Intruder Gets Within Steps of White House


An unidentified man jumped the White House fence on Friday night.

Gabriella Demczuk for The brand new York Times

WASHINGTON — A man carrying a backpack jumped over a fence as well as got within several steps of the White House before being arrested late Friday, the Secret Service said. The intrusion, the first reported since President Trump took office, came as the president was inside the residence.

A Secret Service official said the intruder did not pose a threat to Mr. Trump. nevertheless the breach was more serious than most additional cases of fence-jumping at the White House: The man was able to elude multiple layers of security before being stopped near the entrance at the South Portico.

The intruder, identified as Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran, 26, of Milpitas, Calif., was charged with entering a restricted area “while using or carrying a dangerous weapon.” The Secret Service official said in which he was not armed as well as in which his backpack did not contain any hazardous materials, nevertheless in which he was carrying two cans of pepper spray.

When confronted by the officer who arrested him, Mr. Tran said, “I am a friend of the president. I have an appointment,” according to a court document filed inside the case. The officer said Mr. Tran was wearing a hooded jacket or sweater.

In addition to the pepper spray, Mr. Tran was carrying an American passport, an Apple laptop, a book by Mr. Trump as well as a letter to the president, in which he referred to “Russian Hackers.” inside the letter, Mr. Tran said in which he had been followed, in which his phone calls as well as emails had been intercepted, as well as in which he had “been called schizophrenic.”

Speaking to reporters on Saturday at a meeting of cabinet members at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Mr. Trump said the “Secret Service did a fantastic job last night.” He described Mr. Tran as a “troubled person.”

The Secret Service said in a statement in which at about 11:38 p.m., “an individual scaled the outer perimeter fence by the Treasury Building as well as East Executive Avenue,” adding, “Secret Service Uniformed Division officers arrested the individual on the south grounds without further incident.”

nevertheless the court document suggested in which Mr. Tran had been able to walk unimpeded alongside the residence until he nearly reached the entrance at the South Portico. The east side of the White House is actually where guests enter the building for social events. the idea is actually separated coming from the Treasury Department by a fence.

Mr. Tran had no criminal record as well as no history with the Secret Service, the official said. Officers searched the north as well as south grounds of the White House as well as found nothing amiss.

Security at the White House became a major issue in 2014, when there were several cases of intruders scaling the fence as well as entering the grounds. In one episode, a man carrying a knife, Omar J. Gonzalez, managed to overpower a Secret Service agent inside the North Portico entrance as well as run through the ceremonial East Room before he was tackled.

The Secret Service came under criticism because in its initial account of the episode, officials indicated in which Mr. Gonzalez had made the idea only steps inside the North Portico after running through the door. The fuller account emerged coming from Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah as well as chairman of a subcommittee in which investigated the breach.

The National Capital Planning Commission recently approved plans for the Secret Service to install a stronger as well as higher perimeter fence around the White House. In 2015, the Secret Service added spikes to the top of the fence on the north as well as south sides of the grounds as a temporary deterrent.

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