Kettering man accused of crashing Jeep near White House enters plea


A Kettering man today pleaded not guilty to federal charges of crashing his Jeep last month into steel barriers near the White House, telling a federal judge that he has been taking medication since his arrest for Bipolar Disorder.

In a brief hearing in U.S. District Court, Joseph Clifford Reel spoke in court for the first time, acknowledging that he has been taking medication for the mental illness which also is known as manic depression.

Wearing an orange prison suit and with his hands folded behind his back, Reel spoke in a clear and concise manner as he answered questions from U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras.

He told the judge he was 32 years old, a high school graduate and had attended technical college after high school. Reel said he had “reviewed” the charges and understood them.

A status hearing will be held next month in federal court.

A federal grand jury this month charged Reel with causing more than $1,000 in damage to federal property, entering the restricted grounds of the White House without permission, and illegally possessing more than 200 rounds of ammunition.

According to federal prosecutors, Reel rigged the accelerator of his 2008 Jeep Patriot so it could operate without a driver and reach a speech of 45 mph. Shortly after 3 a.m. on June 9, the Jeep slammed into a light post, a steel bike rack and a barrier near the White House, causing at least $7,800 in damage.

After the crash, Secret Service officers saw a man on a bicycle on 17th Street near the Old Executive Office Building, which is next to the White House.

When the man jumped the fence surrounding the EOB — which houses offices for the White House staff — Secret Service officers arrested him.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Iranians: U.S. Navy ship fired warning flares in Persian Gulf
Iranians: U.S. Navy ship fired warning flares in Persian Gulf

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier fired warning flares at Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf on Friday, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. >> Read more trending news In a statement Saturday, the IRGC navy said the American ship was “unprofessional and provocative,” CNN reported. The USS Nimitz and a second...
Illinois teen accused of slashing puppy may be tried as an adult
Illinois teen accused of slashing puppy may be tried as an adult

An Illinois teenager accused of slashing the neck of a puppy could be charged as an adult, WQAD reported. >> Read more trending news The aggravated animal cruelty charge against the 17-year-old was filed in Juvenile Court, according to a statement from Henry County State’s Attorney Matt Schutte. Schutte is seeking to prosecute the teen...
Chris Christie says his children were hurt by ‘Beachgate’ incident
Chris Christie says his children were hurt by ‘Beachgate’ incident

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his family was hurt by the backlash caused by the “Beachgate” incident that occurred over the Fourth of July weekend, KYW reported. >> Read more trending news Christie was photographed with his family by NJ.com at Island Beach State Park, which was closed during the New Jersey government shutdown...
Bright skies and warm temperatures this weekend
Bright skies and warm temperatures this weekend

We’ll experience a cool, clear start to the day with temperatures climbing through the 60s, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs. Mostly sunny skies are expected for the day with highs into the upper 70s. It will feel noticeably more comfortable compared to yesterday with much lower humidity in place and a pleasant breeze...
N.C. man accused of hanging noose in neighbor's yard
N.C. man accused of hanging noose in neighbor's yard

A North Carolina man was arrested and accused of hanging a noose from a tree in front of his neighbor’s yard, police said. >> Read more trending news Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves said that Jeffery Lee McDaniel, 59, of Asheboro was charged with one count of placing an exhibit with intention of intimidating others, two counts...
More Stories