Two policemen ended up in the hospital after a priest attacked them while resisting arrest for groping women on a train.
Father Peter Slocombe, 72, punched and kicked the officers in the face as he protested his innocence, yelling: “I’m a man of the cloth.”
The attack left one of the policemen with a broken nose and both had cuts and bruises. They were eventually able to arrest the British priest, who was not wearing his Catholic habit, after calling for back-up. He was bundled into a squad car at Rome’s main station.
The priest’s arrest came after two women in their 40s alerted police that he had touched them on the bottom and chest. When police arrived and the women pointed at the priest, he ran off and that led to a chase which resulted in a struggle when he was caught.
Father Slocombe, who was on holiday at the time of the incident, is parish priest at St Joseph Church in Tewkesbury, Gloucs, and Catholic chaplain at the University of Gloucester. Parishioners had planned a party for him next month to celebrate his 50 years as a clergyman.
A police spokesman said:
This guy was crazy. He was punching and kicking out at the officers. He kept saying he was man of the cloth and was innocent but we have witnesses who say he was touching two women on the train and the victims identified him.
He got sentenced to house arrest for two years and eight months at a Rome court for sexual assault and resisting arrest.