Sherrolyn Warner, a former St. John resident who now lives on St. Thomas, is calling for V.I. Police Department officer Dennis Vanterpool to be fired after he allegedly beat her in Cruz Bay on March 17.
The incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau, and the V.I. Attorney General’s Office and the VIPD are conducting a criminal investigation, according to published reports.
Vanterpool is reportedly on paid leave pending the results of the investigation.
VIPD spokesperson Lieutenant Thomas Hannah did not return telephone calls from Tradewinds requesting information.
The attack came after months of unwanted sexual advances by Vanterpool, according to Warner.
“I was affiliated with Vanter-pool because every time I called the cops on my boyfriend, he’s the one that would usually come,” said Warner. “Whenever he came to the house, he put out my boyfriend and would stay for two and three hours.
Officer Vanterpool would come in my home and tell me to get counseling, and he also used to make sexual advances at me in my house.”
“I think he had some kind of personal feelings toward me, but he knew I had a boyfriend,” Warner added.
Officer Alleges Intoxication
The alleged incident occurred on St. Patrick’s Day, when Warner and her boyfriend were on St. John for a friend’s birthday celebration.
“The incident started when I was downtown running behind my boyfriend — there was no fighting or anything taking place,” said Warner. “While I was running behind my boyfriend, Vanterpool called me over by the Subway. We got into an argument for some reason.”
Warner enjoys drinking, but not to get drunk — a fact Vanterpool knew about her, Warner added.
“He knows of me drinking, but I don’t drink to get drunk,” she said. “He said, ‘Miss Warner, come here, let me take you home because you look like you’re drunk this morning.’”
Warner refused to allow Vanter-pool to take her home, and an argument ensued, the woman explained.
Beaten in Handcuffs
“That son of a gun pushed me dead flat on the floor, right in front of the Subway restaurant,” said Warner. “Vanterpool is saying that I was resisting arrest — for what? What are you locking me up for, I didn’t do anything.”
Vanterpool proceeded to beat Warner with his VIPD-issued baton, the woman explained.
“One thing led to the next, and he beat me to a pulp while I was in handcuffs,” said Warner. “After that, he took me behind the police station and beat me again. He wanted to kill me.”
“He’s been a cop for too many years and has been doing too much stupidness,” Warner added. “He has to go.”
Warner was detained, but never arrested, she explained.
“I was detained after two beatings with the baton,” said Warner. “There was another female officer there when this happened, and all she did was stand there and open her mouth real wide.”
Officer Blamed Boyfriend
Vanterpool tried to tell Warner that it was her boyfriend who beat her during the incident, Warner explained.
“He said my boyfriend beat me up like this, and that I was so drunk,” she said. “He’s blaming it on my boyfriend, but he’s lying. That’s why he’s suspended right now.”
Warner has been dealing with a detective from the Internal Affairs Bureau, and has so far been pleased with the service she’s received, the woman explained.
V.I.’s Rodney King?
“She’s all right so far,” said Warner. “So far, so good.”
Warner hopes Vanterpool will lose his job, and that other cops who abuse their privileges are taken off the street, she explained.
“I want to get the set of crooked cops off the street so they stop messing with folks,” said Warner. “Am I the Rodney King in the U.S. Virgin Islands? I don’t think so.”