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October 19, 2006
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Judge hits officer directing traffic on rainy Conn. street

The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- A federal judge in a sport utility ran into a police officer directing traffic in the rain, critically injuring the officer, authorities said Thursday.

New Haven police Chief Francisco Ortiz said Senior Judge John M. Walker was "very much distraught" over the Tuesday night crash.

Officer Dan Picagli, 38, was in critical condition Thursday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He had been wearing a black raincoat and a reflective vest when he was hit, Ortiz said.

Ortiz said Walker is cooperating, and police did not feel it was necessary to test him for drugs or alcohol.

Walker, 65, stepped down this month as chief judge of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals but he maintains court chambers in New Haven. He was appointed to the New York-based court in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, who is a cousin of the judge.

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