Ex-Bridgeport fire battalion chief charged in alleged violent sex assault of woman

An ex-Bridgeport fire battalion chief was charged Thursday for an alleged violent sexual assault of a 55-year-old woman.
Bridgeport police say Harold Clarke Sr., 57, a former Bridgeport fire battalion chief, turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Police say it is likely more arrests will be made in this case.
Police say detectives from Bridgeport's Police Special Victims Unit responded to St. Vincent's Medical Center Feb. 17 for a report of a 55-year-old woman being treated after a violent sexual assault earlier that morning.
The warrant says the victim had swelling under their eye, and bruising on their forearms and wrists, which appear to be created by being held and grabbed. The warrant also says the victim is a military veteran who was wounded in combat and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Police say they later found through an investigation that Clarke was the suspect in the assault. Police say Clarke retired from the Bridgeport Fire Department shortly following the investigation.
According to the warrant, the victim was drinking with Clarke at a bar that night when she later gave him a ride home and was invited inside. The warrant states, "Clarke gave her some water and she began to feel "fuzzy" and "blurry," around the same time, other unidentified men came to the house. The warrant says, then the victim says she was sexually assaulted, and believes all men present could have been a part of it.
DNA testing shows an almost certain match to Clarke and two other unidentified men involved, according to the warrant.
News 12 knocked on Clarke's door for comment Thursday, but no one was home.
Clarke is charged with aggravated sexual assault, and his bond has been set at $250,000. He was held on high bond Thursday after he was arraigned in Bridgeport Superior Court.
Neighbors and friends of Clarke say they are shocked by his arrest and the allegations.
"My heart was broken, I was very surprised, and it just really brought tears to my eyes, but I think what helped me the most was that the police department didn't rush to judgment," said Mary McBride Lee, from the Bridgeport City Council.
News 12 reached out to the City of Bridgeport for comment but has not heard back.