Morning Notes

Alexandria boxer Troy Isley to compete in Olympics — “Troy Isley, 22, is a middleweight boxer from Alexandria, a T.C. Williams High School alumnus and part of the Alexandria Boxing Club. He secured his spot on the Olympic team on June 7, USA Boxing confirmed.” [Patch]

Alexandria Police helped chase down suspect Friday — “Alert:: APD assisted PG County Police and Fairfax County Police with chasing down a suspect. The chase originated in PG County and came through our city via Fairfax County. No injuries to report. The suspect was taken into custody.” [Twitter]

Emmy Squared Opens in Old Town — “After a soft opening this weekend, Emmy Squared will open its doors Wednesday, June 30 at 124 King St., in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, near the waterfront.” [Alexandria Living]

New uses coming to original Mount Vernon High School — “The building was originally built in 1939 on land that used to be part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. It was used as a high school until 1973 and then a middle school until 1985. The building was then leased to the Islamic Saudi Academy in 1989 until that school relocated to a new building in 2016.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s weather — “Sunny (during the day). Hot. High 94F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph… Clear skies (in the evening). Low 74F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Tour guide — “Seeking a responsible, punctual, and social tour guide/driver to help with winery and brewery tours on weekends. Must be comfortable driving large groups (driving minivan or 15 passenger van). Clean driving record is a Must!” [Indeed]

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An Alexandria Police officer jumped out of the way of a car that sped toward him after a traffic stop near Police Headquarters on Monday, June 7.

At around noon, the officer conducted a traffic stop on Cockrell Street (a dead end) near the intersection with Duke Street, approached the black sedan and asked the driver to turn off their engine.

“The driver did not comply and then drove off towards the dead end, turned around and drove back directly towards the officer,” APD senior communication officer Amanda Paga told ALXnow. “The officer jumped out of the way and was not hit.”

Paga said that the driver drove east on Duke Street at a high rate of speed, and was lost by another pursuing officer. A suspect description was not available.

“The pursuit was terminated when the officer lost sight of the vehicle after it reached northbound I-495 and went across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge,” Paga said. “Lookouts were shared with neighboring jurisdictions… The driver, when caught, is facing several charges including reckless driving, eluding and assault on police.”

Courtesy GoogleMaps

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What a week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.

Our top story was on President Joe Biden stopping by the Sportrock Climbing Center in Alexandria last Friday with First Lady Jill Biden and Governor Ralph Northam.

Seeing the president around town is getting to be a regular thing. The president, who also visited in April, discussed “the state’s progress against the coronavirus pandemic” and the celebration of “summer as Virginia lifts all COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions.”

This week, we also followed up on a New York Times report about the Virginia Theological Seminary making reparations payments to slavery descendants. The program was launched in 2019, and the school issued $2,100 in annual payments to 15 families in February.

On Wednesday, the Fire Department released its restructuring plan, which goes into effect June 12, and is intended to help emergency response times by shifting resources. AFD will conduct community conversations on the restructuring on Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m.; Monday, June 7, at 2 p.m. and Thursday, June 10, at 7 p.m.

Closing the short workweek, on Friday Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown announced that his retirement. Brown’s last day is June 25, and the City Manager is soon expected to name an acting chief to lead the department while the city’s undergoes a national search for a permanent replacement.

Election stories

Important stories

Top stories

  1. UPDATED: President Biden and Gov. Northam visited Alexandria this morning
  2. JUST IN: Virginia State Police chase U-Haul pickup truck through Alexandria
  3. Bennett-Parker says Levine mailer on Commonwealth of Virginia letterhead is ethics breach
  4. Goodie’s Frozen Custard & Treats opens in Old Town
  5. Hank & Mitzi’s Italian Kitchen closes for the foreseeable future in Old Town North
  6. Volunteers needed this weekend to help clear dangerous stretch of Mount Vernon Trail
  7. Wilson and Silberberg mayoral debate finale opens possibility of ‘tweaking’ Seminary Road Diet
  8. Homegrown Restaurant Group gives employees raise to $15 an hour, will ease COVID restrictions at 6 restaurants
  9. ‘Rock It Grill’ eyeing karaoke expansion, bringing back Halloween party
  10. Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
  11. Ownership of Landmark’s streets could make a big difference down the road

Photo via White House/Twitter

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More details have been released on a string of 130 smash-and-grab burglaries at businesses in Alexandria and throughout the region.

A number of juveniles from around Alexandria have been arrested in connection to the incidents.

Last month, Alexandria Police said that one juvenile suspect was arrested.

In most cases, the suspects broke windows with rocks or bricks and drove away in stolen vehicles. During one three day stretch in February, there were approximately 35 incidents in Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax County and Fairfax City, according to a police search warrant affidavit.

At least three of the suspects were identified as members of the “Culmore City Gang,” which has ties to Fairfax County, police said.

One of the juvenile suspects, a D.C. resident, has been documented as a member of the gang for several years. He was identified on security camera footage from one of the incidents and was eventually tracked down in a stolen vehicle on March 18. Police said the suspect was arrested for probation violation but “fled from court-ordered custody at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Facility.”

Numerous additional burglaries followed the juvenile’s escape. Hours after another incident on April 8, Arlington County Police tracked down the suspect who escaped with another juvenile (later issued a juvenile arrest warrant) in a stolen 2010 Ford Explorer.

The suspect who escaped custody was arrested after five separate incidents that occurred at businesses on S. Pickett Street in the West End on April 23. He was arrested the following day while allegedly fleeing a burglary incident at an Arlington pharmacy. On his phone police found photos and videos of the suspect and other juveniles holding large sums of money, drugs, firearms and ammunition — all while wearing clothing that was captured on security videos.

As of April, it is believed that the suspects “have stolen ignition keys from vehicles, utilized them in a burglary,” police said in the affidavit. “After utilizing the vehicle in the burglary, the suspect returns the vehicle to the owner, but keeps the ignition key, returning to the vehicle to commit more thefts.”

Police arrested another juvenile outside his home in Fairfax County on April 27, and he was allegedly was in possession of a stolen firearm.

On May 13, another juvenile suspect was arrested after a brief chase in Arlington. The driver was taken into custody, and inside the vehicle police found a stolen firearm and a blue canvas beg containing “approximately $10,000 of electronic cigarettes similar to ones reported stolen in ongoing regional burglaries.”

Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to contact Detective Walter Boyd at 703-746-6245 or [email protected] or Detective Edmund Dougherty at 703-746-6697 or at [email protected].

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Virginia State Police lost track of a stolen white U-Haul pickup truck that was chased through Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. on Tuesday afternoon.

At around 4 p.m., police spotted the 2019 U-Haul Chevrolet Silverado traveling northbound on Interstate 395 near the Little River Turnpike exit.

“The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Fauquier County,” VSP public relations director Corinne Geller told ALXnow. “Once the trooper confirmed it was the stolen vehicle, the trooper activated his lights and siren to initiate a traffic stop on the Silverado. The driver refused to stop, sped away and a pursuit was initiated.”

The suspect was chased down Arlington Ridge Road in Arlington, continuing down Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria before the Silverado ended up driving on the wrong side of the street at Glebe Road and West Glebe Road and nearly rammed a VSP cruiser. The suspect veered out of the way and struck a road sign, which was knocked into the middle of the street, and has since been cleared away.

“His vehicle got damaged,” the investigating officer said via dispatch. “Pretty heavy damage… His vehicle nearly struck my cruiser.”

The truck was then involved in a crash with two trucks on northbound 395 on the 14th Street Bridge as it drove into D.C. A tweet from a former reporter and volunteer firefighter who runs a fire and EMS news website even showed the chase going into D.C.

“Once the suspect vehicle got back to I-395 north and crossed the 14th Street Bridge into Washington, DC, the troopers lost sight of it and the pursuit was terminated,” Geller said.

Photo via ARLnow/Twitter

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Virginia State Police briefly chased a suspect driving a white U-Haul pickup along Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria. The suspect was chased from Arlington and into Alexandria before turning onto West Glebe Road and taking out a road sign at around 4:15 p.m.

The U-Haul truck drove on the wrong way of the street on West Glebe Road, and nearly struck a VSP cruiser. The suspect veered out of the way and struck a road sign, which was knocked into the middle of the street, and has since been cleared away.

“His vehicle got damaged,” the investigating officer said via dispatch. “Pretty heavy damage… His vehicle nearly struck my cruiser.”

The truck was then involved in a crash with two trucks on northbound 395 on the 14th Street Bridge as it drove into D.C.

Alexandria Police were not notified of the incident and are not coordinating with VSP. ALXnow has also reached out to VSP for an update.

Photo via ARLnow/Twitter

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What a week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.

The Alexandria City Council on Wednesday approved its Fiscal Year 2022 $770.7 million budget on Wednesday, and it includes a 2 cent real estate tax reduction. It’s the first time that’s happened in 15 years, and the budget also fully funds Alexandria City Public Schools’ request and includes a 1% raise for city and state employees.

But perhaps the biggest news of the week came with City Councilman Mo Seifeldein’s proposal to eliminate School Resource Officer funding from the budget. The effort was supported along by Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Councilman Canek Aguirre and Councilman John Taylor Chapman, who voted along with the group after failing to save the program in a last-minute effort.

Crime stories dominated many headlines, and Police Chief Michael Brown spoke with us this week about his department’s efforts to reduce destructive elements throughout the city. More from that interview will be published next week.

In this week’s poll, we asked about the importance of political endorsements for local candidates. Out of 222 responses, 48% (107 votes) don’t consider endorsements while voting; 39% (86 votes) said endorsements influence their decision; and 14% (29 votes) feel that endorsements hold a lot of sway.

Election stories

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Parking issues plague Potomac Yard, city looks to create residential parking district
  2. Knife pulled on woman who chases would-be thieves in Old Town
  3. D.C. man arrested after 130 mph chase leads to crash on Interstate 495
  4. Police: Armed robberies occur minutes apart in Del Ray and Arlandria
  5. Two injured in hit-and-run in Old Town, driver leaves car and flees on foot
  6. Too noisy? City Council is considering revising Alexandria’s noise ordinance
  7. Alexandria City Council to end School Resource Officer program at Alexandria City Public Schools
  8. Alexandria man arrested for firing gun at 7-Eleven door near Braddock Road Metro station
  9. Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
  10. JUST IN: Power outages across Alexandria as strong winds hit the city
  11. What’s next for GenOn and the rest of Old Town North?

Have a safe weekend!

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It was a busy week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.

Governor Ralph Northam and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited Alexandria this week. Northam stopped by Pacers Running in Old Town, and afterward met with Cardona, Mayor Justin Wilson, National Education Association of the United States President Becky Pringle and Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School. Cardona was at the school as part of his “Help is Here” school reopening tour.

On Monday, demolition started at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, and Alexandria City Public Schools says that the completion date is still on schedule for the new school to reopen the school in Jan. 2023. In the meantime, MacArthur students will continue to use the old Patrick Henry Elementary School as swing space.

There was big news for Alexandria nonprofits this week, as the Spring2ACTion fundraiser raised $2.5 million and broke last year’s online giving record.

There were also 682 votes in this week’s poll on outdoor dining and takeout. We asked whether the city should keep its expanded restaurant offerings after in a post-COVID environment. An overwhelming majority of 84% of votes cast (576 votes) want businesses to enjoy the same level of latitude; 13% (89 votes) said some modifications should be made and just 2% (17 votes) want businesses to go back to pre-pandemic operations.

Election stories

Important stories

Top stories

  1. Update: Four arrested, suspect’s mother among wounded in West End shootout
  2. NOW: Alexandria preparing new face mask ordinance as CDC says fully vaccinated folks don’t need them
  3. Alexandria celebrates Earth Day virtually
  4. COVID-19 Update: City says anyone who registered by April 10 for COVID-19 vaccine should have an appointment
  5. Police: Falling death of man in Landmark does not appear to be suspicious
  6. Del Ray restaurant The Garden to bloom into new outdoor area
  7. Parents and students protest for expanded in-person instruction outside ACPS Central Office
  8. JUST IN: ‘Open ACPS!’ group to rally in front of Central Office on Monday
  9. Here’s the order that City Council candidates will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary
  10. EXCLUSIVE: Here’s what the inside of the Halal slaughterhouse looks like on Colvin Street
  11. School Resource Officers at ACPS on chopping block as Police chief proposes alternative program

Have a safe weekend!

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(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) A 25-year-old Washington, D.C. man is being held without bond for a high speed chase on Interstate 495.

Nye Lujeen Faulk was booked into jail on April 6 and held without bond for assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, eluding police, driving with an open container of alcohol, and possession with intent to distribute more than one ounce but not more than five pounds of marijuana.

At around 7:30 p.m. on that day, a Virginia State Police trooper was driving west on Interstate 495 toward Old Town when he reported being passed by a white Infiniti coupe traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour. A chase ensued that lasted about five minutes and speeds reached 130 miles per hour, according to a search warrant affidavit.

“Faulk made several attempts to destroy of obstruct any criminal nexus associated with the vehicle and its occupants by discarding packaging materials commonly associated with the sales and distribution of narcotics,” police reported. “Faulk ultimately lost control of his vehicle and crashed on I-495… east of Route 1 at the 177.4-mile marker.”

The chase ended when the Infiniti rear-ended a 2020 Ford Expedition, according to Virginia State Police.

“The impact of the crash caused the Infiniti to spin around into the left shoulder of the interstate and come to rest against the Jersey Wall,” VSP public relations director Corinne Geller told ALXnow. “The driver of the Expedition, a 48-year-old man from King George, Va., was not injured in the crash.”

The trooper said that two men ran from the car, and that Faulk, who was allegedly the driver, was apprehended after a “brief physical altercation with my person.”

Police found $17,518.95 in cash on Faulk, and inside the car recovered electronic scales, packaging materials and marijuana.

No information on the other suspect who fled the car was provided by Virginia State Police.

Faulk goes to court for the incident on May 7.

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It was another busy week in Alexandria. Here are some of the highlights.

This week, ALXnow profiled Mayor Justin Wilson and his opponent, former Mayor Allison Silberberg. The pair are facing off in the June 8 Democratic primary, and have vastly different ideas on city governance.

Alexandria Police released its 2020 crime data this week, revealing a 19% increase in Part 1 crime and 15% reduction in Nuisance crimes. ALXnow also reported a number of noteworthy crime stories, including the release of a video showing a chase suspect who died after his arrest in D.C. on April 12, and the indictment of a West End murder suspect.

This week also brought the unbelievable story of locals chasing down suspected shoplifters in Del Ray.

On the vaccine front, the Alexandria Health Department paused Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, following new concerns about potential side effects.

In school news, Alexandria City Public Schools will shift to three feet distancing in classrooms on April 26. Additionally, the School Board has started a conversation on reducing the number of members from nine to six.

Important stories

Top stories

  1. BREAKING: ‘Alexandria City High School’ chosen as replacement name for T.C. Williams High School
  2. JUST IN: Dr. Stephen Haering suddenly retires as director of Alexandria Health Department
  3. Southern Towers residents nervous as landlord steps up eviction proceedings
  4. Man stabbed at Old Town intersection
  5. NEW: Locals chase down suspected shoplifters in Del Ray
  6. JUST IN: T.C. Williams JV football team walks off field after alleged racial slur, spitting incident
  7. Man faces 10 years for DWI in horrific West End crash in Safeway parking lot
  8. Planning Commission approves controversial subdivision, plants potential loophole for future denial
  9. JUST IN: Video released of police arresting chase suspect who died in D.C.
  10. JUST IN: Six Alexandria Police officers put on administrative duties after chase suspect dies
  11. JUST IN: West End murder suspect faces life plus 13 years in prison

Have a safe weekend!

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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