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Fairfax County police vehicle with lights (file photo)

The Fairfax County Police Department touted the county’s status as the safest jurisdiction of its size following the release of its year-end crime report.

The report — which is based on violent crime rates among participating agencies evaluated by the Major Cities Chief Association — shows that Fairfax County’s rate is the lowest among jurisdictions of comparable size. Homicide offenses, sex offenses, burglaries, and robberies all declined between 2022 and 2023, according to the report.

“The central message conveyed in this report is clear — Fairfax County stands as the safest large jurisdiction in America. Through data-informed enforcement strategies, FCPD played a pivotal role in reducing violent crime rates,” FCPD wrote in a press release.

At a safety and security committee meeting before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on March 12, Police Chief Kevin Davis said that all 17 murders last year were solved. Homicides were down 23% over the previous year.

FCPD also stepped up the number of traffic summonses, issuing nearly 40% more in 2023 than in 2022 for violations like speeding, reckless driving, and hands-free violations.

Theft of motor vehicle parts was a major focus this year. The number of thefts decreased from 1,516 in 2022 to 875 in 2023, a trend observed in the FCPD’s mid-year crime report.

But the decrease in the theft of motor vehicle parts was offset by an increase in shoplifting, which rose from 5,799 incidents in 2022 to 8,156 last year. Additionally, 126 more vehicles were stolen in 2023 than in 2022.

Most cars that were stolen were either Kias and Hyundais, particularly in the Mount Vernon District, according to FCPD. They were often later recovered in D.C. or Prince George’s County.

Officers increased their presence in malls during the winter holiday season. Springfield’s Christmas anti-theft team recovered more than $100,000 of stolen merchandise last year compared to $30,000 in 2022, according to the FCPD.

Davis noted that organized groups appear to be targeted high-end merchandise in large quantities, later reselling the items on Facebook Marketplace.

“Everyone is jumping up and down about what we need to do to prevent, mitigate, and hold these really organized groups better accountable,” Davis said, adding that the problem appears to be region-wide.

A one-day symposium is planned in April for regional authorities to explore “innovative” solutions, Davis said.

The department also reported 472 assaults against its officers this year — an increase from 378 in 2022. Davis said 5% of all assault crimes were against law enforcement officers.

“It has our attention and we’re taking steps to mitigate it,” Davis said.

Overall, there were 1,161 assaults between 2022 and 2023, according to the report, although most offenses were not aggravated. Most assaults are “domestic in nature or involve parties known to each other,” the police department says.

“FCPD worked hard to combat this issue by placing over 34,000 criminal charges on over 23,000 individuals responsible for crimes in Fairfax County last year,” the FCPD said in a news release.

While pedestrian fatalities decreased in 2023, which had nine deaths, FCPD has launched a collaborative effort with local transportation officials and other community partners to review pedestrian fatalities and significant injuries. Between 2019 and 2022, 77 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes.

Most incidents happened at night, Davis said.

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Fairfax County police vehicle with lights (file photo)

A man who barricaded himself in his West Falls Church home on Sunday (March 10) is facing multiple criminal charges, including assault and abduction.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, a woman told officers that afternoon that she had been abducted and assaulted by a “known suspect” in the Mosby neighborhood.

The woman ran up to the intersection of Chestnut Avenue and Annandale Road around 2:23 p.m., reporting that her boyfriend had assaulted her, a dispatcher said on the police scanner on Open MHz. She had visible marks on her face.

“The victim sustained injuries considered non-life threatening and was treated at the hospital,” the FCPD said in a news release published yesterday (Monday).

The man, identified as 33-year-old Silvio Meza Jr., was wanted by the FCPD for allegedly failing to appear in court on drug possession charges, police said.

Meza was in his home in the 6700 block of Chestnut Avenue and refused to come out, according to police, who learned that he “may have been armed with a rifle.” Special Operations Division, Crisis Negotiations Team and Crisis Response Team officers responded to assist.

The barricade situation lasted over seven hours, concluding around 9:45 p.m. when Meza surrendered and was taken into custody.

In addition to being served the outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court, Meza has been charged with assault, strangulation, abduction, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

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Fairfax County police car with lights on (file photo)

A man was arrested in Maryland earlier this week for allegedly following a woman, assaulting her and trying to break into her house in Bailey’s Crossroads.

Fairfax County police officers and detectives were called to the home in the 5700 block of Poplar Lane near Bailey’s Crossroads at 12:31 a.m. on Dec. 8 for an assault and burglary, according to a news release.

Police say the victim first encountered Antiero Ebai Menyoli, 29, in the parking lot of MGM National Harbor Hotel and Casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland, earlier that evening.

“They talked briefly [and] then the victim got in her vehicle and drove home,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “While driving, the victim noticed a vehicle was following her due to one headlight being brighter than the other.”

Suspecting the other driver was the man she’d talked to in the parking lot, the woman “attempted to lose the vehicle prior to arriving home,” police said. However, Menyoli allegedly approached her as she was walking to the house and assaulted her.

“She was able to break free and run inside her house,” the FCPD said. “Menyoli followed her and broke a glass panel in the victim’s door to gain access to the house. He was unsuccessful and then fled the scene.”

The FCPD says detectives identified Menyoli based on a review of surveillance footage.

He was arrested on Tuesday (Dec. 12) in Prince George’s County and charged with burglary, assault, and property destruction. He is awaiting extradition to Fairfax County, according to the police department.

Police also made an arrest on Tuesday in a string of five burglaries that started on Monday (Dec. 11). The incidents started with a home burglary and the theft of a Nissan Altima in Oakton around 8 p.m. and ended after 9:10 a.m. in Fairfax Station when a 93-year-old woman reported a break-in at her house to 911.

A man engages in a standoff with police on the roof of a Culmore apartment building (via FCPD/Twitter)

A man who kicked off this week with a 21-hour standoff with police in Bailey’s Crossroads is facing assault and abduction charges.

Additional charges are possible against Brian Ramos, 21, for his killing of a cat during the barricade, which began shortly before 4 p.m. on Sunday (Dec. 10) and concluded after 1 p.m. yesterday (Monday), the Fairfax County Police Department said.

As previously reported, police were called to the 6000 block of Bellview Drive in Culmore’s Olde Salem Village apartment complex at 3:52 p.m. for a report of a person being assaulted with a baseball bat.

“Two victims were abducted by a roommate [and] then one victim was assaulted with a baseball bat,” the FCPD said in a news release. “The victims were able to escape the apartment and call the police.”

When officers arrived, Ramos had barricaded himself alone in the apartment with his cat and a knife, which he threatened to use, according to police.

The situation remained unchanged until around 12:20 a.m., when officers saw Ramos start a fire inside the apartment, the FCPD said. He then “fatally harmed the cat and proceeded to exit his apartment and climb to the roof.”

It’s unclear exactly how the standoff was resolved, but the FCPD says Ramos eventually climbed off the roof using a ladder provided by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Police announced at 1:11 p.m. yesterday that he had been taken into custody.

The person who got assaulted with a baseball bat — identified by police as a roommate of Ramos — was treated for minor injuries.

After getting taken to a hospital for evaluation, Ramos was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where he remains without bond.

Ramos has been charged with two counts each of assault and abduction. In addition to the possible charges for the cat’s death, the FCPD says a potential arson charge is pending.

“Officers from our Crisis Negotiation Team & our Special [Operations] Division worked throughout a very cold two days to safely take this man into custody,” FCPD communications director Katherine Hayek said in a tweet. “Some incredible work, taking advantage of time & space, and great tactics, brought this scary situation to a peaceful end.”

Photo via FCPD/Twitter

Olde Salem Village apartments in Bailey’s Crossroads (via Google Maps)

Updated at 1:20 p.m.The man who barricaded himself inside a Bailey’s Crossroads apartment is now in custody, Fairfax County police announced at 1:11 p.m.

Earlier: A man has barricaded himself inside a Bailey’s Crossroads apartment for more than 16 hours now after reportedly attacking a roommate with a bat.

Fairfax County police were called to the scene in the 6000 block of Bellview Drive at 3:52 p.m. yesterday (Sunday) by someone who reported that their son hit a neighbor with a bat, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.

Several people were evacuated from that unit and other apartment buildings in Olde Salem Village. The man barricaded himself inside a closet with a knife, per the scanner.

“The victim sustained minor injuries,” the Fairfax County Police Department said. “Please avoid the area as officers attempt to negotiate.”

Police confirmed that the man is not related to the victim.

“It was determined they are only roommates,” the FCPD told FFXnow.

The police department said in an update at 10:31 a.m. today (Monday) that its officers and crisis negotiators “continue their efforts to take the man into custody.”

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police helicopter (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Fairfax County police have arrested two men who allegedly broke into a house in the McLean area earlier this week and robbed and assaulted its residents at gunpoint.

Officers were called to the 1300 block of Spring Hill Road — just north of Tysons and the Dulles Toll Road — at 5:45 a.m. on Monday (Nov. 27) when a 911 caller reported that at least one stranger was in her house “screaming about money,” according to the dispatch on Open MHz.

An investigation found that three people “forcibly entered” the residence and “demanded money” while brandishing a gun, the Fairfax County Police Department said today (Friday).

“The men assaulted two victims inside the home then ran from the residence,” the police department said in a news release. “One victim was taken to the hospital for injuries considered not life-threatening.”

Officers located one of the suspects — identified as 32-year-old Lorton resident Jaquan Ross — that day with help from a helicopter and K9 unit. Ross was spotted by the chopper “attempting to conceal himself by laying on the ground,” according to the FCPD.

Ross has been charged with three counts each of abduction and robbery, burglary, malicious wounding, and use of a firearm while committing a felony.

The subsequent investigation led detectives to identify Elijah Thomas, 24, of Dumfries as one of the other men involved in the robbery, the FCPD says. He was arrested yesterday (Thursday) and faces the same charges as Ross, with the addition of one count of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Police say the third person involved in the incident was also a man, but they’re still working to identify him.

Though the 911 caller described the intruders as strangers, the FCPD says detectives don’t believe the robbery was committed at random.

“During the investigation, certain facts and circumstances led investigators to believe this was not a random act,” the police department said in a statement to FFXnow. “The case is still currently under investigation and detectives are actively following leads.”

Ross and Thomas are both in custody without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. After an arraignment on Tuesday (Nov. 28), Ross will get a preliminary hearing on Feb. 28, 2024, while Thomas was arraigned today and scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 4, according to court records.

Popeyes at Maple Avenue Shopping Center in Vienna (via Google Maps)

This Halloween brought neither trick nor treat for two men in Vienna who got served instead with assault charges.

Police officers were called to the Vienna Park apartments in the 200 block of Cedar Lane SE around 9:40 a.m. on Oct. 30 after one resident declined to pick up his dog’s feces and another took umbrage, the Vienna Police Department said in its crime recap for the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 2.

“The man advised that he and his brother confronted the dog’s owner, resulting in an altercation,” the VPD said. “The dog’s owner advised his two neighbors assaulted him while he was picking up the waste, causing minor injury. Rescue responded to treat the small cut, but the man refused transport to a medical facility.”

Police say the dog owner later got court summonses from the Fairfax County Magistrate’s Office that charged both men — a 41-year-old Vienna resident and a 26-year-old from Harrisionburg — with simple assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia that could result in a jail sentence of up to a year or a fine of up to $1,000.

VPD officer Celines Fitchue delivered the summons on Oct. 31. Both men “were released on their signatures,” the recap says.

October also closed on an unpleasant note for a customer of the Popeyes in the Maple Avenue Shopping Center, according to the Vienna police report:

Trespassing and Petit Larceny 23-010041 and 23-010052
Popeyes
325 Maple Avenue, East
October 28 8:19 p.m.

An employee reported a customer was upset with the quality of their meal and threw a stack of disposable cups at them. When the man left the restaurant, he forgot his book bag. The employee requested the man be trespassed from the restaurant. A short time later, the man called the police station, reporting his book bag stolen. The man was advised that he had left the property in the restaurant and could come to the police station to retrieve it. When he recovered his property, he reported that US currency was missing. An officer advised the man he was trespassed from the restaurant and would be arrested if he returned to the premises.

A day later, police helped F45 Fitness Training (322 Maple Avenue West) trespass a patron who was “talking inappropriately to the employees.”

Officers also took a report on Oct. 25 of someone pouring “syrup on the pickleball court” at Glyndon Park (300 Glyndon Street NE) sometime between midnight and 8:30 a.m., according to the recap.

“[The citizen] also advised that on October 11, she observed another liquid that had been poured on the court,” the VPD said.

Photo via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police car with lights on (file photo)

A Lorton man was arrested earlier this week for shaking a dog, threatening its owner with a knife and driving wildly down Richmond Highway with police in pursuit.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Franconia District officers were called to the 9600 block of Eaton Woods Place in Lorton at 4:03 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 24) by a man who said he’d been threatened while walking his dog.

“The victim stated he was walking his dog when he was approached by the suspect,” the FCPD said in a news release published yesterday (Thursday). “The suspect then, without provocation, picked up and shook his dog. The suspect initially fled the area but later returned with a knife and threatened to stab the victim.”

Police say investigating officers were then “flagged down” by community members who reported that “someone was ramming vehicles and driving recklessly on the roadway.”

An officer encountered the suspect — identified as Daniel John Sol, 30, of Lorton — in a 2017 Black Toyota Yaris at the intersection of Richmond Highway (Route 1) and Telegraph Road, according to the police scanner traffic on Open MHz.

The officer told a dispatcher that the Toyota was “doing donuts” in the middle of the intersection and “facing the wrong way in traffic,” hitting multiple vehicles in the process.

“He flipped me off and is taking off,” the officer said, noting that the driver was “doing the speed limit” and suggesting that the people at the intersection get checked for possible injuries..

Per the scanner, the chase proceeded north on Route 1 for several miles with the Toyota driver “swerving in front of traffic, trying to cause an accident,” an officer said. Sol then turned onto Old Mount Vernon Road and crashed into a tree at the Ferry Landing Road intersection.

The chase covered 12.5 miles, and no injuries were reported, though several vehicles “sustained minor damage” before police arrived, according to the FCPD.

Currently held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, Sol has been charged with “Cruelty to Animals, Attempted Malicious Wounding, three counts of Assault on Law Enforcement/Fire/Medical Services, four counts of Felony Hit and Run, two counts of Reckless Driving, Felony Eluding, and Driving Under the Influence,” police said.

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Vienna Police (file photo)

(Updated at 10 a.m.) An Arlington man faces criminal charges after Vienna police learned that a vehicle he reported as stolen had, in fact, been involved in a hit-and-run crash.

The Vienna Police Department got a report on July 30 from a supposed resident who said his vehicle had been stolen out of his garage on Battle Street SE sometime between midnight on July 29 and 9 a.m. on July 30.

“A resident left his vehicle unsecured in the garage with the keys inside overnight,” police said in a summary from its recap of the week of Aug. 4. “Due to a storm and power outage, the garage door was unable to close. The following day, the resident discovered the vehicle was stolen.”

The VPD noted at the time that the vehicle was later located in another jurisdiction.

A subsequent investigation, however, linked the vehicle to a crash in Arlington County where the driver fled the scene with two children, according to an update in the VPD’s latest recap, which covers the week of Sept. 8-14.

“Investigation revealed the driver was the owner of the vehicle who made the stolen vehicle report the following morning,” Vienna police said.

According to the Arlington County Police Department, its officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of North Bryan Street around 10:07 p.m. on July 29 for a single-vehicle crash “with unknown conditions.”

“The preliminary investigation indicated the driver of the vehicle struck a stop sign and utility pole at 16th Street N. and N. Bryan Street before exiting the vehicle with the two juvenile occupants and running from the scene prior to police arrival,” an ACPD spokesperson said.

Vienna police arrested the 42-year-old Arlington man on Sept. 7 after Detective Brad Reedy obtained a warrant charging him with making a false report to a law enforcement officer.

The man has also been charged by Arlington police with two counts each of child neglect and hit and run of unattended property.

“He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where the warrants were served on him,” the VPD said.

In a separate, more recent incident, Vienna police responded at 7:14 p.m. last Tuesday (Sept. 12) to an assault in the Cedar Park Shopping Center parking lot, according to the weekly recap.

The officers located two men who advised they were getting into an Uber when three or four men approached the vehicle, pulled them out of the vehicle, and began assaulting them. The two men had visible signs of injury, but refused rescue. They reported they did not know the men who attacked them and advised they did not wish to pursue charges against them. Officers searched the area for the suspects but could not locate them.

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Pazzo Pomodoro in Vienna (via Google Maps)

Late night drinks ended in a round of fisticuffs at Vienna’s Pazzo Pomodoro last Wednesday (July 12).

Officers were called to the Italian restaurant at 118 Branch Road SE around 1:30 a.m. after getting a report of a fight, the Vienna Police Department said in a summary of notable incidents from the week of July 7-13.

According to the report, bystanders told police that the conflict began when a man made “comments about a couple” at the restaurant’s bar, which is open until 1 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays.

“One of the other patrons was offended by the comments and asked the man to stop,” the VPD said. “When the man continued with the comments, a fight ensued between the man, the patron, and the patron’s adult son.”

Other customers and employees were able to break up the fight before the police arrived and advised those involved of the process for pursuing charges, should they opt to go that route, according to the VPD.

In a separate, belatedly documented incident, police went to the 200 block of Harmony Drive SW on June 2 to settle a dispute between a resident and a group of teen boys.

Officers received two calls about the incident: one from the resident and another from a caller who claimed the resident had brandished a handgun.

The resident advised she heard a loud banging at her front door and she observed several teenage boys standing by the curb. The resident yelled at the boys, swearing and using racial slurs. When the boys began cursing back she called the police. The boys advised they left the local pool and were waiting for a ride when an unknown boy ran up to the resident’s door, knocked, and ran away. The resident then began yelling at them and emerged with a gun.

The resident told officers that she was holding her phone to call the police, not a gun — an assertion confirmed by a cell phone video that the boys recorded of the encounter, the VPD said.

Also in the department’s latest round-up, a traffic stop on June 30 led to the driver — a 30-year-old Herndon man — getting charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, and a resident reported on July 13 that her dog got sick from ingesting rat poison while in her backyard.

“It is not known how the poison could have gotten into the resident’s yard,” police said.

At the Westwood Country Club on July 7, a “disgruntled” employee was trespassed after “breaking several plates, shoving the manager, and placing several employees in fear.”

In addition, a resident in the 1100 block of Moorefield Hill Court SW called police on July 10 to report that his dog walker had seen another woman who claimed to be a dog walker enter his home around noon that day:

At 7:30 p.m., a resident reported an incident from earlier in the day when his dog walker observed a woman walk through the carport and into his home. The woman immediately left saying she had the wrong house. The dog walker provided the resident with the woman’s description and the tag number from her vehicle. Officers went to the woman’s home and she advised them that she is a dog walker and accidentally walked into a home thinking it was her client’s address then quickly realized she was at the wrong house.

Photo via Google Maps

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