Mitt Romney was arrested in 1972 for a coke related DUI, The Daily Currant can exclusively reveal.
A lengthy investigation by journalists from this newspaper and several local affiliates in the Boston metro area uncovered the hitherto unreported arrest which occurred in Belmont, MA while Romney was a graduate student at Harvard University.
After being stopped for erratic driving, Romney was held for three days and ultimately released for lack of evidence. He was never charged with a crime, and the incident was expunged from his official record.
A Freedom of Information request from Middlesex County and interviews with retired law enforcement officials paint a picture of what happened the night of June 16th 1972.
According to these sources the night began with a stag night out with Romney's law school classmates, who were going to see the recently released Deep Throat in theaters. Despite his strong Mormon faith, the newly married Romney wanted to fit in with his classmates at Harvard and reluctantly decided to attend.
At the movie theater the sinful atmosphere tempted Romney to engage in another activity banned by his faith - the consumption of caffeine. Witnesses that night say an emboldened Romney decided to try Coca-Cola for the first time, a decision that would prove a fateful one.
Romney's virgin body was unable to handle the stimulation from the caffeinated beverage, and he had difficulty maintaining his composure as he drove home alone. Local police spotted his erratic driving and pulled him over. Asked by the officers if he was under the influence, Romney broke down and confessed:
"Aw gee whiz officers you got me. I'm all hopped up on coke. I'm sorry. I don't normally do this stuff, tonight was just a special thing. My friend gave me one. Then I had another. And then another. I don't know what got into me officers I just couldn't stop. It felt so good."
"How many did you have son?" the officers asked.
"Seven. I had seven full ones."
Thinking that Romney had snorted seven full lines of cocaine, the officers immediately arrested him and put him behind bars while drug tests were done.
My Cousin Romney
"Back then drug tests took a few days," explains John Murphy, one of the arresting officers on the scene, "So we needed to hold him until the results came in."
"He kept saying 'I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was illegal.' But we didn't know what he meant until we got the tests back. Then it all came together."
Local police profusely apologized for the misunderstanding, and the courts agreed to expunge the incident from the record. The night's events have gone unreported until now.
The revelation recalls the disclosure of George W. Bush's alcohol DUI just before the 2000 election. That report is believed to have reduced turnout among Christian evangelicals in the razor close contest with Al Gore. No fallout is expected from Romney's DUI, given the innocuous nature of the events.
"He was a good kid, " says Murphy, " He just got caught up in some bad stuff."