Flag-wearing man jumps White House fence, interrupting Obama family’s Thanksgiving celebration
A man who jumped the White House fence on Thursday, triggering a lockdown of the presidential mansion, was quickly caught and now faces criminal charges, the U.S. Secret Service said.
Joseph Caputo scaled the north fence line of the White House grounds at around 2:45 p.m. and was immediately apprehended, the Secret Service said in a statement. It did not provide further details about the suspect.
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The White House was locked down as the Secret Service conducted a security sweep of the area, and nearby streets were closed off, ABC News and The Washington Post reported earlier.
The Thanksgiving Day incident came amid heightened security concerns in the United States and other Western countries following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted a concert hall, a stadium and several cafes.
President Barack Obama was at the White House to celebrate the U.S. holiday, according to his public schedule. A photo by the official White House photographer posted online earlier in the day showed Obama making phone calls to members of the U.S. military.
The incident marks at least the third time someone has jumped the White House fence this year, and follows recent steps by the Secret Service to improve security there. Some measures included adding spikes to the top of the fence to make it harder for people to jump over.
The Washington Post cited a witness who took photos of the incident showing a U.S flag-draped man vaulting the fence and landing on the other side, arms outstretched.
One woman was arrested in July in a similar incident, and another person was arrested in April.
(Reporting by Sandra Maler and Susan Heavey; Editing by Eric Walsh, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)