Georgetown Law Professor May Have Legal Trouble of His Own

Professor accused of leaving scene of a crash

A prominent Georgetown University law professor could be facing legal trouble of his own after being accused of leaving the scene of an accident last month in northwest D.C.

About 7:45 a.m. Jan. 24, a car slammed into the back of a BMW stopped at a traffic light at 27th Street and Military Road. A warrant for John Copacino was approved on charges of leaving after colliding and possible reckless driving. Copacino is the director of Georgetown’s Criminal Justice Clinic and E. Barrett Prettyman Program.

“He said, ‘I’m not waiting,’” said Vivianne Pommier, who says her car was struck. “And we said, ‘Oh yes you are.’ And he said, ‘No, no, no. I’m not waiting. I’m leaving.’”

He left without exchanging information with Pommier, she said.

A witness said Copacino appeared to be driving recklessly prior to the crash.

“We followed him for a few blocks … and he’s straddling into the other lanes of traffic and he swerves over,” Gayle Pegg said. “He ran a stop sign, and then there was a light that we came up to, and he actually stopped in the middle of the intersection.”

“The fact that he knows better and he is representing a law school and he’s teaching people about criminal law, yet does this law not uphold to him?” Pommier said.

Her BMW sustained $600 damage to the bumper, but her pain may have been worse.

“I had really bad whiplash,” Pommier said. “I had severe, severe headaches, and I could not move my left shoulder rotator cuff. The pain went right down into my hand. Went to the doctor’s twice.”

News4 has received no comment from Professor Copacino.

D.C.’s attorney general has the case.

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