Ocala police officer arrested for DUI

Clark was also charged with Careless Driving and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage.

ocala police officer, dui, ocala post, ocala news, marion county news
Ocala Police Officer Dan Clark

[Last updated on November 16, 2015, at 2:54 p.m.]

Ocala, Post — Following up on an anonymous tip, Ocala Post learned that Ocala Police Department Detective Daniel Clark was arrested for driving while intoxicated on Saturday following a traffic stop.

The Florida Highway Patrol stated that Clark left the scene of an accident after he crashed into a mailbox.

The arrest was made by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the 7300 block of Northeast County Road 35.

According to the MCSO arrest affidavit, deputies saw smoke coming from a tire on Clark’s vehicle. They also stated that the vehicle was swerving. When deputies turned around to make contact with the driver, Clark approached the marked patrol car and stated, “I am drunk, I need help, I need to be arrested.”

Deputies reported that they could smell the strong odor of alcohol emitting from Clark’s breath as he spoke. Deputies stated that he kept repeating the statement that he was drunk.

Clark also confessed to hitting a mailbox in the Silver Meadows Subdivision.

According to reports, there was damage to the passenger side of Clark’s vehicle that was consistent with hitting an object of some kind. The airbag in the vehicle had also been deployed.

OPD Chief of Police Greg Graham said, “Clark has been suspended as a sworn officer until I meet with him Monday morning.” He went on to say, “At that point, a decision will be made whether he will be placed on paid or unpaid suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Chief Graham was cooperative, complied with Florida Sunshine Laws, and did not attempt to conceal the officer’s identity.

Clark was not on duty at the time of his arrest.

Clark refused to participate in any sobriety tests and refused a breath sample once at the Marion County Jail.

As of 9 a.m., Monday, Chief Graham suspended Clark without pay.

According to FHP,  as far as the crash, Clark was charged with Careless Driving and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage. These charges are in addition to the DUI charge by MCSO.

Detective Clark has been with the Police Department for 15 years.

Clark was released from jail on a $500 bond.

According to Florida statutes, Clark faces a one-year mandatory suspension of his driver’s license for refusing to submit to sobriety tests.

FHP investigated the crash and MCSO handled the DUI portion of the investigation.

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  • tomfromocala

    I see it’s not in the jail records though. Which means that MCSO tried to hide it for another police officer. Thank you Ocala Post and chief Graham for telling the truth.

    • Jsocala1

      Chief Graham? Seriously? He had no choice to tell the truth the officer is in his agency!

  • madwoman

    He is not only a drunk, but he is also an overly confident pervert. I know for a fact he has drank while on duty and made sexual advances toward women.

  • william friss

    Good job MCSO

    • Joe

      Where are you reading he was followed and arrested based on a tip. The post learned of the arrest based on a tip. Jeez reading comprehension please.

      • william friss

        Sorry, my bad. I originally scanned the article without really paying attention. The article now has more facts also. Yes the guy appears to have been a tragedy waiting to happen. Good job MCSO.

  • joanD.

    It is a known fact that this cop frequents bars, a lot. He ALWAYS drives away in his own vehicle and never calls a cab. Been the buzz for quite sometime. Shame they are just now catching him. And the article is not saying he was arrested on an anonymous tip, it says OP followed up on a tip and learned he was arrested.

    • Lieah

      You should pride yourself in knowing this and saying or doing nothing. Thank God no one was killed.

  • jsocala1

    It’s amazing the people on here attacking the MCSO about this OPD officer arrest…There is one thing that you cannot deny here and the fact is that Dan Clark was drinking and driving which the last time I checked is illegal. I guess if another agency caught him on the side of the road there would be no nasty comments directed at them. It’s so hilarious to read these ignorant and untrue statements about the MCSO. I guess if FHP or OPD arrested him it would be different. Enough of the nasty comments get off your high horse and realize the fact that Dan Clark was DRINKING AND DRIVING DUH!

    • Ms Betty

      I don’t see anyone attacking the MCSO. The MCSO must have already deleted those comments like they usually do.

      • william friss

        Jsocala1 referred to a post criticizing MCSO for not having on Mugshots the officers booking picture. Which is true, they should not hide said picture/info.

        • Ms Betty

          you are right they shouldn’t hide anything and as I said, I see no previous comments re mugshots. The whole of MCSO should be re-vamped cause they truly have the buddy system living strong within their ranks. Another thing his records are not being published either. I went to city clerk site and nothing on this guy..

          • william friss

            No the clerk will have nothing until after first appearance and the State begins a case.

          • Jsocala1

            Ms Betty have you ever worked for the MCSO? If you have did you ever work with the senior staff?

          • Ms Betty

            It’s the “senior staff” who needs to be replaced.

          • Jsocala1

            Why do you feel that way? Please don’t base your ideas on what is printed .

          • Ms Betty

            You work for MSCO, that’s why you’re trying to make this personal. Forget it, just know how the public feels about the MSCO.
            Getting back to the story here, I hope they nail this guy like they would nail any other citizen of Marion County but I seriously doubt it.

          • Jsocala1

            I do not work for MCSO but I have a father who is a retired law enforcement officer (not from here) I sit back and have watched as they are constantly bashed. It’s such a shame. Unless you have walked in their shoes and know what they deal with on a daily basis then you don’t know.

        • Jsocala1

          Did you ever think for one minute that it’s not MCSO that is blocking the photo? Typically when investigations occur with other law enforcement officers FDLE jumps in and is the one who takes over. Remember that they have a protocol to follow. There is no conspiracy here. They are doing their job.

          • william friss

            Jsocala 1 maybe its not Marion County Sheriff’s Office hiding his mug shot picture. However why should a person’s mugshot picture ever be hidden he was arrested just like anyone else and should go through the same system we all do

          • william friss

            Does not the Constitution state equal protection under the law. Law enforcement should not be given special favors in these situations.

          • Jsocala1

            True however there are certain protocols that are in place that agencies must adhere despite public opinion.

          • william friss

            I agree, however, just saying so doesnt make it true. The public has a right to see such a written protocol and the reasons such a protocol is needed. Otherwise it is in conflict with transparency and open government and Florida Sunshine law.

          • Jsocala1

            True! But before you judge you have to understand both sides first instead of what the newspaper reports which have known to report incorrect information.

          • william friss

            True. Im not judging MCSO. He also worked for OPD. We shall see if the State Attorney Office gives this guy a awesome deal. Favoritism.

          • Jsocala1


          • Natalie Claire

            Guy lived a few apts down from me. Always drove company car home, always. It was a known fact around here, as I had been told, that he was a drunk. So, when I saw this article, it made me perturbed. Cops should lose their jobs over this. He hit a damn mailbox (could have been my son) and then drove from scene! Only reason he was crying is because he was caught. If a cop hadn’t of seen him broke down on side of the road, he wouldn’t have turned himself in. He needs to be set as an example. Just think how many times hes done this and gotten away with it! And considering he’s a detective, if he weren’t caught, he could have been handling his own case! I know if he pulled me over for dui, after this, I couldnt respect him what so ever! He needs to seek help. I do wish him luck….as a person, not a cop.

          • Jsocala1

            Okay I agree with you on that…

          • Bob

            If you did a little research Mr. Friss rather than run your gator you would realize that a Law Enforcement Officers Picture and personal information is protected under F.S.S. 119.071. You may not agree with the law but it is a law so suck it up buttercup.

          • william friss

            Bob, yes their personal info is protected, however, i do not believe his mugshot/arrest photo is included in the statutes intent. Notwithstanding his photo has been included in the articles, thus its a non issue as to identity. He should face the same embarrassment as any arrestee does when arrested. A criminal arrest negates that public records information non disclosure.

          • Natalie Claire

            Thank you! I agree 1000%!

          • Natalie Claire

            I think the only buttercup that’ll be sucking anything up is Dan.

  • Justin

    Detective Clark is a good man and has been a stand up officer for years! Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. I wish you the best detective.

  • william friss

    In fairness, we must recognize the MCSO did arrest the detective and not give him a break. Driving drunk is a serious breach of the law and public saftey.

  • Shelsie Stevens Ballew

    We all know drinking and driving is absolutely dangerous and stupid. However a single person on this earth is not perfect. Dan Clark may have and may made more than one mistake in his life but he is a fantastic individual and has a heart of gold. He has done numerous fundraisers for children and adults in this county who are in life threatening conditions. He has helped my family on numerous occasions when my son had cancer. So yes he made a mistake, we all do. But I will support him because he supported me and many others at our worst. Look at these facts as well as your throwing your stones!!!

  • nohilderbeast2016

    hope the law will be applied equally…we will see…

  • Jennifer Bateman Niemann

    Very nice guy…I wish him the best in his future!

  • Rashomon

    I’ve met this man on several occasions and known his character to be good, decent, and kind, and I’ve seen him go very far above and beyond to help others without expecting anything in return. Of course, the flip side is that he obviously knows better, and if he has a problem with alcohol I hope he can overcome it. If he’s guilty of DUI, then he’s put himself and others at risk, and surely made a terrible mistake which will ultimately cost him much more than it would the average Joe, in terms of career, public humiliation, ostracism, and shame. It certainly doesn’t appear that he was looking for any sort of special treatment. He’s human, and he will have to face the consequences of his actions…but I for one won’t pile on here. I wish him the best, and hope he gets help, and that his friends and family stand by him and help him through this. There is no diminishing the seriousness of DUI…but I truly believe this man still has a lot of positive worth to contribute in his lifetime.

  • harry

    I paid a lawyer to rep me, $3500, he went to a hearing I didn’t know about, cop no show, didn’t lose license

  • Ms Betty

    With this guys record his license should be revoked. He has careless driving all the way back to 1999 when he was 17. He’s had his license suspended too so what are we waiting for? Does he have to kill someone before anything gets done. That mailbox he hit could very well have been a child.

  • Tim Boyle

    Don’t know the guy, don’t have a dog in this fight. BUT after 15 years on the job maybe a shot at rehab is worth something. People are real quick to condemn.

  • Juan Motime

    We hold our police to a higher standard simply because they have the powers of arrest. If you want special powers, you’d better be a special person. Do I think he should lose his job? No. Let him pay the same price you or I would. The difference is, if I get busted for DUI, no one at work will ever know. Everyone where he works knows. However, the lazy-ass newspaper reporters can get the arrest report much easier than the conviction report, so an arrest goes in the paper rather than who was convicted. Should be illegal, but it isn’t.