Man Carrying Knife Arrested Outside White House After Making Assassination Threat

February 9, 2020 Updated: February 9, 2020
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A man was arrested outside the White House after he told a U.S. Secret Service agent that he had a knife and was there to assassinate President Donald Trump.

Roger Hedgpeth, 25, was arrested Feb. 8 for making threats, the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed Feb. 9 to The Associated Press.

“I am here to assassinate President Donald Trump,” he told a Secret Service officer, the police report said, according to the Washington Post. “I have a knife to do it with.”

Officials said they discovered a 3.5-inch knife in a sheath on his hip. They also found a pistol holster with no gun, AP reported.

Hedgpeth was taken into police custody before he was brought to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. His car was also impounded, authorities said.

According to the Post, citing police records, Hedgpeth hails from Brandon, Florida. Police said he is a “critically missing/endangered person as well as a mental health consumer.”

The incident took place near 15th St. NW and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, police said. That’s about a block from the White House.

White House security has been increased in recent years after several people jumped over the iron fence surrounding the building and lawn. One man made it to the presidential residence in 2014, during former President Barack Obama’s second term. In 2017, after Trump took office, a California man carrying pepper spray climbed over the fence and roamed around for about 17 minutes before he was caught.

In 2019, officials began construction of a higher, 13-foot fence that almost doubles the previous height, according to an AP report at the time. The Secret Service said it cost about $64 million to complete.