LA Judge Claims Self-Defense In Dispute With Woman Over Dog Waste
VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge claimed he was acting in self-defense when he had an altercation with a woman over the disposal of dog waste last year.
Judge Craig Richman testified that he politely asked Connie Romero to move the bag of dog excrement from the middle of the street near his Chatsworth home to the curb or sidewalk.
Instead, Richman said Romero picked up the bag and “side-armed it across her body and threw it in my car.”
From there, the judge said he left the scene to go home.
“His actions from the very beginning of this matter showed restraint and good judgment,” Defense Attorney James Blatt said.
Richman said Romero followed him to his driveway, where he told her twice to “get off my property. You are trespassing.”
Richman said he was met with a series of expletives.
Romero previously testified she was pushed from behind, causing her to fall face-first onto the pavement during the dispute.
Richman said he only pushed her to defend himself after she pushed him twice.
Deputy City Attorney Josh Geller tried to raise doubt that Richman was afraid of Romero by asking why Richman chose to go to his house after Romero threw the bag in his car.
Richman was clearly agitated during cross-examination. When Geller said, “You could’ve circled around the block,” Richman replied, “It’s a mistake I regret every day.”
Geller also got Richman to admit that he told Romero he was a police officer.
The prosecution is now requesting to add a new charge of impersonating a peace officer. The judge will rule on that Wednesday.
“I’m very confident it’s a red herring. It’s not going to be utilized in this case. And the real issue in this matter is who pushed who first,” Blatt said.
Closing arguments in the case are set to begin Wednesday morning. The jury could potentially start deliberating by the end of the day.