MANALAPAN (WABC) — A man accused of shooting an off-duty New York City police officer made his first court appearance Monday.
The shooting happened after the man apparently found the officer with his estranged wife.
Robert Dunbar made his first appearance in court on several charges; including attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm, his attorney entering his plea.
“We plead not guilty, going for bail reduction,” said Yan Katsnelson, Dunbar’s attorney.
Dunbar’s bail is set at half a million dollars with no cash option and no 10-percent.
He’s accused of breaking into his Manalapan home Friday night, where his estranged wife lives and shooting an off-duty NYPD detective who was visiting Debbie Dunbar.
She ran to this neighbor’s house.
“I was awakened by Debbie banging on the door, she said, ‘Bob shot Lou’,” the neighbor said.
Lou is NYPD Detective Louis Pepe, of the 63rd Precinct in Brooklyn.
Police say Dunbar grabbed Pepe’s service revolver during the struggle and fired, one shot grazing the officer’s shoulder.
Published reports are suggesting a motive of jealousy; That Mrs. Dunbar and Pepe were romantically involved.
“The information my investigators are finding out are saying something different than what’s in the paper,” Katsnelson said.
The neighbor says the Dunbar’s 3-young kids were home sleeping during the altercation.
“I asked Debbie if he was gone, I told my wife to go with her to get the kids,” their neighbor said.
After 20-hours on the run, Dunbar turned himself in Sunday.
His parents and other family were in court Monday.
His mother was reduced to tears when she saw her son on video.
They are trying to raise bail to have Dunbar released.
“He’s doing well, stable, there were reports he was suicidal, but he’s not, he just wants to get out and see his kids,” Katsnelson said.