(Updated at 9:20 p.m.) Two members of Rep. Gerry Connolly’s staff were assaulted this morning by a Fairfax resident with a baseball bat.
The City of Fairfax Police Department and the United States Capitol Police (USCP) are investigating the incident at 10680 Main Street, Suite 140. The suspect has been arrested, while the victims were taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, police said.
According to police, 49-year old Xuan-Kha Tran Pham entered Connolly’s Fairfax District Office in the Mainland Building around 10:49 a.m., carrying a metal baseball bat and used it to assault two staffers. One police officer also “sustained a minor injury and is receiving medical treatment,” Fairfax City police said.
Connolly wasn’t present at the time. The injured staffers included a senior aide and an intern who was on her first day of work, according to his office.
“Right now, our focus is on ensuring they are receiving the care they need,” Connolly said in a statement. “We are incredibly thankful to the City of Fairfax Police Department and emergency medical professionals for their quick response.”
Pham has been charged with one count of aggravated malicious wounding and one count of malicious wounding, according to police. He’s being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
“At this time, it is not clear what the suspect’s motivation may have been,” the USCP said. “Based on what we know right now, investigators do not have any information that the suspect was known to the USCP.”
Fairfax City police and the USCP are working with the FBI’s Washington Field Office on the investigation.
The Capitol Police says it has recorded an approximately 400% increase in threats against members of Congress over the past six years, with USCP Chief Tom Manger testifying before Congress that the world has become “more violent and uncertain” particularly over the past year.
“We are just extremely, extremely happy that this wasn’t worse,” a Fairfax City police spokesperson told NBC4.
As first reported by NBC4, before going to Connolly’s office, Pham allegedly smashed a woman’s car windshield with the baseball bat shortly after 10:30 a.m. in the Chantilly area. The woman was reportedly sitting in the car when Pham approached her and asked if she was white.
The Fairfax County Police Department obtained warrants for Pham charging him with property destruction and a hate crime, but he wasn’t located until the assault in Connolly’s office.
Connolly, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 11th Congressional District in the House of Representatives, also has an office on Capitol Hill in D.C.
“I have the best team in Congress,” Connolly said. “My District Office staff make themselves available to constituents and members of the public every day. The thought that someone would take advantage of my staff’s accessibility to commit an act of violence is unconscionable and devastating.” Read More
A Manassas resident who fatally shot a man and hit a woman with a leaf blower at the Chantilly Park Shopping Center in 2019 has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and malicious wounding, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced Friday (April 28).
Steven Green, 55, faced a trial in March for the murder of 30-year-old Chantilly resident Miguel Angel Leiva Hernandez, but that ended with a hung jury.
With the jury about evenly split, no one on the victims’ side wanted to go through the experience of another trial, according to Laura Birnbaum, a spokesperson for the commonwealth’s attorney’s office.
“Having been through it and seeing how the evidence came out and how the jury reacted to it, there just wasn’t any appetite to do that again, so we ended up with this outcome,” Birnbaum said. “…This is guaranteed accountability. It addresses the incident, and all of the victims are happy with it.”
According to the commonwealth’s attorney, Green was cleaning the shopping center’s parking lot on May 24, 2019 when he got into “an altercation” with Myra Osorio Cordero outside a restaurant.
Green used his leaf blowers to send debris towards Osorio Cordero and, after they exchanged words, hit her in the face with one of the leaf blowers. When Leiva Hernandez saw Osorio Cordero bleeding profusely, he followed Green into the parking lot, where a physical struggle ensued and Green shot him once in the chest, killing him.
Osorio Cordero survived the encounter.
CA Descano announced today that Steven Green pleaded guilty to manslaughter and malicious wounding for the 2019 shooting of Miguel Leiva Hernandez. His March trial ended in a hung jury.
Green will be sentenced on September 1st. pic.twitter.com/mTJWsYlHyl
— Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Descano (@FairfaxCountyCA) April 28, 2023
According to a police report at the time, Green remained at the scene in the 14500 block of Lee Jackson Memorial Highway until police arrived. He was charged and tried for murder, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Green claimed self-defense at the March trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, according to NBC4.
To secure a guilty plea, prosecutors amended the murder charge to manslaughter and dropped the firearm charge. A sentencing hearing will be held on Sept. 1.
“It’s always a tragedy when a young person dies, and nothing can bring Miguel back to his family and loved ones,” Descano said in a statement on Friday. “As prosecutors, our job is to put on a fair trial, and we respect the original jury’s serious deliberation of the evidence in this case. Today’s agreement guarantees a just outcome for the community.”
Descano’s office also announced Friday that 22-year-old Lorton resident Ronnie Marshall had been sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing Army colonel and doctor Edward McDaniel Jr. and his wife, Brenda McDaniel, a retired Army colonel and a nurse, at their home in Springfield in 2021.
An instructional assistant at an elementary school in Newington faces an assault charge after allegedly dragging a student by the arm.
Fouzia Masood Khan, a 59-year-old Springfield resident, was charged with simple assault yesterday (Thursday) for a Jan. 11 incident at Saragtoga Elementary School, the Fairfax County Police Department announced.
According to police, another school employee saw Khan “drag a student by their arm down the hall.”
“The employee immediately reported the assault to school administrators. Our detectives were notified on Jan. 13 and assumed the investigation,” the FCPD said.
Detectives with the department’s Major Crimes Bureau Child Abuse Squad served Khan with a “summons releasable warrant” yesterday morning.
Police say anyone with information about the incident can contact detectives at 703-246-7800, option 4, or submit a tip through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
FCPS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from FFXnow.
This is the second time this year that an instructional assistant employed by FCPS has been charged with assaulting a student. A woman working at Glen Forest Elementary School in Bailey’s Crossroads turned herself in on Jan. 3 after another employee reported that she’d assaulted a student with disabilities on Dec. 8.
Photo via Google Maps
Tempers ran hot at a hypothermia prevention shelter in Vienna on Friday, Feb. 3.
Police were called to the Church of the Holy Comforter (543 Beulah Road) — which was hosting the seasonal shelter — three separate times that evening to handle fights between residents, according to the Vienna Police Department’s highlights for Feb. 3-9.
By the end of the night, two people were arrested and taken to jail.
Suspicious Event 23-001081
Church of the Holy Comforter
FACETS Hypothermia Prevention Shelter
543 Beulah Road, NE
February 3 between 7:00 p.m. and 7:17 p.m.
Officers responded to the report of a fight between two individuals staying at the shelter. Neither party wished to pursue charges.
Arrest – Drunk In Public 23-001082
Church of the Holy Comforter
FACETS Hypothermia Prevention Shelter
543 Beulah Road, NE
February 3 10:25 p.m.
Officers responded to the report of a fight at the shelter. The staff advised an individual was acting disorderly and antagonizing the others in the shelter. Upon the officer’s interaction with the man, they detected signs of impairment.
Ofc. Reed arrested the 55-year-old man with no fixed address. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was charged with Drunk In Public.
Arrest – Assault 23-001083
Church of the Holy Comforter
FACETS Hypothermia Prevention Shelter
543 Beulah Road, NE
February 3 11:11 p.m.
Officers responded to the report of a fight at the shelter. The staff reported one of the residents was provoking another resident, began throwing chairs, and yelling profanities, resulting in a fight when the other resident tried to defend himself.
Ofc. Rodriguez arrested the 28-year-old man with no fixed address. He was transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was charged with Simple Assault.
The fights mostly involved different people, though one individual was mentioned in two of the three incidents, according to VPD spokesperson Juan Vasquez.
The hypothermia shelter is operated by the nonprofit FACETS, which partners with faith communities to give people experiencing homelessness a place to spend the night each winter. It runs from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to April 1, changing locations weekly. Read More
(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
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.
(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
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:
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.
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.
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.
(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