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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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Police sirens can be seen outside the DSW Warehouse in Bailey’s Crossroads after air rifle shots were fired (via Capital Mischief/Instagram)

A meet-up of car enthusiasts in Bailey’s Crossroads took a harrowing turn last night when air rifle shots were reportedly fired into the crowd.

The Fairfax County Police Department had officers at a shopping center parking lot in the 5500 block of Leesburg Pike, where a “Taco Tuesday” car meet organized by the group Capital Mischief was taking place.

Around 8:46 p.m., an unidentified person shot what were believed to be BB or pellet gun rounds toward the officers, according to an FCPD spokesperson.

No police officers were hit, but a preliminary investigation indicates that three to four vehicles and one or two people attending the meet were struck, police say.

“They were treated for injuries not considered life-threatening. No FCPD cruisers were struck,” FCPD spokesperson Tara Gerhard told FFXnow.

The officers cleared the parking lot following the shots fired incident.

In an Instagram story, Capital Mischief said the shots didn’t come from anyone at the car meet, but rather, from an apartment building across the street. Gerhard said that hasn’t been confirmed at this point in the investigation.

“We wish that everybody injured heals quickly & any cars damaged are fixed with the proper parties being held responsible,” Capital Mischief wrote. “We appreciate the cooperation & help of the local police in responding and helping the situation.”

Capital Mischief shares story on air rifle shots at “Taco Tuesday” car meet (via Capital Mischief/Instagram)

H/t to Alan Henney

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Northbound S. George Mason Drive approaching the Skyline Plaza entrance (via Google Maps)

A Maryland driver is facing possible manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for a fatal, two-vehicle crash that occurred in Bailey’s Crossroads in May.

Tewodros Worku, 35, was arrested Monday (Dec. 19) by Fairfax County detectives and the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, the Fairfax County Police Department announced yesterday.

According to the department, detectives with its Crash Reconstruction Unit determined that Worku was the driver of a 2018 Honda Accord that crashed into a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta on South George Mason Drive in front of Skyline Plaza on May 24, killing the Jetta’s passenger and hospitalizing two others.

“Worku originally ran from the scene of the crash. When found by our K-9 unit, he claimed to be a passenger. Detectives determined Worku was the driver of the Honda,” the FCPD said.

At the time, police reported that the Accord was traveling north on South George Mason when it hit the Jetta, which was going south and attempting to turn left into Skyline Plaza, a two-tower condominium complex.

Gladis Suyapa Deras, a 54-year-old Falls Church resident, died at the scene, becoming the fourth non-pedestrian to be killed in a crash on Fairfax County roads this year. The Jetta’s driver was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

According to police, the Accord driver and a passenger initially fled the scene, but they were located by K9 officers. One individual was arrested and charged with being drunk in public, while the other went to a hospital with injuries considered life-threatening.

The FCPD confirmed to FFXnow that Worku was the person arrested.

Fairfax County General District Court records show that an adjudicatory hearing was held on the misdemeanor charge on July 27. The prosecutor’s office opted not to pursue the charge, and Worku was released on a summons.

FCPD detectives have now obtained warrants for Worku charging him with DUI manslaughter and a felony hit-and-run. The warrants will be served and a trial date set once he’s extradited back to the county, the department said.

There have now been 19 fatal crashes on county roads this year that didn’t involve pedestrians, according to the FCPD. The most recent one came on Prosperity Avenue in Merrifield on Dec. 6.

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A local high school student has died after a driver crashed into her in a crosswalk on Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads, Fairfax County police say.

Officers are currently at the scene of the crash at the intersection with Tyler Street and Barcroft View Terrace. Southbound Columbia Pike has been shut down at Lacy Blvd, and the northbound side of the street is down to one lane of traffic.

The teen was crossing Columbia Pike from the Barcroft View Apartments around 8:57 a.m. when a vehicle driving southbound struck her, Fairfax County Police Department Second Lt. Dan Spital told media.

“[It’s] a heartbreaking case that is honestly difficult to talk about,” Spital said.

According to police, the impact of the crash threw the teen “some distance from the crosswalk,” and she landed near a truck parked about 20 to 30 feet away. Witnesses attempted to provide life-saving measures before Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responders arrived, Spital said.

However, she ultimately succumbed to her injuries.

The driver remained at the scene, according to the FCPD, which advises drivers to use another route as the investigation continues.

When a reporter at the media briefing noted that this is the second fatal crash she has covered at that exact crosswalk, Spital called it a “dangerous intersection” with a 35 mph speed limit for traffic on Columbia Pike.

The crosswalk from Barcroft View Terrace requires pedestrians to cross four lanes of traffic, plus one turn lane, with no light. There is a thin concrete median with a diamond pedestrian crossing sign.

“We are asking for motorists to please maintain that speed limit or even a little bit slower,” he said. “But please be vigilant, please look around, especially when going through crosswalks. Pedestrians do have a right of way in that crosswalk. We are still looking at this intersection. We will have traffic enforcement out here to try to eliminate crashes and potential fatalities at this location.”

The FCPD didn’t identify the student’s school, as efforts to coordinate with Fairfax County Public Schools to inform and provide support for the victim’s family and friends are still underway.

“Any loss of a staff member, student, or their loved one, deeply impacts our entire FCPS family,” an FCPS spokesperson said in a statement to FFXnow. “We will always offer counseling and support to our community during these difficult times. Above all else, we respect the privacy of those who are grieving.”

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The Roy Rogers on Belle View Blvd (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) On an April day in 1968, Roy “King of the Cowboys” Rogers and his wife — “Queen of the West” Dale Evans — appeared in front of thousands along Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads to open America’s first Roy Rogers.

“Inside the shoppe, Roy and Dale served up hot Roast Beef sandwiches to the first several customers,” promotional materials said at the time. “Over 5,000 autographed pictures of Roy and Dale were passed out to customers.”

Yes, despite the Old West motif and being named after a movie star cowboy, the fast food chain known for its roast beef and fried chicken began in Fairfax County, opening its first restaurant at 5603 Leesburg Pike.

Today, it’s now a McDonald’s set to undergo a revamp.

The story behind how Roy Rogers came to be born in Fairfax County starts with J. Willard Marriott, founder of the once-local but now-international hotel chain.

“Mr. Marriott wanted to get into the fast food business,” Jim Plamondon, co-president of Roy Rogers restaurants, told FFXnow. “Just like what Ray Kroc was doing with McDonald’s.”

Marriott began his career running a D.C. root beer shop before transitioning to a coffee shop-style eatery called Hot Shoppe. He opened his first hotel in Arlington in 1957.

But fast food was hot in the 1960s, and Marriott, an experienced restaurant owner, wanted a bite of that market too. So, when a new roast beef franchise called “RoBee’s House of Beef” opened in the Midwest, Marriott decided to acquire it, Plamondon explained.

Plamondon knows this history intimately. His father, Peter Plamondon Sr., was an executive in charge of Marriott’s restaurant division at the time, and he helped the hotel company launch its fast food business.

However, legal reasons prevented the company from acquiring RoBee’s trademark, so they needed a new name.

“One of the people on [Marriott’s] board of directors…said ‘Well, I know the agent for Roy Rogers, the cowboy,'” Plamondon said. “[Rogers] was a rock star back then. I mean, he was huge. He was as big as any movie star you would name today.”

Rogers was also very amendable to licensing his image and name to merchandise and businesses. At one point in the mid-20th century, more than 400 products had Roy Rogers’s name on them — second only to Walt Disney, per Rogers’s official website

Marriott and Roy Rogers struck an agreement, and the new fast food restaurant took on the Hollywood cowboy’s name. Read More

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Police believe Phil Asare Darkwah may be involved in the homicide (via FCPD)

Local police are searching for a 28-year-old man in connection with a homicide at apartments in Bailey’s Crossroad.

Detectives obtained a warrant on Monday (Oct. 31) charging Phil Asare Darkwah with second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, police said yesterday.

Police believe Darkwah was one of three men filmed running away from an apartment where Ahmed Hemoh, 26, was found on Sunday (Oct. 30) with fatal gunshot wounds to his upper body.

“The circumstances that led to the shooting continues to be actively investigated. Detectives do not believe this was a random act of violence,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.

Hemoh was pronounced dead at the apartment. A review of surveillance footage found that three men left the apartment shortly after the hooting.

All three men have been identified, but the identities of the other two individuals won’t be made public unless they are charged, according to FCPD Second Lt. James Curry. Authorities believe that all of the men involved in the shooting know each other.

Here’s more from FCPD on how to submit information about the incident:

Detectives from our Fugitive Track and Apprehension Unit are actively searching for Darkwah. Detectives ask anyone with information about this case or knowledge of Darkwah’s whereabouts, to call  703-246-7800, option 2. 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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Skyline Towers south building in Bailey’s Crossroads (via Google Maps)

A man was shot and killed in an apartment at Skyline Towers near Bailey’s Crossroads yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, prompting a momentary shelter-in-place order for residents.

Police are now seeking the public’s help to identify three men spotted on surveillance footage who were allegedly seen leaving the apartment complex’s south tower “within about 10 to 15 minutes” of the shooting, Fairfax County Police Department Second Lt. James Curry said at a briefing.

The FCPD initially described the people of interest as all being in their 20s. Two of them are Black men, and one of them is Hispanic.

Curry advised anyone with information to call 911 or the department’s non-emergency number, 703-691-2131. He also urged the men to turn themselves in.

“It’s a matter of time before we know who you are and it’s a matter of time before you’re in custody,” he said. “It’s important you turn yourselves in immediately so we can hear what you have to say about what occurred inside.”

According to Curry, officers received a 911 call around 2:45 p.m. yesterday for a reported shooting in an apartment on the third level of the south Skyline tower. The call was placed by a witness who was inside the apartment after the shooting happened.

Upon arriving, officers found an adult man inside the apartment with gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A shelter-in-place order was issued for Skyline Towers, but it was lifted around 5:26 p.m. after police reviewed surveillance video provided by the complex’s security team that showed the people of interest leaving the building.

Detectives are still working to determine whether the victim is a resident of the apartment and if he had any relationship with the three people of interest, Curry said.

“Based on the preliminary search that our officers have done, there are no signs of forced entry,” Curry said. “This does not appear to be a random act. The circumstances that led to the shooting are certainly still under investigation. What led the three individuals to this apartment is still part of our investigation.”

Police said no one else appears to have been injured in the shooting, but detectives hadn’t determined yet how many shots had been fired. At the time of the media briefing, they were in the process of obtaining a search warrant for the apartment.

“Until we can positively identify everyone who’s involved with this, then we’ll better understand the circumstances, the relationship, but certainly what led to this fatal shooting,” Curry said.

Image via Google Maps

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A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run on Route 7 (photo courtesy anonymous)

A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run on Leesburg Pike late last night. 

The crash happened on the 5600 block of Leesburg Pike in the Bailey’s Crossroads area, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. 

Police said that the striking car fled the area. The pedestrian was pronounced dead on scene. 

Westbound Leesburg Pike was closed around 11 p.m. last night. 

FCPD did not immediately release any other information about the incident. 

(Updated at 6:15 p.m.) — Bailey’s Crossroads, including Route 7 and Crossroads Place, has reopened and shelter-in-place orders have been lifted after reported gunshots prompted a massive police response to the area.

The Fairfax County Police Department continues to investigate the shooting, which reportedly damaged two cars in the 3500 block of Jefferson Street but didn’t result in any injuries.

Initial reports suggested the shots came from a “high-powered rifle” in a nearby high-rise, but police now say detectives have determined that they were fired by a handgun at ground level, according to a press conference broadcast live by NBC4.

“Detectives determined the gunfire was not from an elevated position or from a high caliber weapon,” the FCPD said. “Detectives continue to investigate & remain in the area.”

Throughout this afternoon (Friday), Bailey’s Crossroads residents and visitors were directed to shelter in place after police received a “shots fired” call at 11:15 a.m.

According to scanner traffic, a driver reported hearing a loud noise, and the rear window of their car shattered. Officers at the scene determined that two to three vehicles parked at the Crossroads Place shopping center had been damaged by gunfire.

Two people had been standing in the proximity of both vehicles at the time of the shooting, but neither of them were hit. Police currently believe that the shooting was random, and there is no indication that the people whose cars were hit knew each other, FCPD Lt. Dan Spital told media.

“We have no reason to believe that any specific individual was targeted in the shooting,” he said at the briefing.

Around 12:30 p.m., police told FFXnow that it wasn’t considered an active shooter situation, meaning there was no ongoing gunfire.

However, Crossroads Place was completely blocked off, and Leesburg Pike shut down in both directions. Fairfax County Public Schools also issued “secure the building” alerts at Bailey’s and Glen Forest elementary schools.

“[That] means no outside activities are occurring right now, everyone has been brought inside, doors are locked and the learning continues,” an FCPS spokesperson said around 2 p.m.

Arlington took similar actions at Wakefield High School and Claremont Elementary School.

“Wakefield has been notified of an incident involving police activity near the school,” Arlington Public Schools said. “As a precaution, we have placed the school in Secure-the-Building* status. This means that all doors are locked and no one can leave or enter the building as a precaution.”

FCPD had helicopter, special operations, and patrol officers involved in the search. Arlington first responder units were also dispatched to assist.

While no additional shots were reported after the initial call, Spital said the large emergency response was appropriate, since “we’re always going to err on the side of caution.” Police have not identified any suspects, but the investigation is ongoing, and community members are advised to remain “cognizant.”

“We’re not aware if [the shots] came from a vehicle or a person walking by, but we do have some active leads. We’re combing through a lot of evidence,” Spital said.

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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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