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Airplane in flight (via John McArthur/Unsplash)

(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) A man from Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty today to assaulting a flight attendant and interfering with the crew on a plane that was headed to Dulles International Airport in October, federal prosecutors announced.

Cherruy Loghan Sevilla, 24, exhibited “erratic and disruptive behavior” during a United Airlines flight from Miami to Dulles on Oct. 4, at one point preventing a flight attendant from getting to her jump seat and groping her, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said.

From the news release:

About an hour into the flight, Sevilla began to exhibit disruptive and erratic behavior, including wandering around the plane, running up and down the aisle, clapping loudly near the cockpit, and yelling obscenities. Sevilla refused to remain seated and laid on the floor in the aisle of the plane, preventing a flight attendant from walking up the aisle to her jump seat to prepare for landing. Suddenly, the defendant jumped up and lunged at this flight attendant, grabbing and twisting her right breast. A passenger, another flight attendant, and an onboard law enforcement officer attempted to pull the defendant off and subdue him. The defendant resisted and, in the struggle, twisted the arm of the second flight attendant.

As USA Today reported in October, the man told agents at the FBI office in Dulles that he took psilocybin — a psychedelic drug also known as “magic mushrooms” — before boarding the plane in Miami, according to an affidavit.

“This was not the first time Sevilla had consumed Psilocybin, and Sevilla said that he was not totally surprised he acted this way after consuming it,” an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. “Sevilla stated that he was sorry for his actions.”

Sevilla has been scheduled for a sentencing hearing on April 21. He could face up to 20 years in prison, though federal crimes are typically sentenced for lower than the maximum penalties, according to the Department of Justice.

Stories of unruly and combative fliers have multiplied in recent years, as air travel has recovered from the initial months of the pandemic.

Though incidents have declined since March 2022, last year still had 823 reports of unruly passengers — the second-most recorded by the Federal Aviation Administration, behind only the 1,099 incidents reported in 2021.

Photo via John McArthur/Unsplash

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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

A daycare provider from a Montessori school in McNair has been arrested for assaulting a child.

Wesal Houd Abu Issa, 42, of Herndon was arrested on yesterday (Wednesday) for allegedly restraining an 18-month-old to a chair using tape at Little Oaks Montessori Academy (12525 Dulles Technology Drive), according to Fairfax County police.

Police were alerted after an employee of the facility informed daycare staff and Child Protective Services a day after the incident on Dec. 8.

After investigating, detectives obtained a warrant for assault on Dec. 21.

The Fairfax County Police Department asks anyone with additional information to contact its detectives using the following methods:

We are asking anyone with information regarding these incidents to call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

Little Oaks serves kids in Northern Virginia aged 3 months to 6 years. The school didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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Glen Forest Elementary School (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 11:50 p.m.) An instructional assistant at Glen Forest Elementary School in Bailey’s Crossroads was allegedly seen assaulting a student with disabilities last month.

Fairfax County Police Department detectives served a warrant for simple assault to Meredith Capets, a 36-year-old Alexandria resident, after she turned herself in at the Adult Detention Center last night (Tuesday), the department reported this morning.

According to police, another Glen Forest employee saw Capets assault the student on Dec. 8.

“The employee immediately reported the assault to school administrators,” the FCPD said. “Officers were notified of the incident that evening. Detectives conducted numerous interviews.”

Detectives with the department’s child abuse squad obtained the warrant yesterday. After being served, Capets was released on an unsecured bond.

Capets was placed on administrative leave “immediately” after the school learned about the assault, Glen Forest principal Diane Herndon-Wilson said in a message to families.

“As principal, my primary responsibility is the safety and security of everyone who enters the doors of Glen Forest,” Herndon-Wilson wrote. “This is something I take very seriously. As educators, we are entrusted with the wellbeing of the children in our care every day. It deeply affects us when someone appears to have broken that trust.”

The FCPD says anyone with additional information about the case can contact its Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3, or submit an anonymous tip via Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIP) or online.

This is the fifth incident reported in 2022 where an FCPS employee allegedly assaulted a student with disabilities. An assistant at Dogwood Elementary School was arrested for an assault in September, and a Marshall High School special education teacher was arrested last month for assaulting a student twice.

School bus workers who allegedly assaulted students in Fort Belvoir and Vienna last year are no longer employed by FCPS.

Photo via Google Maps

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A Vienna police car parked on Cherry Street (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Vienna police arrested the same man twice earlier this month for separate incidents where he was allegedly drunk, including one where he flashed a gun at a passing dogwalker.

First, an officer was called to Blackstone Terrace and Holmes Drive NW intersection at 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 2 for a report of a man standing outside and yelling profanity, according to the Vienna Police Department’s crime roundup for the week of Dec. 2-8.

“Upon the officer’s interaction with the man, they detected signs of impairment. The man refused to stop yelling or go back into his residence,” police said.

The VPD says the 35-year-old man was arrested and charged with being drunk in public. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

He evidently didn’t stay in jail long, because two days later, police were called back to Blackstone Terrace at 3:17 p.m. on Dec. 4 when the man allegedly screamed at a teen who was walking their family’s dog:

A juvenile was walking the family dog when a resident in the neighborhood began to scream at him and showed him a firearm in his waistband. A neighbor witnessed the incident and immediately ushered the juvenile safely away and back to his home. Officers located the man and, upon their interaction with him, detected signs of impairment.

The man was again arrested and taken to the Adult Detention Center, receiving charges of “drunk in public” and “brandishing a firearm.”

While the incidents don’t reference each other in the weekly recap, a VPD spokesperson confirmed that they involve the same person.

In other Vienna crime news, a Park Terrace Court resident reported on Thursday (Dec. 8) that there was “a small fire” on the stoop of the condominium building. She believed it may have been set by a neighbor “with who she has had ongoing issues,” according to the police summary.

“The resident stated that she saw her neighbor…carrying some items and placing them on the stoop. She never observed him set the fire,” the VPD said. “The fire was out before the officers arrived. Officers located the neighbor later in the night, and he denied any involvement in the incident.”

Police also responded to two vehicle-related assaults on Thursday:

Assault 22-011734
200 Block Locust Street, SE
December 8 6:36 p.m.
A citizen reported that he was driving eastbound on Locust Street, exiting the traffic circle at Park Street when a man entered the crosswalk. The citizen yielded to the pedestrian, however, the man stopped in the middle of the road. The man proceeded to strike the citizen’s rear window. When the citizen got out of his vehicle to check for damage, the man assaulted him, causing minor injuries to his face. The man left the area when the citizen got back into his vehicle.

Arrest – Drunk In Public 22-011744
Locust Street and Cottage Street, SW
December 8 11:53 p.m.
An Uber driver reported that she was transporting a passenger when the woman began to scream, assaulted her, and got out of the vehicle. The driver was concerned for the woman’s safety. Upon the officer’s interaction with the driver, they detected signs of impairment.

In the latter case, the Uber driver — identified as a 56-year-old woman — was arrested, taken to the county jail and charged with being drunk in public.

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George C. Marshall High School in Idylwood (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A special education teacher at Marshall High School in Idylwood has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a student more than once, Fairfax County police announced Friday night (Dec. 2).

Two different employees reported seeing Amy Bonzano, a 50-year-old Falls Church resident, assaulting a student with disabilities, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The first report came on Sept. 28 from an employee who “immediately” alerted school administrators, police said. The school’s subsequent investigation uncovered an earlier incident shared by a teacher who “had observed Bonzano physically assault the student approximately six months earlier,” according to the FCPD’s news release.

“That incident was not reported at the time it occurred,” the police department said. “Our detectives were notified on Oct. 13 and assumed the investigation.”

After conducting “numerous” interviews, detectives obtained and served two summons on Friday with warrants for simple assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia that carries a potential jail sentence of six months.

Listed as an intellectual disabilities teacher on the website for Marshall, which enrolls 272 students who receive special education services, as of the 2021-2022 school year, Bonzano has been placed on administrative leave, as has the teacher who didn’t initially report the assault they witnessed, principal Jeffrey Litz said in a message to the school community.

Dear Marshall HS Families,

I am deeply saddened tonight to inform you that Fairfax County police have announced the arrest of a special education teacher at Marshall High School who has been charged with assaulting a student. When the alleged incident occurred on September 28th, we contacted the family and the proper authorities, and placed the staff member on administrative leave. As the police reference, the investigation resulted in a staff member sharing that they had witnessed a similar incident six months earlier but did not report it. I want you to know that the person who did not report the previous incident was immediately placed on leave.

As principal, my primary responsibility is the safety and security of everyone who enters the doors of Marshall High School. This is something I take very seriously. As educators, we are entrusted with the wellbeing of the children in our care every day. It deeply affects us when someone appears to have broken that trust. Please contact Fairfax County Police Major Crimes Bureau if you have any information you would like to share at 703-246-7800, option 4.

I am here to answer your questions or concerns, and to support students in any way they need.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey D. Litz

The FCPD says anyone with information related to this case or other possible incidents can contact its detectives at 703-246-7800, option “4.” The department also accepts anonymous tips through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.

Bonzano is the second FCPS employee to get arrested for assaulting a student with disabilities this year. In September, an instructional assistant at Dogwood Elementary School in Reston was arrested when two teachers witnessed an alleged assault.

The news of Bonzano’s arrest came the same week that FCPS announced an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education requiring it to compensate special education students for services it failed to provide during the shift to remote learning earlier in the pandemic.

FCPS is in the midst of reviewing its special education program after a recent report indicated that students with disabilities are disproportionately suspended and generally struggle more academically compared to their peers.

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The Revolution Darts & Billiards in Centreville (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 1:50 p.m.) An adult man was severely beaten by a group of men in the parking lot of  in Centreville, police say.

Officers were dispatched to 14114 Lee Highway around 12:03 a.m. on Sunday (Oct. 16) for the reported assault.

Allegedly a patron of The Revolution Darts & Billiards, a sports bar and pool hall in the shopping center, the man suffered severe blunt force trauma from getting kicked in the head, according to scanner traffic.

“The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries that were considered life-threatening,” the Fairfax County Police Department told FFXnow. “The victim’s injuries have since improved and no longer considered life-threatening.”

FCPD detectives preliminarily believe the assault was “an isolated incident,” but an investigation is still underway. No arrests have been made yet, the department said.

Alan Henney contributed to this report. Photo via Google Maps

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A Fairfax County police car with lights flashing (file photo)

An assistant at Reston’s Dogwood Elementary School has been arrested in connection with assaulting a special needs student earlier this month, according to police.

Fairfax County police charged Mark MacDicken, 60, of Centreville, with the assault of the juvenile student on Sept. 16. McDicken has worked at the school for roughly 10 years, police said.

Two teachers reportedly witnessed McDicken assaulting the student when they walked into their classroom.

He was charged with assault.

McDicken has been put on administrative leave while the case is underway, Dogwood Elementary School Principal Kate Beckner said in a message to families.

“I understand this will come as a shock to our community,” she wrote. “The primary responsibility for anyone who works in education is the safety and wellbeing of children. When that trust appears to be broken, it affects us all.”

Beckner’s full letter to the community, shared with FFXnow by Fairfax County Public Schools, is below.

Dear Dogwood Families,

I am deeply saddened this morning to share the news of a situation at Dogwood ES involving an instructional assistant.

Fairfax County Police will be sharing with the community today that an instructional assistant has been arrested and charged with assaulting a student in our school. Two staff members who allegedly witnessed the incident immediately contacted administration and we took swift action to contact the authorities. The staff member is currently on administrative leave while this case is resolved.

I understand this will come as a shock to our community. The primary responsibility for anyone who works in education is the safety and wellbeing of children. When that trust appears to be broken, it affects us all.

These situations can be upsetting and prompt a variety of emotions. When engaging in conversations with your child, listen calmly and reassuringly, and share a message that you are someone your child can talk to, even in challenging situations. If you have counseling questions or concerns, please reach out to our counselors, Angel Evins and Jen Franconeri at 703-262-3100. Please also contact Fairfax County Police Major Crimes Bureau if you have any information you would like to share at 703-246-7800, option 4.

I am here to answer your questions or concerns, and to support students in any way they need.

Sincerely,

Kate Beckner

Principal

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Fairfax County Police Sgt. Tara Gerhard said that a photo shows the suspect (via FCPD/Facebook)

The Fairfax County Police Department is seeking the public’s help to identify a man in a photo who may be involved in multiple grabbings, assaults, and an attempted abduction over the last few weeks on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

In the latest incident last night (Tuesday), a man attempted to grab a teenage girl as she was walking on the 1800 block of Old Reston Avenue at around 8:10 p.m. The attempted abduction comes just a week after a naked man grabbed a woman last week and where other indecent exposures took place.

At a press conference today (Wednesday), FCPD Sgt. Tara Gerhard said the man may be connected to an unidentified number of incidents throughout the month. The police department is working through other cases to determine if the suspect may be linked to other cases. 

“As a mother, as a woman and as a member of the community, I am just as concerned,” Gerhard told members of the media.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, roughly 5 feet and 11 inches in height, with an athletic build. He was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and black shorts in last night’s Old Reston Avenue incident.

Police officers canvassed the area last night and today. FCPD is also working with neighboring jurisdictions.

Gerhard urged community members to provide any information they can — including surveillance footage or any details about the suspect in photo pulled from surveillance video by a Town of Herndon resident. 

Here’s how to provide information to FCPD:

Anyone with information about this case can contact detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Community members residing in the area are asked to review home surveillance for any suspicious activity. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone — 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), and by web – Click HERE. Download the ‘P3 Tips’ App and follow the steps to “Fairfax Co Crime Solvers”. Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars. Please leave contact information if you wish for a detective to follow up with you.

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Morning Notes

A car at the Franconia-Springfield Metro station pick-up line (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Sidewalk Projects Planned to Address Route 7 Pedestrian Safety — Virginia and Fairfax County officials are working to add sidewalks along Route 7 in the Culmore area of Bailey’s Crossroads. Prioritized sites include the Liberty gas station where a pedestrian was hit and killed by a vehicle in December, prompting safety advocates to campaign for improvements. [Annandale Today]

Person Rescued from Lincolnia House Fire — “Units arrived on scene with smoke visible and fire on the second floor. Two of three occupants evacuated the home prior to fire department arrival. One occupant was trapped in a bedroom. Crews rescued the occupant via a ground ladder — unharmed!” [FCFRD]

Former FCPD Officer Sentenced in Daughter’s Death — Jason Michael Colley pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault in Frederick County Circuit Court last week in connection to his 6-month-old daughter’s death in 2017. Sentenced to a combined 50 years, he will serve eight in private home detention and serve five years of supervised probation on the condition that “he not engage in physical punishment of children.” [ABC7]

Old Dominion Drive Closed for Two Days — “Old Dominion Drive (Route 738) will be closed to through traffic between Balls Hill Road (Route 686) and Route 123 (Dolley Madison Boulevard), weather permitting, from 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 8 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 to replace stormwater pipes…Traffic will be detoured via Balls Hill Road, Lewinsville Road (Route 694) and Route 123 back to Old Dominion Drive.” [VDOT]

Two Charged in McLean Church Burglary — Two men were reported forcing entry into the Faith Bible Presbyterian Church (6901 Haycock Road) through a window at 5:17 p.m. on July 31. Officers found the 18-year-olds inside the church, taking property. They were both charged with burglary and property destruction, and one of them was charged with providing false identification to law enforcement. [FCPD]

Reston Assault by Teens Under Investigation — “Officers from the Reston District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department are investigating an assault that occurred Wednesday night in the South Lakes area, according to the weekly crime report. Around 10:45 p.m., a group of teens stole property and assaulted a person in the 11900 block of Barrel Cooper Court…The victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries” [Patch]

Renovation of Merrifield Fire Station Complete — “After a little over two years, the renovation at Station 30, Merrifield, is complete. [Thursday], crews moved back in. Station was totally operationally during the renovation with a trailer for personnel in back. The reno included an addition of 440 square feet.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Graffiti by Soldiers Revealed at Historic Fairfax Farmhouse — “Between March 1862 and June 1863, hundreds of Union soldiers left their enduring marks in charcoal, graphite or crayon on the walls of the attic and first and second floors of Historic Blenheim, a brick 1859 farmhouse and 12-acre estate on what is now Old Lee Highway.” [WTOP]

It’s Monday — Humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 8:13 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The entrance to the Westwood Country Club in Vienna (via Google Maps)

Vienna police are on the lookout for men who reportedly damaged the Westwood Country Club’s golf course last week.

Surveillance video footage showed “a group of unidentified males” destroying the grounds and equipment of the country club at 800 Maple Avenue East between 2 and 3 a.m. last Saturday (July 23), the Vienna Police Department said in a flier included in its crime recap for the week of July 22-28.

According to the bulletin, the men caused an estimated $2,000 in property damage.

The incident was reported to police by an employee of the country club, who said that “the grounds crew found multiple areas around the golf course” had been vandalized overnight.

The department says anyone with information about the incident or possible suspects should contact Sgt. J.K. Sheeran at James.Sheeran@viennava.gov or 703-255-7826 using the case number 2022-7611.

Police are looking for information about vandalism at the Westwood Country Club (via Vienna Police Department)

In a separate case, a man from Manassas faces multiple felony charges after nearly hitting a Vienna police officer and striking another person’s vehicle around 7:10 p.m. on July 24.

According to police, officers found the man unconscious in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck at the intersection of Lullaby Lane and Harmony Drive SE near Cunningham Park:

Officers responding to the report of an unconscious man in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck found the man slumped over the console with the engine running and locked doors. Officers repeatedly attempted to wake the man and gain entry to the vehicle to check on his well-being. The driver abruptly woke up and ignored the officers’ commands, accelerating sharply toward one of the officers, almost striking him, then fleeing the scene.

While fleeing, the driver struck a citizen’s vehicle and again continued to flee. The two occupants of the struck vehicle were transported to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Officers responded to the magistrate’s office and obtained four felony warrants for the suspect.

The man was ultimately apprehended “on unrelated charges” by Fairfax City police officers around 6:20 a.m. on Monday (July 25), the police summary says.

After being notified about the arrest, Vienna police served the felony warrants charging the 31-year-old man with assault on a police officer, hit and run, and two counts of eluding police.

Photo via Google Maps

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