Officer Clark Nominated for America’s Most Wanted

The Middletown Police Department’s Officer Douglas Clark and his police dog Niko were recently nominated to be an America’s Most Wanted‘s “All-Star” for the capturing of fugitive Tormu Prall.

Clark, who is infamous at Wesleyan for harassing Wesleyan students and his involvement in the Fountain Avenue incident last year, as well as for other altercations, clearly has a tendency to take his job to the extreme.

However, on September 8, 2008, this quality manifested itself as bravery. Responding to a call about a man breaking into cars, Clark and Niko followed Prall, who is accused of arson and murder, through briars and a forest to a parking lot near the Mattabasset River, where he disappeared from sight:

Using his powerful sense of smell, the dog followed the trail of the convict until it reached the tractor trailers. Then the dog isolated the man’s location under one of the parked trucks.

Based on the dog’s reactions, the officer found the suspect. As he described it, “The dog was very hot … excited. Ears are literally perked forward, tail’s wagging. Everyone should know their own dog.”

At that point, Clark started exhorting the man to show himself and police ultimately took the guy in.

Had it not been for the dog, Clark said police would not have found the fugitive.

“He had wedged himself up under the axles where you couldn’t have seen him,” Clark said, a few days after the capture.

[…] Police had no idea if he had weapons, [Fellow MPD Officer] Puorro said. Still, Clark crawled on the ground and began digging under the trailer.

That bravery, a successful capture and all the work Clark does for the force combined to give Puorro a reason to nominate him, Puorro said — so he did. The next thing he knew, the producers from the show called and interviewed him.

See the full article in the Middletown Press here.
See the “America’s Most Wanted” article on Prall here.
And here’s previous Argus content featuring Officer Clark.

Also, this is my first post as a new Wesleying blogger. Hey Wesleyan.

72 thoughts on “Officer Clark Nominated for America’s Most Wanted

  1. Anonymous

    @6:46 for facts please read the following articles and observations.see especially:http://wesleyanargus.com/2006/10/31/police-watch-allegations-of-profiling-by-middletown-police-inspire-ongoing-discussions/see:http://wesleying.blogspot.com/2006/10/just-facts-maam.htmlhttp://wesleyanargus.com/2008/04/15/clark-harrassed-me/http://wesleyanargus.com/2007/05/08/question-police-activity-idea-of-suspicious-persons/http://wesleyanargus.com/2007/04/17/disturbing-police-encounter/http://wesleyanargus.com/2006/10/31/profiling-should-be-a-concern-for-all/

  2. Anonymous

    @6:46 for facts please read the following articles and observations.

    see especially:

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2006/10/31/police-watch-allegations-of-profiling-by-middletown-police-inspire-ongoing-discussions/

    see:

    http://wesleying.blogspot.com/2006/10/just-facts-maam.html

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2008/04/15/clark-harrassed-me/

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2007/05/08/question-police-activity-idea-of-suspicious-persons/

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2007/04/17/disturbing-police-encounter/

    http://wesleyanargus.com/2006/10/31/profiling-should-be-a-concern-for-all/

  3. Anonymous

    @6:00PM like we would believe what you said. Facts please. And if he’s that bad, Middletowners would be the first ones to voice concerns.

  4. Anonymous

    @6:00PM like we would believe what you said. Facts please. And if he’s that bad, Middletowners would be the first ones to voice concerns.

  5. Anonymous

    @5:25 I can’t offer you facts, but I personally witnessed his behavior. We had an incident my senior year where a number of CT chapters of black fraternities met at Wesleyan. Their event was shut down at Psi U and they were on Fountain Ave organizing a new plan when Middletown police came and said everyone had to leave (there were 50 cars and a lot of people). Officer Clark drove his car around the block 2 or 3 times with the back window down and his dog going nuts. He then stopped and started walking the block, when I (a white male) asked him why he had driven around with his rear window down he asked me why I was associating with *racial epithet*. I was shocked.

  6. Anonymous

    @5:25 I can’t offer you facts, but I personally witnessed his behavior. We had an incident my senior year where a number of CT chapters of black fraternities met at Wesleyan. Their event was shut down at Psi U and they were on Fountain Ave organizing a new plan when Middletown police came and said everyone had to leave (there were 50 cars and a lot of people). Officer Clark drove his car around the block 2 or 3 times with the back window down and his dog going nuts. He then stopped and started walking the block, when I (a white male) asked him why he had driven around with his rear window down he asked me why I was associating with *racial epithet*. I was shocked.

  7. Anonymous

    The facts on this site are not reported on any reputable news source so as far as I’m concerned, you guys are slandering the guy! This is why the MPD and the community at large does not respect us.

  8. Anonymous

    The facts on this site are not reported on any reputable news source so as far as I’m concerned, you guys are slandering the guy! This is why the MPD and the community at large does not respect us.

  9. johnwesley

    you have to take fountain avenue off the table. The WSA report never mentioned Officer Clark, nor singled out any particular officer by name.And, I repeat: what’s the status on Clare’s perps?

  10. johnwesley

    you have to take fountain avenue off the table. The WSA report never mentioned Officer Clark, nor singled out any particular officer by name.

    And, I repeat: what’s the status on Clare’s perps?

  11. Anonymous

    @3:38 – What kind of facts are you looking for? If you search this site or the Wesleyan Argus you can see reports of incidents that he was involved in. Also, official reports have been filed against him. Also, on this site you should be able to find some picture/video of the fountain incident. I don’t know what more you want.Also – I think you would be a little “Whiney” too if your friends and peers were being beaten, getting staples in their head and getting bitten by dogs.

  12. Anonymous

    @3:38 – What kind of facts are you looking for? If you search this site or the Wesleyan Argus you can see reports of incidents that he was involved in. Also, official reports have been filed against him. Also, on this site you should be able to find some picture/video of the fountain incident. I don’t know what more you want.

    Also – I think you would be a little “Whiney” too if your friends and peers were being beaten, getting staples in their head and getting bitten by dogs.

  13. Anonymous

    You guys make these accusations against Officer Clark without basis. Provide some facts! It’s easy to sit behind your laptop and type away making accusations against a police officer that has a family! PROVIDE SOME FACTS, REAL FACTS! OTHERWISE SHUT UP! You’re the reason why Middletown thinks were a bunch of whinny rich kid losers!

  14. Anonymous

    You guys make these accusations against Officer Clark without basis. Provide some facts! It’s easy to sit behind your laptop and type away making accusations against a police officer that has a family! PROVIDE SOME FACTS, REAL FACTS! OTHERWISE SHUT UP! You’re the reason why Middletown thinks were a bunch of whinny rich kid losers!

  15. Avocado

    No, I didn’t imply that at all. I just wanted to know whether when he burned down the house and he intended to kill his brother or not. Maybe he attacked his brother as he was lighting the house, and incapacitated him inside. It matters in a court of law, and also it makes him more cold-hearted if he did.

  16. Avocado

    No, I didn’t imply that at all. I just wanted to know whether when he burned down the house and he intended to kill his brother or not. Maybe he attacked his brother as he was lighting the house, and incapacitated him inside. It matters in a court of law, and also it makes him more cold-hearted if he did.

  17. Anonymous

    So if the guy burnt down the house, killed his brother but didn’t intend to do it, we don’t put him away for murder? By extrapolation then, if George Bush goes to Iraq looking for WMDs but didn’t intend to find the cupboard bare, he was righteous too? OK, now I see how this works. Whew. Thanks Avacado!

  18. Anonymous

    So if the guy burnt down the house, killed his brother but didn’t intend to do it, we don’t put him away for murder? By extrapolation then, if George Bush goes to Iraq looking for WMDs but didn’t intend to find the cupboard bare, he was righteous too? OK, now I see how this works. Whew. Thanks Avacado!

  19. Molly

    7:01, I see what you’re saying now. (This is (was?) 1:58 again.)I guess I wasn’t really aware of the extent of this issue. Thanks for the synopsis– I really am revising my opinion on this. A lot.

  20. Molly

    7:01, I see what you’re saying now. (This is (was?) 1:58 again.)I guess I wasn’t really aware of the extent of this issue. Thanks for the synopsis– I really am revising my opinion on this. A lot.

  21. Avocado

    I also dislike Officer Clark, or most small town police officers for that matter. However, I think that a show like America’s Most Wanted doesn’t care if a cop over steps his boundaries. They only care if they make an arrest that looks cool in re-enactment. If you look on the comments for the Middletown Press article, most Middletowners like Clark and have a bigger problem with two officers named Solis and DeFrance. I wonder if they will become new campus characters…

  22. Avocado

    I also dislike Officer Clark, or most small town police officers for that matter. However, I think that a show like America’s Most Wanted doesn’t care if a cop over steps his boundaries. They only care if they make an arrest that looks cool in re-enactment. If you look on the comments for the Middletown Press article, most Middletowners like Clark and have a bigger problem with two officers named Solis and DeFrance. I wonder if they will become new campus characters…

  23. Anonymous

    Completely agreed 7:01Sure he did something good in capturing this Prall character, but giving him a prestigious award in law enforcement doesn’t just praise him for that act. In fact “That bravery, a successful capture and all the work Clark does for the force combined to give Puorro a reason to nominate him.” This is about more than just that act, it is about him as an officer. Such an award legitimizes him as not only a worthy officer, but an exemplary officer. This “All-Star” status will lend him credence within the MPD, and undermine the ability of those he harrasses to appeal for a redress of their grievances and hold him accountable. He will be untouchable, does ANYONE think an untouchable Officer Clark is a good idea?

  24. Anonymous

    Completely agreed 7:01

    Sure he did something good in capturing this Prall character, but giving him a prestigious award in law enforcement doesn’t just praise him for that act. In fact “That bravery, a successful capture and all the work Clark does for the force combined to give Puorro a reason to nominate him.” This is about more than just that act, it is about him as an officer.

    Such an award legitimizes him as not only a worthy officer, but an exemplary officer. This “All-Star” status will lend him credence within the MPD, and undermine the ability of those he harrasses to appeal for a redress of their grievances and hold him accountable.
    He will be untouchable, does ANYONE think an untouchable Officer Clark is a good idea?

  25. Anonymous

    @1:58 This is issue is not about the Fountain incident. Officer Clark has a long history of unprofessional conduct that goes back at least 4 years, if not longer. He has, time and time again, demonstrated abrasive attitudes towards civilians he is sworn to protect, and a strong bias against individuals of color. Despite all of this I do not fault him personally for Fountain, I can understand how an officer caught in the middle of that would misinterpret the situation. However, for misusing his canine unit as an intimidation tactic, for transparent racism, and for abuse of his authority I do find the idea of Officer Clark having a badge sickening.

  26. Anonymous

    @1:58 This is issue is not about the Fountain incident. Officer Clark has a long history of unprofessional conduct that goes back at least 4 years, if not longer. He has, time and time again, demonstrated abrasive attitudes towards civilians he is sworn to protect, and a strong bias against individuals of color. Despite all of this I do not fault him personally for Fountain, I can understand how an officer caught in the middle of that would misinterpret the situation. However, for misusing his canine unit as an intimidation tactic, for transparent racism, and for abuse of his authority I do find the idea of Officer Clark having a badge sickening.

  27. Anonymous

    I’m with 12:37. I don’t condone the actions of either “side” of the Fountain Avenue incident. There was undoubtedly poor behavior among students and officers. As the article suggests, the same qualities of a person can manifest themselves in different ways depending on the situation. Officer Clark and his dog tracked down a criminal. Let them be praised for that.

  28. Anonymous

    I’m with 12:37. I don’t condone the actions of either “side” of the Fountain Avenue incident. There was undoubtedly poor behavior among students and officers. As the article suggests, the same qualities of a person can manifest themselves in different ways depending on the situation. Officer Clark and his dog tracked down a criminal. Let them be praised for that.

  29. Anonymous

    Listen, people aren’t all good or all bad. Things aren’t black and white. He could be heroic in this situation and have performed less than admirably in others. Let people be celebrated for their merits.

  30. Anonymous

    Listen, people aren’t all good or all bad. Things aren’t black and white. He could be heroic in this situation and have performed less than admirably in others. Let people be celebrated for their merits.

  31. Anonymous

    What an awesome dude, a no-bullshit kind of guy, exactly what we need in the whiny/sheltered wesleyan bubble! Officer Clark, some of us at Wes support you and are right behind you 100%.

  32. Anonymous

    What an awesome dude, a no-bullshit kind of guy, exactly what we need in the whiny/sheltered wesleyan bubble! Officer Clark, some of us at Wes support you and are right behind you 100%.

  33. Anonymous

    This dude is not the kind of cop that we, as a society, should be encouraging other officers to emulate. We should not be legitimating him, and by extension his methods, as an “heroic” or “all-star” officer. (Of course I don’t mean “we” in terms of wesleyan students — but “we” in terms of the whole country)We should, as the wesleyan cummunity, collectively write a letter to AMW about how he is a violent, abusive, potentially racist travesty of an officer of justice.

  34. Anonymous

    This dude is not the kind of cop that we, as a society, should be encouraging other officers to emulate. We should not be legitimating him, and by extension his methods, as an “heroic” or “all-star” officer. (Of course I don’t mean “we” in terms of wesleyan students — but “we” in terms of the whole country)

    We should, as the wesleyan cummunity, collectively write a letter to AMW about how he is a violent, abusive, potentially racist travesty of an officer of justice.

  35. Avocado

    Apparently, Tormu Prall burned down his brother’s house after an argument. The blaze killed the brother (this is why he is being charged for murder), although it isn’t clear whether that was Tormu’s intent.

  36. Avocado

    Apparently, Tormu Prall burned down his brother’s house after an argument. The blaze killed the brother (this is why he is being charged for murder), although it isn’t clear whether that was Tormu’s intent.

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