An Alabama Republican who ran for agriculture commissioner in 2010 and whose campaign ad became a YouTube sensation is being charged with shoplifting beer, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
According to police in Hoover, Ala., Dale Peterson was arrested at a local Wal-Mart on Oct. 15 when he pushed his shopping cart filled with beer and paper towels past the cash registers before paying for the items. He was arrested on a charge of third-degree theft of property, according to the AP.
Peterson insisted that it was merely a misunderstanding. On a run to pick up supplies for a football game, Peterson said he was struck by the urge to use the restroom just as he was preparing to pay for the items, which totaled less than $40. “I had to go when I went in the store,” Peterson said, as quoted by the AP. He parked the shopping cart outside the bathroom and said he was met by store security as he exited.
A Peterson 2010 campaign ad in which he brandished a rifle and rode on a horse emerged as a hit on the Internet. In the ad, which featured quick transitions and music fit for a western, Peterson wanred of "thugs and criminals" who are liable to abuse taxpayer money.
"If they can keep you in the dark, they can do whatever they want with all that money," Peterson said in the ad. "And they don't give a rip about Alabama!"