Omar Gonzalez Had Knife & 800 Rounds Of Ammunition In Car; White House Intruder Has History Of Suspicious Activity
Omar Gonzalez, an 18-year-vetaran of the U.S. military, breached White House security Friday night armed with a knife, successfully climbing over a fence, running across the lawn and making it to the doors of the residence before he was apprehended.
Omar Gonzalez Rushes At White House
Gonzalez, 42, managed to get inside the doors of the North Portico of the White House before secret service agents were able to stop him. Upon his arrest, Gonzalez allegedly told agents that he was “concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing,” reported USA Today. As a result of Gonzalez’s move towards the building, much of the White House was evacuated.
In response to the massive breach of security, the Secret Service is reviewing the incident, evaluating the officers present and has released a statement acknowledging that the latest breach was unacceptable.
"Every day the Secret Service is challenged to ensure security at the White House complex while still allowing public accessibility to a national historical site," the statement read. "Although last night the officers showed tremendous restraint and discipline in dealing with this subject, the location of Gonzalez's arrest is not acceptable."
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan added, "This situation was a little different than other incidents we have at the White House. There will be a thorough investigation into the incident."
Following his arrest, Gonzalez was taken to a local hospital after complaining of chest pains. He has been charged with unlawful entry into the White House while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. It was subsequently revealed that he had 800 rounds of ammunition in his car, as well as two hatchets and a machete.
Gonzalez's Previous Suspicious Activity
Gonzalez has reportedly been apprehended twice before for suspicious activity. In July, he was arrested in Virginia after it was discovered he had a sniper rifle among other weapons and a map of Washington, D.C. on which he had circled the White House, reported ABC News. He was stopped in August outside the White House with a hatchet in his waistband and two dogs and camping gear in his car.
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michele Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia were not at the residence at the time of Gonzalez’s intrusion onto the property Friday night.
Gonzalez, who is currently being held behind bars, will appear in court Oct. 1 for a detention hearing.