Strange Encounter

Bishop of Gallup calls police after he detected intruders


Bishop Donald Pelotte of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico made an erratic emergency call from his home to local police early Thursday morning.  An incident report from the McKinley Metropolitan Dispatch Authority reported that Bishop Pelotte, aged 62, told operators "...gentle little people, about 3 to 4 feet tall, and wearing Halloween masks" were in the hall. Bishop Pelotte is reported to have said that he hid in a closet while the people were in his home.

Three officers were dispatched to the bishop's residence at 6 a.m., where they searched inside and outside his home.  They reportedly found no intruders, but twenty minutes later the bishop requested they search again.  Again, the officers discovered no intruders.

The bishop reported four individuals were in his house but gave contradictory information about them.  He said one of the individuals had come to visit while the others came inside.  He claimed they had been at his home for three hours and would not leave despite his requests.

Bishop Pelotte suffered severe injuries on July 23 sometime before his chancellor Deacon Timoteo Lujan discovered him locked in his bedroom.  The bishop told Deacon Lujan that he had fallen down a staircase, but an emergency room physician at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital contacted police, suspecting Bishop Pelotte may have been assaulted.  The bishop was then airlifted to a trauma center at a Phoenix hospital.

Following the incident, Bishop Pelotte insisted that he fell down a set of stairs after having felt sick for the previous day or two. Chancery officials at the Diocese of Gallup have said that Bishop Pelotte suffered traumatic head injury in the July incident. 

Matt Doyle, interim communications director for the Diocese of Gallup, said that clergy consulting Bishop Pelotte and other officials will be contacted to make a decision for the diocese. Nonetheless, the final decision on what to do will fall to the Vatican.

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