A man climbed over the White House fence and raced across the lawn and through the north portico doors Friday night, apparently only minutes after President Obama went out the south entrance on his way to Camp David, authorities said.
The man, who was not armed, was arrested just inside the doors, Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said.
A Secret Service official said the location of the arrest “was not acceptable” to the service, and would be reviewed by the agency.
The official said that at least part of the reason that the man managed to get so far was that he did not appear to be armed or carrying anything. In addition, the official said, first family members were not inside.
The man was identified as Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, Tex., Donovan said. Donovan said he was charged with unlawful entry into the White House complex. It was unclear why he had allegedly climbed the fence.
He was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation.
The incident prompted a temporary evacuation of at least parts of the White House, and people were herded out of Lafayette Square, which is north of and just across the street from the building.
After climbing the fence, the man “pretty much landed on his feet and started sprinting,” said a witness, Philipos Melaku-Bello, who was part of a peace vigil. “He got a good run in.”
A flurry of shouts went up, calling on the man to halt, with some coming from officers posted on the roof, the witness said.
According to the White House schedule, Obama was expected to leave for the Maryland retreat at 7:05 p.m. The exact time the helicopter carrying him and his daughters lifted from the South Lawn was not known, but it was apparently only a few minutes before the intruder climbed the north fence. The man scaled the fence at 7:20 p.m., Donovan said.
Donovan said the departure for Camp David was “shortly before” the man climbed the fence.
A video posted on the ABC News Web site showed a man in dark clothing racing toward the White House, arms and legs pumping.
Intruders breach the fence from time to time, but few, if any incidents have been reported of someone getting inside White House doors.
In a recent incident, a man climbed the fence on Sept. 11 and was taken into custody on the North Lawn.
Clarence Williams contributed to this report.