The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

February 15, 2013

Candidate who vowed to take on 'thugs' in Montgomery arrested W/VIDEO

— HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — A former agriculture commissioner candidate who promised to take on the thugs and criminals in Montgomery is now facing a charge of shoplifting beer.

Republican Dale Peterson said Friday he never intended to shoplift and expects to get the charge dismissed once he explains to authorities that he was only rushing to the restroom.

A spokesman for the Hoover Police Department said Peterson was arrested Oct. 15 on a charge of third-degree theft of property. Police said employees at a Wal-Mart stopped him after he pushed a shopping cart of beer and paper towels past the cash registers without paying for the contents. The case is pending in municipal court.

Peterson, 67, said he and his wife Kathy had friends coming over to watch a football game, and he went to pick up supplies. He said he got ready to check out with less than $40 worth of merchandise, but he had to go to the restroom badly. "I had to go when I went in the store," he said.

Peterson said he rolled his shopping cart past the cash registers, parked it outside the restroom, and got stopped by store security when he emerged from the restroom. He said he never left the store, and he didn't know it was considered shoplifting "once you pass the cash registers."

Peterson's ads in the 2010 Republican primary for agriculture commissioner featured the tough-talking politician holding a rifle and promising to go after thugs and criminals in Montgomery politics. The ads went viral on YouTube, but Peterson finished third. The ads helped him become a popular speaker at Republican events and an adviser to Herman Cain in his presidential bid last year.

Peterson blamed thugs and criminals for spreading word about his arrest to keep him from making another campaign in 2014.

Peterson's charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Text Only
Local News


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee