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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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Fairfax County Police Sgt. Tara Gerhard said that a photo shows the suspect (via FCPD/Facebook)

The Fairfax County Police Department is seeking the public’s help to identify a man in a photo who may be involved in multiple grabbings, assaults, and an attempted abduction over the last few weeks on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

In the latest incident last night (Tuesday), a man attempted to grab a teenage girl as she was walking on the 1800 block of Old Reston Avenue at around 8:10 p.m. The attempted abduction comes just a week after a naked man grabbed a woman last week and where other indecent exposures took place.

At a press conference today (Wednesday), FCPD Sgt. Tara Gerhard said the man may be connected to an unidentified number of incidents throughout the month. The police department is working through other cases to determine if the suspect may be linked to other cases. 

“As a mother, as a woman and as a member of the community, I am just as concerned,” Gerhard told members of the media.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man, roughly 5 feet and 11 inches in height, with an athletic build. He was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and black shorts in last night’s Old Reston Avenue incident.

Police officers canvassed the area last night and today. FCPD is also working with neighboring jurisdictions.

Gerhard urged community members to provide any information they can — including surveillance footage or any details about the suspect in photo pulled from surveillance video by a Town of Herndon resident. 

Here’s how to provide information to FCPD:

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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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 dual W&OD Trail in Falls Church (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Within the next decade, Fairfax County could see pedestrians and bicyclists split up along its stretch of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, among other potential changes at its regional parks.

In a new, five-year strategic plan released last Tuesday (Aug. 9), the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority (NOVA Parks) proposes expanding the “dual trail” design introduced last year in Falls Church to other segments of the 45-mile, cross-county park.

The agency is targeting more urban areas — specifically Vienna, Herndon and Reston, and Arlington — for the expansion, which would turn the one-track W&OD Trail into two separate paths for cyclists and users on foot.

“This kind of improvement expands the capacity of the trail so that cyclists and walkers can have a safer and more enjoyable experience,” NOVA Parks communications director Kelly Gilfillen said by email.

According to the 2023-2027 strategic plan, which lays out its near-future vision and priorities for the 12,000-plus acres of parkland it oversees, NOVA Parks will partner with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to design and implement the dual trails.

While the plan calls for developing plans for Arlington County Dual Trails by 2024, it sets a goal of 2027 for designing the Vienna and Reston/Herndon sections.

“Most of Vienna, Reston, and Herndon are urban, so most of that area would probably be considered,” Gilfillen said. “We do not yet have those details planned. That will be part of our work over the next few years.”

The Fairfax County area is also home to four out of the five parks that the plan highlights for “signature” projects:

  • W&OD Trail Visitor Center: likely in Loudoun County, per ARLnow
  • Gateway Wetlands Park
  • Pohick Bay expanded camping and associated amenities
  • Occoquan indoor/outdoor Adventure Center
  • Hemlock Facility Update

NOVA Parks hopes to work with Fairfax City to restore the wetlands at Gateway Regional Park, a 1-acre rest stop at the corner of Pickett and Old Pickett roads, by 2024.

“This would be like a very small version of Huntley Meadows Park,” Gilfillen said. “NOVA Parks would restore the wetlands that were once a part of this park, which is adjacent to Accotink Creek. A raised boardwalk would feature interpretive displays for environmental education.” Read More

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Morning Notes

A bicyclist on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail passes Herndon Caboose Park (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

More Money Requested for Silver Line Phase Two — “Officials with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are seeking an additional $250 million in funding to pay for construction…citing the project’s complexity, coronavirus-related restrictions, an increase in the cost of building materials, and supply chain slowdowns as key factors for the cost increase.” [The Washington Post]

Mochi Doughnut Eatery Opens in Vienna — The regional chain Donutchew has opened a franchise in the former Starbucks at 107 Maple Avenue West, offering about 20 flavors of doughnuts made with glutinous rice flour. The shop gives Vienna a second option for mochi doughnuts and bubble tea after Bubble Mochi opened nearby in January. [Patch]

Man Robbed on W&OD Trail in Herndon — “The victim reported he was walking along the W&OD Trail on the afternoon of Thursday, July 14, 2022, when he was approached from behind by two unknown suspects. The suspects robbed the victim of personal property. The case is under investigation.” [Herndon Police]

Vienna Business Committee Chair Dies — “It’s not easy assuming a leadership role during a pandemic, but Robert ‘Bob’ Leggett did it willingly and enthusiastically when he became chairman of the Town Business Liaison Committee (TBLC) in 2020. Upon learning of his death on Sunday, July 17, 2022, Town leaders reflected on Leggett’s ability to bring people together for the greater good of the community.” [Town of Vienna]

Fairfax Station ATM Stolen From Gas Station — “Authorities say two men forced their way into a gas station in Fairfax and stole the automated teller machine inside. The incident happened just after 4:05 a.m. Tuesday at the Exxon at 5211 Ox Road. Police say the men loaded the ATM into a white van and fled the area.” [FOX5]

Vienna Revises Historic Site Definition — The Vienna Town Council voted unanimously on July 11 to amend an ordinance to make buildings, structures, businesses and sites eligible for the town’s historic register if they’re at least 100 years old. The town previously defined sites as historic if they’ve been at their current locations or in continuous use or operation since before 1900. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

County Library Foundation Board Elects New Chair — “The Fairfax Library Foundation is excited to announce that Miriam Smolen has been elected chair of the board of directors beginning in 2022-2023. Miriam will replace outgoing Chair, Patricia Reed. She previously served as the board’s special projects lead.” [Fairfax Library Foundation]

Students Master Cake and Swordplay at Summer Arts Program — “The teenagers are part of Fairfax County Public Schools annual Institute for the Arts, a summer program that encourages kids — even those not enrolled in FCPS — to explore subjects like ‘Modern Buttercream Techniques’ or ‘Stage Combat’ that either aren’t traditionally offered during the school year or may not fit into a student’s academic scheduling needs.” [FCPS]

It’s Wednesday — Humid throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:01 am and sunset at 8:32 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

The Vienna bookstore Bards Alley celebrated its fifth anniversary this past weekend (staff photo by Pia Kramer)

GW Parkway Rehab Breaks Ground in McLean — “Top federal and local officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning on a $161 [million] project to upgrade the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.” [Patch]

W&OD Trail Detour Starts in Reston — “In preparation for the future bridge there, underground utilities along the trail on the west side of Wiehle Ave in Reston are being relocated, necessitating a detour to the gravel trail to the north. This detour will be in effect from Tues, July 19 to Fri, July 22.” [W&OD Trail/Twitter]

Plastic Bag Tax Coming to Fairfax City — “Effective Jan. 1, 2023, disposable plastic bags provided at point of sale to consumers at grocery stores, convenience stores, and drugstores in Fairfax City will be subject to a 5 cent tax. To avoid the tax, consumers can provide their own reusable shopping bags, or opt out of bags altogether.” [City of Fairfax]

NoVA Leaders Advocate for More Express Lanes — “Northern Virginia has been transformed for the last decade by Express Lanes projects and regional leaders say more of the same is needed — including over the Potomac River and into Maryland — if the metropolitan area is to continue thriving.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Wegmans Plans Hiring Event for Reston Store — “Wegmans Food Markets will be hosting a virtual hiring event Thursday to fill 100 full-time positions at its new Reston grocery store, which is set to open in early 2023…The virtual hiring event will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Thursday.” [Patch]

County Brings Public Safety Talks to Barbershops — “@fairfaxhealth along with @FairfaxCountyPD and @FairfaxCSB is hosting a series of conversations at barbershops around the county. The focus will be on community policing, substance abuse, and building trust in our community. No RSVP is required.” [Fairfax County Government/Twitter]

Vienna Student Wins State Tennis Title — “Unlike the previous season, Simone Bergeron was totally satisfied with her perfect campaign in girls tennis this past spring. The Madison Warhawks junior capped the 2022 season by winning the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 girls state-championship singles tournament.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Tuesday — Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 87 and low of 74. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

The former Crate and Barrel building on International Drive in Tysons (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Truck Fire Shuts Down I-95 South — “Saturday around 4:30 p.m., units were dispatched for a Truck Fire on I-95 South at Mile Marker 161. Multiple Vehicles on fire being transported by 18-Wheeler Vehicle Carrier, located in local lanes. Multiple Lanes were shutdown in southbound lanes. No reported injuries.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

BB Gun Drawn in Reston Over Smoking Confrontation — A security guard was surrounded by 10 juveniles outside a business in the 11900 block of Market Street on May 31 after telling them that smoking was not allowed there. One of the juveniles displayed a handgun that police later determined was “a replica style Glock BB gun.” No injuries were reported, but police intend to seek petitions for charges. [FCPD]

Idylwood Section of W&OD Trail Opens — A new, realigned section of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail by Idylwood Park has opened. Work on the new trail segment began in January to accommodate new ramps constructed as part of the project to add express lanes on I-66 outside the Capital Beltway. [W&OD Trail/Twitter]

Vienna Police Busy During Memorial Day Weekend — According to the most recent weekly report, the Vienna Police Department responded to a variety of incidents during last week’s ViVa Vienna festival. Issues included a juvenile attempting to enter a locked trailer, a driver backing into a police vehicle, and thefts of $20, a beverage, and 100 wristbands. [Sun Gazette]

Firefighters Rescue Kitten in Woodlawn — “On Saturday, May 28, a crew from Woodlawn Fire Station (Tower 424) responded to a non-emergency call from the Mount Vernon area about a whimpering kitten that had been stuck in a tree for over an hour. The team of first responders, led by Lt. Dave Bender, used the bucket to access the kitten and bring it to safety.” [On the MoVe]

See Photos from Reston Pride — The 2022 Reston Pride Festival was held at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday (June 4). The festival’s fifth iteration featured more than 65 vendors, drag and spoken word performances, the acapella quartet Kinsey Sicks, and more. [Washington Blade]

Things to Do in Fairfax County This Summer — Fairfax County’s guide to the season highlights outdoor concerts, swimming pools and water parks, a “family adventure pass” to county rec centers, the Fairfax County Public Library’s summer reading program, and the recently launched “Potomac Banks” tourism campaign. [Fairfax County Government]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 79 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Urbanspace at Tysons Galleria (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Tysons Mass Vaccine Site Tweaks Hours — “Beginning Tuesday, March 1, the Tysons Community Vaccination Center (CVC) located at 7950 Tysons Corner Center, McLean, will be open five days a week, Tuesday-Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Alleged Serial Killer Still Not Charged in Fairfax County — Local police and prosecutors have yet to find enough evidence to charge a man that police dubbed the “Shopping Cart Killer” in the death of California resident Stephanie Harrison, one of two women whose remains were found in Huntington in December. [WTOP]

Office Tax Base Continues Decline — While residential property tax assessments soar, Fairfax County is projecting only a 2.8% increase in revenue from commercial properties in fiscal year 2023, which starts July 1. County Executive Bryan Hill attributed the decline in the county’s commercial and industrial tax base, expected to make up just 17% of property tax revenues, partly to the pandemic-era shift to teleworking. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Still Testing Theories for Derailment — “Metro is testing out its theories and looking for solutions to resolve a defect found in wheels and axles of several of the rail cars, Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld told board members. He did not elaborate on the suspected factors causing the malfunction or provide an estimate for when the rail cars might return to service.” [The Washington Post]

Newington House Fire Displaces Residents — A house fire in the 7800 block of Water Valley Court on Feb. 18 displaced five residents and caused approximately $162,500 in damages. Investigators determined the blaze was started accidentally by “improperly discarded smoking materials.” [FCFRD]

Reston Company Mum on Microsoft Sale Rumors — Reston cybersecurity company Mandiant Inc. declined to comment on a Bloomberg report that Microsoft has expressed interest in acquiring it. With most employees working remotely, the company is in the process of consolidating staff at its two-story office in Reston Town Center. [Washington Business Journal]

Inova to Hold Blood Drive in Springfield — “Please join @GSVFD and @InovaBlood for Blood Drive event on February 28 between 1:00pm and 6:00pm. Slots still available. Blood donations are critically low and only you can help give the #GiftOfLife. Please signup today” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Utility Work Planned on W&OD Trail — “Over the next month, Dominion Energy contractors will be pulling new underground cables between Sandburg St and Adahi Rd near Vienna; please be alert while travelling this section of trail.” [W&OD Trail/Twitter]

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Graveyard for enslaved people at Bull Run Marina in Clifton (courtesy NOVA Parks, W&OD Railroad Collection)

NOVA Parks has installed two new signs to shed light on the effect of slavery and segregation in Fairfax County.

A new sign in Herndon Caboose Park explains how Jim Crow laws affected passengers on the Washington & Old Dominion train line in the 1900s. Another sign in Clifton describes the significance of a graveyard for enslaved people near Bull Run Marina.

W&OD Trail users can read about the segregationist laws that regulated the regional passenger train service during the 20th century, according to new research by NOVA Parks.

The new sign will be dedicated by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay on Saturday (Feb. 26).

“During Black History Month, it’s important to remember the tremendous challenges Black Americans faced in Fairfax, and to celebrate how far we’ve come while acknowledging we still have work to do in overcoming racial inequity,” McKay said. “We’re grateful to NOVA Parks for documenting this part of our shared history.”

A new sign along the W&OD Trail (courtesy NOVA Parks)

The W&OD Trail covers 45 miles from Shirlington to Purcellville on the former roadbed of the train line, which operated from 1857 to 1968.

At the time, trains provided the main form of public transportation, and Virginia law required separation of races in public places.

Passenger service on the train was discontinued in 1941, and the waiting room for Black passengers was converted into an office. When passenger service was reinstated in 1943 during World War II, Black and white passengers shared the same waiting room. This shared arrangement “bothered no one, since it was a small community, and everyone knew everyone else,” according to the book “Herndon: a Town and its History.”

“These signs recognize/acknowledge a painful part of our past, a time when laws were created to treat Blacks unequally,” NAACP Fairfax County President Karen Campblin said. “Although Jim Crow laws have been overturned, it’s important to remember what Black Americans have endured and to make sure that we are all treated with dignity and respect in the future.”

Identical signs have already been placed along the trail in Arlington and Loudoun counties.

“In order to foster a community that lives up to the vision of Dr. King’s ‘Beloved Community’ we in Fairfax must come to terms fully and honestly with our troubled past,” said Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.

The new sign in Clifton stands near the likely site of a graveyard. NOVA Parks found five graves in 2020 using ground-penetrating radar. Each grave has a stone at the head and foot on an east-west axis, with the smaller footstone facing east.

“Historians believe the intention of this burial practice, seen in other graveyards of enslaved people, is to orient the bodies towards Africa in anticipation of resurrection and return home,” a NOVA Parks release states.

By the beginning of the Civil War, Virginia had 490,000 enslaved people — more than any other state, according to NOVA Parks. In 1860, there were 3,117 people enslaved in Fairfax County, about 28% of the entire county.

The signs are part of an effort by NOVA Parks to tell stories from Black history and are tied with a new theme in the NOVA Parks 2022-2027 Strategic Plan: Belonging.

The dedication of W&OD Trail sign will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. at Herndon Caboose Park (777 Lynn Street). The dedication of the sign at Bull Run Marina (12619 Old Yates Ford Road, Clifton) is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.

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