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Ohio man charged in bizarre White House security incident

Published On: Jun 11 2013 06:55:13 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 11 2013 10:10:17 PM CDT
White House Generic File 1

Larry Downing / Reuters


An Ohio man was charged Tuesday with destruction of property stemming from a bizarre incident outside the White House that involved a driverless SUV.

Joseph Clifford Reel, 32, of Kettering, Ohio, appeared in federal court and will remain jailed pending a detention hearing on Thursday.

According to a court affidavit, a driverless sports utility vehicle rammed a steel security bollard and a light post shortly after 3 a.m. on Sunday.

Officers found a wood block had been attached to the accelerator.

Secret Service officers spotted a man nearby on a bike who said he was watching the action.

Officers told him to move along and he did. But the same man, later identified as Reel, allegedly jumped a fence at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is next to the White House.

President Barack Obama was in California while all this was going on.

Reel was captured along with a can of paint. According to the court document, he told officers that he wanted to spray paint the "Don't Tread on Me" rattlesnake from an American Revolutionary era flag somewhere at the White House complex.

A search of the Jeep turned up 100 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition, 100 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition. eight knives, and two machetes. No explosives or guns were found, authorities said.


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