Fence Jumper Was on White House Grounds for More Than 15 Minutes Before He Was Caught | NBC4 Washington

Fence Jumper Was on White House Grounds for More Than 15 Minutes Before He Was Caught



    Bill Hennessy
    A courtroom sketch of Jonathan Tuan Tran.

    A man who jumped the White House fence last week went undetected on the grounds for more than 15 minutes before officers took him into custody, the U.S. Secret Service said in a statement Friday.

    Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, breached a 5-foot-tall outer perimeter fence near the Treasury complex and East Executive Avenue just before 11:21 p.m. March 10, the Secret Service said. Tran then scaled an 8-foot vehicle gate and climbed over a 3-foot-6-inch fence near the southeast corner of the East Wing of the White House grounds.

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    Secret Service officers found him at 11:38 p.m. Tran was carrying two cans of Mace, according to court documents.

    Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Friday he was told by the Homeland Security Secretary the intruder was able to "look through" a White House window and "rattle the door handle" before being apprehended.

    The Secret Service stressed that Tran never made it inside the White House.

    The ongoing investigation includes more than 50 interviews, radio transmissions and surveillance video, the Secret Service said.

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    Tran, of Milpitas, California, is charged with entering restricted grounds while carrying a dangerous weapon and faces up to 10 years in prison.

    At a hearing in federal court in Washington on Monday, he was allowed to remain free but ordered to wear a GPS monitor and stay within 100 miles of his hometown except while traveling to court in Washington. He must stay away from the White House and undergo a mental health evaluation. He's also not allowed to possess a gun or other dangerous weapon.

    Tran told the Secret Service he's a friend of President Donald Trump and had an appointment, according to an affidavit. In addition to the Mace, he was arrested carrying a book written by Trump and a letter he wrote to the president.

    He is scheduled to return to court April 13.

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