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Man risks arrest, pneumonia to jog naked near White House

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By Megan Greenwell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 7, 2010

A man created a scene -- and a Secret Service scare -- near the White House during rush hour Wednesday evening when he stripped to the buff and took off running, leaving his bag of clothes unattended on the Ellipse.

The man shed his clothes near 15th and E streets, at the northwest corner of the Ellipse, about 5 p.m. Wednesday, then began running up and down E Street, apparently not dissuaded by the 25-degree windchill factor as the sun set, Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said.

"He wasn't yelling or protesting. Just going for a jog," Wiley said.

Secret Service and D.C. police officers chased the man after he refused to stop.

"He was apprehended, naked though he was," Wiley said.

But the man's jog created another problem: The bag into which he packed his clothes before setting off on his run had been left unattended, meaning it had to be classified as a suspicious package. The Secret Service cordoned off the area and investigated the bag, and, after determining it contained only the man's cast-off garments, cleared the scene.

The man is in Secret Service custody but has not been charged, Wiley said.

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