WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia




Manassas man hit with shovel

On the evening of May 23, Prince William police responded to a call for an assault in Manassas.

According to Prince William police, the victim – a 36-year old Manassas man – stated to police that we was working on his vehicle when the suspect – 42-year old Manuel Jesus Hernandez – struck him in the head from behind with a shovel.

Hernandez hit the victim two more times with the shovel, said Prince William police. Witnesses on the scene were able to separate the two individuals.

Prince William police stated that their investigation showed that the assault was not provoked.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries, said Prince William police.

Hernandez has been charged with malicious wounding and is being held without bond.

Sargent charged in child sex case

Police in Manassas made another arrest in an ongoing investigation into suspected sexual predators. 

Here’s the latest in a press release: 

At approximately 5:30AM on May 14, 2015, Manassas City Police Investigators, in conjunction with the Northern Virginia-District of Columbia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations arrested a man who responded to an undercover advertisement looking for persons willing to travel to Manassas to have sexual contact with juveniles.

Investigators identified Walter SARGENT (48) of 1401 N Rhodes St #304, Arlington, VA 22209 as a suspect after he responded to an undercover Investigator on Craigslist on April 29th about having sexual relations with a fictitious 12-year-old male. A search warrant was conducted at the suspect’s residence on May 14, 2015 and SARGENT was taken into custody without incident. SARGENT was charged with use of a communications device to facilitate certain offenses involving children and attempted forcible sodomy. He was held without bond and has a pending court date of June 11, 2015 in General District Court.

SARGENT’s apprehension was the second such arrest made by Manassas City Police as part of “Operation Broken Heart”, a collaborative effort that involves local, state, and federal authorities targeting sexual predators and traffickers during April and May of 2015.

Woodbridge man hit by tractor-trailer in crosswalk

At 4:15 a.m. this morning, Prince William police responded to a call in the area of Jefferson Davis Highway and Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge, to investigate a vehicle crash.

According to Prince William police, their investigation showed that a pedestrian – identified as 44-year old Woodbridge man Noe Zarte Mares – was crossing Jefferson Davis Highway when he was hit by a 2005 Freightliner tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer driver – identified as a 51-year old South Carolina man – was traveling southbound on Jefferson Davis Highway, said Prince William police.

Mares was pronounced dead at the scene, stated Prince William police. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

Prince William police stated that Mares was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash, but the crosswalk signal was not activated. When Mares entered the roadway, the traffic light had transitioned from red to green.

This is the third fatal crash this year in Prince William County.

Former county employee pleads guilty to indecent exposure

Raymond Utz, the former Planning Assistant Chief for Prince William County pled guilty yesterday in court to two counts of indecent exposure.

The incident took place in November 2014 in Woodbridge, according to Prince William police.
According to a Prince William police release, the victim – a 38-year old woman, said that she was stopped at an intersection when Utz pulled beside her vehicle and exposed himself, making obscene sexual gestures.

Prince William police also stated in a report that Utz had been involved in another encounter like this earlier that day.

Utz had worked for the county since 2003, and was fired shortly after the incident, said Jason Grant – a spokesman for Prince William County.

Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert stated that the judge assigned a $2,500 for each count ($5,000 total) and 30 days of jail time for each count (60 total) as sentencing in the case – but Utz may not be required to pay the fines or serve the time.

“The jail time and fnes were suspended, [contingent] on his mental treatment. If he successfully completes the treatment, that’ll be the end of it. He won’t have to pay the fines or serve 60-days,” said Ebert.

When asked, Ebert stated that Utz will not be placed on any kind of sex offender registry and that he is currently receiving mental health treatment.

“He is to have no contact with the victims or anyone else [involved],” said Ebert.

Man wanted for robbing sports facility in Woodbridge

Yesterday morning, Prince William police responded to Prince William Courage, a recreational sports facility, in Woodbridge for a call about a burglary.

According to Prince William police, an employee on scene said to officers that the burglary took place late in the evening on May 18.

During an investigation, officers found that the individual entered the facility from a rear door that they found damaged, said Prince William police.

Additionally, Prince William police were able to view surveillance footage which captured the incident.

There was money and clothing reported missing.

The individual is described as a white male, between 15 to 20-years old, 6’0” and 175 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie with a red North Face logo on the front, black pants and black shoes, said Prince William police.



Two men wanted for robbing pizza guy in Woodbridge

Yesterday afternoon, Prince William police responded to a call for a robbery on Bombay Way in Woodbridge.

According to Prince William police, the victim – a 30-year old Woodbridge man – stated to officers that he was delivering a pizza to a home near the site of the incident, when he was approached by two individuals, who asked him for change.

When the victim was counting out change to give them, one of the men took the money and fled the scene on foot, said Prince William police.

No one was injured.

A police K-9 unit was used to search for the individuals, who are wanted by Prince William police.

One suspect is described as a black male, between 18 and 22 years old, 5’7” and 160 to 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black beanie cap, a short-sleeved shirt and jeans.

Another suspect is described as a Hispanic male, with long hair pulled back and a large tattoo on his arm. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt.

Woodbridge man wanted for robbery, malicious wounding

The Prince William police are still looking for a suspect involved in an altercation on April 14.

Prince William police responded to a call that evening on Brook Drive in Woodbridge to investigate a robbery.

According to Prince William police, their investigation revealed that two individuals came to the home of the victim – a 19 year-old man – to purchase marijuana. During the incident, one of the suspects showed a knife and cut the victim in the hand, before taking marijuana and a handgun from the home.

Both suspects fled the scene before the police arrived.

The Prince William police stated that the victim had non-life threatening injuries and received treatment from an area medical facility.

On May 12th, Prince William police officers were able to identify one of the suspects – 23-year old Woodbridge man Timothy Racen Brown Jr.

Brown is described as a black male, 5’9” and 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He is currently wanted for aggravated malicious wounding, robbery, abduction and burglary.



2 dead in apparent murder-suicide in Stafford

Authorities in Stafford County are investigating a murder suicide. 

Two bodies were found last night in North Stafford. 

Here’s the latest in a press release: 

At 11:37 last night, Friday, May 15 the Emergency Communications Center received a call that two individuals had been shot at 305 Garrison Woods Drive.  When deputies arrived on scene they found a male and female deceased from gunshot wounds.  The caller, a relative of one of the individuals who were shot, was notified by a juvenile who lived in the residence of the deceased people.  The juvenile had heard the shots and ran to the relative’s house just down the road.  The two decedents were boyfriend/girlfriend and lived at the residence.  The bodies were sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond where the exact cause of death will be determined.  Stafford Detectives believe that this case to be a murder/suicide.

The subjects who were shot have been identified as Ashley Deanna Hoffman, age 32 of 305 Garrison Woods Drive and Ramon Deandre Williams, age 34 of the same address.

This is an ongoing investigation and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Manassas man to serve 15-months for stealing $370K

Thirty-seven year old Manassas resident, Brandon Hoffman, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release for stealing $370K from his former employer.

According to a United States Department of Justice release, Hoffman was also required to pay more than $271K in restitution, in addition to forfeiting the money he took.

When the case began in court in February, Hoffman pleaded guilty.

As stated in court documents, for ten years – from 2004 to 2014 – Hoffman has worked as a medical biller and officer manager in Fairfax.

Starting in 2009, Hoffman intercepted 439 checks from health insurance companies that were payable to the medical practice, as well as forging the doctor’s signature – depositing the funds into his own account.

Before being caught, Hoffman had taken $370, 836.

Man wanted for attempted burglary in Woodbridge

On May 14, Prince William police responded to a call at a home on Silvia Loop in Woodbridge for an attempted burglary.

According to Prince William police, the homeowner said that at 9:30 a.m. that morning, an individual tried to enter the home through the back patio door.

Officers found during their investigation that the homeowner was on the second level of the home, and had heard noise coming from the back yard, said Prince William police.

When the homeowner went to investigate the noise during the incident, they witnessed the individual standing on the patio with a rock in their hand. When the homeowner yelled at the individual, they fled the scene on foot, said Prince William police.

There was no entry made, and no missing property.

The suspect is being described as a black male, between 20 and 30 years old, 6’0” and 200 pounds with a muscular build. He was last seen wearing a khaki-colored bucket hat, a black short-sleeved shirt and light blue pants, according to Prince William police.

Taxi-cab driver attacked by Woodbridge man

Late in the evening on May 10, Prince William police responded to a business on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge, to investigate a call for disorderly behavior.

According to Prince William police, the caller stated that the suspect – 34-year old Philip Strader – was intoxicated and being aggressive against other individuals in the parking lot of the business.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found Strader lying face down on the ground. During the encounter, officers stated that Strader was intoxicated and actin disorderly towards them.

After conducting an investigation, Prince William police learned that there had been a fight between Strader and the victim – a 50-year old cab driver. The victim stated that he attempted to pick Strader up, and he attempted to get out of the vehicle – while it was still moving – multiple times, said Prince William police.

The victim pulled into the parking lot at the scene of the investigation, following Strader’s behavior, and he stated that Strader attempted to use his seatbelt to choke the victim, as well as using his forearm to assault him.

According to a Prince William police release, a witness helped the victim to remove himself from the vehicle. Strader then continued to approach patrons on the scene at the parking lot before officers arrived.

Minor injuries were reported.

Strader is currently being charged with strangulation, disorderly conduct and intoxication in public and is being held without bond.

21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival

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Can you hear the far off whistle? Can you feel the rumble as the train lumbers down the tracks?

Get ready! The 21st Annual Manassas Heritage Railway Festival is on June 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Historic Downtown Manassas. This is a family-friendly celebration of railroad history.

There will be live performances on two stages. Folsom Prisoners, Justin Trawick and High Grass Bluegrass Band are a few of the performers lined up for the day. Enjoy great food and lots to see and do. Take a train ride on the  a VRE train with a princess for $6 per person, or just peruse the memorabilia and the model trains under the Harris Pavilion.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7, the inaugural trips of the 611 Steam Train will be rolling through the City. Norfolk & Western 611 will pull passengers from Manassas to Front Royal and back. This is part of Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program.

Owned by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, 611 recently underwent a massive restoration after more than two decades in retirement. The Steam Engine will be available for photos near the Harris Pavilion after its Saturday trip. Tickets for both trips start at $109 and may be purchased online.

Whether you are a railroad enthusiast or just looking for something to do, this event is a great way to spend a Saturday.

On Friday, June 5, from 5 to 9 p.m. come to First Friday in Historic Downtown. The June First Friday features corn hole playing and corn hole tournaments throughout downtown, plus, great food and wonderful shops.

On Sunday, June 7, get ready for the Taste of Historic Manassas from noon to 4:30 p.m. This annual event transforms Historic Downtown Manassas into a lively festival with local entertainment and lots of great food. For more information on these and other events in the City of Manassas, go to visitmanassas.org.

Girl, 4, found alone in Woodbridge park

On the evening of May 7, Prince William police went to Cloverdale Park on Cloverdale Road in Woodbridge, after receiving a call about a child that was found.

According to Prince William police, a caller stated that they saw a 4-year old girl alone in the park. The caller also said they had seen the child with her mother – 33-year old April Lee Davis – an hour before they witnessed the child in the park alone.

Prince William police stated that the caller attempted to locate Davis before calling the police.

When officers arrived on the scene, they were able to determine that the child lived on Mattapony Drive. Officers went to the home and found Davis, who appeared to be intoxicated and unaware of where her child was.

Prince William police said that the child was not hurt, and she was released to other family members.

Davis has been charged with felony child endangerment and is being held without bond.

Pedestrian struck at Manassas Mall


Prince William police Officer Jonathan Perok stated, “It wasn’t a crash, the driver of the vehicle left it gear by accident and it began to roll. The pedestrian jumped out of the way and fell causing a minor injury. They were never hit by the vehicle.”

Original post

Prince William police were called to Manassas Mall this afternoon, to aid a pedestrian that was struck by a car.

Initial reports stated that the pedestrian was struck outside of the Sear’s store at the mall, near the merchandise pickup area.

According to the initial reports, the victim reported bleeding from their hands.

The car that struck the victim is still on the scene.

Potomac Local will keep you updated on the latest with this incident.

Crime rate in Prince William down, violent crime rate up

The Prince William County Police Department has released their annual crime rate statistics for 2014, and found that the crime rate in Prince William has continued to fall – but not for violent crimes.

According to the crime report, the county currently has 14.5 crimes per 1,000 residents – which is down more than 10% from last year.

Despite the overall crime rate decreasing in the county, the report did show that violent crimes had increased by 7.3%. Violent crimes account for 8.4% of all crime in the county, said the report.

The closure rate of cases involving violent crime nationally is 48.1%, as stated in the crime report. The amount of violent crimes has increased, but the county’s closure rate for these cases is 71.5% – far higher than the national average.

From 2013 to 2014 there was no change in the amount of murders or rape cases reported – the amount of murders stayed at 6 individuals, and 58 rape cases.

Cases of robbery, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle were down, according to the report.

One area where the Prince William police saw an increase was in the amount of reported aggravated assaults. From 2013 to 2014, the crime report showed a 36.7% increase, from 188 cases to 257.

Man wanted for shooting in Woodbridge


Najera is now in police custody, according to Prince William police.

Original post

Early morning yesterday, Prince William police responded to Crescent Street in Woodbridge to investigate a call about a shooting.

According to Prince William police, their investigation showed that the suspect – 30-year old Jesse Rene Najera – had an incident with a woman inside a vehicle parked in front of a residence.

During the incident, the victim – a 20-year old man – and other individuals were walking by and witnessed the incident with the suspect and the woman in the vehicle, said Prince William police. The victim tried to intervene with the incident and confronted Najera.

Najera then displayed a handgun and shot the victim in the arm and leg before fleeing the area, said Prince William police.

The victim was transported to a local medical facility for treatment with non-life threatening injuries, according to a Prince William police release.

Witnesses were able to help identify Najera and Prince William police are currently looking for him.

Najera is described as a white male, 6’2”, and 190 pounds with a medium build. He has short black hair and several tattoos, said Prince William police.

Gang member receives 13-year sentence for robberies in Prince William

A gang member – 26-year old Abdur Rahman Roland – was sentenced today to 156 months in prison and three years of supervised release in federal court.

Roland, an Alexandria resident, was sentenced following his conviction for involvement in multiple armed robberies – including an armed home invastion, said a U.S. Department of Justice release.

A release stated that Roland was a known Bloods gang member.

In court, Roland pled guilty to four felonies, said a release.

As stated in court documents, Roland and other individuals robbed a marijuana dealer in Prince William County, holding the dealer and the car passenger at gunpoint.

After the car robbery, Roland used the keys he obtained from the dealer to commit the home invasion robbery – which took place just hours after the initial robbery. During the home invasion, Roland and other individuals assaulted and restrained victims who were in the home.

A release stated that Roland has been previously convicted of a felony and illegally possessing a firearm in Prince William County.


Missing Stafford man found near West Virginia

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office has stated that the missing Stafford man – 33-year old Lance Calvin Buckley – was found near Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

Buckley was found in “good condition” according to Public Information Officer for the sheriff’s office, Bill Kennedy.

Today, the sheriff’s office had released photos that confirmed Buckley had made it to Howard University the morning of his disappearance.

Kennedy also stated that he was found alone, and there are no charges pending at this time.

According to a release, he was found in Frederick County by park rangers and the Brunswick police at the Brunswick Family Campground. He was located using tips given by witnesses that stated they saw a man matching his description in the area.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation, said Kennedy.

“At this point we’re so excited we have him safe and sound…his family is elated – as are we,” Kennedy commented.

Sheriff Charles Jett echoed Kennedy’s sentiments.

“We are truly pleased that Mr. Buckley was found safe and in good condition,” said Jett.

Buckley’s family is en route to see him, said Kennedy.

Photos capture missing Stafford man

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More information has been released by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, in relation to the disappearance of 33-year old Howard University student Lance Calvin Buckley.

The information released may help piece together a better timeline of the events leading to Buckley’s disappearance on Tuesday.

Two security camera shots from the Howard University Hospital café show Buckley making an ATM withdrawal at 8:40 a.m. that morning. From what can be seen in the photos, he does not appear to be under duress, and there is no one visible in the shot with him.

Buckley was last seen around 7 a.m. that morning on the Staffordboro Commuter Lot, where he regularly slugged from to Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The last contact that Buckley made with his wife was a text message at 10:16 a.m. – about an hour and a half after the camera showed Buckley at the ATM. Buckley did not make any contact with family after the message, and did not arrive at his scheduled meeting at 12 p.m. that day.

According to a Stafford sheriff’s office release, Buckley was electronically located via a cell phone ping briefly near Blockhouse Point Conservation Park in Montgomery County, Maryland.

When Montgomery County police searched the area, they did not find Buckley. The police conducted a second search on the scene later that day, but had no further success.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the case.

Prince William police seek to identify suspicious individual


The individual has been located and identified. No crime took place. There is no need for public concern.

Original post

On the afternoon of May 5, Prince William police received a call at Creekbranch Way and Legend Drive in Gainesville to investigate a suspicious individual.

According to Prince William police, a 17-year old female juvenile told officers that she was walking in the area, when the individual approached her from behind. The man reportedly touched her arm and spoke with her briefly before leaving the scene in a red Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The Prince William police stated that the man was not forceful and did not attempt to harm the female.

They are seeking to identify this individual, and ask that anyone with information call 703-792-6500.

He is described as a Hispanic male, between 28 and 32, 5’5”, and 180 pounds with short black hair and an unshaven face.

7 men arrested following police operation in Prince William


Between April and May 2015, a coalition including the Northern Virginia/DC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and detectives from the Prince William County and Manassas City Police departments, completed an operation to identify individuals soliciting minors online.

According to a Prince William police release, officers went undercover on an online site and posted as juvenile females. During the investigation, several men contact these detectives and solicited sexual acts, said Prince William police.

With each of the incidents, the individuals made arrangements to meet with the detective – posing as a juvenile – at a public location in Prince William, said Prince William police.

When the individuals went to the arranged site, members of the task force arrested them without incident, according to Prince William police. Additionally, warrants for the individuals’ residences and vehicles were obtained and used.

The Prince William police stated that the operation was done as a proactive measure, and was not in response to a related incident.

John Andrew Dutch of Manassas, Patrick Ryan Hamilton of Burke, Joshua Kaminoff of Herndon, Andrew Yun Lee of Gainesville, Abel Maldonado of Lothian, Ivan Sandoval-Reyes, and Lamar Sharp of Manassas have all been arrested and charged with attempted indecent liberties with children, and using a communication device to facilitate certain offense involving children.


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