The following stories received the most page views on ARLnow.com in 2012. All of these articles, with the exception of No. 5, benefited to varying degrees from links from national websites like Drudge Report and Reddit.
5. Road Sign Wishes Passersby a ‘Happy 420′ (18,012 views) — Some pranksters hacked into a road sign near the Madison Community Center in north Arlington on April 20, and 3,500+ Facebook shares later the article had a very “high” page view count.
4. Crime Report: Man in Wheelchair Robs CVS (27,341 views) — A man in a wheelchair tried to shoplift an electric razor and some bottles of wine from the CVS Pharmacy in Courthouse, according to police. When an employee tried to wheel the alleged thief back into the store, police said, he brandished a knife and made a getaway — that is, until cops caught up with him at the Courthouse Metro station.
3. Video: Arlington Resident Has the World’s Largest Natural Breasts (33,061 views) — Fairlington resident Annie Hawkins-Turner raised some eyebrows around town when she appeared on the TLC show Strange Sex to talk about her size 102ZZZ chest, recognized as the world’s largest natural breasts. While much of the traffic for this story was local, coming from email links and social networking sites, Reddit also contributed several thousand views.
2. Man Questioned for Molotov Cocktail at Mall (55,372 views) — The much-maligned Ballston Common Mall briefly made national news, but for all the wrong reasons. A man threw a Molotov cocktail-like incendiary device into the mall’s food court, but the flammable liquid inside failed to ignite after it hit the floor and no one was injured. The FBI and the ATF came to investigate the incident, but good old fashioned police work — acting on a tip from a citizen — led to the arrest of a suspect near the county government building by ACPD officers.
1. Crime Report: Pulling Guns on the Ritz (65,535 views) — We wish we could claim it was the semi-clever headline, but really it was a link from the Drudge Report that led more than 60,000 people to read the strange tale of Andrew Dziuk, a 29-year-old Centreville man. Dziuk was accused of brandishing a pair of loaded handguns, apparently in a drunken state of incredulity after learning the room rates at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Our No. 1 article’s 65,535 views makes it the second most-viewed article since the launch of the site in January 2010. The most-viewed ARLnow.com story of all time remains our article about former Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Gene C. McKinney, who was accused of hitting a person with his car after what his passengers described as the slug line ride from hell. The article has received 74,188 views, thanks in part to the Drudge Report. McKinney pleaded guilty to reckless driving and disorderly conduct late last year and was ordered to serve 10 days in jail.