Priest to cop: 'I like to drive around naked'

6:30 AM, Aug 13, 2012   |    comments
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DEARBORN, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- The pastor of a Catholic parish was completely undressed and told city police, "I like to drive around naked," after he was pulled over last week, according to the arresting officer's report.

"I was, uh, hot. ... I like to drive around naked," Dearborn Officer Robert Gafford quoted the Rev. Peter Petroske as saying after the priest was stopped at 11:18 p.m. Aug. 2. Another motorist had called 911 after noticing Petroske was naked while driving north on Telegraph near Michigan Avenue.

Police said Petroske's clothes were scattered across the inside of his 2002 Volkswagen Passat. He was allowed to get dressed before stepping out of the vehicle for sobriety tests, which he failed.

"I don't know what to say. I'm embarrassed," police quoted the 57-year-old as saying.

The police report said officers detected a strong odor of alcohol in the vehicle and that Petroske was unable to recite the alphabet correctly or count backward. A chemical test showed his blood-alcohol level was .09, the report said. In Michigan, a person can be convicted of drunken driving at a .08 level.

The Free Press obtained the report Thursday from the city under the state Freedom of Information Act. Earlier this week, Dearborn Police Chief Ron Haddad declined to turn over any documents, citing an ongoing investigation.

Petroske was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and indecent exposure. Police said a laptop was seized from the backseat. He is due in court Tuesday.

The Archdiocese of Detroit issued a statement Tuesday saying Petroske, a pastor of Sacred Heart parish since 2008, had been placed on indefinite administrative leave.

Sacred Heart, with 1,900 member families and a school, is Dearborn's second-largest Catholic parish, after Divine Child.


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