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Intruder climbs White House fence

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A 41-year-old homeless man climbed the White House fence Tuesday night and got onto the grounds, but he was quickly taken into custody by the Secret Service, authorities said.

The man, identified as James D. Crudup, climbed the fence on the north side of the White House about 7:45 p.m., authorities said. He was taken to a D.C. police station for processing, a Secret Service spokesman said.

The spokesman, Ed Donovan, said Crudup would be charged with unlawful entry and contempt of court. The contempt charge was to be brought in connection with an order requiring the man to stay away from the White House.

Donovan said the man was “tackled immediately” by Secret Service officers, who provide security at the White House.

It was not clear why Crudup climbed the fence, and authorities did not think that he was armed. A backpack that apparently belonged to him was being examined Tuesday night, Donovan said.

CNN televised footage of the incident that showed a man prone on the White House lawn, a few feet from the metal picket fence. The man was in the custody of two uniformed Secret Service officers.

It could not be learned immediately where the president was at the time. The last event on his official schedule was set for 4:30 p.m.

Incidents such as Tuesday’s are not uncommon. In an unusual twist, a 6-year-old girl reached the lawn Sunday night by going not over the fence but through it. After slipping between the black metal pickets, she was escorted out to her parents by the Secret Service, authorities said.

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