Man who drove suspicious car near White House is detained

Members of the Secret Service Uniformed Divison patrol alongside the security fence around the perimeter of the White House in Washington on Saturday. — AFP

Man who drove suspicious car near White House is detained

Within 12 hours Saturday, Secret Service agents arrested two men near the White House.

A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House over the weekend in a auto that was deemed suspicious was detained by the Secret Service.

No bomb or other hazard was found in the vehicle, authorities said Sunday. Secret Service supervisors dismissed the gunfire as a gang-related shootout and the bullet holes were not discovered for six days.

The service had "increased their posture of readiness", the statement said. The agency said it was still investigating and had put additional security posts, technology enhancements and new response protocols into place.

"Upon contact with the individual, U.S. Secret Service Uniform Division Officers detained the individual and declared his vehicle suspicious", the statement said.

Here are six other incidents when security was penetrated at the White House. Trump was inside the residence at the time. Chaffetz called the incident a "complete and utter total failure".

"(Homeland Security chief John) Kelly told me that this person was there on the ground for 17 minutes, went undetected, was able to get up next to the White House, hide behind a pillar, look through a window, rattle the door handle", the lawmaker told CNN.

The California man charged in the March 10 incident has been allowed to remain free while awaiting trial, though he was ordered to wear a Global Positioning System monitor.

The White House has seen a string of high-profile trespassing incidents in recent years.

President Donald Trump wasn't at the White House because he and his family are spending the weekend at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Secret Service personnel were also involved in an embarrassing scandal in Colombia when a dozen agents were found to have hired prostitutes during a 2012 presidential trip. As the man was taken to the ground by an officer, he said, "This is a test".

The man, who never made it to the White House fence, was carrying a document he wanted to deliver and did not have a weapon, a law enforcement official said.

White House security was immediately upgraded, and the suspect vehicle was searched by a bomb squad technician and a robot. Trump was at the White House at the time and the man claimed to have an appointment to meet with the president. His wife Melania and youngest son Barron still live there.

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