Illinois Priest on Leave After Handcuffing Incident - NBC Chicago

Illinois Priest on Leave After Handcuffing Incident

Father Tom Donovan called 911 from church rectory asking for help



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    A Springfield priest is on administrative leave following an incident involving handcuffs in the rectory.

    Father Tom Donovan placed a 911 call on Nov. 28 from the rectory of St. Aloysius Parish. In that call, he said he needed help getting out of the cuffs "before this becomes a medical emergency."

    Reports the Illinois Times:

    "You’re stuck in a pair of handcuffs?" the dispatcher asks.

    "(I was) playing with them and I need help getting out," Donovan responds.

    Donovan told the dispatcher that he was alone in the rectory. It’s not clear exactly how he ended up in handcuffs or why he feared a medical emergency. His voice sounds garbled or muffled on the tape, and sources say that police discovered some sort of gag on the priest when they arrived.

    Donovan's leave was granted sometime before Christmas by Bishop Thomas Paprocki, according to the diocese.

    The Illinois Times has published audio of Donovan's phone call to SoundCloud.

    Those keeping tabs on the same-sex marriage debate in Illinois may find Paprocki's name familiar. He testified Thursday at an Illinois Senate Executive Committee against the proposal.