Kettering man arrested in White House crash

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 @ 10:16 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 @ 1:01 PM


            
            Photo: Courtesy YouTube

A Kettering man crashed a Jeep into a security perimeter and then jumped the fence at the White House because he wanted to spray-paint the Revolutionary War-era “Don’t Tread on Me” snake on the grounds, authorities said in court documents Tuesday.

The man, identified in federal court documents as Joseph Reel, 32, of Kettering was charged with destruction of government property after the incident in the predawn hours of Sunday.

In a YouTube video posted by Reel on June 8, a day before the incident, he detailed his plans and why he wanted to spray paint the message.

“The voice of the tea party and anti-government waste and abuse was bullied and stifled and destroyed by the IRS,” he said in the video. “They’re spying on us at an extreme level.”

He asks why no one is doing anything about government abuses. “I’m just a regular guy who’s got nothing to lose. Who’s gonna do something about it,” he said. “I’m just going to walk right up to their front door.”

Reel’s wife, Rebekah Reel, told News Center 7 Tuesday night she was shocked when U.S. Secret Service agents showed up at her apartment at 6 a.m. Sunday and confiscated her computer. It was the first Rebekah knew of where her husband was located since he left Thursday morning after they got in a fight the night before.

“It sounds nothing like my husband,” said Rebekah, 26, who added Reel was an ex-Army medic who served in the Iraq war.

In another video posted to YouTube.com, Reel recorded a message for his 4-month-old son should something happen to him. It’s titled, “For my Son, Gabriel.”

The Secret Service said Reel, who records show is a registered Republican who voted in the November general election, went to elaborate lengths in his quest to breach White House security so he could leave behind his political message, according to a CNN report.

Reel told officers that he conducted “surveillance” of the White House complex on Saturday “looking for a way in.”

Sunday, about 3 a.m. he returned in a Jeep Patriot, according to the charges. He attached a wood block to the accelerator and set the vehicle on its way — unoccupied — ramming into a light post, a bicycle rack and a steel security bollard at 17th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue, which is the northwest corner of the White House complex, according to CNN.

A short time later, according to court records, Reel rode up on a bicycle and climbed over a fence at the north courtyard of the Old Executive Office Building, just west of the White House itself.

He was carrying a can of spray paint, which he dropped as he fled Secret Service agents, the court records allege.

The documents say Reel wasn’t armed when he jumped the fence. But they say investigators found 200 rounds of ammunition, eight knives and two machetes in the Jeep, which caused about $1,000 in damage.

Reel will appear in court on Thursday.

Rebekah described her husband, who grew up in Franklin, as a quiet guy and said she did not know he left the state following their fight. He worked as a security guard at a local business.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Sheriff uses game show-style ‘Wheel of Fugitives’ to catch criminals

Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 @ 1:41 PM


            A sheriff in Florida is using an unusal new weapon to catch criminals and says it's a success. A game show-style 'Wheel of Fugitives' is recorded and posted to Facebook every week.
            Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Brevard County Sheriff’s office in central Florida is putting an unusual spin on the agency’s search for wanted criminals.

Using a game modeled on the big wheel in the long-running game show “Wheel of Fortune,” the office posts Facebook videos of its own version of the game called “Wheel of Fugitives.”

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“It’s time for ‘Wheel of Fugitives,’ the game that fugitives hate and citizens love,” the department posted on its Facebook page to alert users that the game is about to begin.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey, the game’s version of Pat Sajak, said during interviews on the unusual law enforcement tool that officers have been using the game for the past 18 months to find and arrest many fugitives.

Florida sheriff spins the "Wheel of Fugitive" to fight crime!

Posted by Fox & Friends on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

“When we put someone up on the ‘Wheel of Fugitive,’ our citizens start sending us messages and contacting us right away,” Ivey said in an interview with CBS News.

Here’s how it works. Ivey spins a wheel with the pictures of 10 wanted criminals attached to it. Whichever photo the wheel lands on is declared the unlucky “winner” and is the person the department will search for with help from all the Facebook users who watch the video.

Ivey said the game has helped catch dozens of wanted felons.

Police: Elderly woman hears grandson stab her daughter to death

Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM


            Dedré Jefferson (Alief Independent School District)

An elderly Texas woman listened helplessly over the phone Friday night as her grandson stabbed her daughter to death, police said.

Dedré Jefferson and her mother, Ella Jefferson, were worried about Blake Jefferson, a 22-year-old student at Texas Southern University, according to police. ABC 13 in Houston reported that Blake had begun having “spiritual visions” and, on a recent Sunday, ran into a local church and interrupted services to tell the congregation about those visions.

Dedré Jefferson, a former longtime teacher who last year was elected to the Alief ISD’s board of trustees, had made an appointment for her son to talk to someone about his mental health on Friday, a family friend told the news station.

That appointment came too late.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Ella Jefferson, 73, got a phone call around 2 a.m. Friday from her 48-year-old daughter, who told her that Blake Jefferson was acting strange. She said she thought her son had taken some pills.

Ella Jefferson told her daughter to run away and find help.

“I can’t. He’s stabbing me,” Dedré Jefferson told her mother just before the phone went dead, the Chronicle reported.

Ella Jefferson called police and drove to the townhouse that her daughter and grandson shared. She also called the family’s minister, Gregg Patrick, who met her in front of the home.

“She was screaming, ‘I think he killed my daughter,’” Patrick told the newspaper.

When sheriff’s deputies arrived, they and Ella Jefferson found Dedré Jefferson’s body in the garage of the home. She had been stabbed multiple times.

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Blake Jefferson was arrested for murder a short time later in a neighboring townhouse after breaking into the unit and hiding in a closet, the Chronicle said.

Family and friends are left trying to figure out why the young man, who had no criminal record, attacked his mother.

“At this point, we have no idea what the argument was, or if there was even an argument,” Harris County sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Beall told the Chronicle.

KHOU reported that Blake Jefferson sobbed loudly Monday morning during a brief court appearance in his case. He is being held without bond in the Harris County jail.

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night to remember Dedré Jefferson, who Alief ISD Superintendent H.D. Chambers described as a “proud Alief ISD graduate, former employee and current board member.”

School board members also released a statement in which they said they are “devastated by the tragic loss” of their friend and colleague.

“You will not find a bigger advocate for public education than Dedré Jefferson,” the statement read. “She made a lasting impression on everyone she met in the community. Her impact will be felt for a very long time in Alief. She will be missed by many.”

Jefferson’s funeral is set for Thursday. 

Fort Recovery teacher guilty of sexual battery

Published: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 @ 4:29 PM
Updated: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 @ 4:29 PM

After emotional testimony from the victim in day two of the trial of a former Fort Recovery teacher charged with sexual battery, the defendant changed his plea as part of a deal with the prosecutor.

Christopher Summers, 33, pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual battery by a teacher or other person in authority serving in a school, according to proceedings today in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

Summers was initially facing 47 felony counts, including two counts of rape, involving a student at Fort Recovery High School.

The victim, a 19-year-old Fort Recovery graduate, testified that Summers sexually assaulted her multiple times when she was a 16-year-old student.

Others who testified for the prosecution included a coach, former baseball player and a principal.

Summers faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count, according to Mercer County Prosecutor Matthew K. Fox.

Fox said there’s a pending case against Summers in Darke County involving the same victim.

“I’m proud of the job the victim did today. She’s an amazing young lady,” Fox said.

Summers remains on house arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Mercer County next month.

Ft. Recovery teacher gets more prison time for student sex

Published: Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 2:25 PM
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 2:25 PM

A former Fort Recovery teacher was given another year in prison today after already getting 20 years in a sex case involving his student.

Christopher Summers, 33, will serve 21 years total for a relationship he had with a 16-year-old. In Darke County Common Pleas Court today, he was given one year on a count of sexual battery.

He faced up to five years on the charge.

Summers apologized today in court, telling the victim, the victim's family and his wife that he is remorseful.

The victim's testimony during the trial revealed a pattern by Summers of manipulation punctuated with sexual, physical and mental abuse and nearly 1,000 phone calls and text messages all hours of the day and night.

The victim, now 19, and her mother gave statements in court, as did Summers and his wife.

"I'm so sorry for what I did to her," Summers said. "She's entirely blameless, I'm not the monster they've tried to make me out to be."

His wife, Laurie Summers, spoke in support of her husband of eight years.

"I am completely convinced that Chris will never put himself in a position where this could happen again," she said. "If I thought there was even the slightest chance that this would happen again I would not be standing by Chris."

The victim's mother said the defendant can't be trusted "outside of a locked facility."

The victim said she has "much to say," but not the words nor "strength to put myself through it again."

"I will be forever changed by what Mr. Summers did to me. As time goes on I will be able to deal more and more, but the hurt will always be there," she said.

Summers will have to register as a tier III sex offender for the rest of his life.