iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The man who jumped over a White House fence and made it all the way inside the executive mansion before being caught was carrying a three-and-a-half inch knife and told officials he was a veteran of three tours in Iraq, according to the complaint released Saturday.
In the wake of the incident Friday night, the Secret Service announced it is stepping up its security procedures at the White House complex.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered an immediate increase in “officer patrols and surveillance capabilities along the Pennsylvania Avenue fence line” of the White House complex, the Secret Service said Saturday.
The steps went into effect Friday night after Omar Gonzalez, 42, scaled the White House fence, sprinted across the North Lawn, and entered the White House.
The Secret Service dealt with a second security incident in as many days on Saturday after a man was arrested at the White House after trying to enter a barricaded entrance to the White House complex with his car.
Gonzalez was arrested just after going through the North Portico doors of the White House. He appeared at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Saturday and was charged with unlawful entry while in possession of a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Gonzalez was carrying a Spyderco VG-10 black serrated folding knife in his front pants pocket when he was arrested, according to a police affidavit.
On Friday, Secret Service Spokesman Ed Donovan had initially said Gonzalez was unarmed at the time of his arrest.
The affidavit says after he was apprehended, the Copperas Cove, Texas man told a Secret Service agent “he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and need to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to people.”
He told officials he served 18 years in the military and did three tours in Iraq, according to the affidavit. He also claimed to have lived in Washington, D.C., for three months but has no known address.
Gonzalez’s drug test was negative and he has no verified criminal history and no convictions.
The suspect was ordered held without bond until he goes to federal court on Monday. The legal basis the judge used to detain him was that the government formally asked for a detention hearing, which gives her three days to hold him pending the hearing.
President Obama and his daughters had departed the South Lawn of the White House aboard Marine One just minutes before Gonzalez entered the residence of the White House.
Following Friday’s incident, the White House said Obama has “full confidence” in the Secret Service.
“The President has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House,” the White House said Saturday. “The Secret Service is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the event on Friday evening and we are certain it will be done with the same professionalism and commitment to duty that we and the American people expect from the United States Secret Service.”
The agency said the arrest inside the White House was “not acceptable,” and Pierson has ordered a review of the incident, which began Friday night with a physical assessment of the site and interviews with those involved.
In Sunday’s incident, Kevin Carr, 19, was arrested and charged with unlawful entry after he drove his car up to a barricaded entryway to the White House complex and refused to follow orders from Secret Service officers, Brian Leary, a Secret Service spokesman, told ABC News.
Carr, from Shamong, N.J., did not hit the barriers with his vehicle.
Police temporarily closed the plaza in front of the White House and other streets in the area because of the incident. Police officers ordered pedestrians to get off Pennsylvania Avenue and onto the sidewalk in Lafayette Park just in front of the building.
Bomb technicians, fully suited, searched a white four-door sedan with New Jersey plates near the security area where Carr attempted to enter the White House complex with his car. At one point, a bomb squad robot was seen moving away from the car.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has been working with the Secret Service in investigating Friday evening’s breach, a committee aide told ABC News. The findings of the Secret Service’s review will be submitted to the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.
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