Arlington County is widely considered to be an orderly, law-abiding community, where in one recent year not a single homicide was reported. But it is not free of unruliness and affronts to public order and private property.

Reports of some recent events of that sort seem both unusual and unsettling.

Between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, a restaurant near the Crystal City area was entered after closing time, according to a report to the police, and items were taken including two lights and a sign that said “Open.”

Another incident reported to police this week seemed even more bewildering.

It was the chicken incident. According to a police report, a residence in the 600 block of South Carlin Springs Road was entered Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The intruder, according to the report, “stole a chicken that was cooking in a crockpot.”

The incident attracted many wry and jocular comments on the community Web site on which it was reported last week. Several recalled the promise made by a political figure of the first part of the 20th century, of a chicken in every pot. They noted that the reported theft appeared to be a kind of reversal or rescinding of that optimistic promise.

One neighborhood resident expressed surprise on being told about the reported loss of the chicken. Not so much about the loss itself, as that it was brought to the attention of the authorities. “They call the police for THAT?”

Such incidents might give the impression of uniform tranquillity, but violence is not unknown.

One was reported earlier this month under this heading:


On of Feb. 17, police said, a road-rage incident occurred about 4 p.m. in the Pentagon City area. During the incident, which was in the 500 block of South 15th Street, police said, five people assaulted a sixth, “after he smashed their rear windshield out with a wooden post.”

The victim suffered numerous injuries and was taken to a hospital, police said. In addition, police said, his front windshield was smashed in with the post.

A woman who said she witnessed part of the incident said she saw someone whaling away at the alleged victim’s car. The assailant “was pounding on it,” she said. “He was hammering. He smashed the windshield.”

Four adults, all from the District, were arrested and charged with malicious wounding by mob, police said. They said a 16-year-old was arrested on that charge and destruction of property.

An Arlington man was arrested and charged with destruction of property after receiving medical attention, police said.