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Town of Herndon police (courtesy Herndon Police Department)

A pedestrian has been taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a vehicle, the Herndon Police Department says.

The crash has prompted a full closure of Van Buren Street between Spring Street and Aspen Drive “for accident reconstruction,” according to police.

This is the first crash involving a pedestrian reported in the Fairfax County area this year. Northern Virginia saw a sharp uptick in pedestrian fatalities in 2022, led by 32 in Fairfax County — the most recorded in the county since at least 2010.

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Herndon Police Department vehicle (courtesy Herndon Police Department)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) An hours-long barricade and hostage situation was resolved shortly before 9 a.m. in the Town of Herndon, police say.

A man who barricaded himself in his home on Hemlock Court last night “surrendered peacefully” and is now in police custody, according to the Herndon Police Department.

In a statement released this afternoon, police identified the man as 66-year-old Paul Graves. He has been arrested and charged with three felonies: abduction, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and shooting in an occupied building.

The incident began when police received a call from a person inside the home at 9:16 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday), saying that someone else fired a gun in the home, an HPD spokesperson told FFXnow.

“The incident quickly escalated into a hostage and barricade situation. Fairfax County Police Department’s SWAT Team responded to the scene and took over command,” the spokeperson said.

Herndon Parkway between Van Buren Street and Maple Avenue was closed throughout the nearly 12-hour-long incident.

Local police officers, state tactical officers, and SWAT officers from the Fairfax County Police Department responded to the scene in and around the 700 block of Hemlock Court.

“The lone hostage was able to escape the home unharmed,” HPD said. “Graves surrendered peacefully this morning at 8:47.”

According to the department, Graves had “minor” injuries that were not related to the incident. He was taken to Reston Hospital for treatment before being taken to HPD headquarters for questioning.

He is currently being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond.

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Sully’s Pour House in Herndon (via Google Maps)

The owners of Sully’s Pour House, a gastropub in the Town of Herndon, is disappointed over the handling of prosecution against a man who allegedly fired a gun in the business on Nov. 6 last year.

In a scathing Nov. 30 Facebook post, the owners said the justice system failed the business and the community by not taking a tougher stance on the case, accusing the office of Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano of trivializing “a stressful, frightening, and unsafe situation.”

“Where is MY PROTECTION? I didn’t ask your office to move mountains. I expected your office to PROTECT OUR COMMUNITY. There were MULTIPLE FELONIES committed that night. I only asked for ONE TO stick. One FELONY,” the business wrote in the post.

The defendant, De’Quinn Le’Charn Hall, 29, has been indicted on a felony charge of discharging a firearm in an occupied building. A plea deal was offered but hasn’t been officially accepted by the court. A Fairfax County Circuit Court grand jury will take up the matter on Dec. 22.

The post by Sully’s includes allegations that additional charges were not pursued in order to avoid impacting the defendant’s commercial driver’s license. It also states that the case was not handled seriously because no one was killed in the incident.

“HE jeopardized LIVES and your office cared about his job?!” the post says. “We still have people traumatized, but why would you care about them.”

Laura Birnhbaum, a spokesperson for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, emphasized that the investigation is still ongoing. She also disputed some statements in the post, including its characterization of how one of the assistant commonwealth’s attorneys interacted with the victim and the police department.

“This case is ongoing and no final resolution has been presented to or accepted by the court,” she said. “CA Descano is reviewing this case and will determine the proper path forward. We want this community to know that we take these types of crimes seriously and will always seek final outcomes in line with the seriousness of the alleged conduct.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Town of Herndon police (courtesy Herndon Police Department)

A Herndon police officer won’t face charges after shooting a driver this summer who was waving a handgun at police officers during a police chase, Fairfax County prosecutors announced Friday (Oct. 28).

The officer, whose name was withheld, reportedly fired five rounds and shot the driver three times in the July 5 incident. The driver was hospitalized for at least 15 days.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said that his review found that the officer was “reasonable” in fearing for his life or serious bodily-harm.

“It wast therefore legally permissible for shooting officer to use the level of force he deployed,” Descano said in a statement. “Accordingly, I find no violations of criminal law on the part of shooting officer and decline to bring any criminal charge against him.”

The investigation by Descano’s office included references to dispatch records, radio communications, reports, interviews, camera footage and physical evidence. The police officer who shot the man did not have a functioning body-worn camera.

The man — who recovered from his injuries — was stopped by a police officer on July 5 after another officer reported that a stolen car was parked at 1110 Elden Street.

The driver and a passenger ran away when the officer approached the car, resulting in a foot pursuit towards Alabama Drive.

The officer who later shot the man and two other officers eventually tracked the driver and passenger to Alabama Drive Park.

When the driver was boxed in near single-family homes on Treeside Lane, the shooting officer said the driver “brandished a pistol,” according to Descano. Another officer warned the shooting police officer of the gun and called on the man to immediately drop his weapon. The shooting officer issued similar warnings.

The officer then fired their gun five times and struck the driver three times. Police apprehended the passenger when she climbed over the brick wall where the driver was cornered to check on him after he was shot.

FFXnow asked the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office whether the driver is facing any charges and for comment on the shooting officer’s body camera not being on, but did not receive responses by press time.

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Eastbound Elden Street is closed after a crash involving two pedestrians (via Herndon Police/Twitter)

Updated at 4:25 p.m. — Elden Street in Herndon has reopened, as police continue to investigate a crash that involved two pedestrians.

Earlier: Two pedestrians were struck by a vehicle on Elden Street in Herndon, per a police report, with one suffering injuries that were initially considered life-threatening.

The incident at the 1000 block of Elden Street occurred shortly after 3 p.m., Herndon Police Department spokesperson Lisa Herndon told FFXnow in an email.

The crash happened near where Elden Street intersects with Locust Street and Sterling Road with one victim being transported to Inova Fairfax with “life-threatening injuries.”

The northbound lanes of Elden Street are closed for the quarter-mile stretch between Alabama Drive and Sterling Road while officers remain on the scene investigating.

The HPD said at 4:11 p.m. that the person who suffered critical injuries has been stabilized, and the other pedestrian’s injuries were minor.

“Preliminary investigation shows speed does not appear to be a factor” in the crash, police said.

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A driver lost control of their vehicle last month on Spring Street (Photo via Stephanie Frye).

(Updated on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 to clarify an accident account and add attribution) Increased redevelopment in the Town of Herndon’s transit-oriented core may come with a price: increased concerns about road safety in quiet neighborhoods designed for low speeds, town officials say.

Late last month, a Jeep flipped over on Spring Street, hitting a tree right in front of a home. The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle, police said. 

A series of crashes in the area have prompted the creation of a neighborhood coalition that is calling on the town for change. Most of the residents are in and around Spring Street.

At the forefront of that effort is Stephanie Frye, who claims she was almost struck by a drunk driver in the middle of the day while walking her dog on the sidewalk of Spring Street in downtown Herndon. 

She said a police officer told her the driver was going nearly 60 mph on a street where the speed limit is 25 mph. The driver crashed into another car and ended up on the frontward of a home on 651 Spring Street, destroying a concrete pillar on the site, she says.

The Town of Herndon said that there is no record that the individual was going nearly 60 mph on the road, according to a town spokesperson. The police department’s police report characterizes the incident as a DUI.

Since that May 2018 incident, Frye and other residents asked town officials to make the area safer. 

Part of the problem is cut-through traffic. Many drivers seem to be using Spring Street to avoid Elden Street and the Dulles Toll Road. 

The regularity of seeing a car on its side in a ditch, a road sign at a 30 degree angle from being hit, cars flipped onto their roofs, car mirrors and other parts scattered in front yards, fresh tire marks on the sidewalks, cars crashed into town establishments has become a regular occurrence,” Frye said.

But of the four crashes that happened on this stretch of Spring Street from Elden to Van Buren streets this year, speed was not even a contributing factor, according to a spokesperson for the Herndon Police Department. 

In two crashes, the drivers lost control of their vehicles. The third incident was a hit-and-run in which a car took out the sideview mirror of a car parked on the shoulder. The fourth accident was attributed to a driver who did not have the right-of-way. 

“These have been the only four accidents over a twelve month period in that portion of Spring between Elden and Van Buren,” said police department spokesperson Lisa Herndon. 

In April, residents compiled a list of incidents and mitigation measures to the town after a car crashed into a crepe myrtle on the side of the road. 

Four months later, a Jeep took out the same tree as it careened onto its roof. 

A seven-day speed study conducted by the town in mid-May found that speeds were below state standards that trigger changes to engineering traffic controls. Average speeds ranged between 28 and nearly 27 mph. 

“The town is looking at the accident and assessing the area,” Kelly Garrone, a spokesperson for the Town of Herndon, told FFXnow.

Ideas include further reducing the speed limit to 15 mph, trimming trees to make sure speed limit signs are visible, adding speed camera on Grace Street near the school zone, and adding speed cushions in particularly problematic areas. They have also suggested making residential streets for “local traffic only” and upping police enforcement. 

The stalled redevelopment of Downtown Herndon — which is on pause — and the start of service for Silver Line Phase II will likely bring more cars, town officials have noted in previous town meetings The town has several major projects in the works to add relief to area streets.

Residents wonder if it may be too late before a casualty takes place.

This isn’t the first, and certainly not the last accident that has occured on Spring Street that could have killed one of our neighbors,” Frye said.

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Alfaro Rodriguez Juan was arrested in connection with a series of indecent exposure incidents (Photo courtesy FCPD)

Local police have arrested a Herndon man in connection with a series of indecent exposure incidents near the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Reston and Herndon.

Fairfax County police arrested and charged Juan Alfaro Rodriguez, 42, with five counts of indecent exposure. Rodriguez was arrested on Thursday for warrants from another state.

Detectives believe the suspect was involved with at least 13 cases in Fairfax County and eight incidents in the Town of Herndon. The arrest was made after collaboration between the Herndon Police Department and FCPD.

Rodriguez lived in the Town of Herndon since January, according to FCPD Lieutenant Ryan Lazisky, assistant commander of the violent crimes division. He had an outstanding warrant for attempted rape in New York.

Detective continue to investigate if Rodriguez is linked to other cases.

“We believe there is information out there that could lead us to additional charges,” Lazisky said at a press conference today (Monday).

FCPD received a tip from the U.S. Marshalls last week. The department’s fugitive team acted promptly to arrest Rodriguez, who was attempting to flee the state.

Photo via FCPD

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Paul Veneto is pushing a beverage cart to raise awareness about 9/11 (Photo via Herndon Police Department).

Town of Herndon police officers gathered on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail Wednesday to celebrate a peculiar site: a retired flight attendant pushing a beverage cart.

“It was an honor to welcome Paul “Paulie” Veneto to the Herndon as he continues Paulie’s Push,” the Herndon Police Department wrote.

Paul “Paulie” Veneto — a former flight attendant whose colleagues were killed on Sept. 11 — trekked through the Town of Herndon this week in memory of the victims of that fateful day.

FFXnow’s sister site ARLnow previously reported that Veneto’s shift on Flight 175 had ended, sending a new crew into the skies on its normal route from Los Angeles to Boston. They were all killed.

Veneto is now pushing an airplane beverage cart 30 miles from Dulles International Airport to the Pentagon — tracing the path of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon and killed 184 people.

He began his journey on Sept. 8. He hopes to wrap up on Saturday, the 21st anniversary of 9/11.

Last year, he embarked on a lengthier journey — pushing a beverage cart across 230 miles from Boston Logan International Airport to Ground Zero in New York.

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

A naked man grabbed a woman at the Washington & Old Dominion Trail between Town Center Parkway and the Fairfax County Parkway in Reston on Friday (Aug. 26), according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

The suspect may be connected to other indecent exposure incidents in the area, police say. Later that day, police officers in the Town of Herndon investigated an indecent exposure on the trail near Ferndale Avenue.

County police say that, around 8:12 a.m., a man approached the woman from behind and grabbed her around the waist near mile marker 18.5. The woman was able to break free.

Police were unable to catch the suspect, who ran off without pants. They describe the suspect as white or Hispanic, between 5’5”and 5’8”, and between 30 and 40 years old. He has athletic build and was wearing a dark-colored head band and a yellow exercise vest.

Police believe the same man may also have exposed himself between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Aug. 3, 15, and 18 on the trail near Fairfax County Parkway.

Here’s more from FCPD on how to provide information about this and other incidents:

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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The Herndon Police Department (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The Herndon Police Department is poised to upgrade its body camera equipment five years after the program officially began.

Police spokesperson Lisa Herndon tells FFXNow that move was necessary because the police department’s old system became “antiquated.”

The new system offers better image quality, and officers can also access the cameras and videos remotely, a feature not available in the department’s current cameras, according to Herndon. 

At an Aug. 9  meeting, the Herndon Town Council approved the allocation of roughly $1 million for the program with funds from the American Rescue Act.

The upgraded system is also in sync with regional partner agencies, allowing law enforcement to share information more efficiently across agencies.

These upgrades to our in-house technology will ensure that our agency is up to date with new equipment to investigate crimes more efficiently, accurately, and successfully in the Town of Herndon,” Herndon said.

The upgrades also include updated forensic computer equipment that allows police officers to access and analyzes digital devices and information for criminal investigations. 

In the past, some devices and information had to be sent to partner agencies, creating what Herndon said was “delays in the investigation process.”

Herndon’s police body camera program went into effect in the summer of 2017.

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