By Erica R. Hendry
Editor's Note: Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and D.C., and not a day goes by that something weird isn't happening somewhere in the area. Here's a look back at some weird goings-on over the past week.
Put your hands up — and give me your Bible. A man walking alone one night last weekend in the Dominion Hills-Boulevard Manor area of Arlington County was robbed at gunpoint of his cell phone and Bible, according to police. The man was attacked by two men in ski masks, police said. It's the third robbery in the same two-block stretch of Wilson Boulevard reported in the last week.
That’s one way to make an entrance. A small plane out of fuel made an emergency landing at Wawa Gas Station in Fredericksburg at Shannon Park Drive and Tidewater Trail early Monday morning, Virginia State Police reported. Jerome Matthew Orlando, 33, from Broadway, Va., was flying from Tampa, Fla., to Charlottesville when he was diverted to Stafford Regional Airport due to foggy conditions, Sgt. Les Tyler of the Virginia State Police said. On his way to the Stafford Airport, the pilot notified ground staff he was running low on fuel, and was subsequently diverted to Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg. "He ran out of fuel as he attempted an emergency landing at Shannon Airport and landed on Tidewater Trail alongside the Wawa parking lot," Tyler said.
Not your average Fido: While the folks at Alexandria Animal Control have received calls about raccoons holing up in SUVs or taking strolls through King Street Metro Station, the office heard a new one this week — a ring-tailed bandit was being kept as a pet in Del Ray. On Aug. 3, an Animal Control officer responded to a complaint of a person hoarding raccoons in the unit block of E. Custis Avenue. After a brief investigation, the officer discovered just a single raccoon being kept as a pet.
Speaking of Animals: A Manassas company has some skeletons — not in the closet but in some packaging confiscated by federal agents at a Baltimore seaport this month. A shipment of six boxes containing chicken skeletons arrived on July 5 from China. The shipment also included several baby chick bodies in display cases, said Stephen Sapp, a spokesperson with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's public affairs office.
Save the Snake: Our weekly roundup of Arlington County animal control reports only contained one item this week, but the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which compiles the information, sent a cool video along with it. The league received a call about a snake trapped in some netting in Crystal City on Aug. 11. An animal control officer responded and freed the animal.
We’ve heard of a dry market, but this years-long sale takes the cake. Three Years After Closing, Inox Restaurant is officially leaving its former space. The landlords for the restaurant space at 1800 Tysons Blvd., the former home of Inox Restaurant, say the eatery shut down three years ago but never sold off the equipment, including flat-screen TVs, oak dining tables and leather chairs and stainless steel industrial kitchen equipment. The restaurant couldn’t find a seller that wanted the space intact. Finally, someone bit for the real estate — but not the goods inside. The company hopes an online auction will take some old baggage off their hands.
Pseudopregnant? Pregnant Pregnant? It’s All Panda, All the Time: The panda team at the Smithsonian National Zoo began their obsessive watch for signs of a baby panda this week. The female panda Mei Xiang has been under 24-hour surveillance since Aug. 7 and now doctors have elevated the baby panda-ometer (not an actual thing) to “cub watch” levels. Tune in on the panda cam and join in the voyeuristic ritual of debating whether her nest making is all for show or the real thing.