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Domestic incident ends with multiple charges

Fairfax County police say a Fairfax domestic incident ended with an Alexandria man being arrested on multiple charges, including assaulting a police officer.

Police said they were called out to the 6100 block of Leesburg Pike at around 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11 for a domestic disturbance.

They discovered Nathan Allen Binns, 32, of Alexandria, assaulting a woman he knew and holding her against her will inside a residence. In the process of being taken into custody, Binns assaulted two officers, police said. He was charged with assault on police, abduction, burglary with the intent to commit assault and destruction of property.

Great Falls house fire called accidental

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a house fire at approximately 6:15 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Great Falls area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located in the 900 block of Seneca Road.

Firefighters said they encountered smoke and fire from the roof upon their arrival, and they brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. The home is under renovation; fire officials said three construction workers escaped the fire prior to the arrival of the firefighters. There were no injuries, and damage is estimated at $100,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental, and the cause of the blaze was a combustible material too close to a heat source.

FBI reward program aims to protect planes, helicopters

The FBI has announced a new regional reward program to deter people from pointing lasers at aircraft.

Reported incidents of the federal violation are on the rise. The FBI says that since it and the Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2005, statistics reflect a more than 1,100 percent increase in the deliberate targeting of aircraft by people with handheld lasers.

In an effort to raise public awareness about the issue, the FBI has launched a targeted regional reward program, which will run for 60 days in 12 FBI field offices. As part of the pilot program, the FBI Washington Field Office will offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of any individual who aims a laser at any aircraft.

The FBI says it also is working with state and local law enforcement to educate teens about the dangers associated with what they call “lasing.”

“Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a serious matter and a violation of federal law,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “It is important that people understand that this is a criminal act with potentially deadly repercussions.”

Hosko says that nationwide in 2013, there were a total of 3,960 laser strikes reported — an average of almost 11 incidents per day. Industry experts say laser attacks present potential dangers for pilots.

“Shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft can temporarily blind a pilot, jeopardizing the safety of everyone on board,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We applaud our colleagues at the Justice Department for aggressively prosecuting aircraft laser incidents and we will continue to use civil penalties to further deter this dangerous activity.”

Air transportation officials say thousands of laser strikes go unreported each year and that tough measures are necessary to stop them.

Arrest made in Fair Oaks area fires

Shortly after noon on Feb. 7, Fairfax County fire investigators arrested Fairfax County resident Mergen Battulga, 37, in connection with four fires on Mozart Brigade Lane and one fire on Fairfield House Way in the Fair Oaks area of Fairfax County. Officials said Battulga was charged with one count of maliciously burning of an occupied dwelling and one count of maliciously setting a fire capable of spreading. He was remanded to the Fairfax County Jail without bond.

Gunman robs Sterling woman

A 43-year-old Sterling woman was accosted by gunman shortly before 9 p.m. Feb. 11, prompting a helicopter search of the area, according to the Loudoun County Sheriiff’s Office.

Law enforcement officials said the woman was getting out of her car and walking into her home on the 21000 block of Stanford Square, near the Dulles Town Center mall, when an unknown man approached her with a gun. He took her wallet before fleeing the scene. The suspect is described as a dark-skinned man in his 30s, approximately 6 feet tall and between 185 and 200 pounds. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt or jacket and dark-colored pants. Officials said a perimeter was established and police conducted an aerial search with help from a U.S. Park Police helicopter, but no suspect was found.

Cigarette causes $20,000 damage to Oakton home

Fairfax County firefighters responded to a house fire at approximately 10:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Oakton area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located in the 2600 block of Hunter Mill Road.

Firefighters said they encountered heavy smoke coming from the front of the two-story home upon their arrival and quickly brought the fire under control in an upstairs bedroom. Fire damage was contained to the bedroom, officials said. The occupants escaped the home prior to firefighters arriving. There were no working smoking alarms in the home. Four adults and one child have been displaced; Red Cross support was offered but declined by the occupants. There were no injuries, and damage is estimated at $20,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental, and was caused by improperly disposed smoking materials.

— Gregg MacDonald