A man in a hoodie who apparently tried to breach the White House fence on Monday was tackled and arrested before he could reach the reinforced perimeter, according to a witness and the Secret Service.
The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m., when a Secret Service officer saw the man cross a bike- rack barrier on the northeastern fence line. “At no time did the subject gain entry to the grounds of the White House complex,” the Secret Service said in a statement. “The incident was quickly resolved.”
Kevin Dye, a Secret Service spokesman, declined to say whether the first family was home. Dye also declined to release the identity of the suspect, who was turned over to D.C. police.
Andrew Dennis, 21, a sophomore at Lee University in Tennessee, said he saw the man climb over the small barrier along Pennsylvania Avenue.
Dennis, who was with a school choir group touring the area, said the man did not make it over a secondary barrier, a fence with “pencil point” tips designed to deter intruders.
The last time a person successfully jumped over the reinforced fence was in November 2015, when a man draped in an American flag leapt over the spikes while the first family was inside the White House celebrating Thanksgiving.
Dennis said he was standing near the fence when he saw a man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt cross over the first, small barrier. “Security officers started screaming for everyone to run,” he said. “Everyone started running.” Dennis said he looked back and saw police swarming over the man.
About 20 Lee University students were outside the White House when the breach occurred.
Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.