Craig Richman

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Richman, who is accused of pushing a woman from behind and knocking her to the ground. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times / May 29, 2013)

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has been charged with battery for allegedly pushing a woman from behind and knocking her to the ground while she was walking her dogs.

City attorney officials said the quarrel occurred July 18 when Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Craig Richman saw Connie Romero place a plastic bag of animal waste on the curb next to a street.

Romero accuses Richman of pushing her from behind and knocking her to the ground, said city attorney's spokesman Rob Wilcox. Romero told authorities that her face struck the sidewalk as she fell, and that she suffered a cut over her left eye, a scrape on her left shoulder and swelling on her wrist. An LAPD spokesman said the incident occurred near Richman's Chatsworth home.

Romero said the judge left the scene, and she called police, Wilcox said.

Richman, a former county prosecutor who was appointed to the bench in 2005, was charged Oct. 16 with one misdemeanor count of battery.

The judge's attorney, James E. Blatt, disputed the allegations, describing Romero as the aggressor. Richman, he said, approached Romero and asked her to find a trash can for the excrement, but she threw the bag at him.

Blatt said Richman left the area and was followed to his home by Romero, who then confronted him in his driveway and pushed him. The judge, he said, pushed her back. Blatt said that Romero fell but got up and moved to the middle of the street, where she lay until neighbors found her.

"Not only has he done nothing wrong but it appears … that this is a total fabrication," Blatt said, calling Richman a "no-nonsense, beloved judge."

Blatt said he hoped to present evidence to the city attorney's office that will persuade prosecutors to drop the charge before Nov. 6, when Richman is scheduled to be arraigned in Van Nuys Superior Court.

Romero could not be reached for comment.

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