Do you pick up your pet’s waste when you take it for a walk? Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Richman was charged with battery (California Penal Code 242) last week stemming from a dispute over dog poop that was left on the sidewalk.
What Happened with Richman?
The dispute began on July 18 when Connie Romero placed a plastic bag filled with dog poop on the sidewalk while walking through Richman’s Chatsworth neighborhood. Richman saw the incident and was angry she did not use a trash can. However, that is where accounts differ.
Romero alleges that Richman began an argument that became physical when he pushed her face-first onto the sidewalk. A spokesman for City Attorney Mike Feuer, whose office filed the case, claims Richman left the scene and returned to his home. Romero suffered injuries from the event, including a cut over her left eye, swelling of her left wrist and an abrasion on her left shoulder.
However, James E. Blatt, Richman’s attorney, claims Romero is full of it. He said the judge asked Romero to pick up the dog poop then she threw it at his car. She allegedly followed him to his home and confronted him in the driveway. She proceeded to push Richman and he pushed back. The attorney also claims Romero then laid in the street until neighbors found her.
Assault and Battery Charges in Southern California – PC 240 and PC 242
Richman is being charged with one count of misdemeanor battery. The prosecution must prove that Richman willfully pushed Romero in an attempt to cause harm. If convicted, Richman can be sentenced to up to $2,000 in fines, six months in county jail, or both.
If the act is not considered battery under PC 242, Richman can still be facing assault charges (California Penal Code 240). Assault is defined as an attempt to commit battery. That means there does not have to be physical contact in order to be considered assault. If you are facing assault or battery charges, it is important to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately.
What’s Next for Richman?
An experienced criminal defense attorney can argue that Richman was acting in self defense. Blatt is attempting to get the charges dropped before it comes to that.
Even if the charges are dropped, the stigma will be attached to his name forever. That does not seem fair for what boils down to a “he said, she said” case. However, Richman has to understand he is held to a higher standard as a judge. As a public figure, it is best to avoid these types of situations at all cost and react smartly if it is unavoidable.
Do you think it is fair for the judge to have to deal with this for the rest of his career if his story is true? How do you react when a neighbor fails to clean a pet’s waste? We welcome your thoughts.