Washington – US authorities detained a person near the White House on Monday who crashed a vehicle into an exterior gate of the presidential mansion complex, the Secret Service said.
President Joe Biden was out of town at the time of the incident, and security officials did not say whether it was a traffic accident or intended as an attack.
“Shortly before 6:00 pm (2300 GMT), a vehicle collided with an exterior gate on the White House complex. The driver has been taken into custody & we are investigating the cause & manner of the collision,” US Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on X, formerly Twitter.
UPDATE: The vehicle has been cleared by Washington DC Police Department and traffic closures will be lifted. Driver remains in custody and our investigation continues. Special thanks to @DCPoliceDept @dcfireems for your unwavering support and partnership.
— Anthony Guglielmi (@SecretSvcSpox) January 9, 2024
The crash is believed to have occurred on the northeast side of the complex, given that Guglielmi said to expect “traffic implications” at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
While the vehicle was later cleared by Washington police, the “driver remains in custody and our investigation continues,” Guglielmi said.
🚨 BREAKING: Car crashes into White House gate. Driver arrested and Secret Service are investigating pic.twitter.com/4nOCMMEFMg
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 9, 2024
The White House has seen a string of high-profile trespassing incidents in recent years, causing sufficient concern to build a higher, tougher metal fence around the iconic mansion’s perimeter in 2020.
In 2017 a man who scaled a White House fence traipsed the grounds for more than 16 minutes before he was arrested while then-president Donald Trump was inside.
In 2014 while Barack Obama was president, a disturbed US Army veteran jumped the White House fence, sprinted across the lawn and entered the building with a knife in his pocket.
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