Accused White House Fence Jumper Released

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the law requires Tran's release

The man charged with jumping over the fence around the White House on Friday was released from custody on Monday until his next court appearance.

The Secret Service says Jonathan Tuan Tran, of Milpitas, California, made it 200 yards from where he entered. He was arrested about 11:40 p.m. Friday near the South Portico entrance of the White House after he scaled a fence near the northeast corner of the grounds.

Officials say he was carrying a backpack with two cans of Mace inside and that he claimed he had an appointment with President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the law required that Tran be released.

"The law requires that a defendant who is charged with an offense such as the one with which Mr. Tran is charged should be released unless there is no combination of conditions of release that will assure the safety of the community and the defendant's return to court," a representative said.

Tran was ordered to to report for supervision to the federal court in San Jose, California, be subject to GPS monitoring and undergo a mental health evaluation, and, if necessary, treatment. He was ordered to stay away from the White House and visit Washington only to see his lawyer.

The intrusion on Friday, the first under Trump, follows a series of security lapses during the eight years that Barack Obama was president.


Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information

3 people shot outside store in Northeast DC

What the office building downturn could mean for DC

An especially embarrassing breach came in September 2014 when an Army veteran with mental health issues scaled a fence on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House and made it as far into the building as the East Room before the Secret Service could apprehend him.

The incident was one of several breakdowns by the Secret Service that ultimately led to the resignation of the agency's then-director, Julia Pierson, the following month.

Additional "pencil-point" spikes were installed on the White House fence in 2015 to try to prevent people from trying to scale it. There's a plan to give the fence a higher base and taller beams.

Former Maryland-based Secret Service officer Dan Bongino said jail time may not make a difference for people who jump the fence around the White House.

“Jail is not even a mild deterrent. If you’re going to jump the fence to plead your case to the White House, you’re not going to be stopped," he said.

Tran faces 10 years in prison, if convicted.

Contact Us