Prosecutors drop charges against man who drove onto White House grounds

D.C. prosecutors have dropped charges against a Mitchellville, Md., man who was arrested for driving his gray Honda Civic onto the White House grounds in May, briefly setting off a security incident.

Mathew Goldstein was scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court Wednesday for a hearing, but prosecutors on June 20 dismissed the misdemeanor unlawful entry charge.

On May 6, Goldstein, 55, followed the presidential motorcade carrying President Obama’s daughters into the secure perimeter of the compound, the Secret Service said. Goldstein’s vehicle was able to get through two rows of metal security posts and within five feet of the Obama girls’ motorcade. The White House was placed on security lockdown for more than an hour after the incident.

Goldstein’s attorney, Thomas Hartnett, said his client, an IT specialist who works for the Internal Revenue Service, made a mistake and was not familiar with the roads around the White House. Hartnett said he was “very happy” prosecutors dismissed the case. U.S. Attorney spokesman Bill Miller said his office dropped the charges “after further investigation and a review of the evidence.”

At a court hearing in May, Hartnett said his client was in discussions about whether to have the case be reviewed by mental health court. But no such decision was made and prosecutors, Hartnett said, did not request such an evaluation when they dismissed the case.

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Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of intern Chandra Levy.
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