WASHINGTON (WJZ) — More security problems at the White House, as a man with a drone forces the entire complex into a lockdown. Small aircraft have been an increasing problem on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Christie Ileto has more on the breach.
It’s no secret–you just don’t fly objects like this around the White House. This is the second time in five months a drone was caught flying near the president’s home.
It looked small, hovering at 100 feet, but Secret Service say a drone posed a big threat to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The Secret Service told us to clear the park,” said Brian Pleasant, witness.
The White House goes into immediate lockdown.
“A guy took off running and they sent a dog behind him. I guess the dog tackled him to the ground,” said Pleasant.
Thursday’s arrest comes 24 hours after the FAA says D.C. is a “no drone zone.”
“This is sort of a rapidly expanding problem because, again, anyone can buy one of these,” said drone expert Sean Humbert.
Humbert is an airspace engineering professor at the University of Maryland. He speaks to WJZ by Skype, saying drones can easily become a security threat.
“There are cameras and sensors that can be used for malicious purposes,,” said Humbert.
In January, a drone went undetected, crashing onto the White House lawn.
Last month, a gyrocopter pierced restricted airspace, landing feet from the Capitol.
The White House has been plagued by a spate of breaches–from drones to fence jumpers.
Just last week, work started to add an additional row of spikes to the White House fence.
“This is not going to totally eliminate someone from breaching security,” said Vernon Herron, The University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.
Homeland Security expert Herron says it’s a start… But this latest incident exposes a continued vulnerability around what should be one of the most secure places in the country.
Police say there was nothing hazardous on the drone.
The drone operator was turned over to U.S. Park Police.