amahl & the night visitors

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 30, 2007

Just when you thought it was safe to use the stairs ...

Gallup Bishop Donald Pelotte, who recently was found locked in his upstairs bedroom bewilderingly injured but NOT a victim of intruders, was recently a victim of intruders but left uninjured. Or something.

Gallup Police were called to Bishop Donald Pelotte's home early Thursday morning, an incident that seems to be a strange echo of another incident in late July that left Pelotte seriously injured.

Pelotte, 62, the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Gallup, is currently recovering from injuries suffered in July and is absent from his official duties.

According to a copy of an incident report from the McKinley Metropolitan Dispatch Authority, Pelotte made an emergency call to Metro Dispatch at 5:51 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, claiming that unknown subjects were in his home. Three Gallup Police officers were dispatched to Pelotte's west side home, with the first two officers arriving at 6 a.m. and the third officer arriving three minutes later.

The Metro Dispatch report provides a sketchy -- but strange -- account of the incident. Pelotte reportedly said there were four individuals in his house, but he offered conflicting information about them. At one point, he said one of the individuals came to visit and the others came inside. He also said they had been there for three hours, and he had tried to tell them to leave. Later Pelotte said they were unknown people, strangers who didn't want to leave.

Twice Pelotte is reported to have said the intruders were "gentle" people.
They record 9-1-1 calls, don't they? Pelotte's would be especially interesting to review. In particular, the level of agitation and lucidity he communicated would give a clue as to what the bishop himself believed was going on. We're told that even the diocesan officials who back up his took-a-tumble story were caught off balance by his quick return and by his latest misfortune:
Chancery officials at the Diocese of Gallup have stated that Pelotte suffered traumatic head injury in the July incident, and they have declined to speculate when or if Pelotte would be returning to his duties with the diocese. However, Pelotte took those same officials by surprise when he returned to Gallup Sept. 21.

They were surprised again by this most recent incident. The Independent contacted Matt Doyle, the interim communications director for the diocese, and provided him with a copy of the Metro Dispatch report on Friday evening.

"Right now," he said, "all that we can say is it's very early and we're looking into it."
My suggestion: Since you'll be having the carpet guy over to nail-down that runner more securely, call a locksmith to install a couple dead-bolts at the same time. Gentle dead-bolts. And while you're at at, phone the nunciature and ask what a 401-dash-2 costs these days. Think of it as an investment in the future.

DeChance, Bishop Descending a Staircase, Elkhart Museum of Contemporary Art

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Oct. 02, 2007 4:01 PM ET USA

    Could he be the target of demons? Maybe the chancery should get their resident exorcist out to visit the good bishop. And maybe it is due to the head injury?!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2007 9:59 PM ET USA

    Actually the chancery may have a point in not helping the Bishop...and the Bishop is certainly not helping himself. God help him in any case but what this appears to be is certainly not what has been described. As for 9-1-1 calls, they generally are recorded and in most states they are a matter of public record. They can only be kept confidential as part of a criminal investigation.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2007 5:00 PM ET USA

    Having watched too many reruns of the Caine Mutiny, no one at the Chancery wants to be seen as Fred McMurray. Perhaps the phone call should ask if the 401-2 comes with a side bucket of strawberries.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2007 4:06 PM ET USA

    The Great Episcopal Staircase Act is back! Only this time not so bumpy. I thought the Florida part would last longer. And the midnight home invaders that weren’t there last time are back too. Only this time not so ruff. Welcome to Gallup, the Vienna of New Mexico. Kerchiefed Coyotes in the moonlight. Unbuttoned silk dressing gowns twirled to reveal hairy Episcopal suet. An opera by Barry Manilow.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2007 4:04 PM ET USA

    This is bizarre. Not sure what to think about this except that the good bishop needs our prayers.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2007 2:11 PM ET USA

    Although everyone (including the Chancery) suspects the worst about the first incident – that is, rough trade - perhaps the Bishop encountered a real intruder, was beaten, can’t remember what happened (a frequent result of head trauma) and now is having flashbacks. Whatver has happened, the Chancery is not helping the bishop. Lee Podles