(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 dog attacked a cat and a rabid raccoon in Vienna earlier this month, an encounter that left the raccoon dead, police say.
The dog got loose in the 700 block of MacArthur Avenue NE and attacked the two other animals on May 12, according to the Vienna Police Department’s recap for the week of May 12-18.
The incident was reported on May 15 by a neighbor of the dog’s owner. The neighbor also told police that his own dog was bitten while he and the owner were both walking their pets at noon on May 8. The bite left “a puncture wound.”
“The Animal Control Officer in Fairfax County investigated these incidents and placed the dog under a 10-day quarantine,” the VPD said. “ACO Barker had a conversation with the dog’s owner, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the dog does not pose a threat to other people or animals in the future.”
The Fairfax County Health Department reported to police on May 16 that the slain raccoon had been tested for rabies and was confirmed to be positive.
“The owner of the dog was promptly notified, and the quarantine period was extended to the required 45 days,” Vienna police said, noting that both that dog and the dog of the resident who reported the incidents were up-to-date on their vaccinations.
About half of the 40 to 60 rabies cases recorded in Fairfax County each year involve raccoons, the county’s rabies program manager previously told FFXnow. The virus typically spreads through a bite or scratch and nearly always proves fatal.
Other notable incidents in last week’s crime round-up include three domestic assaults and a May 12 crash at the intersection of Locust Street and Branch Road where “the driver lost control, went over the curb, and struck a utility pole.”
The driver, a 69-year-old man from Vienna, was charged with driving while intoxicated.
Alcohol also figured into a trespassing incident at Yeonas Park around 3:30 p.m. on May 13:
Officers responded to the report of a man who was refusing to leave the ballpark. The Vienna Little League President advised he saw the man drinking alcohol and when he requested he leave the park, the man threatened him. The man was trespassed from the park by the Little League President and he left the area.
In addition, officers responded to three times to people playing pickleball at Glyndon Park outside of the town’s approved hours. The complaints came in at 7:36 p.m. and 9:07 p.m. on Wednesday (May 17), and at 9:02 p.m. on Thursday (May 18).
Separately, the VPD announced last week that a man had been arrested on Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl at a Vienna park.
(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) A Vienna man has been arrested for allegedly raping a girl at a local park.
The suspect, Celvin Aragon Flores, met the victim online through a social media app and then “engaged in a sexual encounter with her at a park in Vienna,” the Town of Vienna Police Department says.
The sexual assault was reported to the VPD on Monday (May 15), though the department’s weekly recap suggests the assault occurred around 8 a.m. on April 16.
“Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Section, dedicated to this case, conducted interviews with the victim and witnesses, coordinated a forensic rape examination, and obtained search warrants,” police said.
Arrested yesterday (Thursday), Flores has been charged with sodomy, rape, aggravated sexual battery and animate object penetration. Additional charges are expected “as the case progresses,” according to the police department.
The VPD said it has notified victim services personnel and Child Protective Services, which “will provide the necessary assistance and ongoing support for the victim.”
When asked about the age of the victim, who’s identified only as a juvenile, and the name of the park, police said they were unable to disclose that information.
“Due to this case being an active investigation, we must abide by certain protocols to ensure the integrity of the case,” VPD public information officer Juan Vazquez said.
One of Vienna’s police officers recently got some kudos for giving the department a major staffing boost at a time when law enforcement is struggling with recruitment regionally and nationally.
Sgt. James Sheeran was named the Vienna Police Department’s “Employee of the Year” by the Rotary Club of Vienna, which presented its 2023 Rotarian M. Jane Seeman “Service Above Self” award to the sergeant at a banquet on April 19.
Bestowed annually to an officer who displays “motivation, commitment, and service to the community,” the award went to Sheeran this year after he hired 10 officers in two years — the equivalent of nearly a quarter of the VPD’s 41 sworn officer positions.
The department also employs 11 civilian staff members.
“Sgt. Sheeran’s hiring accomplishment is a feat that has not been achieved in the recent history of our police department,” the police department said in a press release on Friday (May 5).
According to the release, Sheeran was “managed to screen hundreds of applicants” during his two years working in the Criminal Investigations Section:
Sgt. Sheeran was assigned to the Vienna Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Section (CIS) for approximately 24 months. His duties included internal investigations, personnel hiring and investigator supervision. Sgt. Sheeran is described by his section commander as an exemplary employee. Always willing to lend a hand and never turns down a new assignment. Sgt. Sheeran approaches all his duties with enthusiasm, dedication, and professionalism.
The VPD now has just one vacancy, even though it has encountered the same hurdles with recruitment as other police departments, possibly “even more because we are a smaller police department,” Public Information Officer Juan Vasquez told FFXnow.
“Recruiting and hiring new officers is an extremely difficult and challenging task,” the department said. “The Vienna Police Department is located in the heart of a very large metropolitan area with numerous agencies actively and aggressively competing for law enforcement officers.”
Police departments actually reported an uptick in hiring during 2022 compared to 2019-2021, but those gains have been offset by increased retirements and resignations, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) found in a survey released April 1.
Among the agencies competing with Vienna is the Fairfax County Police Department, which has been in a “personnel emergency” since last summer. The FCPD welcomed 56 recruits to its academy last month — its largest class in over a decade — but as of early April, there were 206 vacant positions.
In a push to improve recruitment and retention, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is set to adopt a budget tomorrow (Tuesday) that will boost pay for police officers by an average of 12.8%.
The Town of Vienna’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, gives an additional $400,960 to the police. Though there aren’t any significant changes to compensation, anticipated initiatives include enhanced “recruiting efforts using social media.”
The town council will adopt the budget on May 15.
Vienna police have identified the alleged reckless driver who was arrested last week after leading officers on a wild vehicle and foot chase.
John Thomas Prince IV of Haymarket has been charged with three felonies and four misdemeanors, for reckless driving, property destruction, eluding police, attempted unlawful entry and driving on a revoked license — and that’s just in Vienna.
Prince has also been served six outstanding warrants for petit larceny and concealing merchandise charges filed by Fairfax County and Prince William County police, as the Vienna Police Department noted in its weekly crime recap on Friday (April 21).
In a news release identifying Prince, the VPD shared today that he nearly hit “several citizens” with his vehicle while fleeing from police, who received a report of a reckless driver in the 300 block of Maple Avenue on April 18.
“At approximately 2:28 pm, an officer located a vehicle matching a lookout for a reckless driver,” the police department said. “The driver, later identified as John Thomas Prince IV, saw police and drove at a high rate of speed through a shopping center parking lot, almost striking several citizens.”
A VPD spokesperson confirmed that the parking lot was for the Maple Avenue Shopping Center anchored by Giant Food, CVS and Michaels.
According to police, a second officer joined the chase after seeing Prince’s vehicle in the Locust Street and Park Street SE traffic circle:
The second officer followed him onto Park Street SE and alerted nearby motor officers to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle eluded the motor officers and made a right turn onto Moore Ave S.E. An officer behind the suspect activated his emergency equipment and attempted to conduct a traffic stop with the suspect vehicle. The Officer followed until Mr. Prince jumped from the moving vehicle, leaving it running with a female passenger inside. The vehicle eventually stopped when it crashed into an unoccupied parked vehicle.
Witnesses advised a male subject jumped several fences of different residences and attempted to enter these residences. An additional officer responding to the scene saw Mr. Prince running through the front yard of a nearby home. The Officer ordered him to stop and was ignored. Mr. Prince attempted to enter the locked residence but was detained by officers.
Prince is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
“The Vienna Police Department would like to thank all the witnesses who remained on the scene to give statements, provide video evidence, and assist with this investigation,” the VPD said.
A 33-year-old man from Haymarket was charged with reckless driving and felony property destruction last week following a vehicle and foot chase with Vienna police.
The Vienna Police Department received a report around 2:28 p.m. last Tuesday (April 18) that a reckless driver was “harassing people” in the 300 block of Maple Avenue East, according to the department’s recap of the week of April 14-20.
Officers sent to the scene spotted the vehicle leaving the area and moved to make a traffic stop.
“The driver fled, crashed into a parked car, and ran away, damaging some fences while trying to elude the officers,” the report said. “The suspect also attempted to enter homes, with officers closing in on him.”
Officers and detectives who “saturated the area” were soon able to arrest the man in the 700 block of Cottage Street SW, police said.
Vienna police charged the man with reckless driving, two counts of felony destruction of property, two misdemeanor counts of unlawful entry, a felony for eluding a law enforcement officer, and driving on a license revoked for driving under the influence.
According to VPD, the man also faced outstanding warrants in Fairfax and Prince William counties for petit larceny and concealing merchandise. He was held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Other notable public safety incidents from the past week include a fight in the Pazzo Pomodoro parking lot (118 Branch Road SE) on April 14 that was triggered either by an “inappropriate gesture” or shouted “obscenities,” depending on who’s asked.
An employee reported a fight in the parking lot of Pazzo Pomodoro involving a resident and a couple. According to the resident, the man made an inappropriate gesture toward him, leading to a physical altercation. However, the couple claimed that the resident drove past them, yelling obscenities and started the fight. The woman ran into the restaurant to get help, and a customer also became involved. Police could not identify a primary aggressor, and all parties were informed about the warrant process if they wanted to press charges.
The resident was transported to receive medical treatment for injuries considered non-life-threatening, police said.
On April 15, the VPD responded to an argument at a baby shower on Kingsley Road that escalated to shoving and an apparent road rage incident at Nutley Street and Princeton Terrace SW.
“A driver reported he was traveling southbound on Nutley Street when he was cut off by another driver, causing him to stop on the roadway,” the police summary says. “The other driver proceeded to throw a half-filled can of fluid, striking his vehicle before leaving the area at a high rate of speed.”
Police also responded to Glyndon Park at 5:46 p.m. on April 16 for a report of four people playing pickleball, which is no longer allowed on Sundays due to noise complaints.
A pair of Vienna police officers won an award last week for helping turn the tables on a shooting suspect back in October 2021.
During a March 30 ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, officers Emily Lichtenberg and Alex Murray received a Silver Medal of Valor at the 45th annual Fairfax County Valor Awards, which recognize achievements by local first responders.
According to the Town of Vienna Police Department, Lichtenberg and Murray earned the medal for responding to a shooting outside the Navy Federal Credit Union at 820 Follin Lane on the morning of Oct. 7, 2021.
“Upon arrival, they determined that two individuals got into an argument while inside a vehicle, during which one produced a handgun and shot the other in the upper body,” the department said in a news release.
Assisted by a helicopter and K-9 units form the Fairfax County Police Department, the two officers began to search for the suspect, the VPD recounted.
During the search of the surrounding area, “Fairfax One” (helicopter) located a heat source that appeared to be a person hiding in the bushes near the W&OD trail. Almost simultaneously, the K-9 unit alerted on the same area. Coming from the direction of the heat source, officers heard the sound of a handgun being manipulated and the distinct sound of the slide of a gun being racked and slamming into battery. At that time, officers suspected that they had been spotted and the suspect was moving into a position to ambush them.
After taking cover and coordinating a plan, officers moved in and surprised the suspect causing him to lose balance and fall down a hill adjacent to the W&OD trail. During the fall, the suspect lost control of his handgun and was taken into custody. At the time of his arrest, the suspect was found to be in possession of a fully loaded Glock handgun.
Another Vienna police officer, Greg Hylinski, was recognized at last week’s ceremony with a Lifesaving Award for providing emergency medical aid, including CPR, to a Navy Federal Credit Union employee who had collapsed.
“As treatment continued, MPO Hylinski began coordinating the on-scene response, which included determining the patient’s identity and notifying the next of kin,” Vienna police said. “MPO Hylinski maintained a composed and professional bearing as he began the preliminary investigation. MPO Hylinski’s performance in this stressful situation was exemplary.”
A total of 193 individuals were honored by this year’s Valor Awards, according to The Connection. The highest honor — the Gold Medal of Valor — went to FCPD officers Lance Guckenberger and Matthew Grubb, who responded to a shooting and hostage situation in Pimmit Hills on Dec. 17, 2021.
Vienna residents who own a Hyundai can now obtain a free steering wheel lock from the town’s police department.
The Vienna Police Department has “several” wheel locks on hand from Hyundai Motor Company, which launched a national campaign in response to a TikTok challenge that has inspired an increase in thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
“The Town of Vienna Police Department is taking a proactive approach to combat the uptick in thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles across the United States,” police said in a news release. “Owners of these cars may be wondering how to make their vehicles less appealing to thieves. Locking a vehicle’s doors is a very effective deterrent but, adding a steering wheel lock may provide an additional layer of protection.”
The locks are available to Vienna residents in the zip code 22180 who own a Hyundai vehicle with a key ignition that was made in 2010 to 2021.
Starting today (Monday), the devices can be picked up in the lobby of the police station at 215 Center Street South from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Thefts began to surge in 2021 when TikTok users started posting videos under the hashtag “Kia Boyz” encouraging teens to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles by taking off their steering wheels and hotwiring them with a USB cable, according to CNBC.
The videos revealed that models manufactured from 2010 to 2021 that use mechanical keys — rather than push button ignitions — are vulnerable to theft due to their lack of immobilizer systems, which prevent hotwiring using computer chips in key fobs that communicate with the engine.
The Fairfax County Police Department reported 28 carjackings last year, up from 16 in 2021, and seven to open 2023, as of Feb. 10. The data that the department shared with FFXnow didn’t specify how many incidents involved Hyundai or Kia vehicles, but it confirmed those were targeted in a series of stolen or damaged vehicle reports in Lorton on Jan. 14.
At that time, the FCPD said its officers had taken 24 reports for stolen Hyundai vehicles and 13 reports for stolen Kia vehicles between Nov. 22 and Jan. 17.
Hyundai and Kia announced in February that they will provide free software upgrades for approximately 8.3 million vulnerable cars.
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
A man who allegedly fired a gun during a family dispute in the parking lot of Vienna’s Giant Food has been arrested, the Vienna Police Department announced today (Friday).
Multiple people reported hearing gunshots in the shopping center parking lot near 311 Maple Avenue East on Jan. 8, according to police.
“Officers from the Vienna Police Department responded to the area and after an initial investigation, determined the incident involved a civil dispute between family members, which resulted in one individual discharging a firearm,” the department said in a news release.
One person sustained “minor” injuries as a result of the incident, police said at the time.
After a “lengthy” investigation, detectives obtained arrest warrants for Aria Shahryary on Jan. 31, charging him with felonies for shooting into an occupied vehicle and willful discharge of a firearm in a public place. He also faces a misdemeanor brandishing charge.
Shahryary voluntarily turned himself in at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center yesterday (Thursday), the VPD says.
A judge set a $50,000 secured bond for his release. An arraignment has been scheduled for Wednesday (Feb. 8), and there will be a preliminary hearing in the case on March 30, according to Fairfax County General District Court records.
“The Vienna Police Department would like to thank the witnesses who remained on scene to give statements and the Fairfax County Police Department who assisted in the investigation,” the VPD said.
Photo via Google Maps