UPDATE 11 p.m.: The Secret Service said Saturday the man who was captured in the White House Friday was armed with a folding knife. Omar Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a dangerous weapon.
CNN reported the Secret Service filed the affidavit Saturday to support the criminal complaint. The knife was identified as a Spyderco VG-10 folding knife with a 3 1/2-inch serrated blade.
Less than 24 hours after an Army veteran managed to enter the White House before being apprehended, the Secret Service said a man was arrested Saturday after driving to the White House gate and refusing to leave. The man, whose identity has not been released, had approached the White House on foot earlier in the day. Police have charged him with unlawful entry.
Although President Obama and his family were not present at the White House for either Friday or Saturday’s incidents, the intrusions marked the latest public relations headache for the Secret Service, the government body charged with protecting the First Family.
Like his predecessors, President Obama has dealt with numerous intrusion attempts -- some successful, others less so -- during his presidency: Last year, a 34-year-old dental hygienist traveling with her 1-year-old daughter rammed her car into a White House gate, sparking a police chase that resulted in the woman’s death. In 2009, 46-year-old Pam Morgan hopped the White House fence before being immediately detained by Secret Service. And in a high-profile incident that year, Tareq and Michele Salahi attended a White House State Dinner honoring then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh despite not being invited.
Friday’s intruder, Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was an Army veteran who had suffered combat trauma, according to a family member in California who added Gonzalez had been homeless for two years. After arriving at the White House Friday, Gonzalez scaled the fence, ultimately making it to the North Portico inside the White House. The door to the White House was apparently unlocked, prompting incredulity from U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah)
White House fence jumper reportedly made it INTO the White House. Was the door open? Seriously. It was open?
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) September 20, 2014
Gonzalez was charged with unlawful entry and taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pains. It remains unclear whether Saturday’s incident was an attempt to copy Gonzalez’ intrusion.