By Sherell Williams, editor
Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and Washington. Here are some of the top stories from around the region from last week.
A six-alarm fire at an Alexandria warehouse shut down several streets on Labor Day, causing delays on Pickett Street, Van Dorn Street and Edsall Road, firefighters from the City of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax Counties as well as Prince George’s County, Md, to tried to contain the fire. A firefighter was taken to the hospital for treatment of a “minor medical condition” related to the huge blaze, which cast a huge plume of smoke above the city that could been seen from miles away, according to city officials.
Sixteen-year-old Emylee Lonczak was out voluntarily with people she knew when she went missing two weeks ago, according to Fairfax County police. Lonczak, a McLean High School student, was found dead two days later in Vienna. The police investigation has also revealed that Lonczak was not a runaway.
A flashmob helped a man proposed to his girlfriend during an outdoor showing of the musical "Grease" at Gateway Park. The mob performed the film’s iconic song, "You're the One that I Want," as Tyler Pepin got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend Sara Powell. Powell said yes.
A 43-year-old Manassas man was found guilty Wednesday of two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty involving two West Highland Terriers — Ozzy and Piper — owned by a former girlfriend. Khanh Hong admitted to kicking, punching and abducting the dogs in April — with Piper dying and Ozzy suffering significant injuries. Hong still faces one felony count of animal torture in connection with Piper's death and abduction, as well as charges of burglary and larceny of animals.
City of Fairfax police and NCIS recently apprehended a man who was pretending to be a CIA agent in order to hide the fact that was feigning double identities to stay married to two women, one of which was a Fairfax City resident.
The body of 30-year-old Herndon resident Anthony Del Prete, who went missing on the river on Aug. 10 during a tubing trip with friends, washed ashore last weekend on a small Delaware River island.
In Reston, school and law enforcement authorities are investigating vandalism at both South Lakes and Herndon High Schools. Athletic facilities at both schools were defaced, including damage to South Lakes’ new $1.4-million artificial turf field. Principals of both schools issued a statement saying “these were not just innocent pranks” and that the perps were using the schools’ names “in the most cowardly manner possible.”
Crime in the West Springfield district is down by 12 percent this year, according to Capt. Joe Hill, commander of the West Springfield District Station, which covers part of Burke. The district has seen drops in almost all areas, including assault, larcenies, destruction of property and motor vehicle thefts. However, robberies continue to be an issue that plagues the district, increasing by 31 percent.
Oakton High School celebrated its three brand new turf fields Friday evening when the school kicked off the traditional Oakton vs. Madison High School varsity football Glory Days Grill Bowl game. The turf fields cost an estimated $2.4 million and were funded by Fairfax County Athletic Council grants, partnerships with Vienna Youth Incorporated and Vienna Youth Soccer, and donations from athletic boosters and other community members.
Two deputies and a Spotsylvania man were wounded during an exchange of gunfire early Sept. 1, according to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office. Sherriff’s deputies tried to serve an Emergency Commitment Order to Michael Antosh, 61, at a home on the 10300 block of Gordon Road. Antosh barricaded himself in the residence and threatened officers with a large caliber firearm. Antosh began firing at deputies, who returned fire. Two deputies and Antosh were wounded in the exchange. The injured deputies were reported in stable condition while Antosh received surgery and was listed in critical condition.
A 16-year-old was at a basketball court in the 7400 block of Floyd Ave. in Springfield on Aug. 22 when three unknown men struck him several times. The victim went to the hospital and was treated for non life-threatening injuries.
Prince William County Police are searching for a motorcyclist who scared a passing horse after ignoring a designated horse crossing sign on Route 29 in Manassas National Battlefield Park, causing the spooked horse throw its rider, a Herndon woman, to the ground. The woman said she and a group of other riders saw the motorcyclist pass five stopped cars, cross a double yellow line and rev his engine as he drove passed the horses. The woman was taken to a hospital and treated for whiplash and a sprained ankle.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio announced that he will not fight the board of supervisors’ decision to censure him and strip him of committee assignment following a grand jury report on its investigation of allegations that Delgaudio used his public office and staff for personal or political gain. Delgaudio said he would continue to seek control of his district budget. The Loudoun County Republican Committee has asked the board to reverse its decision and form an ad hoc committee to investigate the accusations further.
Advance Auto Parts announced this week plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 20 for its new store in Annandale. The store will be the second Advance Auto Parts location in Annandale. Although no opening date was announced, the manager tells Patch the store will open before the grand opening.
Police are looking for a suspect who reportedly stole a vehicle and then crashed it into a traffic light pole near Dumfries, Prince William County Police spokesperson Jonathan Perok said. A man who left his vehicle running near Williamstown Drive and Fraley Boulevard reported an unknown man got in the car and fled the area. When police spotted the vehicle traveling northbound in the area of Dumfries Road, the driver crashed the vehicle into a traffic light pole in the area of Jefferson Davis Highway and River Heritage Boulevard and fled on foot.
Lake Ridge Chill frozen yogurt is looking to hire a staff for its new location in Woodbridge. A “now hiring” sign was recently posted in the window of the store, which is not yet open to the public.
A laptop was reported stolen from a Tyson’s Corner-area home, according to police. The incident was reported at 2:55 p.m. on August 25 on the 1700 block of Gosnell Road in Vienna. There were no signs of forced entry.
An 88-year-old Woodbridge man died after he drove past a stop sign and collided with another car, Prince William County County Police said.