Man Charged After Telling Secret Service He Dropped Explosives Near the White House

Trump, Marine One BRENDAN SMIALOWSKIAFPGetty Images

Not far from the White House, less than 20 minutes after President Donald Trump took off on Marine One, a man at a nearby park approached a U.S. Secret Service agent claiming to have “dropped explosives” in the vicinity.

The man approached a “Uniformed Division Officer on patrol along the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue near Lafayette Park” at approximately 9:24 a.m., according to a Secret Service statement on the event. He told the officer that he had dropped explosives and was immediately taken into custody.

The area was cleared of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. “Secret Service K-9 and MPD EOD teams were dispatched and swept both the individual and the surrounding areas,” according to the Secret Service statement.

The Secret Service tweeted updates on the closure of the North fence line of the White House:

The Secret Service identified only one item of the suspect’s that was found during their search – a cell phone. They did not detect any explosives, and the area was cleared within the hour.

Thirty-three-year-old Ervin Pettaway has been charged with one count of felony threats. The Washington, D.C. man was “transported to MPD Second District for further processing.”

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