News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Week in Crime: Like Swallows at San Capistrano, Perverts Return to South Reston, Plus a North Shore Drug Bust

A sure sign that winter's finally over and we won't be surprised by another three feet of snow? The perverts are back out and about on the trails. At least two women have reported a creepy dude wearing latex gloves lurking about the trails near Glade, and police are reportedly involved.

Here's the first of two accounts that have been making the "electronic mail" rounds:

I'm still shaking, unsettled, and somewhat terrified. I was walking back from Twin Branches along the trail that runs along the stream, between the houses on Glade and Howland. Because my dog stalled and looked back, I looked and saw that someone was behind me. His appearance made me nervous, and I didn't like that he was coming up behind me, so I pulled my dog over to the side and let him pass. I looked him in the face and said hi, he said hi and kept going. I intended on continuing to walk behind him, but I noticed that he slowed his pace and kept looking back ... so I stalled. It all happened so fast, but at some point as he walked ahead of me, I noticed that his hands came out of his pockets and he had on latex gloves. That struck me as odd and within a few seconds elevated to frightened. When he had gone around a bend in the trail and I couldn't see him anymore, I was frightened enough that I decided to turn around to head back toward Twin Branches. I kept checking over my shoulder, and few moments later I noticed that he had also turned around and was now running toward me. I was terrified. I ran toward a house where I knew there was a break in the wire fence that I could get through. I called 911, afraid that he would still be following me and what if no one was home at the house. I feel terribly lucky and fortunate that I got to that house safely and that someone answered the door and let me in. But I can't stop thinking about what could have happened.

The man was large, as in "built" not "fat", with broad shoulders and a broad face. Big and strong-looking. No facial hair that I can recall. African-American. Probably around 6ft tall, 200 lbs? When I saw him, he had on a hooded sweatshirt, with the hood over his head and hands in his pockets. Until he later took them out and I saw the gloves. He didn't look familiar. You see the same people over and over again out there, and it was not a familiar person. Until later I realized I may have seen someone similar-looking out there before, but I can't be sure." As you can see our neighbor was in danger and lucky enough to get away, and everyone who goes on the path needs to be aware of this problem. Please be careful and report anything suspicious to the police.
And the second account:
The same thing happened to me! At about 7-8am Saturday morning I was walking my dog on the trail west of Soapstone where they have just finished the newest stream restoration work. I was on my way back toward Soapstone and I saw an African American guy (same build as the person described below) with a navy blue sweatshirt, hood up, walking past the second bridge on the Lawyer's Road side of the stream. I turned and went across the bridge to go back up toward Glade. About halfway on the path to the hill up to Glade at the end of the path loop, my dog started pulling so I brought him around my back and turned around to see this same guy almost right in back of me. It startled me because I didn't hear him at all and I said, "Oh, I'm sorry." I looked right at him and then said, "It's a nasty morning for a walk." He replied, "Yes, it is." We walked for a few feet and then he dropped back. I quickened my pace and kept turning around to look to see where he was. I didn't see his hands to see if he had latex gloves on. I felt it was really odd and did feel frightened when I started to think about it on my way home. I have never felt afraid walking/running on the paths for all the fifteen years we have lived here---but this time was different---the guy was right in back of me and he was very quiet coming up....I feel so fortunate now that I hear this other story. I didn't report this to the police or to RA....I thought maybe it was paranoia, but now I'm going to call them in the morning.
Meanwhile, an 18-year-old Reston woman has been arrested for attempting to elude police after a traffic stop.
A patrol officer attempted to stop the driver of a 2005 Volkswagen GTI for traffic charges on Sunday, March 7 at 11:34 p.m. The driver fled and a short pursuit ensued. The suspect crashed into a fire hydrant at North Shore Drive and Wiehle Avenue. She was charged with felony speed to elude and possession of marijuana.
Dude, where's her car?

33 comments:

  1. Man that girl took off from those cops. I live right near where she hit the fire hydrant. Suposidly she was going crazy fast down North Shore right before she crashed. You would have thought that she was the most dangerous person on the loose the way the cops were. I do believe all ffx county cops were out that night. With all the flashing blue lights you would have thought you were at the old Baseball Carnival that use to come to town.

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  2. and.....just ordered myself a mace. Hope I get to use it! But fyi, live near that area..we have an African American man who is a little on the loopy side that roams around, not sure if it's him or not...but he's harmless.

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  3. anon 10:13- you mean a ball on a stick with spikes on it? Wow, that's hardcore.

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  4. Wow, my husband saw this man either walking the trails or walking down the middle of Glade near Shire and Breton and made a note of him this weekend and didn't have a good feeling either. We'll report as well.

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  5. The Post reported about "the East Coast rapist" today and he seems to fit the descriptions mentioned above. Here's the URL for the Post article:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031501859.html?hpid=artslot

    Scary.

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  6. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)March 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    (Smugly asks HCKD and other anti-sidewalk folks if the still think the poorly-lit and isolated trails are "good enough?") Seriously, while Reston's trails may seem nice since I've moved here I've heard nothing but incident after incident of people feeling uncomfortable/freaked out on them, along with several muggings, which is why I don't run along them. We're not Mayberry. We're a growing suburb of 65,000 approximately 20 miles outside a gentrifying city that is starting to price its criminal element out to suburbia. Thankfully much of that has bled into Prince George's County, but it will only be a matter of time before more thugs start taking up residence in Fairfax County as well looking for new opportunities. So many of you Restonians act so "insulated" with the "it can't happen here because we're too perfect" mentality. Yes, folks, it CAN happen. Back where I came from in PA a man was nearly decapitated, his home was set ablaze, and his luxury sportscar was stolen in a highly affluent suburb of Wilkes-Barre not unlike Reston. I'm aware crime can still happen on sidewalks, but a criminal is MUCH less likely to mug/flash you on a sidewalk with the fear of many drivers (witnesses) nearby as opposed to a lonely trail in the woods. Let the cacophony of "if you like sidewalks then move to Arlington" begin! :-)

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  7. Well, BiCO, how would you know about the likelihood of flashing? Do you have some experience with this?

    if you think sidewalks and streetlights are going to stop thuggery, you need to do a reality check. DC has an extremely high-rate of street crime, has all kinds of sidewalks and streetlamps. No matter how many sidewalks and streetlamps you put in.

    In case you've failed to notice, street crime is more a function of income and upkeep. The only way to keep the thugs out is to price them out of the neighborhood. That is why you have less of it in NW and more of it in SE. Adding to the available housing stock will drive prices and property values down. Remember from Econ 101, if supply increases and demand remains static, then market clearing prices shift downwards.

    So, I'm not saying that heinous crimes don't happen in rural and suburban settings. It seems to me, though, that the higher the density and the more low-income people are included in that high-density setting, the more crime you are likely to have. There are some very good reasons that the Gulag more closely resembles Anacostia than North Point does, and little of that has to do with sidewalks and streetlights.

    The funny thing is, BiCO, there are sidewalks along all three of the major camps here in the Gulag. Still, that doesn't seem to have driven down the amount of the crime in our area.

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  8. LOL at 10:36.

    I got inspired and ordered a morning star and a potion of healing. Can never be too careful.

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  9. Manos: Hands of Rubber!

    Also, if someone can snap a photo of him, I will be forever grateful.

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  10. Yet more proof positive that section 8 housing is a failure. Reston south of the toll road is infested with Section 8 and public housing.

    Thank you Cathy Hudgins.

    Where are those jack-booted blond, blue-eyed cops from Culpeper?

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  11. Is that loopy man REALLY from Africa?

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  12. If Smyers and Chew focused on advocating for better and more effective police services, better maintaining and protecting the areas RA already supposedly steawards, getting street lights installed and keeping the ones that are here working properly, lighting the paths with functional lights rather than the dimmer-than-candles lights in place now, we might be better able to catch the crooks.

    But with the overgrown with weeds and vines and graffiti paths and common areas which Smyers has failed to maintain and enhance, we have only one abominable nonleader to blame -- and that would be Robin Smyers.

    What a disgrace to Reston you are Robin!

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  13. Why do you think those thugs move here? Because they get Hudgins' section 8 housing and this county's gold-plated social services and Smyers' dark never policed paths leading directly to the homes of their victims.

    Look at the county budget. EVERYTHING has been cut BUT SUBDISIZED housing. Why? Because Hudgins' knows that EVERY one of those scumbags will vote for her --- she even provides them transportation to and from the polls on voting day!

    Disgusting.

    And that damn decal tax is back- WE DO NOT WANT DECALS OR A $33 "Registration" fee CATHY HUDGINS -- don't tax us any more!

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  14. What strikes me is that you all assumed that if the man was black, then he was definitely lived in section 8. He could be from anywhere. The incidents happen in a very high priced area of South Reston. The man could be from anywhere, and walk anywhere. Get life, people, and start thinking how we can chase him out of his pants instead.

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  15. Chase him out of his pants? Sounds like a job for BiCO.

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  16. 8:30 and 8:18, it is so prejudiced and self-righteous for you to slam Section 8 housing like you often do on this blog. It is very unkind of you. Poor does not = bad. Be ashamed.

    Signed,
    Not a Section 8 resident

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  17. There are a lot of Section 8 apartment complexes adjacent to that path on the other side of Soapstone. It's a decent 1.5 mi walk from Southgate and Winterthur. I can see why a perp might want to use the path to keep in shape and maintain his skillset in these hard times.

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  18. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 17, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Fairfax County Police put out a notice yesterday about this suspicious character on the Reston trails:

    Suspicious Person Reported on Reston Trails

    "On Saturday, March 13 between 7a.m. and 9 a.m. two separate incidents of a suspicious person were reported. The incidents occurred on the Reston Association trails along Glade Drive between Soapstone Drive and Twin Branches Road. The suspicious person was allegedly walking in close proximity to the complainants for a short period of time. No physical contact was made and no criminal activity was reported.
    The suspicious person was described as a black male, in his 20s, wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt with the hood up and dark pants.
    Officers from the Reston District Station will be patrolling the Reston Association trails, especially the area described in these incidents to attempt to identify the suspicious person. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131."

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  19. I passed through three radar traps in my 6-mile commute from Herndon to Reston yesterday. Does this mean that FCPD has already caught the east coast rapist? So they can drop patroling the trails and concentrate on shaking down commuters for traffic fines?

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  20. No scuba diver, it means that they are heightening their visibility and instead of sitting around so people can complain that they're doing nothing, they're actually doing something.

    With all the increased police activity and the number of e-mails flying around along with the WaPo article, if the guy is so smart, hopefully he'll go somewhere else.

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  21. I feel bad for all the African-American males who wear hoodies and fit this nebulous description who are hard working students/parents, etc. who live in Reston. Talk about being scrutinized!

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  22. Anons 3:26 and 3:28: Cops harvesting commuters are not patroling the trails around Hunters Woods. Since the hoodie has become to thugs what hot pants are to hookers, the obvious strategy would be to wear something else.

    I feel sorry for the three teenage girls that got scrutinized.

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  23. I don't feel badly for the African-American males that wear hoodies. They have been given a heads up, that right now they should not wear them on the bike path, to keep women from feeling threatened. What's wrong with that? It's a courtesty. Least they can do. It helps to keep their heads and faces exposed. They can pull those hoodies out again next winter. Nobody told them to burn them. Makes sense to caution women not to jog in cheek showing or excessively tight shorts right now too!

    All the women BETTER be on notice, not to walk alone and not to walk when "most of the folks" that take their daily constitutionals are not out there. Folks don't walk their dogs or take their morning walk, as early on Saturday's as they do during the week before work. There is no reason not to use your good sense.

    "I" theorize he doesn't "live" in the "affluent" area, because he probably would not want to risk being recognizedby folks in his own neighborhood. Unless he's really stupid.

    Two subsidized development are in walking/running distance from where the incidents occurred. I know from experience that many of the lease holders in those developments are women. And many of them move unauthorized, unscreened males in after they take occupancy. There is nothing wrong with being needy. (There IS something wrong with riding on the coat tails of a needy woman. I say be suspect of any dude that does it.)

    If there was a woman out there solicting men on a street corner right now, wearing a short black skirt and and a red tank top, I'd strangle my girls before I let ANYTHING like that be brought into the house (much less WEAR).

    The "he's harmless" statement doesn't sway me either. My 9 year old sister was cornered by a man that the neighborhood deemed harmless. After he "got off", it came out he had been run out of four different states for the same thing. The prosecuter neglected to share that information.

    Let's all get together and help find him, rather than fight descrimination.

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  24. Avoid I81 and I95. There was an article in the paper on the federally funded ticketing blitz. Cops get overtime pay to participate.

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  25. 5:15

    What a racist screed.

    It is a courtesy for African Americans to not wear hooded sweatshirts because it might make the white ladies of Reston uncomfortable?!
    They've been put on notice?!!!

    Go back to your Jim Crow good ol days and don't forget to pack your hood you racist cracker honkie.

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  26. Who said anything about WHITE ladies? Women in general fool. We are trying to keep our eye out for something that definitely gives a good impression of being the boogy man.

    Gee you are dumb.

    If there had been a memo sent out that there was a blond hooker, 5 '5" that had been rolling and murdering 18 year old men, and all witnesses said she always wore black 3 inch heels with a red bow, would you find it necessary to tell your son to watch out for women that fit that description?

    Hug a root you toad.

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  27. So I take it then the moral of the story is when in the 'hood watch out for hoods wearing hoods?

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  28. Ha.

    Well, I mean, c'mon, it's common sense.

    There is a male, who fits a description - which happens to have a hoodie and african american as two of the descriptors. That is a fact - it's not making an assumption that the guy MUST be black....we know he is. HENCE...it makes sense to look out for a black male wearing a hoodie. It has nothing to do with being racist.

    If the criminal was described as a white male, wearing a red hunting jacket...then we would all be on the look out for a white male wearing a hunting jacket. That doesn't make us racist towards white men, or discriminatory against hunters and/or hunting jackets. It just means that is what we are looking out for...based on facts.

    And then, white men with hunting jackets would use their common sense to know...wait, maybe this isn't a good time to be wearing this jacket, walking on this path, or walking too close to the women on the path.

    If there was a murderer who was 5 feet tall and a white woman who always wore a camel colored jacket...I don't think I'd be very surprised or bothered if the cops pulled me over to investigate me - since I fit that description. In fact, I'd be glad they did - as it means they are looking for the killer!

    So men in their hoodies who are black...yes, they can continue to wear them and walk alone on paths BUT, they should be understanding if they get questioned, since they fit a factual description of an individual who is doing very bad things (and who the cops say they aren't ruling out as the rapist mentioned in the Post).

    We should all be looking for this guy and reporting anything we find of importance that could help capture him...and we can, since we have a description. Hence, we look for a man fitting that description. It is what it is...

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  29. Anon 11:27 -- Did the Fairfax Police actually say they weren't ruling this guy out as the East Coast rapist mentioned in the Post? If so, where was this mentioned? Just curious.

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  30. If you google Reston man path latex gloves or something like that, there was some type of question/answer online session on the Post I believe, and the police said that they are investigating and are not ruling anything out and are looking at all evidence to see if this man is that man.

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  31. Anon 11:27/2:27 -

    Here's the reference in the Washington Post online chat this past Tuesday when the question came up whether our local pervert might be the East Coast rapist. "O'Neill" refers to Fairfax County detective Paul O'Neill.

    Herndon, VA: I heard there was an incident of a man of a similar description wearing latex gloves chased a woman on a trail in Reston, Va yesterday. Do you think this is related to the East Coast Rapist? Has the East Coast Rapist ever used latex gloves in his crimes?

    Paul O'Neill:

    We are aware of these incidents in Reston this past weekend. They were reported as suspicious persons and no physical contact took place. No crimes were committed. However, we will look into these situations as we would any reports made to us. This is a good example of the public contacting police when they see something suspicious/unusual/out-of-order. The police will respond and check on it.

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  32. The police did check on the first incident because of the 911 call, but the version above leaves that out.

    Both emails are slightly different from the versions I've seen. In the versions I've seen, both suspicious men had latex gloves.

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  33. To whom ever wrote this article. I do not appreciate you writing about concerns of a rapist in the area and then giving out a young girls full name and address especially when she (according to your article) lives near the alleged incident. Please consider things like this when giving out such personal information which isn't pertinent to the article in the first place.Is there a particular reason that the young woman's address needed to be included????

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