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Girl, 15, hit by van outside dentist office

Rulla Andress watches police investigate the crash that injured her daughter.

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Michaela never made it to the dentist Thursday to get her braces adjusted.

The 15-year-old girl and her mother, Rulla Andress, rode a medical transport van to her dentist’s office, in the 2200 block of Opitz Boulevard in Woodbridge.

When Michaela got out of the large, Dodge van, she was struck by a Chevrolet Astro van that was backing out of its parking space.

Michaela’s mother said her daughter laid on the ground, screaming in pain after she was hit.

The driver of the medical van called 911, he said, and Michaela was flown to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Police have not said how serious Michaela’s injuries are or if anyone has been charged.

“She’s just the perfect child,” said Andress, holding back tears and smoking a cigarette as she watched the helicopter that had her daughter inside fly over the crash scene, on its way to the hospital. (more…)

75 tips gained in Harrington case

FAIRFAX, Va. – The phones have been ringing at the Virginia State Police office since investigators linked the abduction and sex assault of a woman in Fairfax and the death of a Virginia Tech student.

Investigators last week said newly discovered forensic evidence linked the death of 20-year-old Morgan Harrington, who disappeared from a Metallica concert at University of Virginia in October, to the case of a 26-year-old woman who was abducted and raped while walking home to her apartment complex on Jermantown Road in 2005.

Harrington traveled to UVA with friends to see the band perform, but later separated from her friends and then went missing.

“Since the story went national, we have received 75 credible tips from portions of the state and the country,” said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

In addition to traditional sources of media, police credit bloggers with helping to publicize this latest development in the case.

So far only a sketch of the man suspected in both crimes has been released and no arrest has been made. (more…)

Woman attacked after refusing sex

Joseph Broadway, 37, is charged in connection to a sex assault. (Photo: Stafford sheriff’s office)

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – A woman was severely beaten after she refused to have sex with a man, police say.

Sheriff’s deputies were called Wednesday to 37 Kennesaw Drive , near U.S. 1, after they received a 911 hang up-call from the home.

When they arrived, they found a bloodied 23-year-old woman who had been beaten with a nightstick after refusing to have sex with the man who lives there, said Stafford Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

The woman was treated for her injuries at a local hospital and her attacker arrested, police said.

An investigation showed the victim met her attacker on Foreston Woods Drive, about a mile and half from where she was assaulted.

The victim went home with the man and was later assaulted, police say.

Joseph Broadway, 37, is charged with abduction with the intent to defile, aggravated malicious wounding and with attempted rape, said Kennedy.

He is being held without bond.

Shooting, robbery suspect arrested

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – A suspect in North Stafford shooting has been arrested.

Julio Montelus-DeMarcus Mayes, 18, faces a list of charges connected to a series of robberies that occurred in North Stafford during February and March. He is also believed to have been involved in a March 4 shooting on Stafford Mews Court, off Onville Road, said Stafford Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Kennedy.

The shooting was reportedly shot in the shoulder, was treated at a local hospital and later released.

Mayes, who has been on the run with no permanent address, was arrested without incident on Friday in Spotsylvania County, said Kennedy. Authorities received a tip that he was staying at a home off Salem Church Road.

He faces five counts of armed robbery and one count of malicious wounding, in addition to other charges.

“The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the possibility of Mayes being involved in additional similar armed robberies in the region,” said Kennedy.

Mayes is being held with no bond.

Fairfax sex assault now linked to Harrington case

Morgan Harrington, 20, disappeared last fall at a concert in Charlottesville. Her remains were found on a farm outside the city in January.

There appears to a new lead in the case of slain Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.

State and local investigators say forensic evidence has linked her case to that of a woman who was abducted and raped in the City of Fairfax in 2005.

Harrington is the 20-year-old Roanoke woman who disappeared outside of a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville last October.

After a police search, her skeletal remains were found in an Albemarle County farm outside the city in January. (more…)

UPDATED: Police officer involved in crash

UPDATE: The police officer involved in a crash in Woodbridge on Tuesday was headed to help someone.

The officer driving the cruiser had its lights and siren activated and was responding to a call when it collided with another vehicle about 5 p.m., at Rosedale Court and U.S. 1, in front of the Prince William Plaza shopping center, a police spokesman said.

The two cars collided when the unidentified driver of the second car was making a left turn from southbound U.S. 1 onto Rosedale Court. The police officer, who was travelling northbound on U.S. 1, saw the turning car and tried to maneuver around it, police said. (more…)

Hammer used in fight, police say

Matthew Zollicoffer is charged with malicious wounding.

A Dale City man brings new meaning to the term “hammer out your problems.”

Police on Wednesday were called to the 14000 block of Fallbrook Lane after two men got into an argument. Once it got heated, one man struck the other in the shoulder with a hammer, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

By the time police got there, the man had fled leaving only the victim to speak with authorities, said Perok.

After an investigation, police charged 39-year-old Matthew Lee Zollicoffer with malicious wounding, said Perok.

You can see Zollifcoffer at his scheduled court appearance. He is scheduled to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. June 25.

Drowning victim identified

Police identified the man who fell into the Occoquan River and drowned last week.

Gregory James Gilker, 52, of Occoquan fell into the water while docking his sailboat at the Belmont Bay marina in Woodbridge on Thursday night.

A preliminary investigation revealed that  the man became stuck underneath the boat after falling into the river, said Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok.

Residents were able to get him onto the dock and fire and rescue personnel preformed CPR, but the man could not be saved and drowned, said Perok.

An autopsy confirmed drowning as the cause of death, he added.

*This story originally appeared on on Tuesday June 22, 2010.

Body pulled from Occoquan River

Rescue crews pulled the body of a man from the Occoquan River about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. They started CPR but it was already too late.

Police have identified last night’s drowning victim only as an adult male. His body was pulled from the water at the Belmont Bay marina in Woodbridge. It appears to be an accident, stated Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok in an e-mail.

A police investigation is ongoing and we expect to get more details as the day progresses.

The Belmont Bay marina sits in a neighborhood that shares the same name, behind the Woodbridge Virginia Railway Express station off U.S. 1. The neighborhood overlooks the Occoquan River, at the point where it meets the Belmont Bay.

*This story originally appeared on on Friday June 18, 2010.

Report finds failings after campus shooting

Jason Michael Hamilton was charged in a December 2009 shooting at Northern Virginia Community College’s Woodbridge campus.

School officials in a new report say there was a delay in communicaiton following a shooting at a Woodbridge community college campus in December.

After shots were fired at Northern Virginia Community College off Neabsco Mills Road on Dec. 8, it took up to 40 minutes to send voice and text messages to students, faculty and staff informing them of the shooting, and telling them to shelter in place, according to The Fortnightly.

No one was injured, but systems put in place after the deadly 2007 Virginia Tech shootings  – such as a designated operations room that was supposed to provide access to computers, phones and television news channels – were not utilized, the newspaper reported.

The report also shows there was limited access to security camera feeds, and that Prince William police – who were called to immediately after the shooting – were not able to get into the campus’ police office, which hindered their ability to get keys to classrooms, and the get the building’s floor plans which were later used in a campus-wide search to ensure everyone had evacuated.

Jason Michael Hamilton, who was 20 at the time of the shooting, is set to appear in court Aug. 16 on an attempted murder charge in connection to the shooting.

Police say the shooter used a high-powered rifle that was purchased at a nearby sporting goods store. After walking into the school building, the gunman then walked into a fourth-floor classroom and fired two shots at a math professor who was standing just feet away from him. The teacher was able to evade the shots, the gun jammed, students fled and the shooter surrendered to police.

*This story originally appeared on on Monday June 14, 2010.

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