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Melville Police Chief challenger bonds out of jail

Cleven-Clark-Melville-Police-Chief-Race
Courtesy: St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office

Melville Police Chief challenger Cleven Clark is out on bond.

Clark was arrested last night and booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail. He’s accused of hitting a Melville police officer who rode past his daughter’s home with sirens going off in celebration after Chief Anthony Moreau won re-election.

Clark told KATC the Chief and his officers were “harassing his family” by parading by him after the election results came in.

Cleven Clark transported to Melville Police Department
Cleven Clark transported to Melville Police Department

Sunday afternoon, Chief Moreau spoke with KATC’s Chris Welty. Moreau said, “We didn’t know where he was at.”

The Melville Police Department has a tradition of parading through town when the incumbent chief wins re-election. Moreau said this tradition dates back to the 1980’s.

Clark is accused of kicking officer Jerry Williams’ unit. Moreau said, “There was little damage to the unit.” When Williams got out of the unit, Moreau said, “Williams was hit in the face.”

Williams did not seek medical attention, but the Chief said, “You could see where Officer Williams was hit in the face. I’m not going to tolerate anyone putting their hands on my officer.”

Clark denies hitting Williams. He said, “I never put my hand on him. I never touched him and I have plenty of people that are witnesses saying I did not touch him.”

Clark also tells us he’s fed up with the Chief and his officers are bullying him and his family.

“They need to just go on about their job and leave us alone,” Clark said.

Clark said it didn’t go down like the chief said.

“They come riding through town, passing in front of my daughters. They were running their sirens and everything. The last car was the other officer,” he said.

That officer was Jerry Williams; Clark says his family has filed complaint against Williams in the past, but the chief won’t do anything to stop Williams’ harassing them. It was Williams that Clark is accused of hitting. Clark says that officer came back to his daughter’s home after all the other police had left.

“The officer that was accusing of all this, he come back with his whole family. They had eight or nine cars that pulled up and started,” Clark said.

While we were on the scene last night, people passed by the home, shooting fireworks from their car into the yard.

Melville Police originally asked the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office to investigate, but the case was handed back to them. Clark was brought in for questioning, and within an hour was arrested.

“I just want him to make them quit harassing my family,” Clark says. “They won, I don’t have a bitter heart about it. That’s what the people wanted. That’s who they got. Let them go on about their lives and let us go on about ours and leave us alone.”

Chris Welty

Chris Welty

Chris Welty is a multimedia journalist at KATC.
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