On Friday evening, a man hopped over the White House fence four minutes after President Barack Obama and his daughters had reportedly left, actually making it “inside the unlocked front doors of the presidential mansion” until “a guard stationed at the door subdued him,” according to a Washington Post account.
Omar J. Gonzalez, the 42-year-old man who was “unarmed when apprehended” around 7:20 pm and forced a White House evacuation, was reportedly “arrested and taken to George Washington Hospital for medical evaluation.”
According to Fox News, “Law enforcement officials conducted a shoulder-to-shoulder sweep of the White House’s north lawn as well as the plaza in front of the iconic building and adjacent Lafayette Park” on Saturday.
Fox News reported that Obama “and his daughters departed the White House four minutes before the intruder scaled the north fence, darted across the lawn and into the presidential residence, where agents nabbed him.”
Gonzales was reportedly “able to get inside the unlocked portico doors,” which are not locked because “people frequently go in and out of those doors, and it has been considered impossible up until now that an unauthorized person would be able to reach them,” according to the Post.
Secret service agents reportedly did not shoot Gonzales because he “had no package or backpack or bulky clothing, an indicator of having a possible bomb.” Agents were reportedly ready to shoot Gonzales, but a former official told Fox News that agents are not supposed to shoot if the trespasser is unarmed.
But a “law enforcement person who is reviewing the incident” is wondering why secret service agents did not release a trained dog who would have subdued Gonzales before he reached the mansion.
“We’re asking, why not release the dog?” the official told the Post. “That would have stopped this.”
This was the second fence-jumping incident just this month. Secret Service officers apprehended a fence-jumper on 9/11.