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'Extremely amped up' naked driver smashes into lobby of Martin County Jail, sheriff's office says

Joseph Leedy, 40, arrested for aggravated battery on law enforcement officer
Martin County Jail Crash.jpg
Posted at 8:01 AM, Jun 04, 2024

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — An "extremely amped up" man wearing "only a ladies' top" intentionally drove into the lobby of the Martin County Jail late Monday night, then threatened to light himself on fire, authorities said.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office said Joseph Leedy, 40, is now behind bars in the jail facing multiple counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest without violence.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Deputy John Budensiek said Leedy — who was "disrobed, other than wearing a ladies' top" — crashed through the glass lobby doors, then threw two rubber snakes and multiple cell phones into the lobby.

After that, Leedy started pouring motor oil on his car and threatened to light the vehicle and himself on fire, Budensiek said.

WATCH: Sheriff's office gives update on jail lobby crash

Martin County Sheriff's Office gives update on jail lobby crash

Budensiek said Leedy refused to cooperate with deputies' commands, so they were forced to tase him and take him into custody.

"While our deputies were interacting with him, he kept saying things like, 'The devil told me to kill everyone.' And he kept sharing his disdain for President Donald Trump," Budensiek said.

The chief deputy added that paramedics gave Leedy "multiple doses of ketamine" to calm him down, but it "did not sedate him."

Leedy was taken to Cleveland Clinic Martin South Hospital, but was later released and booked into the Martin County Jail.

Budensiek said Leedy was living in the vehicle that he crashed into the jail lobby. He's never been arrested, according to the Martin County Sheriff's Office's knowledge, but has received multiple trespass warnings in the past.

Budensiek added that while the results of blood tests on Leedy have not come back yet, authorities believe he was under the influence of a controlled substance.

"The medication that a normal person would be sedated by was not affecting him at all. So that does lead us to believe he has built up a tolerance to different types of drugs," Budensiek said.

Nobody was in the lobby at the time of the crash. The jail receptionist left the lobby about 30 minutes before the crash happened.

"While he did penetrate the initial door to the lobby, at no time was the jail itself ever compromised. This jail is built extremely well. There's double layers of concrete wall behind this door. The jail and our jail staff and our inmates were safe during this entire encounter," Budensiek said.

In the wake of the crash, the sheriff's office plans to install concrete bollards on the sidewalk in front of the jail to prevent cars from hitting the building in the future.