Criminal Justice

Law Grad Refuses Plea Deal Based on Accusation of Improper Staring, Failure to Identify Home Country

  • Print

A law school graduate who works as a Bulgarian translator has refused to accept a plea bargain stemming from an accusation of improper staring and a refusal to answer a question about his country of origin.

Vesselin Dittrich, 64, says his troubles began after he stared at a heavily tattooed woman on a train in the station at Hoboken, N.J., and refused her demand to leave the car, the New York Times reports. Dittrich, who has faulty eyesight, says he was staring because the woman appeared to be blue. Dittrich tells the newspaper he has law degrees from Bulgaria and the United States, but he failed the New York bar exam.

When a Port Authority police officer arrived, Dittrich balked at a request for identification, but gave his name and address after the officer threatened to arrest him, the story says. He refused, however, to answer her question about the country he was from. (It’s Bulgaria, though Dittrich is an American citizen.)

Dittrich was charged with disorderly conduct for causing “public annoyance” and “refusing to provide pedigree info.” He has refused to plead guilty to a violation of a municipal law in a plea deal. A trial is scheduled for mid-December.

The Hudson Reporter covered the case in a story published last month.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.