A Fairfax County police officer is under investigation for allegedly driving while intoxicated, causing a crash on Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) near Seven Corners.
Justin Faison, an officer assigned to the Mount Vernon District station, was arrested Saturday night (Aug. 19) after crashing into another vehicle near South Manchester Street at 1:41 a.m., the Fairfax County Police Department reported yesterday (Sunday).
There were seven people in the other vehicle. They were all transported to a nearby hospital to get treatment for what police described as “minor injuries.”
“The officer was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle at the time of the arrest,” the FCPD said.
Faison has been charged with a DUI and is now on administrative leave while the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau conducts an investigation, police said. He was sworn in as an officer last year.
The FCPD handled the crash even though it occurred just east of the county border, according to an Arlington County Police Department spokesperson, who said ACPD wasn’t involved in the response.
Image via Google Maps
Pedestrians were casualties of two separate vehicle crashes this past weekend, Fairfax County police reported.
A 26-year-old pedestrian was killed early Saturday morning (July 8) in Bailey’s Crossroads by an apparently intoxicated driver, and then, early this morning (Monday), a man was taken to the hospital after a crash on Fairfax County Parkway and Stringfellow Road in Chantilly.
The man wasn’t considered to be in life-threatening condition, but police described the crash as “serious” in a 12:06 a.m. tweet.
Officers are on scene of a serious car crash involving a pedestrian at Fairfax County Pkwy and Stringfellow Road. An adult male pedestrian was taken to the hospital in non-life-threatening condition. The road will remain closed while the investigation continues. #FCPD pic.twitter.com/tbqkdR3Axb
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) July 10, 2023
For the fatal crash, eastbound Columbia Pike was shut down for an extended period after the driver of a 2010 BMW hit Luis Fernando Jimenez Rodriguez at the Columbia Pike and Powell Lane around 2:13 a.m., according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“Preliminarily, detectives determined that the driver of a 2010 BMW was traveling eastbound on Columbia Pike near Lincolnia Road when it struck a pedestrian,” the FCPD said.
The driver didn’t stop at the scene, police said. An officer who first arrived at the scene told a dispatcher that track marks stretched all the way to Barcroft Plaza, according to scanner traffic on Open MHz.
Police found the BMW in the 6100 block of Marshall Drive. Per the scanner, an officer identified it as the vehicle because he found blood on the front bumper.
The vehicle owner and alleged driver was Benjamin Lopez Encinas, 33, of Woodbridge, according to the FCPD.
Encinas has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and is now in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
“Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this crash,” the FCPD said.
Rodriguez appears to be the fifth pedestrian killed in Fairfax County this year, according to Virginia crash data, which shows that there were 16 pedestrian fatalities through July in 2022.
Concerns about the safety of Columbia Pike, which has now been the site of at least nine fatal crashes since 2010, have prompted Fairfax County to pursue some improvements, including a crossing beacon at the intersection where Justice High School student Lesly Diaz-Bonilla was killed in November.
(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) A rock fight disrupted a warm Saturday afternoon for two Vienna households last week, though who exactly was throwing the rocks is a matter of some dispute.
A resident in the 100 block of Patrick Street SE reported to police on May 20 that, around 5 p.m., a man threw rocks at his juvenile son, who was playing outside, according to the Vienna Police Department’s weekly recap for May 19-25.
“An officer spoke to the man who advised he was sitting on his balcony when a group of juveniles began throwing rocks at him, cursing, and calling him racial slurs,” the VPD said in its report.
The man denied throwing any rocks, telling the officer that “he took the rocks and placed them on a toy in front of the apartment the juveniles ran to.”
No injuries were reported, but the police explained the warrant process to both parties in case they decide to pursue charges.
In a separate incident, police arrested a 21-year-old man from Woodbridge who backed into an officer’s cruiser when he was pulled over for reckless driving at the intersection of Maple Avenue and East Street SE on May 21.
According to the recap, the officer initiated the traffic stop at 2:52 a.m. The driver pulled over to the side of the road and hit the police cruiser when he started to back up.
“Upon the officer’s interaction with the man, he detected signs of impairment,” police said. “The driver failed to complete a series of field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest.”
The man was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and charged with driving while intoxicated.
Other “highlights” from the past week include a report of Cedar Lane School student harassing a classmate and hitting a school bus driver, along with an apparent road rage incident:
Cedar Lane School
101 Cedar Lane, SW
May 23 7:45 a.m.
On May 24, the school administration reported a juvenile assaulted their school bus driver on May 23. The juvenile began harassing another student and, when the bus driver tried to intercede, the juvenile began striking him.
Arrest – Destruction of Property 23-004600
Lawyers Road and Malcolm Road, NW
May 24 3:10 p.m.
A citizen was traveling northbound on Lawyers Road when he observed another vehicle driving erratically. When the citizen honked his horn at the other driver, the man cut his vehicle off. As they reached the stop sign at Lawyers and Malcolm, the other driver got out of his vehicle with a baseball bat and proceeded to hit the citizen’s side-view mirror, breaking it off. The man then fled the area.
Police identified the driver as a 23-year-old man and served a summons charging him with property destruction at his home on Laurel Ridge Road.
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.
Photo via Google Maps
Troy Reynolds, 48, faces nine felony charges of child endangerment and three misdemeanor charges, including a second offense of driving while intoxicated, driving with a disqualified commercial license, and driving a bus without a commercial driver’s license, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced today.
“My office takes crimes that endanger children very seriously,” Descano said in the press release. “We’re grateful to our partners at the Fairfax County Police Department for their collaboration on this case.”
CA Descano announced that a grand jury indicted Troy Reynolds, 48, for charges related to driving a school bus full of kindergartners while intoxicated. pic.twitter.com/UAJZvcnjpF
— Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Descano (@FairfaxCountyCA) December 21, 2022
Reynolds was arrested on Oct. 27 after he reportedly drove a school bus carrying 44 students and four adults from Murch Elementary School off the road, hitting a rock and flattening a tire. Nine kids were injured, according to Descano’s office.
At the insistence of staff on board, the bus stopped in the 1500 block of Conference Center Drive in Chantilly, and the kids were transferred to the Fairfax Criminal Justice Academy, where two buses provided by Fairfax County Public Schools took them to D.C.
The FCPD said at the time that a test revealed that Reynolds had a blood alcohol content of .20. Officers also found that his commercial driver’s license had been revoked in Virginia due to a prior DWI and suspended in Maryland.
The case will go to trial tomorrow (Thursday), according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.
(Updated at 10 a.m.) A Springfield resident who was allegedly driving while drunk hit and killed a man whose vehicle became disabled on I-95 yesterday (Tuesday).
Identified as Jose Davi Hernandez-Zelayandia, 35, of Woodbridge, the victim had stopped to assess his 2011 Honda Accord on the shoulder of the interstate’s southbound lanes at the exit to Old Keene Mill Road in Springfield, Virginia State Police said in a news release.
At 3:06 p.m., he started to get back into the car when “a 2022 Nissan Sentra ran off the road and struck him,” according to police.
“The Nissan then attempted to leave the scene, but was stopped by witnesses,” the VSP said.
Hernandez-Zelayandia was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
The Nissan driver, 61-year-old John O. Hess, was not injured, according to state police, which has a crash reconstruction team assisting with the investigation. He has been arrested and charged with a DUI and felony hit-and-run.
Hernandez-Zelayandia is the fourth pedestrian killed in Fairfax County this month, following fatal crashes in Fair Oaks on Sunday (Oct. 9), on Richmond Highway in Fort Belvoir last Thursday (Oct. 6), and in Annandale on Oct. 2.
Board Chair “Saddened” by Buffalo Mass Shooting — “I am both saddened and angered over the senseless loss of life that took place in Buffalo, NY. The racial hate that reportedly motivated this horrific attack is inexcusable. I am keeping the victims and their families in my prayers.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]
Nearly Half of Metrorail Operators Lapse Recertification — “Metro management is taking immediate corrective action to remove from service 72 train operators who became out of compliance prior to May 2021. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to an operator shortage…Service impacts are expected to continue until the end of May.” [WMATA]
Police Investigate Deaths Near Robinson Secondary School — “Detectives are on the scene in the 10400 blk of Stallworth Ct. in Fairfax after officers discovered two deceased persons following a welfare check. Preliminarily, this appears to be a domestic-related incident. There is no known threat to the public at this time.” [FCPD/Twitter]
FCPS Considers Co-Ed Sex Education Classes — “An advisory committee recently approved a plan to mix boys and girls in grades 4-8 during Family Life Education instruction; a practice that is done in some area school systems but not in others…Board members are expected to discuss mixing-genders in Family Life Education classes as early as June.” [ABC7]
Area Eagles Suffer from Lead Poisoning — “Toxins in the environment, and especially lead, [Jeff Cooper] suspected, were hurting bald eagles in Virginia more than ecologists realized…The findings went beyond Cooper’s fears: Nearly half of bald and golden eagles in the United States, and in the D.C. region, have chronic lead poisoning.” [The Washington Post]
Person Shot in Mount Vernon Near Richmond Highway — Fairfax County police officers responded to Buckman Road and Janna Lee Avenue on Thursday (May 12) after a person was shot in the upper body by someone “seen pointing a silver handgun from an older model black Toyota Highlander.” The victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening, and police don’t believe it was a random act. [FCPD]
Couple Recalls Meet at Clyde’s in Reston — As Clyde’s prepares to close on Saturday (May 21) after 31 years at Reston Town Center, resident Kristin Simons reflects on having her first date with her now-husband at the restaurant. Since then, Clyde’s has become a go-to destination for the family for everything from brunches to work-related celebrations, she says. [Fairfax County Times]
Princess Diana Exhibit Comes to Tysons — “The new experience, called Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition, is said to be the world’s first-ever walk-through documentary by its creators…Tickets to the experience are now on sale…and the event’s first day open to the public will be on May 25 at Tysons Corner Center.” [WUSA9]
Tysons Pedestrian Bridge Falling into Place — “The perfect cure for a gloomy day? Check out the most recent progress pics of our new ped bridge over the Beltway in Tysons, opening this year!” [VDOT/Twitter]
It’s Monday — Rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 74 and low of 62. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]
Statewide Tornado Drill Today — As part of its annual Severe Weather Awareness Week, Virginia will hold a statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. today (Tuesday). The signal will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System, but there won’t be an actual tornado warning, which would mean that a twister is imminent or already underway. [Herndon Police/Twitter]
“Coastal” Tex-Mex Restaurant Planned for Tysons — “Long Shot Hospitality, which operates seafood-centric Salt Line and New Orleans hotspot Dauphine’s, is gearing up for a new project. Chef Kyle Bailey and partners will open an 11,000-square-foot Tex-Mex restaurant at the new Capital One Center in Tysons, Virginia, next year.” [Washingtonian]
Reston Company Carries Russian Propaganda — Reston Translator carries the FM radio signal in the D.C. area for the Capitol Heights station WZHF, one of just five U.S. stations that broadcasts Kremlin-approved “Radio Sputnik” programming. Despite Cold War-era tensions in the air, the owner of the South Reston-based company says he’s “a fervent believer in the First Amendment.” [The Washington Post]
Burke Brewery Toasts “Bunny Man” Legend — “The Fairfax folklore of the Bunny Man has brought scary stories to generations in Northern Virginia. Now, you can hear this wild tale over a pint of Bunnyman beer from a brewery celebrating this creepy story. Bunnyman Brewing, on Guinea Road in Fairfax, is just a few miles from a bridge at the center of an urban legend about a hatchet-wielding man in a bunny costume.” [NBC4]
Driver Evades Drinking-and-Driving Charge in Vienna — Vienna Police attempted to issue a summons to a driver who committed a traffic violation in the 2100 block of Chain Bridge Road at 1:53 a.m. on Feb. 25. The driver failed sobriety tests, but police learned that he had full diplomatic immunity. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
County Park Welcomes Baby Sheep — “It’s a sure sign of spring: baby animals at Frying Pan Farm Park! Fluffette delivered triplet rams (boys) on February 28. Lane delivered twins (one boy/one girl) on March 1. The sheep are all in Kidwell Barn and will go outside near the barn on nice days.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]
Social Worker at Springfield School Awarded — “Claudia McDowell, a school social worker at Lynbrook Elementary School, has been named the 2022 National School Worker of the Year by the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) for her commitment to the profession and for positively impacting the lives of the students, families, and staff of the communities she serves.” [FCPS]
It’s Tuesday — Today is mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Northwest wind 7 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The low will be around 37. The sun rose at 6:29 a.m. and will set at 6:09 p.m. [Weather.gov]