An Ocala Police Department officer, identified as Joseph Reid Kelly, 36, was arrested Monday after it was discovered that he filed a false report involving a May 11 crash.
Kelly, who is under investigation by Internal Affairs, has been suspended without pay.
Records show that on May 11, another Ocala police officer responded to the 800 block of Southeast 31st Street in regards to a single-vehicle crash.
Upon arrival, Officer Kelly told the responding officer, identified as Officer Marsden Easley, that [he] was the passenger of the vehicle and that the driver had taken off on foot.
Police said it appeared that the vehicle had been westbound, crossed over the median, and slammed into a guardrail causing extensive damage.
Officer Kelly told his fellow officer that he was at a bar and had gotten a ride from another patron. He stated that the tire popped and cause the vehicle to hit the guardrail.
Kelly said the man who was driving then got out and ran. Kelly said he did not remember where he met the man but gave the location of the last bar [he] had visited.
During the investigation, investigators pulled surveillance video from the area and quickly determined that Kelly was not being truthful.
The video showed that two men approached the vehicle after it crashed, while a third man was seen walking away from the crash. The man walking away from the crash was wearing clothes similar to what Kelly was wearing.
The witnesses told police that Kelly was in the vehicle alone and appeared to be stumbling when he exited the vehicle.
Surveillance from the bar showed that Kelly left the bar alone.
Kelly was released from jail on a $500 bond.
Officials refused to release Kelly’s mugshot.
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