The U.S. Secret Service is reviewing its security measures after two incidents in two days at the White House.
Late Friday, a man identified as Omar Gonzalez, 42, was arrested after jumping the White House fence and dashing 70 yards to the front door. He was found to be carrying a 3½-inch-long folding knife.
The man made it through the front door on the North Portico, which is frequently used and just one flight of stairs away from the Obama’s living quarters, was unlocked at the time of the breach.
After Gonzalez made it past the door, an officer standing post stopped him and subdued him.
The Secret Service had initially said Gonzalez, of Copperas Cove, Texas, was unarmed. Agents found a Spyderco VG-10 black folding knife with a 3½-inch serrated blade in his pants pocket, according to an affadavit, the French news agency AFP reported.
The U.S. Army said Sunday Gonzalez had served from 1997 to 2003 and again from 2005 to 2012, when he retired with an undisclosed disability. He served three tours of duty during the nine-year war.
During an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Washington on Saturday, Gonzalez was charged with unlawful entry while in possession of a deadly or dangerous weapon. according to AFP. He faces up to 10 years behind bars.
Family not in White House
Just minutes before the breach, the president and his daughters had boarded a helicopter on the South Lawn for a weekend getaway to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
On Saturday, a second man was arrested for trespassing at the White House. He approached the gates on foot first, but returned with his vehicle to another gate after being sent away by security.
When he refused to leave he was arrested for unlawful entry.
Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told AFP that Kevin Carr of Shamong, New Jersey, had been charged with trespassing.
Officials downplayed Carr's breach compared to the fence-jumper the day before.
"This is an everyday occurrence," said Ed Donovan, another Secret Service spokesman, adding that at no point did Carr attempt to enter the White House grounds.
Some material for this report came from Reuters and AFP.