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LA County judge accused of pushing, injuring woman

A judge is set to be arraigned next month on a battery charge stemming from a sidewalk confrontation over dog droppings.
October 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge is set to be arraigned next month on a battery charge stemming from a sidewalk confrontation over dog droppings.

Judge Craig Richman is facing a misdemeanor battery count. It stems from an alleged altercation in July with Chatsworth housekeeper Connie Romero.

Romero says she was walking her employer's dog when Richman drove by and saw her place a bag of droppings on the curb, planning to pick them up later.

"I leave it by the curb on the street. I do the cul-de-sac, pick it up, throw it away," said Romero.

She says Richman stopped his car and told her to pick it up. She says the discussion quickly became heated.

"He was like, 'No, pick it up now!' He repeats that over and over. And I said, 'No, I'll pick it up on the way back from the route,'" said Romero.

Romero says the judge then said, "Ma'am, why are you being a [expletive]?"

She replied, "Why are you being a [expletive]."

At this point, Romero admits picking up the bag of droppings and tossing it on the passenger's seat of the judge's car. She says the judge threw the bag into the street then pulled into his driveway a few houses away.

As Romero was walking past Richman's house, she says he began demanding her name and address, which led to another argument. Romero says as she turned to leave, Richman pushed her from behind, causing her to fall on her face and shoulder.

"I screamed, 'Why did you have to do this to me?' I sat up and all the blood came down and then that's when he saw what he had done. He ran into the house, threw a white towel at me and said, 'Clean yourself up and get the hell out of here,'" said Romero.

But Richman's attorney says Romero was the aggressor and that she threw the dog droppings into his car, followed Richman to his home and pushed him first.

"You have an alleged victim who throws dog excrement into somebody's car after they politely tell them to remove it. You have that same person going to the judge's driveway and confronting him and starting a fight," said attorney James E. Blatt.

Blatt also says Romero has a history of filing false complaints. Romero says this is the first time she's ever filed charges. What's certain is Richman's position as a judge is now in jeopardy.

"It's a very significant problem, and he's been reassigned. Actually it could have a significant impact to his employment, what may happen in the future. It damages someone's reputation," said Blatt.

"It's hard to even be in stores, people behind me. I can't deal with it," said Romero.

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