A Knife-Wielding Intruder Ran Past Secret Service Into the White House

Of all the places that would be hard to intrude, it seems like the White House would be the hardest. But Omar Jose Gonzalez, the man who was arrested earlier this month for charging into the residence, made it much further than Secret Service officials initially reported, according to the Washington Post. Early reports said the intruder was stopped at the front door, but it seems a knife-wielding Gonzalez managed to jump the White House fence, sprint across the lawn, past a Secret Service guard, into the residence and into the White House’s East Room before finally being tackled by an agent. In fact, he darted right past a staircase that led directly to the Obamas’ living room.

The security breakdown appears to begin with “crash boxes”—alarms that are set to go off whenever anyone treads on the White House lawn. Those had been either turned down or completely disabled by White House ushers who found them “disruptive.” But the list of failures doesn’t end there—Gonzalez, intentionally or otherwise, dodged at least five checkpoints, including a group of plainclothes officers, a security guard, an attack dog and an entire SWAT team. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson will testify about what went wrong in front of Congress on Tuesday and has called the breach “unacceptable” …

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