Judge extends probation for ex-cop accused of shooting at ex-girlfriend

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ST. THOMAS - V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois extended the probation period of a retired V.I. Police officer who was accused of shooting at his ex-girlfriend last year.

Dennis Vanterpool, who was 51 upon his initial arrest, initially was charged with third-degree assault, illegally discharging a weapon, reckless endangerment and disturbance of the peace in February 2013.

Vanterpool, of Smith Bay, pleaded guilty in January to disturbance of the peace and received a 90-day suspended sentence, which meant he did not actually serve any time.

However, Vanterpool served six months of probation, which ended Thursday, but Francois extended it during the status conference in court on Thursday. She did not give any reason for the extension, and Vanterpool was not present for the status conference, court officials said.

Police first reported that Vanterpool fired a gun at his ex-girlfriend through her kitchen window.

The woman told officers that she heard Vanterpool knock at her kitchen door that afternoon but she refused to open it. She said he started pounding harder and walked around to the eastern kitchen window, stating, "Why you doing this to me? I need you in my life. You need to be a mother to my child," according to the probable cause fact sheet.

The victim asked Vanterpool whether he had been drinking alcohol, and he said yes, the fact sheet stated. The victim also told police that she saw Vanterpool "bow his head, and when Mr. Vanterpool looked up, he pointed a handgun at her."

The woman ducked as Vanterpool fired the weapon through the screen of her window, according to the fact sheet. Court documents did not specify how many times Vanterpool fired the gun.

Vanterpool then started talking about killing himself as he walked away, according to the fact sheet.

The woman told police that Vanterpool had been texting her and that the most recent text message was "violent in nature."

Police discovered that Vanterpool and the victim had been in "an intimate relationship" starting in November 2012, but they had broken up more than a month earlier, according to court documents.

Officers also learned that the victim's children were in the house when Vanterpool fired at the woman, according to court documents.

When officers approached Vanterpool at his Smith Bay home, he came outside "staggering with his hands in the air, slurred speech with a high odor of alcohol emanating from him," the police report stated.

Vanterpool said, "I did it. Charge me with attempted murder. I am the suspect. I will come willingly," according to the report.

The officer arrested Vanterpool, whose son turned over his father's revolver, and placed Vanterpool inside a police vehicle, where the officer read Vanterpool his constitutional rights.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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