A 27-year-old man who made several phone calls to the White House in which he threatened to kill President Biden and Secret Service agents has been arrested in North Carolina on federal charges, officials announced on Thursday.
The man, David K. Reeves of Gastonia, who made the threats from late January into early February, declared in one call to the White House, “I’m going to chop your heads off,” according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of North Carolina. He also made threats in calls to the United States Capitol Police and a Secret Service agent, prosecutors said.
Mr. Reeves, who was arrested on Friday, remained in custody after a court hearing on Thursday.
Kevin A. Tate, a federal public defender representing Mr. Reeves, said in an email that his client had pleaded not guilty and was receiving mental health evaluations.
The maximum penalty for threatening the president is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Andrew Murray, the United States attorney for the district, said in a statement.
Mr. Reeves has a criminal record dating to 2009, when he was charged with burglary, and has more recently been charged with violating a family violence order and “Use of 911 Number Unlawfully,” according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, when a Secret Service agent called Mr. Reeves on Feb. 1 to inquire about a threat he had made in a phone call to the White House on Jan. 28, saying that he planned to “chop off heads,” Mr. Reeves told the agent he had done nothing wrong, citing his First Amendment right to free speech.
Then, a few minutes later, prosecutors contend, Mr. Reeves called the same Secret Service agent and repeated the threats. Mr. Reeves “stated he would kill everyone,” the complaint said, adding that he had “then stated he would kill everyone if he had a car, then a gun, and a security clearance so he could get close enough to kill everyone.”
Mr. Reeves called the agent again on Feb. 1 and threatened to kill him, according to the complaint.
That evening, Mr. Reeves again called the White House. “I’m going to come kill the president,” he said, according to the complaint. “I’m going to kill the Secret Service, because I own this whole planet.”
Mr. Reeves “then requested the U.S. Secret Service come 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,” the complaint said.
Shortly after 10 p.m. on Feb. 1, Mr. Reeves called the Capitol Police and made more threats, according to the complaint.
The next day, Mr. Reeves again called the Secret Service agent he had threatened, according to the complaint, and once again threatened to kill him.
Last month, a Connecticut man received a nine-year sentence for threatening to kill President Donald J. Trump and other people.