Corrections officer accused of stalking St. Croix police officer


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ST. CROIX - A V.I. Corrections Bureau officer arrested in December on charges that he trespassed onto his ex-wife's property and broke into her home, has been arrested again, now charged with stalking the woman.

Vivian Ford, 28, of Hannah's Rest appeared before Magistrate Miguel Camacho on Thursday and was advised of his rights on the single charge of stalking in connection with the report made by the woman, who is a V.I. Police officer.

According to the probable cause fact sheet filed by Police Officer Richard White, the woman called police asking for an escort to work, saying that she was afraid of Ford and explained that he had been stalking her and harassing her.

On Wednesday, White said the woman reported that Ford was parked at her children's school when she went to pick them up, and when she drove out of the school yard, he began following her.

Officers set up a partial road block, and according to White, they saw the woman's vehicle, then saw Ford's vehicle following closely behind it.

White said he conducted a traffic stop and a pat-down search on Ford and found a black Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun with 14 rounds and one chambered on Ford's hip, according to the report.

White said Ford was taken to the police station, where he was asked about the accusations. Ford told police that he was at the school only because he was checking on a tuition matter, and he just happened to be going in the same direction that the woman was going when she left.

White said the woman gave a statement outlining a number of incidents - including seven reports to police dating back to July 29 and as recent as Jan. 15, the same day Ford was arraigned on the unlawful entry case from December.

In the December incident, the woman said she was on patrol and drove to check on her home and realized that Ford's vehicle was parked near her home.

She told police she inspected the home and saw that her back door was unlocked and her window screen was removed. During a check around the house, the woman and her V.I. Police partner found Ford hiding in the bushes behind the house and he was arrested.

Because that was a domestic violence arrest, Ford is not allowed to carry a firearm while the case is pending, according to V.I. Code.

Ford has been a Corrections officer for the last four years and was placed on administrative leave after the December arrest.

The woman also has an arrest record.

Last summer following a disturbance at a Christiansted bar, she was arrested on a simple assault charge after Ford reported that she threw a drink in his face during an argument.

Those charges later were dismissed.

At Thursday's advice-of-rights hearing, Assistant Public Defender Kwame Montilewa asked the court to set Ford's bail at $1,000 and allow his release into the third-party custody of his mother.

Assistant Attorney General Joseph Ponteen told the court that the crime of stalking is serious, particularly because Ford had a firearm. Ponteen asked that the bail be set at $10,000 and that it be fully secured.

Montilewa objected, and Camacho reserved ruling on the bail amount and release conditions Thursday.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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