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Police at the Bradlee Shopping Center, two days after the fatal stabbing in the parking lot on May 24, 2022. (staff photo by James Cullum)

It’s been quiet at the Bradlee Shopping Center McDonald’s since 18-year-old Luis Mejia Hernandez was fatally stabbed in a brawl in the parking lot on Tuesday (May 24). Two days after the incident, a lone police cruiser now sits near the spot where Hernandez was stabbed.

Video of the incident obtained by ALXnow revealed that police arrived at the scene before the stabbing occurred, no sirens were used and they struggled to break up the fight. There were about 30-50 Alexandria City High School students involved and no arrests have been made in connection to the incident.

Alexandria Police told ALXnow that they are not investigating their response to the incident and sirens were not used because they did not anticipate such a big brawl.

“We got a call for a fight, and we sent officers to a fight,” Alexandria Police spokesman Captain Courtney Ballantine told ALXnow. “When they got there, they realized how big the fight was, and they asked for more additional units. As the incident went on, more units were requested and sirens started coming in as the need was a priority.”

Lunchtime and after-school are reliably busy periods at the restaurant, and staff said that fights between students are frequent. One person was injured in a fight there last year and a juvenile was shot last September.

“Fights happen all the time in here,” a McDonald’s staffer said. “It’s bad.”

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe for Hernandez has so far raised more than $17,000.

Alexandria City High School sent students home after the incident and transitioned to virtual learning for the rest of the week.

ACPS leadership will also take these days to prepare for in-person learning to resume at all ACHS campuses with enhancements to the security posture on Tues., May 31, 2022,” ACHS principal Peter Balas wrote in an email. “We have made some adjustments to the high school day for the remainder of the school year to support student movement throughout the building to include a staggered dismissal at 3:15 p.m., a refined lunch block and class transition process.”

The incident occurred while students were taking their Standards of Learning tests. It was not a full school day and large groups of children were walking between both ACHS campuses.

This year the school implemented a new Lunch and Learn policy, where four separate lunch periods were converted to a single 74-minute-long lunch period where students don’t have to eat in the cafeteria.

“If there are any needs or concerns about how a student is coping, students or families should reach out to their school counselor via email, through Canvas, or by calling the school at 703-824-6800,” Balas wrote.

Hernandez’s death marks the city’s third homicide of 2022 after a murder in the Foxchase neighborhood and a teenager killed in an alleged attempted carjacking in Potomac Yard earlier this month.

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Police at the Bradlee Shopping Center where and 18-year-old was stabbed and killed on May 24 (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria Police are working overtime to conduct high visibility patrols at school zones in the city.

The increased coverage is in response to Tuesday’s fatal stabbing of a 18-year-old Luis Mejia Hernandez. in the McDonald’s parking lot of the Bradlee Shopping Center — which is in walking distance from Alexandria City High School’s two campuses.

No arrests have yet been made in connection to Tuesday’s incident, and police could provide no other updates.

“Currently, we have officers working overtime to conduct high visibility patrols at various Alexandria city school zones throughout the city,” Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett told ALXnow. “We’re just consistently evaluating to see if we need more, what we can do to improve, and then we’re building on our relationships we have with the Alexandria City Public Schools.”

ACHS is the largest high school in Virginia. More than 4,000 students attend the school, and the McDonald’s at Bradlee is a popular lunch and after school spot for students.

A juvenile was shot at the McDonald’s last September, and another juvenile was arrested after a man was injured in a fight in the restaurant last October.

The Arlington County Police Department is also increasing patrols around school zones, according to ARLnow.

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An alleged carjacking that turned fatal last Friday derailed that week’s Top Stories post, but the weekly roundup returns.

That carjacking, unsurprisingly, was the top story of this past week.  Jordan Poteat, an 18-year old from Maryland, was killed by the driver of the vehicle. Another alleged carjacker, 18-year-old Mikell Morris, was injured and arrested, and two juvenile males, both 15 years of age, were also arrested and charged with carjacking. Poteat’s mother told local news stations that her son didn’t deserve to die, regardless of his alleged crime.

There weren’t many other happy stories in the roundup of top stories. The city is planning around a Metro shutdownagain — and two people were killed in a crash on the Beltway early Friday morning. Both the city and local advocacy groups are scrambling to prepare for a wave of evictions that could take place as protections expire in June.

On the bright site, some local restauranteurs found a trove of baby formula and donated it to a local non-profit and the Freedom House Museum is finally set to reopen.

Top stories

  1. UPDATED: One killed at Potomac Yard gas station shooting
  2. Two killed in Beltway crash in Alexandria
  3. Police: Three teenagers arrested after fatal Potomac Yard carjacking
  4. Virginia State Police identify two men killed in I-495 crash near Telegraph Road
  5. City of Alexandria lays out Metro replacement plans for fall shutdown
  6. Police: D.C. man pointed gun at woman after getting locked out of West End apartment
  7. Alexandria Hyundai owner says special use permit puts dealership’s future on the line
  8. Resident advocacy group racing against time to prevent wave of Southern Towers evictions
  9. Juvenile assaulted and robbed by four males near Seminary Plaza Shopping Center
  10. Man arrested for allegedly threatening to kill West End woman over lost money and jewelry
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A 37-year-old Maryland man is being held without bond after allegedly sexually assaulting a girl younger than 13 years old in the Braddock area.

The incident occurred at around 9 p.m. on May 9 near Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority properties in the 1300 block of Madison Street, which is close to the Braddock Road Metro station.

Police found the suspect, Damien Curtis Talbert, of Prince George’s County, unconscious but breathing as he was pinned to the ground by multiple witnesses.

The witnesses told police they stopped him from allegedly sexually assaulting the juvenile girl, and that a gun fell out of Talbert’s clothing during the incident, according to a search warrant affidavit. A Taurus G3C 9mm pistol was found on the ground about five feet from the suspect.

The juvenile victim did not seek medical attention, police said.

About 20 minutes before the incident, police were alerted of a fight between two men a short distance away at 1000 Colonial Avenue. Before the fight, one of the men involved admitted to handing his gun to Talbert.

Talbert was charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, sexual battery of a victim under the age of 13 and assault and battery. He goes to court for the offenses on June 1.

The Alexandria Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is available 24/7 to listen and help at 703-746-4911.

“If you are a neighbor and know that an abusive incident is occurring, call the police immediately,” the city said. “Calling the police is simply the most effective way to protect the victim and children from immediate harm.”

Via Google Maps

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Alexandria’s Part 1 crime rate is up, and it’s mostly due to an increase in larcenies and thefts from cars.

Police released the city’s Part 1 crime statistics for 2022 on Tuesday, and included are the reported numbers of homicides, rapes, robberies, grand larcenies from vehicles, and aggravated assaults.

Overall, crimes against people and property in the city are up 7%, when compared to the first five months of last year.

There has been one homicide in 2022 — a 25-year-old man who was found dead on the sidewalk in the West End in March. There were two homicides in the city in 2021 and four homicides in 2020.

Below are Part 1 crimes for the period of January 1 – May 11 for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022:

Crime Type 2020 2021 2022
Homicide 0 0 1
Rape 5 2 1
Robbery 32 34 34
Aggravated Assault 73 76 63
Burglary 46 81 54
Larceny 791 753 845
Grand Larceny from Auto 91 77 98
Total 1,038 1,023 1,096

Larcenies are on the rise, with 845 incidents reported in the first five months of the year — a 12% increase over last year. Thefts from automobiles are also up 27%, with 98 incidents reported.

The city saw a 19% increase in Part 1 crime in 2020, which then fell by 2% in 2021:

Crime Type 2020 2021 Change
Homicide 4 2 -2
Rape 14 9 -5
Robbery 88 83 -5
Aggravated Assault 208 241 33
Burglary 126 186 60
Larceny 2,475 2,420 -55
Grand Larceny from Auto 357 268 -89
Total 3,272 3,209 -63 (-2%)
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A 13-year-old boy was robbed by a group of males in the 4600 block of Kenmore Avenue on May 12 (Thursday).

The incident occurred at around 4 p.m. near the near Seminary Plaza Shopping Center. The victim was injured in the incident and refused medical attention. A personal item was stolen.

Four males, likely juveniles, committed the offense and did not use weapons, Alexandria Police told ALXnow.

There have been no arrests and the incident remains under investigation.

There have been a number of recent assault by mob incidents in Alexandria. On May 6, a gang of juveniles jumped a 16-year-old male at the Bradlee Shopping Center, and on April 24 four men robbed a man of his wallet in Arlandria.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to call the Alexandria Police Department at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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A 33-year-old Alexandria man was briefly arrested last month after allegedly threatening that he would shoot and kill a woman unless she returned cash and jewelry to his mother.

The incident occurred on April 28 (Thursday), at around 8:45 p.m. in the 200 block of S. Reynolds Street in the Landmark area. The victim answered a knock at her apartment door and spoke briefly with the suspect, who allegedly told her that he had a gun and would kill her if she did not return his mother’s money and jewelry, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Ten days earlier, on April 18 (Monday), the victim was questioned by police for using at least 16 checks and allegedly stealing jewelry. The victim told police that she used the checks mistakenly because she is illiterate, but denied stealing any jewelry, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The suspect was arrested for threatening to extort money on May 9 and released on the same day on $1,200 unsecured bond. He goes to court for the offense on June 3.

Via Google Maps

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(Updated 11:30 a.m.) Three arrests have been made in an attempting carjacking in Potomac Yard on Friday that left one dead and another injured.

Police said that Jordan Poteat, an 18-year-old non-city resident, was shot and killed in the incident. Police initially said they believed the car owner shot the carjackers, though later claimed the investigation was ongoing.

“In connection with this incident, Mikell Morris, an 18-year-old non-city resident, and two juvenile males, both 15 years of age, have been charged with carjacking,” said Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett. “No further details on the juveniles are available.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Alexandria Police Department Detective Matthew Kramarik via phone at 703-746-6650, by email at [email protected], or by contacting the non-emergency line at 703 746 4444. Tips can be submitted anonymously.

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A Washington, D.C. man goes to court on Monday (May 16) for allegedly breaking down a door and pointing a gun at a woman’s head in her West End apartment.

The incident occurred on December 8, 2021, in a second floor apartment in the 100 block of S. Reynolds Street. The victim told police that she began to get a weird vibe after hanging out all day with the 26-year-old suspect, who she described as being a lifelong friend, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The couple left her apartment to get food at a nearby Popeyes restaurant, and, after returning home, the victim told police that she didn’t want him to come in after her, and put the suspect’s food and phone outside her apartment door. She also locked the door.

The victim said the suspect became enraged when he arrived at the apartment to find the door locked.

The suspect then allegedly broke down the door and entered the apartment, pointed a handgun at the victim’s neck and asked why she locked the door.

“She also advised me that he threatened to kill her,” police said in a search warrant affidavit. “When (the victim) put her hands up in a surrendering motion, (the suspect) turned around and swiped the food off the table. He then exited the apartment.”

Police found the door severely damaged and food scattered across the floor. The victim then phoned the suspect and put the call on speakerphone.

“She began arguing with him on speakerphone and I could hear him state that she should not have placed his Popeyes and cell phone on the ground outside her apartment,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

Police then called the same number, but the suspect allegedly told them he was not the man they were looking for and hung up the phone. Police then texted the number asking for a call-back to get the suspect’s side of the story.

Police then received a call from the suspect.

“The male called me back and stated he was not (the suspect), did not know anyone in Alexandria, was not in Alexandria, and did not wish to speak with me further without his lawyer on the phone,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The suspect was arrested more than three months later, on March 14, 2022, and charged with brandishing a firearm, burglary, and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

The suspect is being held without bond in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. He goes goes before a grand jury on Monday, May 16, after which a trial date will be set.

Via Google Maps

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A woman was injured and an Alexandria man faces multiple charges after an violent domestic dispute in Old Town, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

APD was alerted of people fighting in an apartment in the 1400 block of Princess Street in Old Town at around 3:30 on May 3 (Monday). A 33-year-old female victim suffered a non-life threatening injury after being struck and was transported to the hospital, APD told ALXnow.

The 30-year-old suspect was arrested shortly after midnight on May 3 (Tuesday) and released that same day.

The suspect was charged with malicious wounding, domestic assault and battery, destruction of property worth less than $1,000, resisting arrest and intentionally damaging a phone line to prevent the summoning of law enforcement.

The malicious wounding charge is a felony, which carries the minimum penalty of five years in prison. The remaining charges are misdemeanors, each punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine.

The suspect goes to court on May 13.

The Alexandria Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program is available 24/7 to listen and help at 703-746-4911.

“If you are a neighbor and know that an abusive incident is occurring, call the police immediately,” the city said. “Calling the police is simply the most effective way to protect the victim and children from immediate harm.”

Via Google Maps

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