Ex-KPD officer arrested again

Ex-KPD officer arrested again, parents plead for placement in mental rehab center

Posted:
Donald Clark (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Donald Clark (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A former Knoxville police officer with a lengthy criminal history was arrested again last week. His parents told 6 News they believe their son needs to be placed in a mental rehabilitation center and not in prison.

Donald Clark was arrested and accused of stalking the same victim for a second time.

In the past, Clark has faced charges of buying alcohol for teens and threatening an assistant district attorney.

Clark's father, who did not want to be identified, told 6 News he is sorry to anyone hurt by his son's actions.

"Any of the parents and the individual females, I want to apologize for him," Clark's father said. "He's got some mental issues. We always said he had a mind of a 13-year-old."

According to the arrest report, Clark, 32, showed up at the Episcopal School of Knoxville and said he was looking into enrolling his child at the school and toured the campus.

However, a witness said Clark's behavior was strange.

After looking up his background, the witness learned Clark used to have a restraining order against him by a former student.

Clark's parents said there were signs that their son was mentally unstable at a young age.

"I noticed a pattern, I didn't notice it at the time, but a pattern was developing as far back as when he was a teenager," his father said.

Clark was arrested in 2009 for giving alcohol to two 13-year-old girls.

Former KPD officer Nicky Bryant was also charged in that incident.

In 2012, Clark pleaded guilty to threatening an Assistant District Attorney on Facebook.

Clark's father said his son has never been charged for physically harming anyone and believes his actions are all signs that he needs help from a psychiatrist, and not more time behind bars.

"If he went to prison, all that would do is make him a more professional criminal so he goes right back into society and continues to do more things except with more criminal advice from the inside," Clark's father said.

The headmaster of the Episcopal School of Knoxville, James Secor, said the school's number one priority is the safety of the students and said staff is trained to report anything peculiar to the Knox County Sheriff's Department, which is what he said happened in this case.

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