At 1:15 p.m., police were called to the area of the Bethesda Sport & Health Club (4400 Montgomery Ave.) for a report of an abduction, police spokeswoman Officer Britta Thomas said.
A witness saw two men with ski masks get out of an orange SUV and force someone into a vehicle before turning north on Connecticut Avenue from East-West Highway, according to scanner traffic.
Thomas said two independent witnesses reported the incident, which according to an employee at the Sport & Health Club, happened either on Montgomery Avenue or East-West Highway nearby.
Thomas said police were still trying to figure out exactly where and how the event unfolded. But they were able to catch up with the individuals involved, who explained it as a bachelor party prank common in the Indian tradition, Thomas said.
The individuals were not charged with any crime, said Thomas, who also said police were concerned prank kidnappings might become more common.
A proposed apartment project at the Pooks Hill Marriott hotel site was already facing questions from the community about increased traffic and the project’s true level of accessibility to two nearby Metro stations.
Based on comments in a Thursday morning hearing on the zoning amendment that would allow the three high-rise buildings, at least one Planning Board commissioner might have similar concerns.
County planners presented the Scope of Work for the Pooks Hill minor master plan amendment, a routine procedure to outline a schedule for the plan.
Property owner CMG Bethesda Owner LLC wants to build the 20-story buildings on underused parking lots of the Marriott (5151 Pooks Hill Rd.), which planners say conforms to county planning strategies by developing on surface parking lots near transit stations.
The Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station is about a mile to the north. The Medical Center station is 1.3 miles to the south. But pedestrian traffic to both stations would have to contend with the major Beltway, I-270 and Rockville Pike intersection.
After the presentation, Planning Board Commissioner Casey Anderson said he would like to see more in the plan about ways to connect the prospective apartments with the Metro stations.
“It’s over a mile from each Metro. It’s a weird sort of island,” Anderson said. “I just say this now in the interest of trying to get a jump start on what I would be asking at worksessions. That would be my concern.”
Planners will hold an open house for the project kick-off on Nov. 13, and a community workshop in February or March of next year before presenting a staff draft to the Planning Board in April.
Someone was mugged and robbed at Old Georgetown Road and Democracy Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 21, according to the latest Bethesda crime summary from Montgomery County Police:
A robbery occurred at Old Georgetown Road and Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda on Friday, 9/21 at 9:00 p.m. The suspect assaulted the victim and obtained property.
Suspect: Unk/M, 17, 6′, 160 lbs.
The rest of the Sept. 17 to Sept. 25 crime summary after the jump:
The 22-year-old graduate student with a clever idea for a bar crawl is now 44, four years married and “pretty far removed” from the college days that inspired all this.
In April, Dave Lindenauer celebrated 20 years of his Bethesda-based Lindy Promotions company, which has grown in to a well known purveyor of Washington parties large and small, from the weekly happy hour to last year’s 5,700-person strong Downtown Countdown.
He doesn’t get out to as many events as he used to, but said he’s experienced enough to know what works in a rapidly gentrifying market where competition for the entertainment dollar of 21- to 35-year-olds is heated as ever.
“People want to let off steam,” Lindenauer said. “People are still going out. This business, knock on fake wood, is recession proof.”
The regional kick-off party for Key To The Cure will be held Oct. 17 at Saks Fifth Avenue Chevy Chase in an annual event featuring food samples, style and fashion demonstrations and a raffle box to benefit women’s cancer programs at Suburban Hospital.
The event will honor 12 area cancer survivors, led by Dr. Katherine Alley, one of the area’s first to start a dedicated breast cancer practice.
The three-day shopping event means two percent of all retail sales from Oct. 18-21 at Saks Fifth Avenue will go to the Suburban Hospital Cancer Care Program. Suburban is a leading treatment center for breast cancer in Montgomery County thanks to the Cancer Care Program.
The Key To The Cure has raised more than $1 million for the program in the past decade, according to a Suburban Hospital press release.
For more information, including how to register, visit the event website.
Mercedes Aboagyeadjei goes shopping about three days a week at the National Center For Children and Families.
The mother of three, saddled with debt and health problems, came to the organization’s Bethesda family shelter two months ago after losing her home. There, she has a rent-free place to live, a case worker to match her up with doctors and help setting up her finances to pay off bills, little by little.
But for a family with few resources, needs remain.
The cost of clothes, dishes and other everyday household items add up. Meanwhile, people drive to the Greentree Road campus almost every day to drop off lightly used clothing in yellow bins by the front door.
The solution, as imagined by NCCF Executive Director Dr. Sheryl Brissett Chapman and set up by Director of Volunteers Tina Wells, was a place for clients such as Aboagyeadjei to go for a choice of what to wear, hang up in their temporary homes or get for their children.
It’s called Dr. C’s Boutique, a store where those in NCCF’s shelters and transitional housing can shop for free.
“I lost everything that I have,” Aboagyeadjei said. “The little income that I have I’ve been able to save. I’m grateful for them for helping me out.”
Bethesda Activist Says Road Closures Were Poorly Thought Out — Ben Ross, of the Action Committee for Transit, writes the Woodmont Avenue road closure is dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians and could have been managed better to prevent traffic from backing up on Bethesda Avenue. [Greater Greater Washington]
Zagat, Google Offers to Give Away Restaurant Deals — Zagat, the popular dining guide, and Google Offers will have a tent at Saturday’s Taste of Bethesda to promote exclusive “Taste of Bethesda offers.” [Zagat]
U.S. National Lacrosse Team to Play Bethesda Scrimmage — The U.S. national men’s lacrosse team will be at the Landon School for an intra-squad scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Sunday, ahead of tryouts next summer for the 2014 Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships in Colorado. [Baltimore Sun]
Bold Bite Introduces Hot Dog Cart — Bold Bite (4901 Fairmont Ave.) now has a mobile hot dog cart serving Chicago and New York style dogs to lunchtime customers near Bethesda Row. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]
Flickr photo by Steve Unlikely!