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Secret Service: White House Fence Jumper Was on Grounds for 16 Minutes

  • VOA News

FILE - Two layers of fence are seen along the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2014.

The U.S. Secret Service, the agency charged with protecting the president, vice president and the homes in which they live, said Friday that the man who scaled the White House fence last week was on the grounds for 16 minutes before he was apprehended.

The Secret Service statement on the March 10 incident said Jonathan Tran, 26, who faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, did not gain entry to the White House. President Donald Trump was in the residence at the time.

CNN reported that the suspect set off several alarms but was able to avoid other sensors.

Secret Service officers arrested Tran without incident shortly before midnight and identified him the next day. A spokesman for the Secret Service said a backpack Tran carried contained no hazardous materials. He said nothing of concern was found during a full search of White House grounds.

Tran, who has no criminal record, was quoted as saying, “I am a friend of the president. I have an appointment.” He also was quoted as having admitted he'd scaled the fence to get inside.

Trump, who was not involved in the incident, said the young man was “a troubled person.”

The Secret Service tightened security around the White House after intrusion incidents in September 2014, during former President Barack Obama’s second term.

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