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Suspicious fire investigated at Triangle

083111 Dumfries fire truck

Fire officials in Prince William County say they arrested a man in connection to an apparent arson in the Triangle area. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

On January 26, 2015, at 4:46 AM, the Prince William County Public Safety Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a fire in a two story home in the 4400 block of Forestburg Lane in Triangle, Virginia. Fire and Rescue units responded and arrived within six minutes of dispatch to find fire on the second floor extending into the attic. Once ensuring the residents were out of the house, Firefighters from Dumfries-Triangle VFD, Prince William County DFR, Occoquan VFD, Dale City VFD, and Quantico MCB, were able to bring the fire under control within 33 minutes of being on scene.

The fire was quickly identified as suspicious in nature and the Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office was brought in to investigate.

As the investigation began, Prince William County Police took a person into custody in the area for an initially unrelated call. Through the combined investigative work of the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Prince William County Police, an arrest was made for the intentional setting of a fire in an occupied dwelling, by an occupant of the home. Additional charges are pending and more information on the arrest will be forthcoming.

The house was destroyed by the fire and the building was posted unsafe by the Prince William County Building Official. The Prince William Chapter of the American Red Cross was brought in to assist 6 adults that were the other residents of the home.

The suspect’s name was not released by fire investigators. 

Woodbridge Army reservist recovering after attack by Norfolk police dog


London Colvin, a 21-year old private in the Army Reserve is recovering from injuries she suffered when attacked by a Norfolk Police dog.

Colvin was at the scene of a fight 2:15 a.m. Sunday, at an off-campus party near Norfolk State University, in Norfolk, where Colvin is a second-semester junior and Sociology major.

Colvin graduated from Woodbridge Senior High School in 2011. She is currently a private with the 3rd Brigade, 318th Regiment and 78th Training Division, based at Fort Belvoir.

“She was at a party off campus. She said that a fight broke out, and she had nothing to do with the fight. She did say she was at the party, and her and her friends were leaving,” said Whitney Dunn, the victim’s cousin. “She was definitely being loud – she did admit to that.”

She told her family that one of the police officers approached her as she was leaving the party to question her, said Whitney Dunn. She also told her family that she had nothing to do with the situation, so she didn’t want to talk to the officer, Whitney Dunn added.

“Her and her friends continued to walk, and she said that she definitely continued to be loud, however they were walking away. The two other police officers approached her – asked her to stop. Whatever the case may be, they had her down on the ground when the dog came. Two of the police officers restrained her on the ground, and then they allowed the dogs to attack her,” Whitney Dunn said.

London Colvin did not speak with Potomac Local about what happened that night, but did tell us she is seeking legal counsel and has been advised not to make any statements about the incident.

According to the Norfolk police spokesman Daniel Hudson, having a police canine at the scene is standard protocol for incidents with large groups of people.

“We responded to a massive fight that happened in the street. Apparently there was a call for about 35 individuals who were partaking in a physical fight in the middle of the street. And once we have that multitude of people, we always have our canine officers respond out there with us for crowd management,” Hudson said.

Hudson went on to state that the reason the police canine was allowed to approach Colvin was to keep the crowd under control and protect other witnesses at the incident. Keep Reading…

Potomac Local Wants You To Know

Come see the Capitol Steps at Hylton Arts Center & help Cecily replace the asbestos-laden siding on her home

When Cecily was in her 20’s she immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua.

capitol stepsTaking a job at Home Depot in Springfield, Cecily met her future husband, Eddy, who had emigrated from Palau. Cecily and Eddy married in 2008 and now share their Woodbridge home with their two children, Cecily’s mother, and grandmother.

A tight-knit family, everyone pitches in to help. Cecily operates a daycare from her home while also attending school at Northern Virginia Community College.

Cecily’s mom is a certified nursing assistant with a job in Washington, D.C. Eddy continues to work at Home Depot and he and Cecily’s mom and grandmother all help care for the children, too.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is looking forward to giving this hard working family a hand up with much-needed critical home repairs that will make their home safer, more comfortable and affordable.

Habitat for Humanity will replace the boiler that is original to the home, replace asbestos siding from three sides of the exterior and replace non-functional windows throughout the home. The deck must be rebuilt for safety. And the home will be weatherized for energy efficiency.

Habitat for Humanity thanks you for your support of the Capitol Steps event and welcomes you to join them on their work sites as a volunteer!

To learn more, visit Habitat for Humanity’s website at habitatpwc.org.

Mark your calendars for Laughs & Love benefit February 21 at 7 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Not only are we having the hilarious Capitol Steps come to the beautiful Hylton Center, but our Rotary Club has proudly partnered with Casa, Habitat for Humanity, Rainbow Center Therapeutic Riding, Calling All Souls and Transitional Housing Barn as the beneficiaries this year.

The goal?

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors. These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place we can be proud of.

They cannot do it alone!

To order tickets go to Hyltoncenter.org or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Steve Chapman, steve@washmydeck.com by Feb 10.

The preceding post was sponsored by Rotary Club of Bull Run.

I-66 meetings canceled, rescheduled due to snow

Stafford resident Thomas Jackson (left) looks over a VDOT project that will add 1,000 commuter parking spaces in the Staffordboro Commuter Lot off Va. 610 in North Stafford. Project representatives like Oliver Boehm (right) were available to answer any questions residents had during the design public meeting held at Moncure Elementary School on Wednesday night. (Photo: Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Snow prompted the cancelation of two public meetings designed to provide residents more information on what Virginia officials plan to do to Interstate 66.

A meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. at Bull Run Elementary School in Centreville is canceled. It comes after a meeting scheduled last night in Vienna was also canceled due to snow.

Meetings are still scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday that residents may attend.

Here’s a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation:

Weather permitting, there are still two opportunities to attend an I-66 Public Information Meeting this week.  Meetings are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at Battlefield High School in Haymarket from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. (with a snow date on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, if necessary)
  • Thursday, January 29, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

If you cannot attend in person, the meeting on Thursday, January 29, 2015, will be shown live at Transform66.org between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

There will also be two meetings next week due to yesterday’s and tonight’s cancellations.  The make-up dates and locations are:

  • Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at Oakton High School in Vienna from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 5, 2015, at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office in Fairfax from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Please visit the project website at Transform66.org for more information.

Closings and delays Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Local schools


Prince William County Public Schools — Closed, code red.


Stafford County Public Schools — Teacher workday, no school for students. Two-hour delayed opening for faculty / staff.



Manassas City Public Schools - Open 10 a.m. 



Manassas Park City Schools — Open two hours late.



Colleges and universities 


Northern Virginia Community College —  Open 10 a.m.


George Mason University — Open 10:30 a.m. 


Stratford University — Woodbridge campus classes begin 11 a.m.  



Prince William County / Manassas Boys and Girls Club – Before and after care open 8 a.m.  



Stafford County Government — Open two hours late



Want to get your closing or delay listed? Tweet us @PotomacLocal or email us.

1.3 million pages later, Michele McQuigg seeks 2nd term as Prince William Clerk of the Circuit Court

Michele McQuigg calls herself an activist turned politician.

In addition to spending more than 20 years in public life serving the residents of Prince William County, she’s also belonged to just about any civic or community organization that had an open membership policy.

McQuigg is running for another eight-year term as Prince William County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. It’s a lesser-known position, one that doesn’t usually attract headlines – unless your Michelle McQuigg.

Last year, McQuigg placed her name on a lawsuit against Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring who wanted to bypass a state referendum on gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. One of McQuigg’s jobs as Clerk of the Circuit Court is to issue those licenses.

McQuigg doesn’t support gay marriage, but she said the overriding reason for her signing her name to that lawsuit was because she felt the state, and federal constitutions were being usurped by the Attorney General. Today, gay couples may file for marriage licenses in Virginia. Keep Reading…

Occoquan Town Hall getting new signs

occoquan town hall sign

The Occoquan Town Hall will get some sprucing up.

The town plans to add new signs to the front of the building, as well as an oval sign to hang by the sidewalk in front of the Town Hall building.

A 20×22 inch sandblasted sign, complete with raised lettering, and full-color paint stating “Historic Occoquan Virginia Town Hall, 314 Mill Street” will hang next to the main entrance of Town Hall. The oval sign that states “Historic Occoquan Town Hall.”

The combined cost for both signs is $1,800, according to town documents. Signarama of Woodbridge was selected to provide pricing and a design example of the new sign.

The new signs come as the town has already “taken steps” to upgrade signage at street intersections including Commerce and Washington streets, Commerce Street and Route 123 (Gordon Boulevard), and Old Bridge and Tanyard Hill roads, and at Mamie Davis Park on Mill Street, according to town documents.

Police see pot in plain view, search Manassas area home

A man from Stafford told police he was paid money to leave a party at apartment near Manassas. When he left, the man said someone confronted him and demanded his money back, police said.

That man ended up in a hospital, and police who came to the apartment ended up spotting marijuana and then searched the place.

Here’s the full incident report from Prince William police:

Malicious Wounding | Strong Armed Robbery – On January 24th at 4:56AM, officers responded to a residence located in the 7200 block of Manassas (20111) to investigate a robbery. The victim, a 21 year old man of Stafford, reported to police that he was attending a party at an apartment in the above area with two other known acquaintances when the group was asked to leave by the resident, later identified as the accused. The accused gave the victim money to leave which the victim took and voluntarily left without issue.

The victim and the two acquaintances, returned to their vehicle in the parking lot when the accused confronted them. During the encounter, the accused repeatedly struck the victim in the face and demanded his money back. The accused eventually took the original money and other money belonging to the victim before returning to the apartment. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

Officers made contact at the apartment and located the accused. While speaking to the accused, officers observed marijuana in plain view. A search warrant was obtained and subsequently executed. As a result of the search, money, marijuana and other suspected narcotics were recovered. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on January 24th:

Messiah Thor KWAK, 22, of 7231 Royal Fern Cir, #303 in Manassas

Charged with 1 count of malicious wounding, 1 count of robbery, 2 counts ofpossession with intent to distribute a scheduled I or II narcotic and 1 count ofpossession with intent to distribute marijuana

Court date: March 25, 2015 | Bond: unavailable

Montclair mailbox smashers busted, police say

{Police said they nabbed two people responsible for a series of mailbox smashings in Prince William County’s Montclair neighborhood.

Here’s the latest from police: 

Since the beginning of December, the Prince William County police department has received numerous calls regarding the destruction of mailboxes in the Montclair section of Dumfries. These destruction cases ranged from pulling the mailboxes up from the ground to throwing objects at them and even to destroying the mailboxes altogether. In all, approximately 45 cases were reported to police with damage estimated around $2,500.

On January 24th at 1:00AM, officers responded to the 15800 block of Marlington Dr to investigate a report of damage to mailboxes in the area. Through the investigation, officers developed a possible suspect vehicle involved in the incident. Officers eventually located that vehicle in the area and identified its occupants as an adult male and a juvenile male, both of the Montclair area.

Detectives subsequently interviewed the suspects and connected them to the rash of vandalism incidents in the Montclair area over the past two months. Both suspects have each been charged with 2 counts of destruction of property and, through an agreement with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, restitution will be sought in all reported cases.


Damien Joseph LYNCH, 19, of 15578 Winding Creek Dr in Dumfries

Court date: March 3, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

A 17 year old male juvenile of Dumfries

Court date: pending | Status: unavailable

At 50, woman tells story of abuse, rape to help connect with mentally ill in Prince William

Cynthia Dudley is turning 50 years old.

She made a video in recognition of her milestone birthday that she posted on YouTube. It isn’t your typical birthday video.

Through flash cards, Dudley tells a story of being abused by her mother when she was a child, being raped, and being robbed a gunpoint. This series of events led to several suicide attempts.

Seven years ago, Dudley’s life changed when she and two other women founded the Trillium Drop-In Center in Woodbridge. With thoughts of suicide behind her, now her focus is to help others who may be going through similar trials.

We interviewed Dudley about why she shared such a personal story on the web.


Where did you get the idea for the video?


I had the idea for the video literally when my friend asked what I wanted for my birthday, and I decided I wanted to make it about Trillium because I don’t personally want for anything, and I am committed to Trillium and the work we do there 200%. A video seemed like the perfect idea to support my goal of 50 people donating $50 for my 50th.

I am a speaker about mental illness and sharing personal details about my own experiences with it is what I’ve been doing for years, in order to help people who are going through similar issues. Also, talking about mental illness helps break stigma surrounding it, which is another of my professional goals.


What was the reaction from your friends / co-workers when they saw the video?


My staff, Board, members, colleagues, and friends are in complete support of the video. Many have known most of my story for years. People are touched by the intensity of the video and are inspired to support our goal in any way they are able.


How many people does the center help each year?


Trillium helps 35-40 people six days a week, we average one new person a day, over 600 a year, and over 3,000 since we opened 7+ years ago. I was one of three women who started Trillium in 2007 and have been the Director the entire time.


After people watch the video, what do you hope the takeaway message is?


After watching the video I hope people will donate what they can, if they are so led. My goal is $50 from 50 people for my 50th, which is in two weeks. If people are not led to donate, I’d really appreciate them sharing the video to friends, colleagues, associations, etc. in order to spread the word and help people with serious mental illness in Prince William County. One in four live with serious mental illness. It’s important to talk about it. And give people hope that it can be managed effectively and even overcome in some circumstances.

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