Two security incidents emerged at the White House recently. One man jumped the fence at the White House late on Friday. He entered the North Portico doors while carrying a folding knife in his pants pocket, according to a Secret Service affidavit filed Saturday. The other was a man who had failed to stop his car at a White House complex entrance on Saturday.
Originally, officers assumed the jumper, Omar Gonzalez, 42, of Coppers Cove, Texas, to be unarmed. Gonzalez is accused of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, officials said. On Friday, the Secret Service had said the fence jumper appeared to be unarmed. No guard dogs were released to chase him, which is normally standard procedure, the Post reported.
A Secret Service officer said he shouted at the intruder to stop. Gonzalez was seized just after entering the front doors, as stated in the affidavit. The first family was not on White House grounds at the time, but other people were. President Obama had left just four minutes prior to the incident with his daughters via helicopter from the South Lawn to visit Camp David. Gonzalez, who was in custody Saturday evening, is scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate on Monday. The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The man who tried to barge a gate with a vehicle is identified as Kevin Carr of Shamong, New Jersey. He was arrested and charged with unlawful entry, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. Carr is believed to be either 18 or 19 years old. The incident occurred at the entrance of 15th and E Streets, where the driver did not stop when the Secret Service ordered him to, Leary said. The man’s car did not hit the barriers and he then proceeded to exit the vehicle. Carr was soon arrested when he refused to leave, Leary said. Before the incident on Saturday, the agency said its director, Julia Pierson, ordered additional patrol officers around the White House complex.
Intruders climbing the White House fence is not uncommon, along with gate breaches, but the Secret Service are committed to protect Government officials. They do this well with professionalism and they exceed most of the expectations set on them.