LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Wilson County man was cited with leaving the scene of a minor fender bender outside the very courthouse he resides as a General Sessions judge.
Haywood Barry took responsibility for his actions Friday, telling News 2 he did it. He said he’s sorry and wants to compensate the victim for any damages she has experienced.
“I regret it, you know, with all my heart,” Judge Barry said.
Lebanon police went to the courthouse Wednesday to cite the 80-year-old with three state misdemeanors–failure to give immediate notice, failure to give information, and leaving the scene.
“Apparently there was hidden damage I didn’t see. I figured if there is not damage over 50 bucks, then you don’t have to do a report,” the judge told News 2.
The incident happened Monday morning before court when police say video shows Judge Barry backing his 2010 blue pick-up truck into a parked Cadillac. The driver of the Cadillac was inside the courthouse at the time.
The police report says the judge backed into the Cadillac then parked on the other side of the parking lot, walked over, looked at the rear of the Cadillac, and went inside the courtroom.
While there’s no obvious damage to the rear bumper of the judge’s truck, police say there was apparently damage to the Cadillac’s rear end, which the judge claims he didn’t notice at the time.
The woman reportedly noticed it when she was filling her car up with gas in Nashville. Police say her bumper was cracked.
“What happened, I backed up, and there was a fella standing there, don’t know his name, I backed out of my spot, and didn’t see the little car there, and my bumper hit that bumper, and I got out of my car and looked at it and said, ‘Well, it looks ok,’ didn’t see any damage at all, so I pulled around and I said, ‘Well, maybe I should look again,’ so I went back and looked again and still didn’t see any damage,” Judge Barry explained to News 2.
Lebanon police say the judge should’ve left a note or notified someone about the slight collision. When he didn’t, he was in violation of state law.
“I should have. I wish I had. I could have done that better, I will be honest,” Barry said.
The judge told News 2 he has tried to reach out to the other driver multiple times to apologize and take responsibility. So far, the two have yet to talk.
Barry is due in court June 26. A special judge will be brought in to handle the case.