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Armed robbery, assaults in Herndon

Multiple robbery and assault charges have resulted from eight arrests in Herndon over a five-day span, including a potentially gang-related home invasion, and an unrelated alleged assault incident involving a machete.

According to the Herndon Police Department, on Sept. 24, several men allegedly forced their way into a home in the 1400 block of Summerset Place and robbed two victims at gunpoint.

Police say the home invasion is likely gang-related and that the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force was called in to assist in the arrests.

Elliot T. Johnson, 19, and Ryan Little, 19, both of Herndon, were each charged with two counts of robbery, and one count each of grand larceny and burglary. Christopher Mancebo, 20, and a male juvenile, 17 — both of Winchester — were charged with two counts of robbery and one count of burglary. Joshua Byrd, 18, of Berryville also was charged with two counts of robbery and one count of burglary. Police did not release many additional details, saying that the investigation is ongoing and that additional arrests are pending.

On Sept. 29, three Herndon residents were charged with assault in three separate, unrelated incidents.

Police said that at 3:36 a.m., a 17-year-old juvenile was arrested for domestic assault, felony assault on a law enforcement officer and underage possession of alcohol in the 600 block of Dulles Park Court.

That evening at 8:11 p.m., police said an argument between two “associates” in the 700 block of Alabama Drive resulted in one man allegedly attempting to slash another with a machete.

Walter Ruano of Herndon was arrested and charged with attempted malicious wounding.

Police said that at 8:28 p.m., 21-year-old Jose Donaldo Hernandez Soriano of the 1200 block of Elden Street was arrested for allegedly attempting to strangle the mother of his child. Police said the mother sustained visible injuries in that case.

Police step up enforcement on W&OD Trail

Falls Church Police Chief Mary Gavin has announced the additional deployment of bicycle and motorcycle officers along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail to promote education and enforcement of park and traffic laws.

Falls Church Police said that shortly after noon on Sept. 29, police responded to a report of a crash involving a jogger and a cyclist near the intersection of the trail and Little Falls Street.

Police said the jogger was attempting to pass walkers on the left and collided with a cyclist traveling in the opposite direction. Both the cyclist and the jogger sustained life-threatening injuries and are being treated at local hospitals. An investigation is ongoing to determine the precise cause of the crash. Police did not charge either individual, and have not released their identities.

Police say usage of the trail has increased over the past year, and the numbers of safety concerns and requests for presence in traffic enforcement along the trail have increased as well.

“I am deeply worried and afraid for my safety when I am on the trail and users are not following the rules,” said Cricket Moore, an avid trail user and Falls Church resident.

In response to an influx of concerns, Falls Church Police have been awarded a $2,400 safety grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles specifically to deploy officers for traffic education and enforcement on the W&OD Trail. The 1.5-mile section of the trail within the City of Falls Church is unique in that the W&OD Trail crosses roadways several times, causing cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to encounter one another far more often that on other stretches of the trail.

Sterling couple indicted for DMV bribery scheme

A Sterling couple was indicted Sept. 27 by a federal grand jury on charges on conspiracy and bribery for soliciting cash from undocumented aliens to help them obtain DMV documents.

Jose Calderon and Noemi Barboza, both 42, face a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted of charges of conspiracy and bribery of an employee of a state agency receiving federal assistance.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the couple carried out this scheme from September 2007 to July 2010. Once the couple collected the cash, prosecutors said they provided a DMV employee a portion of the money to falsely verify that the ineligible applicants had produced the necessary documentation to establish eligibility for issuance of the requested DMV documents.

Calderon and Barboza also accompanied ineligible applicants to the Fair Oaks Mall DMV Service Center in Fairfax and directed them to the DMV employee who had accepted bribes.

This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebeca H. Bellows is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Man cited for loaded gun at Dulles Airport

A Warrenton man was cited Sept. 26 on a weapons charge for bringing a loaded gun through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Dulles Airport.

The man, who was not identified in TSA reports to the media, was cited after officers saw the weapon through an X-ray machine in a piece of carry-on luggage.

TSA contacted the Metropolitan Airports Authority Police, which responded and removed the .380 caliber firearm, which was loaded with six rounds.

After officers cited the man, he was allowed to continue his flight to Charlotte, N.C.

Air traffic operations were not impacted by the incident, according to Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for TSA Office of Public Affairs.

The incident is the second time in a month TSA officers have stopped a traveler with a loaded gun at Dulles Airport. On Sept. 9, an Alexandria man was cited for attempting to bring a 9mm Beretta in his carry-on luggage through a checkpoint.