A state university president accused of stopping motorists for speeding without the authority to do so turned himself in to state police after learning they had a warrant for his arrest.
A Plainville man told authorities that Central Connecticut State University President Richard Judd pulled him over on Route 9 and accused him of speeding last month.
Police arrested Judd, a former New Britain police commissioner, Thursday on charges of impersonating a police officer.
Peter Baba said Judd put on oscillating headlights during the Jan. 23 incident, pulled up next to him and displayed an official-looking gold badge to get him to pull over.
Baba, 24, said he thought something was wrong with his car, so he pulled over and Judd approached him.
“He walked up to me, pointed his finger at me and yelled, ‘You were speeding!'” Baba told The Hartford Courant. “Then he told me to ‘get the hell back in your car.'”
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Judd apologized for what he called “an error in judgment,” but said his actions were well-intended.
“I intervened with a motorist who, I perceived, perhaps mistakenly, to be driving in a manner that might have proven dangerous to himself or other drivers,” Judd said. “In hindsight, I see the matter was not mine to manage.”
Gov. John G. Rowland said Friday that Judd had made a mistake, but said it was not serious enough for to ask him to step down from his state job.
“It’s almost a form of road rage,” Rowland said. “He did indeed use misjudgment, obviously, by flashing a badge or lights or whatever. It’s inappropriate.”
Still, Rowland called Judd “a great university president,” saying, “He’s a great friend of mine; he’s done a great job for Central and a great job for the state of Connecticut.”