A Connecticut student who scaled the White House fence on Thanksgiving wanted to send out a message and is a "politically-conscious young man," his lawyer said Sunday, according to reports. Joseph Caputo was charged Friday with illegally entering restricted areas.
Caputo’s attorney Stephan Seeger said that his client wanted to deliver a message about the education, the judiciary and the legal system in the U.S., NBC News reported. Court documents reportedly showed that Caputo left behind a "suicide note" -- a claim Seeger denied.
"Joe wanted to let his family know that if something did happen, there was a range of possibilities," Seeger told NBC News. "One possibility would be that he'd be arrested. He used some words that were construed as he would be harmed. He had no intention of taking his own life."
A judge ordered the 23-year-old resident of Stamford on Friday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Seeger said Caputo had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder, but added that he has tackled the condition well.
"People have been paying so much attention to the jumping of the fence because we live in this climate of fear," Seeger said, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Seeger added that at the time of the White House jumping, Caputo carried a binder with his “rewritten” version of the constitution, which had "an expression of desire for change in various areas of society including education, the judiciary, voting rights and privileges," AP reported.
"There's nothing threatening at all about Joe Caputo," Seeger reportedly said. "He's not a threat to national security."
Caputo, a student of criminal justice and martial arts at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, was the first person to scale the White House since the Secret Service installed additional metal spikes earlier this year in order to resolve the problem of security breaches. He was scheduled to appear in a federal court Monday and could be imprisoned for a year if he is found guilty.