Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Mass. pled not guilty to drunk driving-related charges in Rhode Island after apologizing to his diocese for what he called his “terrible error in judgment.”
“There is no excuse for the mistake I made, only a commitment to make amends and accept the consequences of my action,” the bishop said in a May 6 statement on the Worcester diocese website.
“More importantly, I ask forgiveness from the good people whom I serve, as well as my family and friends, in the Diocese of Worcester and the Diocese of Providence.”
The 61-year-old bishop’s apology said he had erred by driving after consuming alcohol on May 4.
He was arrested in Narragansett on Saturday after his car allegedly collided with another vehicle and he drove from the scene. The other driver followed the bishop and called police, the Associated Press reports.
The arresting officer said the bishop was not sure whether he had hit another vehicle. The bishop allegedly failed three different sobriety tests and was cited for refusing to take a chemical breath test, the Boston Globe says. The bishop told the officer he had had two drinks at dinner three and a half hours before his arrest.
His lawyer entered a plea of not guilty to charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. The Rhode Island court let him go free on $1,000 bail. He is scheduled to return to court on May 28.
The other driver told police he would undergo examination at a local hospital to be treated for pain. Bishop McManus is a Providence, R.I. native and has a vacation home in the Narragansett area.