NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A judge has been accused of trying to use his robe as a shield.
Police said he acted like he was above the law following a drunk driving crash in Midtown.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the man who touted himself as the model for justice in his 2011 campaign ad has been accused of using his position to bail himself out.
Days before Christmas, Harrison Town Justice Marc Lust was arrested for drunk driving at the height of the evening rush in Midtown.
“I went over to the side window and said, ‘Get out! Get out! You just hit my car!’ and that’s when I realized this guy is drunk. He’s noticeably drunk,” Michael Antonicello said. “(He was) slurring his words. You could smell it. He just reeked.”
Antonicello, 24, was driving on Tenth Avenue on the West Side of Manhattan on Dec. 19, he was about to enter the Lincoln Tunnel, when he claims Judge Lust rear-ended him and kept driving.
“The next thing I know, the light turns green and he just takes off,” Antonicello said.
Antonicello chased him for a few blocks, cut him off, and confronted him.
“He just kept saying, ‘we can work it out, we can work it out.’ He told the cop actually, ‘hey, I’m a judge, we can work this out,'” Antonicello said.
Lust’s attorney told CBS2’s Schneider that any characterization that the judge tried to use his position to avoid arrest is inaccurate.
“Come on, I’m a judge. I’ll take care of this. I’ll take care of it,” a police report cites Lust as saying.
Lust also reportedly claimed to have only had three drinks.
Antonicello doesn’t buy it.
“I thought, we got to get this guy off the road. God forbid, if he didn’t hit my car, he would have hit an entire intersection of people,” he said.
Police arrested Lust. He posted $2,500 bail, but his license has been suspended because he refused a breathalyzer.
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