VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A woman who claims a Los Angeles Superior Court judge pushed her to the ground during a dispute over dog waste last year apparently “spit in the doctor’s face” when she tried to be treated after the incident, a defense attorney said.
Judge Craig Richman is on trial in a misdemeanor battery case in connection to an argument he had with Connie Romero over the disposal of dog waste that was placed outside the judge’s home last July.
On Monday, the defense called witnesses to the stand to try and raise doubt about Romero’s credibility.
Dr. Sammy Shon testified that Romero wouldn’t allow West Hills Hospital staff to touch her because she wanted police to photograph her injuries first.
“She berated myself and my staff. She scared the other patients,” Shon said.
“She appeared to be mentally ill,” Defense Attorney James Blatt said. “She appeared to be violent. She was spitting actually in the doctor’s face.”
Deputy City Attorney Josh Gellar, however, asked the doctor if Romero was placed on a psychiatric hold or restrained because she was so combative. The answers to both question were no, reported CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen.
“That’s not the appropriate tool at that time. She wasn’t suicidal. She was just incredibly abusive, irrational, arrogant and vicious to every person on that staff,” Blatt said.
The defense also called a friend of Richman’s who was on the phone with him during the time of the confrontation.
Carl Ferro said Romero “used a stream of profanity” after Richman politely asked her to pick up a bag of her dog’s excrement.
“I was shocked how quickly she went from: ‘Hey, lady, move the poop’ to how she snapped, became irate,” Ferro said.
The prosecutor, however, said the case isn’t about the accuser’s language, but about Richman being charged for pushing Romero from behind during the argument.
Richman’s attorney said the fall was the result of a pushing match initiated by Romero, in which his client was protecting himself.
Richman is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.
The jury could potentially start deliberating Wednesday.