Sunday, April 21, 2024

Former Williamsburg cop found guilty on misdemeanor charges

Richard Frederick Drab Jr. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
Richard Frederick Drab Jr. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A former Williamsburg police officer was found guilty on Friday for two misdemeanor charges.

Richard Frederick Drab Jr., 50, was found guilty by Judge Sharon Will of reckless handling of a firearm and disorderly conduct during a preliminary hearing in the Wiliamsburg-James City County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, said a clerk at the WJCC juvenile and domestic relations court.

Originally, Drab was charged with domestic assault but the charge was amended to disorderly conduct, said Shay Bruno, clerk of court for the WJCC courthouse.

Bruno did not have any information as to why the charge was amended.

Drab’s other charges of brandishing a firearm and discharging a firearm in residence were found “nolle prosequi,” a Latin legal phrase meaning “be unwilling to prosecute.”

On Oct. 24, 2018 Drab was arrested following a report about an armed man barricaded inside a home in the 4600 block of Noland Boulevard.

In the criminal complaint, Drab was said to have pointed a gun at his wife while drunk, telling her to call the police. Drab then went into another room where his wife heard a gunshot.

When police entered the home, Drab was found in the room with a shell casing next to him. Officers took six firearms from Drab’s home, according to the complaint.

Drab’s attorney, J. Stephen Roberts Sr., was not immediately available for comment.

The Williamsburg Police Department had placed Drab on paid leave beginning on Oct. 25, 2018 pending the outcome of the department’s internal investigation.

Drabseparated from the Williamsburg Police Department on Jan. 31, citing he planned to retire, said John Heilman, spokesman for WPD. Heilman said the department does not know his status in the Virginia Retirement System to know if he has filed for retirement or not.

VRS did not respond for comment.

Heilman did not respond to clarify whether “separation” meant Drab was fired or he resigned.

Heilman later said in an email the department could not release any further information on the status of the investigation or retirement because it is a “personnel matter.”

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

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