BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - The Lauderhill police officer accused of opening fire on a fellow officer who is also a former girlfriend was ordered held without bond on Monday.
Officer Kristopher John Bieger, 30, was surrendered Saturday. He was charged with premeditated attempted murder and discharging a firearm at Brittny Skinner, 31.
According to an arrest report read in court by Broward County Judge John "Jay" Hurley, Bieger fired 10 rounds at Skinner, who was in uniform in her patrol car outside of a Denny's restaurant.
One of the bullets struck her protective vest, Hurley said.
Skinner was not physically injured and was not taken to a hospital, Lauderhill Police Capt. Constance Stanley said.
"She is on leave for a few days, which is routine when an officer is involved in a shooting," Stanley said. "We're doing an internal investigation. This is very unusual for us."
Bieger later surrendered outside a Davie pizza parlor in Davie, authorities said.
It seemed like a routine Saturday night at Donato's Ristorante until an agitated man in a red shirt walked in about 9 p.m. and ordered two slices to go.
Minutes after he paid for the pizza, a heavily armed SWAT team was pouring through the back door while owner Donato DiLeo, five employees and the customer were ducking down next to the stoves.
"It was like a movie," said DiLeo, 60. "It was kind of scary."
The opening scene in this real-life drama began a bit earlier, around 7:30 p.m, when, according to Lauderhill police, Bieger — the man in the red shirt — fired at Skinner as she worked an off-duty security job at Inverness Plaza, near Northwest 56th Avenue and West Oakland Park Boulevard.
The gun Bieger used was not his service weapon, according to Stanley.
Stanley refused to comment on any possible motive for the shooting. "They work together on the same shift," she said.
Hurley said the pair -- he began with Lauderhill Police in 2006, she started in 2009 -- both worked uniformed patrols during the midnight shift and that they once had a dating relationship.
"There was jealousy, mistrust, following and harassment," Hurley said. Skinner broke up with Bieger and told him to stay away from her, according to a probable cause affidavit that the judge read aloud in court.
After the shooting, Bieger drove his pickup truck 16 miles south to the Regency Square Plaza at the corner of Griffin and Volunteer roads in Davie, officials said.
He walked into Donato's, ordered the pizza, and then paced in front of the restaurant, all the while talking animatedly on a cellphone as his $3.90 order was in the oven.
When the pizza was ready, waitress Justine Bonito, 23, said she went outside to notify the pacing customer.
"He seemed really nervous. He was talking on the phone. He wasn't yelling but his voice was loud," she said.
The man came in, paid, took his slices and went back outside, Bonito said.
At that point, police called the restaurant and spoke to DiLeo. "They said, 'Lock the door, go in the back and stay down,' " he said.
Outside, Bieger continued to talk on the phone as two Davie officers, and then the Special Response Team, filed in through Donato's back door.
They walked through the kitchen, past the hunkered-down staff and customers, and took up positions by the front door, DiLeo said.
At about 10:30 p.m., as officers continued talking to Bieger over the phone, he was arrested without further incident, according to police.
In first appearance court Monday, Bieger's lawyer Alberto Milian said his client came from a law enforcement family and that his father had served as a cop for 30 years.
Milian said Bieger peacefully surrendered to investigators and based on what he said was his client's clean record, sought to obtain pre-trial release.
Hurley denied the request and ordered no contact between Bieger and Skinner, directly or indirectly.
"If any calls are made to her from the Broward County jail, I will cut off your phone privileges," Hurley told Bieger. "You've made many, many phone calls to Ms. Skinner."
Milian said he would enter a not guilty plea on behalf of Bieger.
On Sunday, DiLeo said he probably lost up to $400 in business after police cordoned off the area. Customers could not get in to pick up their orders, and DiLeo said he could not get employees out to deliver them.
"It was one of those things that you believe can never happen to you," said DiLeo, who has owned Donato's — formerly Antonio's — for seven years.
Stanley said the situation was "very unusual. When you think you've seen it all, something like this happens."
Staff researcher Barbara Hijek and writer Susannah Bryan contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2011, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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