HONESDALE - A former Carbondale patrolman, who is currently with the Honesdale police force, was arrested last week for suspicion of DUI.
This is the third time David Matthew Clark, 40, of Lake Ariel, has been arrested over the past several years while working as a police officer.
Carbondale Police Captain Brian Bognatz told The Carbondale News that the latest incident took place at 1:20 a.m. on Wednesday, June 11, when Clark was driving down Salem Mountain in a 2006 Hyundai and struck three parked vehicles.
“It was a four-car crash and three of them were totaled,” Bognatz related.
“We believe that two of the parked vehicles were totaled, as was the car that Mr. Clark was driving.”
He said Carbondale police officers arrived at the scene and took Clark into custody for suspicion of DUI.
“Charges were filed the very next day,” Bognatz noted.
Clark has been charged with suspicion of drunk driving as well as with reckless driving.
Bognatz pointed out that this is Clark’s third arrest in the past eight years, which includes a previous DUI charge.
The first incident occurred at about 2 a.m. on July 30, 2006, when Clark was employed as a patrolmen with the Carbondale Police Department.
On the night in question, he was attending a bachelor party for Patrolman Kyle Miller while the two officers were off-duty.
They ended up beating a 73-year-old Simpson man in front of the Belmont Hotel on Belmont Street over a minor traffic accident, after which both officers were suspended from the force.
Just over a year later, the two were terminated.
“Mr. Clark was involved in beating up a very elderly gentleman in that case,” Bognatz recalled.
Honesdale Borough Police Chief Rick Southerton said Clark has been suspended.
“He's not on the schedule and isn't working,” he said. “He won't return until we find out the outcome or whether or not he's convicted.”
Southerton said that from what he understands, Clark refused to have blood drawn, which is a mandatory loss of his driver's license for a year.
“If he's convicted, I find it hard to believe the Municipal Police Officer Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) would let him keep his certification,” he stated. “If he loses that, he can't get hired anywhere.”
If Clark is convicted he could face further disciplinary action that could include termination.