On Feb. 13, a Falls Church man who disrupted a community parade in October in Annandale was found not guilty of resisting arrest, but guilty of disorderly conduct. He was fined $500 in Fairfax County General District Court.
At the annual Annandale Parade in late October, Wilfred Michael Stark III, 49, was standing in the street at Gallows Road and Columbia Pike blocking the start of the parade, cursing, and causing a disturbance.
The preliminary police investigation showed that police officers asked him to move out of the street and to stop using obscene language due to other parade spectators around him. Stark refused to comply with the commands and other officers assisted with placing him under arrest.
A video of the arrest surfaced on social media. It can be seen here: ARREST
Due to his refusal to comply with police orders, to include showing his hands when ordered, police said he was taken to the ground to maintain control and ensure the safety of not only the officers, but also others in the area. Stark was originally charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest.
On Feb. 13, Judge Mark Simmons told the courtroom that although not guilty of resisting arrest, officers gave Stark "a lot of breaks" and that he quickly went from "being a reporter to an actor."
Stark is a reporter with ShareBlue Media. He was covering the participation of Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie in the parade.
Following the verdict, Chief Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. commented on the decision, saying "I am pleased with the judge's decision. I continue to stand behind the great men and women of the Fairfax County Police Department who work diligently to keep our community members safe every day."
Police say the FCPD Internal Affairs Bureau continues to investigate this incident. To maintain transparency, they say they will provide updates if there are significant developments.