Court case in police officer domestic violence indicent continued until February

Staff Writer

A Williamsburg police officer charged after an alleged domestic incident where he shot his AR-15 rifle once inside a residence and barricaded himself inside the home has had his case in Williamsburg-James City County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court delayed until February.

Richard Frederick Drab Jr., 50, was charged with shooting within an occupied dwelling, domestic assault, brandishing a firearm and reckless handling of a firearm on Oct. 24, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

Drab’s day in court on Jan. 11 ended when prosecutor Sean Brite-Rupe and Drab’s attorney J. Stephen Roberts Sr. asked the judge for a continuance on the case, until Feb. 22 at 10 a.m.

Sporting a light beard, blue suit, and a fresh haircut, Drab was silent throughout the proceeding.

On Oct. 24 at about 5:15 p.m., James City County Police Department officers were called to the 4600 block of Noland Boulevard for a barricaded, armed person in a residence, according to James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams.

An ensuing police standoff ended at about 7:10 p.m., according to the release.

A domestic incident is thought to have caused the standoff, the release said. No one was injured.

James City County police identified the suspect as Drab — a Williamsburg Police Department lieutenant, the release said.

Drab, a 20 year veteran of the Williamsburg force, was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, according to a Williamsburg Police Department news release.

James City County police seized six firearms from the residence including handguns and rifles.

Drab has no criminal history in Williamsburg-James City County, York or Gloucester general district courts.

Drab taught a course in conjunction with Williamsburg Police Department Lt. Brian Carlsen in January 2018 on how people can defend themselves in active shooter situations, according to Virginia Gazette archives.

Now, Drab faces as many as five years in prison if convicted on the sole charge of shooting within an occupied dwelling, according to the Virginia Code.

In total, Drab could face eight years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted and sentenced to the maximum extent of the law, according to the Virginia Code.

Note: Attorney J. Stephen Roberts Sr is of no relationship to Virginia Gazette reporter Stephen P. Roberts Jr.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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