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FCPS employee charged with child sex offense

A Fairfax County Public Schools IT specialist has been charged with attempting to take indecent liberties with children under 15, and using the Internet to facilitate certain offenses involving children, according to Fairfax County Police.

Police said Wednesday that an ongoing investigation resulted in the Tuesday arrest of Patrick Wietz, 24, of the 9200 block of Rockefeller Lane in Springfield.

According to police, an undercover officer posing as a minor communicated with Wietz in an online chat room.

Wietz was arrested after he showed up to meet what he believed was a 15-year-old boy, police said.

School officials said Wietz originally joined the school system in 2007 as an hourly employee, and has been employed full time as an IT specialist at Glen Forest Elementary School in Falls Church since July 2011.

FCPS spokesman John Torre said that Weitz was suspended from his position upon his arrest.

Witetz’s attorney, Jad Sarsour, declined to comment on the case. Wietz is out on bond and scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 15, court records show.

“We do not know of any FCPS students that were affected, but urge parents to ask their children if they recognize or have ever had any contact with Wietz,” said police spokesman Don Gotthardt.

Two die in police chase crash

Two people are dead after a police chase that ended with a fatal crash.

Around 1:50 a.m. Feb. 3, a police officer attempted to stop the driver of a 1999 Dodge Neon for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to Fairfax County police.

Police said the Neon was westbound on Hilltop Road when it attempted to flee. The Neon lost control near the intersection with Old Lee Highway and ran off the road, striking a tree.

The driver and one passenger were pronounced dead at the scene and a second passenger was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police said all three occupants were adult males.

While the crash remains under investigation, it does appear that alcohol and speed were factors in the crash, police said. As of Thursday morning, next of kin had not been located for the two fatalities.

Teen leads state police on high-speed chase

A teen is in custody after a 90-mile-per-hour chase on I-95 in Springfield.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. Feb. 2, a Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on a minivan traveling south on Interstate 95 near Exit 169 in Springfield, according to police.

The traffic stop was for speeding, as the minivan was traveling in excess of 90 miles per hour.

When the trooper tried to stop the vehicle, the minivan’s driver refused to stop and a pursuit began, police said. During the course of the pursuit, the minivan exited I-95 at Route 123. As it turned left onto Forest Greens Drive in Lorton, the driver bailed from the van. As the van rolled off the road and struck a tree, its driver fled on foot into the woods.

Fairfax County Police, along with aviation and canine support, assisted state police with setting up a search perimeter for the driver. The driver was located and taken into custody.

The driver, a 17-year-old male from Washington, D.C., was transported to Fairfax Juvenile Detention Center and charged with reckless driving, driving without a license, and possession of stolen property/grand larceny. Further investigation by the trooper revealed the vehicle had been reported stolen in Alexandria. The incident remains under investigation.

Burning food causes West Springfield fire

Fairfax firefighters responded to a townhouse fire at approximately 2:30 p.m. Feb. 3 in West Springfield. The townhouse is located in the 7600 block of Tiverton Drive.

Firefighters said they encountered smoke from the first floor of the three-story end unit townhouse upon their arrival, and quickly extinguished the fire. No one was home when the fire broke out, and there were no injuries.

Fire officials said there were no smoke alarms in the unit. A next-door neighbor saw smoke coming from electrical outlets and called 911. Damage is estimated at $50,000.

According to fire investigators, the blaze was accidental, and was caused by unattended food on a stove.

Bank robbed in Oakton

Fairfax County Police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred Jan. 31.

Police say that around 12:20 p.m., a man entered the BB&T bank located at 2941 Chain Bridge Road in Oakton, implied he had a weapon and demanded money. The bank teller complied and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. There were no injuries.

The suspect was described as black, in his 20s, medium build, and wearing a black jacket.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

Springfield apartment fire displaces eight

Fairfax firefighters responded to an apartment fire at approximately 6:10 a.m. Feb. 1 in Springfield.

The apartment is located in the 6500 block of Lee Valley Drive.

Firefighters said they encountered smoke coming from a bottom apartment of a three-story apartment building upon their arrival. They quickly extinguished the fire, and were able to confine the damage to the single apartment.

Fire officials said the occupants were alerted by the smell of smoke and not an alarm; however, a smoke alarm did activate moments later. There were no injuries, but a total of eight occupants were displaced. Damage is estimated at $35,000. According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental, and was caused by a ceiling-mounted light fixture.

Three suspects sought in Fairfax robbery

Fairfax County Police say a robbery occurred on the 6100 block of Leesburg Pike in Fairfax at approximately 7:45 p.m. Feb. 3.

Police said the victim was walking when three men approached him. One displayed a handgun and another took property and cash from the victim. There were no injuries. Police say the suspects all were described as Hispanic males in their teens. The first suspect was described as about 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, the second suspect was about 6 feet tall and 160 pounds and the third was 5 feet tall and 140 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

Authorities on lookout for Sterling bank robber

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is on the lookout for a suspect in a reported bank robbery that took place in Sterling on Feb. 4.

According to a report from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 12:45 p.m., a man walked into the Washington First Bank at the Cedar Lake Plaza shopping center, implied he had a weapon, and demanded money.

The robber is described as a black man, approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall. At the time of the robbery, he was wearing a red zip-up jacket, a brown “golf-style” hat and black pants, officials said.

This is the third bank robbery in Loudoun County in a month. Anyone with any information regarding this robbery, or the possible identity of the suspect, is asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

— Gregg MacDonald