[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.