VNassault091820

DOUGLAS BENNETT CLARK

NOKOMIS — Authorities arrested a Nokomis man on allegations he sexually battered a woman, burned her with a blowtorch and called her a “snitch” for talking to investigators about his roommate’s recent death.

He also allegedly kidnapped her, attempting to take her to another woman who wanted to beat her up, according to the investigation.

Douglas Bennett Clark, 51, 400 block of Pinewood Avenue, was arrested Wednesday after a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office tactical unit tracked him down on Laurel Road in Venice.

He denied any wrongdoing, saying the two had consensual sex.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Clark went to where the victim was staying between 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and 12:30 a.m. Wednesday unannounced and used narcotics in the kitchen, according to the woman’s recollection.

She had texted him Tuesday, asking him about the roommate’s death.

After he arrived, she texted a friend saying she “was not comfortable with him being there.”

Initially, it was a calm situation, the victim said. She told police she was playing music while Clark was allegedly “crushing up and snorting pills.”

That’s when events changed.

The probable cause affidavit states Clark attacked the woman by striking her in the head with a small television.

He forced her into a bathroom where he sexually battered her, it states.

“All snitches must pay,” he reportedly said as the victim asked him “not to do this.”

“This is what happens to snitches,” he said, according to the victim.

After the assault, the victim said he “burned her thigh with a blowtorch.”

Clark later forced her into his vehicle while he drove to a convenience store before taking her home and leaving the scene.

Throughout the evening, Clark reportedly called the woman a “snitch” and said she was going to die for allegedly working with law enforcement about the recent death of one of Clark’s roommates.


That death is now an open investigation. It was initially suspected to be a drug overdose, authorities said.

The victim told authorities there may be video surveillance storage devices in Clark’s possession that could shed light on the death.

Detectives noted several injuries on the victim who was treated at Venice Regional Bayfront Health.

On Wednesday, after hearing of the attack, Tactical Unit deputies conducted a traffic stop on Clark near the intersection of Pinebrook Road and Laurel Road where he was taken into custody.

Miguel Gonzalez, who owns the mobile home in which Clark lives, said Clark was the only tenant on the lease. He said neighbors have complained for months about illegal drug activity at the residence.

What was believed to be a drug-related death in the home in July spurred Gonzalez to serve an eviction notice on Clark, who rented the mobile home, and a person not on the lease who was living in what Gonzalez called a “man cave” created in the backyard.

Clark allegedly subleased to the man, in violation of the lease agreement.

That man was still living on the premises, Gonzalez said Friday.

Officials filed a default motion in Gonzalez’s favor Friday — two days after Clark’s arrest, since neither Clark nor the other man responded to the eviction notice in a timely manner.

A judge still has to rule on it, and Gonzalez said he’s concerned the moratorium on evictions during the pandemic might delay the matter.

In all, it appears four people were living in the mobile home in the 400 block of Pinewood Avenue in Nokomis.

Craig Damon, 45, was living at the residence along with his girlfriend in July. She moved in a few weeks before Damon died July 24 of a suspected overdose.

An incident report states the girlfriend woke up to find Damon dead.

Detectives found needles under his left arm and under his wallet. They also found additional drug paraphernalia and medicine bottles throughout Clark’s bedroom.

Clark is charged with two counts of sexual battery, and single counts of kidnapping, driving while license suspended, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

On Friday, he remained in custody without bond.

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