Man Arrested After Trying to Jump White House Fence: Secret Service

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
June 15, 2019 Updated: June 15, 2019

A man was arrested for allegedly trying to jump a security fence outside the White House and assaulting a police officer late June 14.

Secret Service said they arrested the man after 9 p.m. on the northwest side of the Treasury Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, reported ABC News.

“The subject was immediately apprehended by Secret Service personnel and taken into custody,” a Secret Service spokesperson told the news broadcaster in a statement. They added that the incident did not affect White House security operations.

The law enforcement agency said the man, who has not been identified, has been charged with assault on a police officer and unlawful entry.

This comes after Secret Service announced last week that construction to raise the security fence at the White House to 13-feet with wider and stronger pickets would begin in due course, reported the Associated Press. The current fence stands at 6-feet, 6 inches tall.

The construction project will cost about $64 million and improve security around the White House. The decision to build a taller fence was due to a series of security breaches, where people tried to illegally gain access to the White House by scaling its fences.

In September 2014, a Texas man carrying a knife made it into the White House after scaling the fence. This prompted security to place a second barrier made of metal bike racks in front of the current fence to prevent potential jumpers.

Similarly, Secret Service said they arrested a person for scaling and jumping the bike rack security barrier in 2017.

“An individual attempted to jump the bike rack security barrier along the @WhiteHouse North Fence Line. Immediately taken into custody,” the tweet said at the time.

President Donald Trump was inside the White House at the time of the incident, reported UPI.

Man Sets Himself on Fire Near White House

Late last month, a Maryland man set himself on fire on a lawn about a mile away from the White House. He suffered burns to 85 percent of his body and later died in the hospital on May 29.

The man has been identified as 33-year-old Arnav Gupta, reported the Associated Press, citing authorities.

The Daily Mail reported Gupta stood upright for some time before authorities could reach him. He claimed that he was wearing a protective suit, which would have possibly prolonged the shocking spectacle that was caught on camera by witnesses.

Eyewitnesses could be heard screaming and sirens were heard moments later as law enforcement officials arrived on the scene.

There was a suspicious package on fire near him which was also extinguished, according to TMZ.

Gupta had been reported missing by his family around the time that he was seen setting himself on fire at Ellipse Park.

Montgomery County, Maryland, police said earlier Wednesday that investigators were searching for Gupta and were concerned for his welfare. They said he was last seen alive that morning when he left his Bethesda-area home.

Park police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado said Washington police are now handling the investigation.

The deceased man’s motive for the deadly stunt is unclear.

Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.