The man who scaled the White House fence earlier this month made it much farther into the presidential mansion than previously believed.
In fact, Omar Gonzalez, who also had 800 rounds of ammunition and a machete in his car, overpowered a Secret Service officer and made it to the main floor of the White House.
From the Washington Post:
An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds, often through the alarm boxes posted around the property, they must immediately lock the front door.
After barreling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.
Gonzalez was tackled by a counter-assault agent at the far southern end of the East Room. The intruder reached the doorway to the Green Room, a parlor overlooking the South Lawn with artwork and antique furniture, according to three people familiar with the incident.
White House officials originally said Gonzalez was detained at the main entry.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has said the breach was “unacceptable” to her, and on Friday she briefed President Obama on her plans to shore up security.
The Secret Service has since added an additional but temporary layer of fencing while officials investigate the breach. We’ll keep you updated with the latest.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty