(Newswire.net — March 12, 2017) — Agents of the U.S. Secret Service arrested a man who breached the White House grounds, carrying a backpack.
The intruder was arrested on Friday night, on the south grounds of the White House complex, while President Donald Trump was at residence.
According to the U.S. Secret Service, a man carrying a backpack with two canes of mace and a letter for President Donald Trump, breached security as he scaled the outer perimeter fence surrounding the executive residence. He was caught hiding near the south entrance to the White House complex. No hazardous materials were found in his backpack.
The incident occurred just before midnight.
Court documents identified the suspect as a California resident, Jonathan Tran, who is 26-years-old. He was dressed in a dark blue hoodie and khakis, and was carrying, among other things, a United States passport, an Apple laptop computer, and a book written by President Trump.
Secret Service officer, Wayne Azevedom, said that Tran mentioned Russian hackers in the letter he had written to Trump and said that he had information of relevance.
Tran alleged that he has been followed, and that his phone and email communications have been read by third parties, as well as that he had been called schizophrenic, reports the CNN.
U.S. Secret Service officials said that he offered no resistance during arrest, and said that he was there to see the President.
According to a report released Saturday by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, the intruder said after being arrested that he is a friend of the President, and that he has an appointment.
Police immediately searched the area in front of the White House and nothing that would pose a security threat was found, the statement said.
The White House was placed under security condition “orange,” one of the highest levels of security for the Secret Service.
The U.S. President Donald Trump and Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, were informed about the incident.
Trump said to the reporters that the Secret Service did a “fantastic job” and he called the intruder a “troubled person”.
The suspect’s younger brother, Brian, 19-years old, also said Tran was “troubled” after being laid off from his job at an electrical engineering company. He had been living in his car, his brother said. Tran graduated from San Jose State University with an electrical engineering degree and had been “stressed out from the job,” his brother also added.
Otherwise, this is not the first time that someone has skipped the fence and got into the White House complex.
Omar Gonzales, 42-year-old, did it in 2014. He made it through the north portico doors into the building, armed with a three-and-a-half-inch folding knife, the Secret Service said at the time, and added that he was arrested just after making it inside the doors.
Joseph Caputo scaled the fence wearing an American flag-like cape while the first family was inside the residence celebrating Thanksgiving in 2015.
There were other notable instances of trespassing, but intruders were always arrested quickly after reaching the White House grounds.