Joe Ravi/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Part of the White House had to be evacuated Friday evening after a North Lawn fence jumper briefly eluded security and made it all the way inside the executive mansion.
Omar Gonzalez, 42, was unarmed when he was arrested after jumping the fence and entering the White House through the North Portico doors, Secret Service Spokesman Ed Donovan told ABC News. Gonzales ignored commands from Secret Service, Donovan added.
President Obama was not at the White House at the time of the intrusion after 7 p.m. Friday. He and his daughters had departed from the South Lawn on Marine One just minutes before to head to Camp David in Maryland for the weekend.
Gonzalez, from Copperas Cove, Texas, was taken to GW Hospital for a medical evaluation. He was expected to be charged with unlawful entry of the White House complex.
It is not uncommon for unauthorized people to jump the fences surrounding the White House. It is more unusual to have a fence jumper actually enter the White House.
“The location [of the arrest] is not acceptable,” a Secret Service official said, adding that the incident would be closely reviewed.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, instantly criticized the Secret Service for the security breach, tweeting it was “TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.”
Part of the incident was captured on an Instagram video, which showed a man in jeans and dark t-shirt sprinting across the North Lawn past the fountain, heading for the North Portico door.
ABC News saw Secret Service officers rushing towards the front portico as they yelled at reporters to move inside. Shortly after the breach, members of the media and White House staff were evacuated from the West Wing.
On Sept. 11, the Secret Service apprehended a man who jumped over the north fence and onto the White House grounds. Officers drew their firearms and used a service dog as they took the man in custody.
The last time unauthorized persons infiltrated the White House was in 2009, when Michaele and Tareq Salahi sneaked into a state dinner.
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