Weird news: Priest dials 9-1-1 because he is "stuck in a pair of handcuffs"

Father Tom Donovan of St. Aloysius church has taken a leave of absence after making a bizarre emergency call

By Prachi Gupta
Published January 4, 2013 10:44PM (EST)

The Illinois Times has published a strange 9-1-1 call placed by Illinois pastor Father Tom Donovan on Nov. 28, who was apparently tied up in a pair of handcuffs at St. Aloysius Church.

This is how the call begins:

Donovan: Hi there, I am stuck in a pair of handcuffs. I’m going to need help getting out before this becomes a medical emergency.

Dispatcher: What's the problem?

Donovan: I'm stuck. In a pair. Of handcuffs.

Dispatcher: You’re stuck in a pair of handcuffs?

Donovan: Yes.

It's not clear how Donovan ended up in handcuffs, aside from that he was "playing with them," or why this constituted a medical emergency warranting police intervention, but the pastor has since taken a leave of absence. Kathie Sass, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Springfield, said that Donovan "came to the bishop before anyone was aware of the incident” and was granted a leave of absence sometime before Christmas.

Listen to the full call, below:

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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