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Quoted: Rey Decerega recalls the time he elbowed the president


“It’s like a car accident. You have that moment of ‘OK, what happened?’ It takes you five minutes to process. . . It’s like time slowed down.”


President Barack Obama holds what appears to be a bit of gauze as he walks back to his vehicle after playing a private game of basketball at Fort McNair in Washington, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010. President Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game Friday with a group of family and friends visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House said. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)
President Obama needed 12 stitches in his lip after taking an errant elbow during a pickup basketball game. (Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)

— Reynaldo Decerega recalling the horrifying moment when he accidentally elbowed President Obama in the mouth during a pickup basketball game in November 2010. The director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute — an Alexandria native and former star player for the St. Stephen’s “Saints” —  shunned the media after the incident but broke his silence in an interview with the Boston Globe Monday. Obama, he explained, was crowding him: “Instinctively, you crowd the person you’re guarding once he stops his dribble. And instinctively. . .I was trying to clear some space. You swing your arms to see what options you have.” Next thing he knew, there was blood on his elbow and the leader of the free world on the ground needing 12 stitches. Things remained friendly — the White House sent him a framed photo of the incident, and Obama gave him a shout-out at an event the following year — but, no, he’s never been invited back to play. Read the full story: Man who roughed up Obama finally speaks

Looking for today’s Reliable Source? Start here: Capricia Marshall to leave chief of protocol post at State Department

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