying to sell him another one.

“Police arrived on scene… and attempted to stop the individuals in the vehicle by commanding them to stop after receiving confirmation they were the suspects,” police reported in the affidavit. “The vehicle did not stop and almost struck the officers attempting to stop the vehicle.”

Police found the suspects near the abandoned RAV4 and confirmed their identities by getting their cell phone numbers from the owner of the dealership.

Daugherty was released on bond on Dec. 8 after being charged with attempted assault on law enforcement, receiving/buying stolen goods and failure to remain at an accident involving property damage. The 20-year-old suspect was charged with violating a protective order and was released on bond that same day.

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Two Fairfax County men were arrested last month and charged with drunkenness, resisting arrest and assault and battery after a fight at a West End bar.

On Dec. 11, police arrived at the Hashtag Restaurant & Lounge at 654 South Pickett Street and found the 23-year-old and 22-year-old men with swollen knuckles and welts on their faces. Both men were highly intoxicated and told police that they were assaulted while they fought by bar security staff and a bartender.

“The assaults occurred both inside and outside the establishment,” police said in a search warrant affidavit.

Police also said finding the security footage of the incident has been a challenge.

According to the affidavit, “Because the business owner has either refused to cooperate with the Police further in this investigation or is unable to provide the video evidence sought to identify perpetrators of the crime and provide an impartial view of the events, [the investigating officer] is compelled to locate this information in this fashion to prepare an addition(al) warrant for the video evidence, which will be delivered to the security company managing the camera system.”

The 23-year-old was arrested for being drunk in public and resisting arrest. The 22-year-old was arrested for being drunk in public and assault and battery for allegedly hitting the 22-year-old in front of police. Neither of the suspects have crimes of moral turpitude on their records, police reported, and they were both released the following day.

The establishment is in the Pickett Square shopping center, which is in an industrial area near the Landmark area and S. Van Dorn Street.

Map via Google Maps

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The Alexandria Police Department has put out a reminder — and a quick explainer — that a new law that went into effect this year makes holding a cellphone while driving illegal.

“One resolution we hope everyone makes is to go hands-free while driving a vehicle,” the police department said. “Virginia had over 23,000 distracted driver crashes in 2019, resulting in 120 deaths. January 1 signifies the first day that the new hands-free law goes into effect statewide. The new law prohibits anyone from driving a motor vehicle while holding a cell phone or other handheld personal communications device, even if the driver isn’t looking at or using the device.:

The only exceptions are for emergencies, and drivers of emergency and safety patrol vehicles.

The first offense is punishable with a $125 fine, or $250 on subsequent offenses. There’s also a mandatory $250 fine in a work zone, even on the first offense.

Staff photo by James Cullum
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Police are currently investigating a “shots fired” incident in the West End, a few blocks from John Adams Elementary School.

Senior Public Information Officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow that the incident occurred on the 5700 block of Dunster Court. Paga said police confirmed that evidence of shots fired was recovered at the scene, but there were no reported injuries. Police are currently investigating.

Paga also confirmed that there was property damage in a Jan. 1 shooting on the 1400 block of Jamieson Avenue.

The recent string of shots fired calls remain under investigation, with police increasing patrols in an effort at curbing the 2020 uptick. Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact Sgt. Taylor at 703-746-6271.

Image via Google Maps

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No injuries have been reported after another shooting in Old Town North, this time on Monday night (Dec. 28) near the intersection of North Henry and Montgomery Streets.

“There were multiple shell casings recovered,” Alexandria Police spokesperson Amanda Paga told ALXnow. “A building was hit, but no injuries were reported. It is an ongoing investigation at this time.”

No suspect information was available. The shots were reported at around 6 p.m.

The incident comes on the heels of a Dec. 20 shooting in the area of North Patrick and Montgomery Streets, which is one block away. The earlier shooting also took place at around 6 p.m.

The area where the shots were fired is near the Braddock Road Metro Station, Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority properties and the Charles Houston Recreation Center. It is also less than a half mile from a police shootout in October that left one man dead.

Police have asked for the public’s help and increased their presence after an uptick in shootings, many of which have occurred in Old Town North and the West End.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Bilbo Baggins Now for Sale — “Longtime Alexandria restaurant and pub Bilbo Baggins has closed its doors for good. The cozy eatery, which opened in 1980, closed in the spring when COVID-19 first struck. Since then, the family-owned restaurant has not reopened and the nearly 4,000-square foot property is now for sale for $2.8 million.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Reminder: Illegal Starting Jan. 1 to Hold Cell Phone While Driving — “Starting January 1st, the ‘Hands-Free’ law will go into effect. The law makes it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving.” [Twitter]

Goodwin House Residents and Staff Receive Vaccine — “Earlier today, some residents and staff at Goodwin House Alexandria received the vaccine. Before the end of 2020, it is estimated that 125 residents and employees will be vaccinated.” [Zebra]

What’s Open and Closed on New Year’s? — “A week after Christmas, residents will get another holiday with the arrival of 2021. Some services in Alexandria will be closed or modified for the New Year’s holiday.” [Patch]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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