MARATHON, Fla. – A Big Pine Key man was arrested Saturday after deputies said he drove drunk and witnesses said he fired a gun from his van while he was stopped at a red light in Marathon.
Dusty Ray Clark, 37, faces charges of driving while under the influence and a number of weapons violations.
Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said deputies responded to a report of a reckless driver leaving the Brass Monkey bar in a white van around 11:20 p.m. Witnesses told dispatchers that someone inside the van "popped off rounds" from a gun while waiting to turn on the Overseas Highway.
Deputies found the van speeding along the Seven Mile Bridge and conducted a traffic stop, Linhardt said. Deputies said Clark was slurring his words, had trouble keeping his balance and smelled of alcohol. Clark also failed a field sobriety test, Linhardt said.
During the arrest, Clark claimed that a female deputy sexually assaulted him. Although there was no evidence that an assault occurred, Clark was taken to Fisherman's Hospital to be examined and eventually transferred to jail, Linhardt said.
A search of the van found several firearms including a 9 mm handgun, .22-caliber rifle and .22-caliber handgun hidden inside a book with its pages removed. A convicted felon, Clark is not permitted to own firearms.