Justin Paul Christodoro, a 39-year-old lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey, stunned a couple in Rutherford when he walked into their house shortly before 5 o’clock Saturday afternoon and announced, “I’m here!” — but that wasn’t the most startling part of the bizarre incident. According to a report by the cable news channel News 12 New Jersey, Christodoro, who specializes in defending drunk driving defendants, was wearing nothing but a skin-tight black T-shirt and women’s high-heeled shoes when he walked through the back door of the home.
The attorney was not wearing any sort of pants or underwear, leaving himself exposed from the waist down, according to the News 12 report.
“He announced himself. He said that he was here,” Rutherford Police Chief John Russo told the cable station. “I would imagine he realized — or I’m hoping he realized — that he was in the wrong house.”
According to the police account, Christodoro fled the home as his mistake quickly dawned on him. He then drove away. But a few hours later, police received a report of a man sleeping in a car parked in the driveway of a private home in the nearby town of Lyndhurst, New Jersey. When the cops showed up to investigate, they found a drowsy Christodoro in the same state of below-the-waist undress as when he reportedly appeared in the Rutherford home, according to a NorthJersey.com report.
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“It was occupied by a man sitting in the front passenger seat wearing only a black shirt and black high heeled shoes,” Lyndhurst Police Captain John Valente told NorthJersey.com, describing Christodro as “kind of out of it” with “no idea how he got there.”
An embarrassed Christodoro covered himself with a pair of sweatpants as he stepped out of the vehicle, police said, but when the officers searched his car, they found a plastic bag in the floor containing a clear, crystal-like substance that the investigators believed to be the drug MDMA, commonly known as “Ecstasy.”
The strange incident was not the first time that Christodoro, of Hackensack, found his name in the local news in New Jersey. During jury selection in a 2013 trial of members of a burglary ring known as the “James Bond Gang,” Christodoro suddenly and unexpectedly resigned as the defendants’ attorney — and at the judges’ instruction, he quit all of his other cases and suspended his entire law practice, according to a report in the Northern Highland Daily Voice newspaper.
At the time, Christodoro said that quitting the gang case was “the ethical thing to do.”
“I can’t do things for [a defendant in the case] that I know I should, that when I was younger I would have,” Christodoro told the local media. “I just couldn’t do it.”
After his arrest in the unusual trespassing case in Rutherford last weekend, Christodoro was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, lewdness, and a motor vehicle citation related to parking his car in the driveway of a home that wasn’t his.
Christodoro was not held in custody but was taken to a nearby medical facility due to police suspicion that he was under the influence of a drug. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 29.
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