White House fence jumper had foldable knife: Secret Service

Last Updated 21 September 2014, 10:15 IST

A Texas man arrested for intruding into the White House was armed with a foldable knife, prompting a comprehensive review of security procedures after two attempted breaches in 24 hours at one of the world's most heavily protected buildings.

Earlier, the US Secret Service had said Omar Gonzalez, 42, appeared unarmed when was caught from the White House building late on Friday.

He was later found carrying a folding knife in his pants pocket, according to a Secret Service affidavit filed yesterday.

He is accused of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, officials said.

The affidavit, in support of a criminal complaint, said he carried a Spyderco VG-10 folding knife with a three-and-a- half inch serrated blade in his pants pocket.

Gonzalez told a Secret Service agent "that he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and needed to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to the people," the affidavit said.

Gonzalez, who was in custody, is scheduled to appear before a US magistrate tomorrow. The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, CNN reported.

Gonzalez was apprehended just after making it inside the doors, according to the document. President Barack Obama or his family was not at the White House at the time.
Obama had left just four minutes earlier with his daughters via helicopter from the South Lawn to visit Camp David.

On Saturday, in the second security incident at the White House in as many days, an individual failed to stop at the entrance to the White House complex while driving his vehicle, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said.

The man, identified as Kevin Carr of New Jersey, was arrested and charged with unlawful entry, Leary said.

The incident happened at the entrance at 15th and E Streets, where the young driver did not stop when the Secret Service ordered him to do so, Leary said.

Carr was arrested after he refused to leave, Leary said.So far, there were no indications the two events were connected.The Secret Service said its director, Julia Pierson would interview personnel and review policies and security procedures following the fence-jumping incident.

"The President has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House," White House spokesman Frank Benenati said.

(Published 21 September 2014, 10:15 IST)

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