White House intruder was on grounds for 16 minutes before arrest: Secret Service
A California man who scaled the White House fence last week was on the property’s south grounds for at least 16 minutes before he was captured, CNN reported on Friday, citing an unnamed U.S. Secret Service source.
Jonathan Tran, 26, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for entering the grounds without permission.
Tran set off several alarms after jumping the fence but was able to avoid other sensors before he was discovered just steps from the main building, CNN reported.
The network also reported that Tran was spotted “looming around” Pennsylvania Avenue nearly six hours before his arrest.
A Secret Service spokesman said the agency does not comment on ongoing criminal investigations.
President Donald Trump was inside the residence at the time of the security breach late on Friday night.
Tran told federal agents that he was a friend of the president and had an appointment, according to court documents. He was carrying two cans of mace, a U.S. passport, a computer and one of Trump’s books, authorities said.
Trump commended the Secret Service for doing a “fantastic job” apprehending Tran.
Tran was released on his own recognizance on Monday and returned to California, where he must submit to GPS monitoring until his next hearing in Washington.
The intrusion was the latest in a series of breaches in recent years that prompted security enhancements at the White House, including the installation of a row of sharp spikes on top of the black iron fence around the 18-acre (7-hectare) property in 2015.
(Reporting by Emily Stephenson in Washington and Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Bernadette Baum)