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Prosecutor: Westwood Officer Fired Shot After Accused Old Tappan Burglar Refused To Drop Weapon

Dustin VanRiper
Dustin VanRiper Photo Credit: COURTESY: Bergen County Prosecutor

UPDATE: A Westwood police officer fired a single shot during an overnight confrontation with a man who refused to drop a weapon moments after he tried to break into an Old Tappan residence, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said Monday.

Dustin Van Riper, 22, fled the Old Tappan residence after borough police arrived there before dawn Friday, Calo said.

Westwood police found him a short time later in a Mill Street backyard, he said.

When officers from the Westwood Police Department approached Van Riper, "he disregarded their instructions to drop the weapon," the prosecutor said.

An officer fired a single shot from a service weapon "in the direction of Van Riper," who "was not struck," Calo said.

Van Riper "immediately dropped the weapon" and was taken into custody, he said.

He was charged with attempted armed burglary, resisting arrest and illegal weapons possession then was taken to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained Monday.

The prosecutor's office was reviewing the circumstances of the shooting, as required under state Attorney General guidelines.

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