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Beyond road rage, felony charges for Stafford suspects

From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office press release:

Stafford, VA.  Deputies with the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects early on Monday morning for brandishing firearms during a road rage incident on Jefferson Davis Highway.

On March 5, 2018 at approximately 12:48 a.m., Deputy A.T. Leckemby responded to a road rage incident on southbound Jefferson Davis Highway. Upon arrival at the Wawa located at 72 Austin Park Drive, deputies learned the victims were driving east on Garrisonville Road when a dark colored vehicle pulled up next to them. The occupants of the vehicle began yelling at them.

On Jefferson Davis Highway in the area of Comfort Inn and Suites, the suspects’ vehicle again approached the victims’ vehicle and the victims observed one of the passengers brandishing a firearm. The suspect’s vehicle pulled in front of the victims’ vehicle with the driver’s side facing northbound. One of the passengers exited the vehicle and punched one of the victims in the face approximately five times.

Shortly after the incident, Deputy G. Motley conducted a felony stop of the suspects’ vehicle at Cambridge Street and Truslow Road. Two firearms matching the description provided by the victims were located in the vehicle. Deputies learned neither suspects had concealed weapons permits.

The suspects were identified as Yovanny Abreu, 25, of Stafford, and Brent Amed Jones, 27, of Ruther Glen. They were incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail on secured bonds. Jones is charged with brandishing a firearm, concealed carry, and assault. Abreu is charged with brandishing a firearm, concealed carry, reckless driving, and stopping on a highway where dangerous.

Another passenger in the vehicle, Cody Allen Lillard, 23, of Stafford County, was charged with public intoxication. He was incarcerated at Rappahannock Regional Jail until no longer impaired.

The incident is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.


Stafford creates safety task force to secure schools against attack

From the Stafford County Sheriff’s Department:

Stafford, VA.  Stafford County Sheriff David P. Decatur announced this morning the creation of the Stafford County School Safety Task Force to enhance school security in the wake of an uptick of threats targeting schools nationwide.

The Task Force will be comprised of subject matter experts representing several public safety fields as well as members of county school administration. The goal of the task force is to immediately develop and implement actionable measures to reduce threats, mitigate the risk of an attack or active shooter scenario in our schools, and ensure the community feels safe and protected.

“The Stafford County School Safety Task Force is just one of many measures the Sheriff’s Office intends to implement in the near future to curb threats to our schools and ensure the community feels safe and protected,” Sheriff Decatur said. “We do not want school safety to become a check-the-box exercise. By creating this new team, we hope to enhance security at our schools and build a robust channel of communication between law enforcement and school staff, teachers, parents and students.”

In addition, in the wake of a series of threats and attacks targeting schools across the nation and here in Stafford, the Sheriff’s Office will continue to maintain extra security and law enforcement presence at all schools in the county through the remainder of the school year.  


Don’t miss the Lake Ridge Chorale ‘Night’ Concert

Come out to see the stars! Lake Ridge Chorale presents “Night,” an evening of celestial choral selections featuring a large screen presentation of stunning astrophotography.

Friday, March 16th, 8:00 PM at Old Bridge United Methodist Church, 3966 Old Bridge Rd., Woodbridge, VA.

Your tax deductible donations support these local charities: ACTS, HUGS, Kara Foundation. For more information, visit our website at or call 703-878-1889.

Prince William Forest Park temporarily closed; Damage worse than Sandy

Prince William Forest Park in Triangle will be closed to visitors for at least the next two weeks following last weekend’s windstorm. 

From a press release: 

Fallen and hazardous trees, downed power lines and damage to historic cabin camps  from last week’s windstorm have prompted the National Park Service (NPS) to immediately close Prince William Forest Park to all use out of concern for public safety.

The park is expected to be closed for 2-3 weeks. After addressing the most immediate safety risks, crews will work strategically to begin reopening the most heavily used areas of the park. The Prince William Forest RV Campground on Rt. 234 remains open, but some areas within the campground are currently closed off.

“The safety of our visitors and staff is our absolute first priority,” Prince William Forest Park Superintendent Tanya Gossett said.  “Our crews are working with determination to clear hazardous trees from roads and trails and to replace electrical lines in campgrounds, cabin camps and picnic areas, so the public can safely enjoy the park.”

Damage caused by last weekend’s windstorm in Prince William Forest Park is significantly greater than other recent storms, including Hurricanes Isabel and Sandy and the 2012 derecho. Shallow-rooted trees, such as the Virginia pines throughout the park, have difficulty withstanding the 60-plus mph wind gusts the park experienced. Since Saturday, crews have removed about 500 trees from park roads.

“We are all eager to open the park again, but ask area residents and visitors to please respect these closures,” Gossett said. “If someone enters the park and gets hurt it will be extremely difficult to get them help and it will further delay reopening the park to all visitors.”

Medicaid impasse: ‘I expect this session with either go beyond the March 10 target adjournment date’

The second to last week of the General Assembly session brought a conclusion to most committee work in the legislature, the passage of several important bills and a fierce windstorm. 

On Friday, a powerful wind storm struck Virginia and inflicted millions of dollars in damage to people and property, far more harm than most people anticipated.    Many people lost electricity, some for several days.  According to Dominion Energy, it was the fifth-worst power outage in company history after Hurricanes Isabel, Floyd, Irene and the 2012 Derecho. 

The mass destruction reaffirms my view that we need to invest in utility undergrounding immediately.  The newer developed parts of Northern Virginia where power lines are underground did not suffer outages and while undergrounding is expensive, the disruption of people’s lives has great value also.

This week, the House of Delegates approved my legislation to give Fairfax County additional funding streams to facilitate utility undergrounding on U.S. 1.  The bill provides that Fairfax and Prince William Counties can use transportation dollars to fund underground utilities on U.S. 1 if they match it with local dollars.  While the Prince William County Board of Supervisors has used local dollars to fund undergrounded utilities on their 14-mile stretch of U.S. 1, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors opposes using any local dollars for utility undergrounding.  Perhaps this storm will help change their position. 

I also supported the Dominion rate cap repeal bill which reaffirms and mandates broader investment in underground utilities in outage-prone areas such as most of eastern Fairfax and Prince William counties, areas built out before underground utilities were required in new developments. 

Budget negotiations have had a slow start due to the ongoing impasse over expanding Medicaid coverage.  I expect this session with either go beyond the March 10 target adjournment date or we will have a special session since the two chambers are separated by $500 million in revenue before expenses are even discussed.

The House Appropriations Education Subcommittee killed my two education equity bills without explanation: One bill would allow free online classes and the second would require school districts which use electronic textbooks to provide a device for all free and reduced lunch students to access their textbooks from home.  Local school systems complained about the budget impact. I told them they were violating the Virginia Constitution and federal law, but that apparently was not convincing.  I will be back next year. 

The House Commerce and Labor Committee unanimously approved my legislation to extend the coal ash moratorium.  The bill will create a framework to set up a resolution of the coal ash storage problem next year.  I am hopeful it will lead to recycling programs at all four Virginia coal ash sites, an approach that would solve this pollution problem once and for all.

In the forthcoming last week of this session, I am hoping we will send to Governor Northam for his signature several “big” bills, including ­­my coal ash bill, the Metro funding bill and the Dominion rate cap repeal.  

I will soon meet with the Virginia Department of Transportation to review the latest redesign of U.S. 1 between Costco and Woodlawn in Fairfax County.  Also, I am working with the Secretary of Transportation to prioritize 36th District improvements including widening I-95 from VA-123 to the Prince William Parkway, bus rapid transit from Huntington to the Woodbridge VRE station and U.S. 1 widening as part of the $300 million concession payment made by Transurban to extend the HOT lanes to Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C.  These projects are squarely within the parameters of eligible projects.

Please email me at if you have feedback.  It is an honor to serve as your state senator.

Surovell serves the 36th Senate District in southern Fairfax County, eastern Prince William County, and northern Stafford County.