A Connecticut man who the Secret Service says hopped a White House fence Thanksgiving while donning an American flag left behind a suicide note, NBC News reports. Joseph Caputo, 23, appeared in court Friday and was charged with illegally entering restricted grounds. The Stamford resident was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Authorities say Caputo jumped a fence at the White House, setting off an hourslong lockdown. Caputo left behind a "suicide note" that suggested he planned to die Thursday and also left an audio message to his mother telling her might not see her again, according to court documents, via NBC.
Caputo was reportedly staying with friends in Virginia who provided the note to the Secret Service, which read, in part, "Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around us who transform into the Force," in an apparent reference to the "Star Wars" movies, according to Fox News. He also reportedly left his mother a "last will and testament."
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After he was apprehended almost immediately after hopping the fence Thursday, Caputo told the Secret Service "I love my country" and "I knew I would be locked up," according to court documents.
The fence Caputo is accused of hopping was recently upgraded, according to NBC. The Secret Service added a second layer of steel spikes atop the fence in response to a series of security breaches at the White House, with more long-term solutions in the works. Among other breaches, in September 2014 a man carrying a knife made into the presidential mansion, making it as far as the East Room before being apprehended, according to the New York Times.
Other notable breaches included a drone crashing on the White House grounds in January and a man who attempted to jump the fence but was stopped by Secret Service dogs last October, reports USA Today.
Before hopping the fence, Caputo was heard saying "Let's do this," according to the Washington Post, who spoke with a witness. The witness told the paper that upon landing on the other side, the man dropped to his knees and immediately raised his hands.