Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former St. Louis County Judge Was 'Threatening' during DWI Stop, Police Records Claim

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Former St. Louis County Judge Was 'Threatening' during DWI Stop, Police Records Claim

Article excerpt

RICHMOND HEIGHTS * A St. Louis County judge, since retired, boasted of his martial arts prowess and said he wanted to fight an officer during a 2015 traffic stop, police records released Friday show.

Lawrence "Larry" Permuter was an associate judge at the time and stayed on the bench for more than a year after his arrest. He retired in February when he hit the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Last week, he was found guilty of a municipal DWI charge and received two years of probation and a suspended imposition of sentence. The case had been submitted to Municipal Judge James "Jim" Whitney with stipulated facts, police reports and a police videotape. Prosecutors dropped a charge of failure to comply.

The full police report and other records were released to the Post-Dispatch in response to an open records request after the judge's ruling.

Those records detail the incident this way:

Richmond Heights police were called about 2:39 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015, by a witness who said Permuter's car crossed one lane of traffic on westbound Highway 40 (Interstate 64) and crashed into a concrete wall before Permuter tried to get back on the road and crashed again.

When police arrived, Permuter was lying with his eyes closed across the front seat. An officer saw what appeared to be vomit in a hat, although Permuter said it was a spilled latte.

He initially said that he had hurt his back, knee and head, but later declined to be taken to the hospital.

At one point, the police report says Permuter became "belligerent" and yelled at Officer Carl Goodman that he was "fine to walk home."

When Goodman said he wouldn't allow Permuter to walk home on the highway, the report quotes Permuter saying, "Who's gonna stop me, YOU?"

He then boasted of his prowess in the martial arts Krav Maga and Muay Thai and used several profanities.

Permuter's boxing regimen was featured in a 2010 profile in Missouri Lawyer's Weekly that includes video of him training and sparring.

Officer Danielle Fox wrote that she smelled alcohol on Permuter. She also said that Permuter again boasted of his martial arts skill, and said that Goodman and another officer "wouldn't stand a chance," even detailing the specific palm and elbow strikes he would use against Goodman to send "his eyeball flying. …

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