News of crime and punishment across Fairfax County.
UNATTENDED BARBECUE/MEAT SMOKER CAUSES FIRE, KILLS DOG: The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Arlington County Fire Department on Sept. 28 at 1:46 a.m. dispatched units to a reported house fire in the 6900 block of Birch Street in McLean.
Arriving units found fire showing from a two-story, single-family home and worked quickly to control the fire in less than 10 minutes. The family’s dog perished in the fire, but there were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.
Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. The homeowners discovered the fire when they woke up to their dog barking and the smoke alarms sounding. Upon investigating, the occupants saw fire in the kitchen. One occupant called 911 while another tried to rescue the dog. All occupants evacuated the house before fire crews arrived.
Fire investigators determined the blaze was accidental in nature and started on the home’s rear deck. The cause of the fire was an unattended barbecue/meat smoker.
The fire displaced four occupants, who accepted assistance offered by the Red Cross. The blaze caused about $156,000 worth of damage.
SINGLE-VEHICLE CRASH KILLS DRIVER, PASSENGER IN TYSONS: Two people died in a single-vehicle crash in Tysons Oct. 6, Fairfax County police said.
Police at 3:55 a.m. dispatched officers to crash scene at Leesburg Pike and Chain Bridge Road. According to police, Lori Byars, 51, of Woodbridge was driving a 1986 Mercedes 420 SEL eastbound on Leesburg Pike when the vehicle left the roadway before the intersection near the overpass of Chain Bridge Road and struck a light pole. The vehicle then struck another traffic-signal pole, where it came to stop.
Fire and Rescue Department personnel responded and pronounced Byars and a passenger in the vehicle, David Turch, 59, of Triangle, deceased at the scene. Detectives believe both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, police said.
MULTIPLE CHARGES RESULT FROM TWO-JURISDICTION BATTLE WITH POLICE: A 27-year-old Arlington man is in custody facing a number of charges after an incident that spanned two jurisdictions and led to multiple shots fired.
On Oct. 6, Arlington police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle in connection with a hit-and-run and brandishing incident, but the driver was able to evade capture, according to police.
Later that day, the suspect – ultimately identified as Ricardo Singleton – again was observed by Arlington police, but sped off while firing several rounds at officers, according to a report from the Fairfax County Police Department.
Singleton fled into Fairfax County, where officers from that department attempted to stop him, police said. According to police, Singleton struck multiple vehicles, which rendered his vehicle disabled on Arlington Boulevard near Graham Road.
According to Fairfax police, the suspect exited the vehicle and fired numerous rounds at police. One Fairfax police officer returned fire. No one was struck, police said.
Fairfax officers found Singleton hiding behind a nearby building and took him into custody with assistance of the Arlington Police Department and Virginia State Police. A weapon was found nearby.
Singleton was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and served with a variety of warrants from the Arlington and Fairfax incidents, including use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony reckless discharge and malicious wounding on a law-enforcement officer.
COUNTY OFFICIALS SUGGEST WAYS TO HELP AREAS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE: Many Fairfax County residents have seen devastating images from Florida following Hurricane Ian. For those who would like to aid the affected Floridians, county officials suggest these ways to make sure donations have an impact:
• Before making a monetary donation, do research and determine whether the recipient organization has a proven track record of delivering aid to those in need.
• Beware of phone calls and e-mails soliciting donations.
• Avoid unfamiliar organizations and Websites. It is an unfortunate reality that charity scams pop up after major tragedies. Charity scams can have Websites that look official with donation pages, but in reality are scams.
Volunteer: If you wish to volunteer your time, make sure you are doing so as part of a recognized response or relief agency. Places such as Volunteer Florida can provide a list of volunteer opportunities, both in-person and virtual.
The Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations in the wake of Hurricane Ian, according to its Website. You can find a blood drive in your area by searching your ZIP code at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html or by calling 1 (800) 733-2767.