Man arrested near White House after claiming he had bomb

A Virginia man who allegedly drove a stolen car up to a White House checkpoint and said he had a bomb inside was arrested late Saturday, in what police said was the third White House incident in just over a week.

President Trump was at his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., at the time of the latest incident, but the Secret Service increased its “posture of readiness” in response to the episode, The New York Times reported.

Washington, D.C., police said the intruder stopped his car at the checkpoint just after 11 p.m., got out and declared, “There’s a bomb in the trunk.” The man also appeared to clasp something in this hand, according to police, and said, “This is a test.”

A Secret Service officer detained him and police charged him with making false bomb threats, as well as the unauthorized use of a vehicle. Police said the car had been reported stolen. They identified him as Sean Patrick Keoughan, 29, of Roanoke, Va.

The incident is the latest of several, including one that took place earlier Saturday, in which someone jumped a low metal barrier just outside a White House fence after jumping over bicycle-rack-style barricades on Pennsylvania Avenue. The man then stood “yelling nonsensical statements,” according to a police report. Police identified him as William Bryant Rawlinson, 58, of Silver Spring, Md.

On March 10, a California man breached an outer perimeter fence and scaled a vehicle gate to enter the south lawn of the White House. The man was on the presidential grounds for more than 16 minutes before Secret Service agents discovered his presence, officials said last week. He was carrying a backpack with two cans of pepper spray and a letter to the president, among other items.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said the intruder rattled a door handle and looked through a window before being apprehended. The intruder jumped three separate fences: a 5-foot perimeter fence near the Treasury Building, an 8-foot vehicle gate and another 3½-foot fence near the East Wing.

The Secret Service said the fence jumper scaled the first barrier at about 11:21 p.m. ET and wasn't arrested until 11:38 p.m.

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department identified the man as Jonathan Tran, 26, of Milpitas, Calif. He was charged with entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon.

President Trump was in the residence at the time but was not threatened, the Secret Service said.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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