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FairfaxPublic-Safety Notes, 12/2/21 edition

Public-Safety Notes, 12/2/21 edition

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News of crime and punishment across Fairfax County.

MAN DIES IN MERRIFIELD FORKLIFT INCIDENT: A 43-year-old Woodbridge man died Nov. 23 following a workplace accident that occurred just after midnight at Home Depot, 2815 Merrilee Drive in Merrifield, Fairfax County police said.

County police officers and Fire and Rescue Department personnel responded to a report concerning a man who was trapped underneath a forklift that had fallen over on its side.

The victim, Paul Gato, was found under the forklift and pronounced deceased at the scene.


Detectives determined Gato was operating the forklift and unloading supplies from a delivery truck when the forklift fell, trapping him.

The driver of the delivery truck heard the loud crash, noticed the deceased under the forklift and immediately summoned emergency medical services and police.

The investigation is active; detectives are working with officials from the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

VIENNA POLICE ARREST WOMAN FOR DRUNKEN DRIVING FOLLOWING COLLISION: A motorist was traveling southbound on Nutley Street on Nov. 18 at 10:09 p.m. when she disregarded the red traffic signal at Maple Avenue, W., and her vehicle struck another in the intersection, which has heading eastbound on Maple Avenue, police said.

Upon interacting with the striking vehicle’s driver, police detected signs of impairment and arrested the 23-year-old Fredericksburg woman after she failed a series of sobriety tests.

After the woman provided a sample of her breath for analysis, police took her to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where authorities charged her with driving while intoxicated.

PANHANDLER BANNED FROM VIENNA RESTAURANT AFTER BLOCKING ENTRANCE: An employee at Chick-fil-A, 538 Maple Ave., W., told Vienna police on Nov. 19 at 1:09 p.m. that a man was panhandling in front of the restaurant and blocking customers from entering the establishment.

When the employee asked the man to leave the area, he allegedly became disorderly.

The employee banned the man from the business and police told the man he may be arrested if he returns.

VIENNA WOMAN ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE FAIRFAX COUNTY WARRANTS: A Vienna officer on Nov. 22 at 9:30 a.m. observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed in the 1100 block of Maple Avenue, E., and initiated a traffic stop.

The officer found the driver had outstanding warrants with the Fairfax County Police Department and arrested her.

Police transported the 21-year-old Vienna woman to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, where authorities served her with warrants charging forgery, providing false identification to law enforcement and driving without a license.

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