WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The man who jumped a fence and made it into the White House this weekend appeared in federal court Monday afternoon, where prosecutors called him an ongoing threat to the president.
As Derek Valcourt explains, the incident is raising concerns about the protection provided by the Secret Service.READ MORE: 'The School Shouldn't Be Open Right Now': Parents React To COVID-19 Outbreak At Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School
There’s a little extra security around the White House Monday, but what’s most alarming about this recent security scare was how far that intruder made it before he was stopped by the Secret Service.
Cell phone video shows the intruder climbed the fence Friday and made it all the way through an outer door before being tackled. The president and his family were not in the building at the time.
“He is obviously concerned with the incident that occurred on Friday evening,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
In court Monday, federal prosecutors asked that 42-year-old Army veteran Omar Gonzalez be held, calling him a threat to the president.
At the time of his arrest, Gonzalez was carrying a small folding knife in his pocket. in his car, authorities found 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete.
Family members say Gonzalez began dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving two tours of duty in Iraq. During another recent arrest in Virginia, police say he had a sawed-off shotgun and a map of DC with the White House circled.READ MORE: Almost 9,000 Vaccinated Marylanders Get Additional Shots Since Approval of Pfizer Booster
Investigative journalist Ron Kessler has written two books about the Secret Service and says the agency failed in its mission.
“If you had five or six or even 10 or 20 terrorists converge on the White House, they would get in because you see what happened with one person,” Kessler said.
The incident has the Secret Service now conducting a full review of security at the White House.
Potential changes include increased patrols, whether more officers are needed and how threats are handled.
As for Gonzalez, his family members say because of his military service and his mental condition, he should be treated and not regarded as a criminal.
Gonzalez faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.MORE NEWS: 'We're The Cure To This Situation': 9 Killed, 13 Wounded In Baltimore Over The Past Week
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