In a scary moment last Friday, a man armed with a knife rushed past Secret Service Agents on the White House lawn and got as far as the door. The first family had just left the building, thank God, but why wasn't this guy stopped? And media is now reporting that the guy is an Iraq veteran who also happened to have 800 rounds of ammo in his car, and he is a repeat-offender with weapons charges in Virginia who was well-known by the Secret Service.
This is baffling and disturbing. Why was this guy allowed anywhere near the White House grounds? At least he is in custody now, but it's worrying that others might try to breeze past security and blow up a bomb or something.
From New York Times
. . . Federal prosecutors said that officers found 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in the car of Omar Jose Gonzalez, 42, of Texas, after they searched it on Friday. The prosecutors made their disclosure before a judge as they argued that Mr. Gonzalez should continue to be held in jail because he posed a danger to President Obama.
The judge agreed, and Mr. Gonzalez will remain in custody until a hearing next month.
In late August, Secret Service officers stopped Mr. Gonzalez in front of the fence on the White House’s South Lawn after they noticed a hatchet in his waistband, the officials said. The officers searched Mr. Gonzalez’s car, finding two dogs, camping equipment but no weapons. He was not arrested or questioned further.
In July, Mr. Gonzalez was arrested after he led Virginia troopers on a high-speed pursuit along Interstate 81 in Southwest Virginia in his Ford Bronco. After being stopped, police found the vehicle filled with weapons, according to a release by the state police.
Among the items found in Mr. Gonzalez’s vehicle in July was a mini-arsenal of 11 guns including two shotguns and four rifles, some equipped with scopes and bipods that a sniper would use and “a map of Washington, D.C., with writing and a line drawn to the White House,” law enforcement officials said. He also had four pistols, three of them loaded, and a revolver. The inventory of Mr. Gonzales’ vehicle listed by the Virginia State Police indicates the items were found stored in his vehicle’s “bulky floor.”
Beautiful day at the White House. If you look closely, you can see Secret Service now guarding the front door. pic.twitter.com/0zhkTDrfm9— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) September 22, 2014
Dear Secret Service: How's the cover story coming? Although, let's face it, it's almost too late now. White House #UniteBlue— mock_you_men_tory (@LiteisoN) September 22, 2014
Has a President ever had it worse? He can't even trust the Secret Service, who are supposed to be there FOR HIM! White House— mock_you_men_tory (@LiteisoN) September 22, 2014
I'd like to know what genius created #WhiteHouseFenceJumper hashtag. It trivializes this dangerous breach & the threat to the First Family.— Dana Fairbanks, M.D. (@dcfairbank) September 22, 2014
People so quick to judge.Did it occur to you maybe #WhiteHouseIntruder had 800rounds of ammo, a machete & a tomahawk for something POSITIVE?— B€@WU£F Jones (@iAmBeowulfJones) September 22, 2014
Dear Secret Service: get it together. #whitehouseintruder— GOPocalypse Now (@GOPocalypseNow) September 20, 2014
Secret Service may push tourists even farther away from the White House http://t.co/IaGL45cuth— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) September 22, 2014
Peter King blasts handling of White House gate jumper: "He could have had a body bomb. He could have had a vest on.” http://t.co/yqcDOKAPSf— The Hill (@thehill) September 22, 2014
Obama is 'obviously concerned' that an intruder was able to make it inside the White House http://t.co/2PbtG2oKqI— Business Insider (@businessinsider) September 22, 2014
Behind the White House fence-jumper story, the human cost of war. http://t.co/6HA3WxaI44— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) September 22, 2014