WASHINGTON — At about 2 p.m. on Jan. 28, David Kyle Reeves dialed the number to the White House switchboard and told an operator, “I am going to … kill you all.”
He continued to the operator, according to a criminal complaint, “I am going to chop your heads off.”
Days later, when a Secret Service agent called Reeves, 27, to follow up on his warning, the Gastonia, North Carolina, native lobbed even more threats.
“I’m going to come kill the president,” he allegedly said.
Reeves was arrested Feb. 5 and charged with threatening the president, according to court documents unsealed on Thursday. Reeves remains in custody after his court hearing before a federal magistrate judge Thursday in the Western District of North Carolina.
Reeves’s lawyer, federal public defender Kevin A. Tate, did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Thursday. Tate told The New York Times that Reeves was undergoing mental health evaluations and pleaded not guilty.
Federal law enforcement has been on high alert since the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6, and in response to threats of violence on Inauguration Day, the Secret Service oversaw a rigorous security plan that involved up to 15,000 National Guard troops and thousands of federal law enforcement officers and police.
Last month, a Connecticut man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for threatening to kill President Donald Trump in 2018. In October, a 19-year-old man was arrested in North Carolina for allegedly obtaining explosive materials, four rifles and a 9 mm handgun in an alleged plot to kill Biden.
When Secret Service Special Agent John Robinson called Reeves at 3:05 p.m. on Feb. 1 to inquire about the threats allegedly phoned into the White House, Reeves refused to talk and said he can do “whatever he wants,” according to court documents.
“He stated he had free speech and did nothing wrong,” Robinson wrote in court documents.
About three minutes later, Reeves called the special agent back and doubled down on his threats of killing everyone in the White House. He “stated no punishment will stop him and it is not against the law to threaten people,” according to court documents.
Reeves called Robinson again around 3:30 p.m. on Feb 1 and told the special agent he called the U.S. Capitol and made death threats. Reeves then allegedly threatened to kill Robinson and “everyone in the world,” but added they were “just words and he is allowed to say them.”
At 7:45 p.m., Reeves called the White House switchboard, according to court documents, and once again threatened to kill everyone.
“I’m going to kill the Secret Service, because I own this whole planet,” he added.
Reeves then said he wanted the Secret Service to pick him up and take him to the White House “so he can punch the President in the face, sit in his chair, and stay there until he dies,” according to the complaint.
Later that night, U.S. Capitol Police officers notified the Secret Service that Reeves was repeatedly calling the switchboard and spewing death threats.
The following morning, Reeves called Robinson and said he wanted to be arrested. He posited he would be sentenced to a few years in jail but would get out after a year “because he will behave and only read books,” the complaint said. But Reeves allegedly added he would kill Robinson once he was released.
According to the complaint, Reeves has been arrested or charged more than a dozen times since 2009. In 2020, he was charged nine times on counts including assault, family violence, terroristic threats and acts and assaulting a policy officer while resisting arrest. It is not clear whether he was convicted on any of these charges.
It is unclear when Reeves will return to court. The maximum penalty for threatening the president is five years and a $250,000 fine.