The first time Dominic Adesanya tried to speak to President Obama about the spying devices supposedly stashed in the Adesanya home, his father said Adesanya hopped on a Megabus and headed to Washington, where he had a run-in at the White House.
So when his 23-year-old son swiped a key to the family’s car about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and stormed out of their Bel Air, Md., home, Victor Adesanya grew anxious. He called his son’s phone repeatedly for hours but got no answer.
Then, he saw the news. An intruder had jumped the White House fence and fought Secret Service dogs, generating national headlines and forcing the executive mansion to be locked down. Victor Adesanya’s heart sank.
“I knew that was him,” the father said. “I didn’t think he’d go back to the White House.”
Dominic Adesanya made his first appearance in federal court in the District on Thursday to face misdemeanor charges related to the incident, as his family’s struggle to contain Adesanya’s mental illness burst into public view.
Adesanya was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds and one count of injuring animals used by law enforcement. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. He will undergo a psychiatric screening and have a detention hearing on Monday.
Adesanya, wearing a blue jail jumpsuit, appeared intermittently calm and agitated during the 12-minute hearing, at several points speaking out loud and shaking his head or moving his hands in apparent disagreement with the judge’s remarks or in conversation with his attorney. Court marshals had to caution him at several points.
Victor Adesanya said his son had been on a downward slide for about a year, since he was not allowed to try out for the football team at Stevenson University in Maryland where he was taking classes. It had been his son’s dream to be a wide receiver.
Victor Adesanya said his son simply “snapped.”
Dominic Adesanya dropped out of school and for the past year he has been worried about cameras hidden in the family’s house or people spying on him, his father said.
He has torn up the home, cutting through drywall and crawling through the attic, looking for the devices, his father said.
In July, he allegedly hopped over a barrier at the White House and then, three days later, was detained for allegedly trying to break into the Treasury Department. He faces a hearing Friday after failing to appear in court last month on the July charges, according to authorities.
Adesanya told officers he was at the White House because he was “targeted due to his race by the Rothchild family who owned the Federal Reserve Bank,” according to court records. He also told officers he wanted the cameras that were placed in his house removed.
Dominic Adesanya was later ruled mentally unfit to face a trial on those charges and a judge ordered an additional hearing. Victor Adesanya said the family has been trying to get his son treatment since the incidents, but he has resisted most efforts.
After the first incident involving the White House and the Treasury, Adesanya’s family picked him up from the D.C. jail and took him straight to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air for medical treatment, his father said. Shortly after, he was transferred to Harford Memorial Hospital, where Adesanya stayed for about 11 / 2 to two weeks.
But Adesanya did not want to continue treatment, so he was released back home to his parents. Doctors prescribed medicine for Adesanya, but he never had the prescriptions filled, his father said.
Adesanya also has two outstanding bench warrants against him for failing to appear at hearings for the first encounter at the White House and the other at the Treasury. In those cases, he is facing two counts of assaulting a police officer and a count of unlawful entry.
The family had been keeping a close watch to ensure that Adesanya did not get out again, his father said.
But on Wednesday, after Victor Adesanya got home from work, he said he left a set of keys on the table in the family’s home “just for a minute.”
Then as the father started doing chores around the house, he saw his son leave. When he looked out of the house, Victor Adesanya noticed a vehicle missing.
About 7:15 p.m., a man was spotted jumping over the White House’s north fence and sprinting toward the north doors of the executive mansion, according to a criminal complaint.
Secret Service agents shouted at him to stop, but he did not, according to a Secret Service affidavit. They released two dogs, Jordan and Hurricane. Adesanya kicked Jordan as the dog approached. Hurricane knocked Adesanya down. The affidavit says Adesanya sprang back up and threw Hurricane to the ground, repeatedly punching the dog in the face.
Moments later, Secret Service agents cuffed Adesanya.
Adesanya told investigators after he was detained that he was a targeted individual and he would keep returning to the White House until he was able to talk to the president, according to a Secret Service affidavit filed in court.
Carolyn Dawson, Adesanya’s mother, said the family knows that what he did wasn’t right, but they hope now that he has been detained, he can get the mental health treatment he needs.
The family is asking for prayers and help for their son.
“If they could put him in a mental treatment facility, he needs it,” Dawson said. “It would probably have to be involuntarily because in his mind, he doesn’t know he’s sick.”
Peter Hermann, Spencer S. Hsu and Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.