A gay man who says he was "beaten unconscious" by Fort Lauderdale police has a history of mental illness, unstable behavior, and violence. Two former friends of Ronald Clouse, who contacted us after he filed an Internal Affairs complaint against Fort Lauderdale police officer T.M. O'Neil, say that they had to file restraining orders against Clouse after he turned self-destructive and violent.
Both friends asked that we not publish their names, as they still fear retaliation, they say. But the two confirmed independently that Clouse has long suffered episodes of depression, suicidal behavior, and delusional thinking. One, a former roommate, said that she was forced to file a restraining order against Clouse in 2007 when they lived together in Baltimore.
Clouse's emails to the Juice would seem to raise questions about his credibility.
We're still waiting, after several requests, to receive the close-out memos on his internal affairs complaints (Sgt. Frank Sousa has said they should be available any day now.)
In the meantime, Clouse claims that his "state of the art" Droid phone has been mysteriously hacked, jeopardizing $20 million-worth of client information. But worse is the issue of his "silky terrier" Lola's safety:
I AM AFRAID I MAY HAVE TO GIVE AWAY LOLA MY SILKY TERRIOR TO SECURE HERE SAFTY IF I LOOSE MY APT. WHAT WE DISCUSSED HAS COST ME EASILY OVER $150,000. IN DAMAGES. THE ONLY THING THAT TRUELY MATTERED. WAS MY PETS AN ONE I HAVWNT SEEN SINCE I WAS BEETEN AND KNOW I. MAY LOOSE MY HOME AND ONLY WANT THE BEST FOR LOLA
Clouse has been charged with "Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer," (a third-degree felony) and with a secondary count of driving with a suspended license (Clouse had failed to pay traffic tickets). He is represented by Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, who told the Juice he believes Clouse's brutality allegations are credible.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.