News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This Fortnight in Crime: Mostly an Excuse to Use 'Butt Slasher' in a Headline, Plus Street Robberies Increase and a Local Newspaper Becomes Part of the Story

Unlike our vaguely satanic doppelganger in Maryland, Reston wasn't built around a shopping mall -- an enclosed shopping mall, anyway. Maybe that's a good thing, given the recent spate of butt slashings and whatnot. "Fairfax County is on high alert," the Action McNews anchor intones in the fancy video above, though they painstakingly avoid using the term "butt slasher" to describe the serial creep that has attacked five people in the hindquarters since February.

In Monday’s incident, an 18-year-old was browsing in the XXI Forever store in Fair Oaks Mall around 5:30 p.m. when she noticed a man behind her bending down to pick up clothes that had fallen off the rack, Caldwell said. She felt a sudden pain and thought that she might have been poked by a hanger, according to police. She then noticed she was bleeding. Her denim shorts had been slashed.

The woman suffered a 1.5-inch wound, police said.
Three of the five attacks took place at Fair Oaks, arguably the closest, and definitely the most 1980s-infused, mall.

Meanwhile, the publisher of the Reston Connection pleaded guilty of failing to pay nearly $1 million in employment taxes.
Peter Labovitz of Alexandria pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay employment taxes that were due to the Internal Revenue Service.

Federal court documents state tht Labovitz willfully failed to pay federal income taxes and Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes for employees of the Connection Newspapers during certain periods of time between 2002 and 2008.

Labovitz admitted that at times within that six-year period, he deducted and collected the federal taxes from Connection Newspaper employees, but failed pay the taxes to the federal government.

Court records list the total amount of taxes owed by Connection Newspapers as $944,538.

Labovitz faces as long as one year in prison, a $100,000 fine and one year of supervised release for each of the two counts.
In a statement, the papers' publisher blamed the implosion of the newspaper industry:
In a prepared statement published on the Connection Newspapers website, Labovitz said in recent years his newspaper company has faced technological and economic challenges.

“We have weathered repeated crises that killed or crippled many others in the news media,” he wrote. “After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when the country came to a virtual standstill, our revenues temporarily plummeted. And when the severe recession began in 2007, our revenues plunged again, often failing to cover our operating costs.”
As a member of the media, we can assure you that having nearly $1 million in salaries or revenue to fail to pay taxes on will never be a problem at Restonian Web Blogs and Extruded Pork Products Inc.

So, what else is new? Just that the number of robberies along Reston streets and paths have increased during the first half of the year, police say.
In his semiannnual "State of Reston" crime report, Fairfax County Police Lt. TJ Rodgers told the Reston Association that there has been a rise in street robberies when compared to this time last year.

The good news, most of the perpetrators have been caught, he said at Thursday's RA board meeting.

"There were 12 by this time last year," he said. "So far this year we have had 20. Most have been around Lake Anne and Hunters Woods. The majority have been late at night, between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. There were two last week at 4 a.m."

Rodgers said there have been arrests of suspects in both the Lake Anne and Hunters Woods incidents, so those have stopped. Eleven of the cases have been closed.
Two similar incidents both happened exactly four minutes apart on July 6, though:
A 59-year-old man was assaulted and robbed by a group of males in the area of Colts Neck Road and Sunrise Valley Drive around 5:24 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6. The victim was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Three men robbed a 58-year-old man in the 2200 block of Southgate Square around 5:28 a.m. on Wednesday, July 6. One suspect was described as white, between 18 and 20 years old, wearing a white shirt and the other two suspects were described as black, between 18 and 20 years old, both wearing blue shirts. The victim was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Also, there's been one more incident of racially motivated vandalism, this time at a pool.
Someone threw pool furniture into a community swimming pool and wrote racially and sexually biased slurs inside the office some time between 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 and 8:10 a.m. the following day. Police are investigating.
Finally, a gumball machine was stolen from a business on North Shore Drive. There are no words, etc., etc., but be thankful we don't live in Herndon, where the kids apparently beat up their parents at will, the end.


  1. I worked for the Reston Connection during the period in question, had taxes withheld -- and now I find out that I was given fraudulent W-2's. That's nice.

    How can the IRS not know, when a corporation that employs 100's of people pays no Federal withholdings tax -- FOR SIX YEARS? One would think that their accountants and auditors would have had at least a hint that something was going on.

    I guess we could all "weather the crisis" much easier if we collected taxes from our emplyees and kept the money for ourselves.

  2. Hmmmmm. The heinie-hacker may explain the sudden paucity of speed traps along my 6-mile commute. Looks like FCPD is giving this guy the attention he deservs. Get 'im Smokey!

  3. I guess this would be a wrong time to open a Leg Shaving Emporium at Fair Oaks, eh?

    (My sentiments to the victims of this sick individual and wishes for a speedy recovery. Let's hope that this idiot is quickly caught, or at least realizes the errors in his dastardly ways, before he escalates the crime.)


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