News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

This Week in Crime: Police Break Up Melee, Stabbings Behind Hunters Woods Village Center

It's always good when the words "brawl" and "melee" get used to describe a friendly exchange of differing viewpoints. A Wednesday evening brawl involving two groups behind the Hunters Woods Village Center left two men seriously injured with stab wounds, Fairfax Police said.

Two men suffered serious injuries Wednesday night during a melee between two groups of men fighting behind a Reston area shopping center, Fairfax County police said.

Officers were called about 9:30 p.m. for the report of an assault on a wooded path behind the Hunters Woods shopping center. Police think the two groups began to argue as they approached each other and then brawled, said Eddy Azcarate, a police spokesman.

When police arrived on the scene, all six people involved scattered, including the two seriously wounded men, Azcarate said. Police soon found the victims and they were flown to a hospital with injuries that appeared to be stab wounds.

The others involved in the fight were not caught, police said. The victims' injuries were described as not life threatening.

Police officials declined to comment on any potential motives for the argument or the fight.
Who knows? Maybe they were trying to decide between dinner at Burger King or ice cream at DQ and things got ugly.

Update: Police finally issued a news release about the incident, which says they are investigating the "possibility that this case involved members or associates of a criminal street gang." You think?
The suspects were described as black, in their 20s. They were all approximately 6 feet tall and 180 pounds wearing white T-shirts and dark jeans.
As people have pointed out in the comments, most incidents of this nature in Reston are gang-related. We're not sure if that's reassuring or not.

38 comments:

  1. I live right behind the park (I'm the one whose house was broken into a week after moving in, then was forced to pay $1500 to get an HOA approved door...). Last night the helicoptor was circling for at least 30 minutes! Finally we (a few neighbors and myself) ventured out to see what was going on. I was there just as the helicopter was taking off. It was just like in ET - bright lights, dirt flying everywhere through the trees, and loads and loads of cop cars, ambulances, etc. I feel so safe in my new neighborhood. :-{

    By the way - remember that door I was forced to remove - well, two of my neighbors have recently installed the exact same door on their homes! Will they be caught by the HOA police?

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  2. We didn't even hear the helicopter last night - it's become background noise. We no longer shop at the Safeway or any of the other stores at HW shopping center.

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  3. Not going to Safeway is over reaction. These were most likely rival gangs. Unless you're in the habit of wearing baggy jeans and bandannas you should be fine. I know I'll still go there.

    On another note I'm surprise I didn't here the copter, guess like the other person said its just becoming background noise.

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  4. Last week, the helicopter was hovering over Sought After North Reston for a good chunk of one evening. Maybe the pilot read the map wrong...

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  5. I am seeing gang tags along Reston Association paths in the Lake Anne area -- lamp posts, RA signs, RA benches, etc... now the beautiful childrens's wall painting, around the corner from the Lake Anne elementary school, has gang tags all over it...

    Wondering what is going on in the middle of the night. This area used to safe, and the center of a beautiful plan. Now we are convincing the county to spend millions and millions on a rec center when we need more cops on the beat... THIS IS PITIFUL. RA, RCC and the County need to get their heads out of their arses...

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  6. I'm so happy we're going to get a high-rise low-income housing project across from Lake Anne plaza (courtesy of Hudgins) and all those nice dark paths along North Shore Dr.

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  7. Lake Anne was once the epicenter of what Reston is all about -- I live in the Lake Anne area. I welcome more density, more business to bring it back to life. And I agree, the low income housing issue is always near and dear to everyone.

    I just want to see RA/RCC/County dollars spent wisley and on critical infrastructure, security, and longevity matters first...

    When we are facing deficit budgets across the board, if we are taking on more bonds the $$ should be spent on these critical items first...

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  8. These gang tags in areas never touched before, frighten me...

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  9. I think Lake Anne will be progressively run down as will Tall Oaks. They've been passed by with the development of RTC, North Point, and the Whole Foods. Wait till they put stores and eateries near the Wiehle Avenue stop.

    A good example of old town cores being passed by is the Sterling Park shopping center with the Safeway. New development in Cascades, Costco, Dulles Town Center, and the Route 28 corridor has diverted traffic away from Sterling Park.

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  10. Agree -- with possibility of being passed by... but, our own RA and RCC have the ability to infuence what happens in their own community... unfortunately, their actions tell me they are more interested in giving our land away, and our heart and our spirit of community... all for the pleasures of one tennis fanatic on their board and the back-pocket influncers of the devolpers

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  11. 2nd to last Anonymous:

    All the more reason to support redevelopment projects like the one planned for Lake Anne Center and, with some reservations, the JBG proposal at Fairway Apartments. Without more density, those areas will do just that -- wither and die.

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  12. I am in favor of the redevelopment efforts... they are needed.

    At same time, I have to questioon RA/RCC/FFX County on the wisdom of letting bonds in the millions of dollars for a rec center when these same dollars could be spent towards the re-development efforts. Totally mis-directed in my opinion. Re-developmnet brings jobs, more tax revenue, and a safer more established community... oyy the wisdom of our naive officials...

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  13. Like I mention before instead of using the money to build a rec center we should spend it in building a police station in the UNUSED area in from of Winterthur apartments and next to Colts Neck rd. The police station would be in the middle of all the trouble areas of Winterthur Apartments, Stonegate Projects and Brenton Condos. Like a dot in the middle of a triangle, with a helicopter pad too.

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  14. RA is pretty good at scheduling community meetings now. I'm going to ask them to schedule one each for North and South Reston to discuss this gang problem -- and we want the local police there to bring us up to date.

    I'll let you all know their answer.

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  15. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonJune 25, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    One thing RA and the local police could do immediately to start countering these problems is to paint over or otherwise remove graffiti, especially gang-related, as soon as it appears. This is the "one broken window" theory that Rudy Giuliani and his police commissioners in NYC used in the 1990s to dramatically lower the crime rate there: crack down on minor crime (like vandalism, public drinking, etc.) and anything that gives the appearance of disorder or deterioration (like a single broken window on a street or graffiti) so as to not give the impression of a community spiraling out of control. Someone posted several days ago about graffiti appearing on a utility box by the campfire ring in the Glade by Soapstone. As of yesterday afternoon it was still there. May we ask the RA to get a can of DRB-approved paint and just paint over the damn thing sooner rather than later? Learn from Giuliani!

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  16. The only time I go to Hunters Woods is to occassionaly rent a movie from the video store since there isn't one on my side of the demarcation line near the South Lakes Safeway.

    I noticed about a month ago that the DVD return box at the video store's curb is gone. While I'm not lazy enough to complain about getting out of the car to return DVDs, I always wondered if it was because people were messing with the box.

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  17. Tonight, at the regular RA June Board of Directors meeting, Captain Burnett and Lt. Rogers from the Reston District Station will be giving the Board (and community) an update on crime and other related activities.

    This is a great opportunity for those of you concerned about this issue to get the news straight from the source. It’s at 7 p.m. at 1930 Isaac Newton Sq. in the main conference room.

    I intend to go and ask about the perceived(?) increase in gang activity.

    BTW -- I'm the one who posted about the tagging of the utility box. I dropped those photos off at the police station the Monday after it appeared...

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  18. I may not be able to make this evening's meeting ... but, if gang tagging is discussed, the locations of most recent activity are:

    Bench at Waterview Cluster Marina,

    RA lamp post and RA sign along RA path between Waterview and Fairway/North Shore intersection,

    And the worst offense --

    The children's wall painting in the pedestrian tunnel at the Fairway/North Shore intersection. It took the kids over a month to do this beautiful mural... and is within eyesight of their Lake Anne Elementary School... now destroyed.

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  19. I have been reading the blogs from this website from the beginning of the year and it sounds as though the best thing to do is to stay off the WOD and other walking paths after sunset.

    On the other hand there seems to be a slow developing problem in South Reston which law enforcement need to resolve.

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  20. While I will not hold the RA Board, the RCC Board or the FFX County Representative responsible for the outrageous activities...

    I WILL HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE for even considering the FRIVOLOUS idea of spending $40 million to $60 Million on a rec center, when we could easily use this bond money to augment our police force; repair our infrastructure and attract homeowner growth, new business, and development.

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  21. A Rec Center will produce no material change to Reston.

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  22. Agreed...

    "...A Rec Center will produce no material change to Reston...."

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  23. I stopped going to HWSC months ago. The middle-of-the-day robberies happen too often. The recent murder and last night's knife fight are just added confirmation that I made the right decision.

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  24. luv it when our board wants to focus on their own personal needs vs the people they represent... can't wait for the new election cycle... yea, I know nothing changes, but I so look forward to kicking the existing team out...

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  25. The FFCty Police site gives a number to report gang graffiti and says that after they've recorded it, the property owner should immediately have it removed. OH NO! This means we have to wait for RA? Or if it's on the school property we wait for the county? Or if it's on a utility box we wait for Dominion Power? Can you see where this is going?

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  26. Figures... our community leadership at work... imagine if they would realign their thinking. Imagine what the police chief would be able to get in resources... but hey.... let's make sure the tennis players get a roof over their heads...

    "... The FFCty Police site gives a number to report gang graffiti and says that after they've recorded it, the property owner should immediately have it removed. OH NO! This means we have to wait for RA? Or if it's on the school property we wait for the county? Or if it's on a utility box we wait for Dominion Power? Can you see where this is going?..."

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  27. If you are concerned about crime, create a neighborhood watch and take ownership of your community. There is a monthly meeting at the Reston Poice station which covers recent crime and investigation updates and progress.

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  28. We are doing our own crime watch -- and we know FFX Cty Police is doing it's best... unfortunately the paths that connect clusters and the adjacent areas are being taken over late at night by strangers... the police can only be in so many places -- they need more people, more capacity...

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  29. Les of La ManchaJune 25, 2009 at 6:59 PM

    I thought some newer townhouses were behind Hunters Woods SC. I guess it all depends on whether you're looking North from Glade Dr or East from Colts Neck Rd. The path between Winterthur and the shopping center should be avoided. It's poorly lit and dips so far below Colts Neck Rd that any crime would not be visible from the road.

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  30. What we really need are some bicycle-cops on Reston's paths. There needs to be police activity there on a regular basis. As it is now, every thug in the area knows that those are "safe" places for them to operate. A few cops making rounds on the paths periodically would make a big difference- if the criminals knew there were cops running though there at random intervals, they might not be so brazen.

    It would be nice if RA would consider spending money on keeping up the amenities we already have before they think about spending a huge sum on a new center. Reston's pathways are the pride of the community, and yet they are becoming increasingly unusable because of crime.

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  31. The problem with the area is Winterthur. Sure, there's problems with Stonegate and Shadowood. But HWSC and Winterthur seem to be at the confluence of these issues.

    The question is how do we pacify Winterthur? We could do like Stonegate and convert one of the apartments for police use or tear down the old church and put in a full-fledged police station or even take the empty storefront in HWSC.

    But I don't think that police are enough. My kid and I walked through there last night at about 8:30 for groceries. There were at least 4 cops on bikes at that time.

    I really think that we would be better served if we put an ICE Enforcement office there. I'm betting that much of the gang problem isn't coming from the citizens and legal residents. They don't seem to be too concerned about going to jail, but they certainly do fear deportation.

    (If only the Ffx Cty BoS would take a page from the playbook from our neighbors to the south: Prince William County. PWC cracked down and, while they've got RE problems, the gang problem there has markedly decreased.)

    Here's a solution that takes care of everybody's problem. RA wants a rec center. If they recommend buying and razing Winterthur and putting it on that location, it can cost $200m and I'll support it.

    However, until somebody with the local authorities, whether it be RA or Ffx Cty, comes up with a real solution to the problem, I'm going to do the very thing that I've been resisting doing for years: I'm going to exercise my second amendment rights.

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  32. I have noticed that the Fairfax County Police have been down near the area in question a lot lately. On bikes. It is a shame that that happenned. I still use Safeway. Lets face it. Hunters Woods was a lot rougher once and got better. Let us not lose hope.

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  33. To Sawyers Resident -- ICE isn't the solution, except in that it might eliminate some of the victim. Last night the Police Captain said the victims tend to be Hispanic and the perps have so far, been African American. ICE only helps solve 1/2 of that problem.

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  34. Absolutely agree...

    "...It would be nice if RA would consider spending money on keeping up the amenities we already have before they think about spending a huge sum on a new center. Reston's pathways are the pride of the community, and yet they are becoming increasingly unusable because of crime...."

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  35. And I just heard Joe Leighton motioned to the RA Board last night to eliminate Browns Chapel park as the site for a rec center --

    Way to go Joe....!!!

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  36. Well, I decided to call the Reston FFX Cty Police District Station to ask/report the gang tags near Lake anne Elementary School, and pathways... after several phone hops, got to a police officer who stated not much could be done... suggested I contact the Reston District Station which is where I started...

    Impressive, to say the least... guess we're on our own folks...

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  37. Anonymous 11:11 -- you can go the FFCty Police website and file a report on-line https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/crs/#WhatcrimesDOqualifyforCRS

    The response you got is directly opposite to what the Reston Dist Commander said they're doing in these cases -- I hope you got the names of the people giving you the run-around...you can send them to her directly.

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  38. SouthLakesMom... unfortunately I did not get the name of the officer... it was obvious while I started at the Reston District Staion with my call, I got bumped somewhere else...

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