White House

White House Security Improvements Have Not Stopped Intrusion Attempts

Three men arrested, charged with violating White House security restrictions in the past month

Tall fence outside the White House
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Security enhancements and a widening security perimeter at the White House have not stopped attempts to breach security on the grounds, according to a review by the News4 I-Team. Three men have been arrested and charged with violating White House security restrictions in the past month, the I-Team has learned. Federal agents said two of those arrested were seeking to speak with President Donald Trump.

The most recent incident occurred Saturday, according to an affidavit from the U.S. Secret Service. Amina Washington-Bey, a man who has been arrested several times for breaching security on White House grounds, was stopped near the Willard Hotel, near Pennsylvania Avenue, court filings say. He was carrying pepper spray, the affidavit said.

Washington-Bey had been accused of "intruding" on White House grounds in April and was banned from the area by a judge’s stay-away order. The affidavit said a Secret Service agent recognized Washington-Bey when he neared the White House Saturday. "[The agent] recognized the individual as someone who was known to jump the White House fence and was pretty sure there was an active stay away order against the individual," according to the affidavit.

In a separate incident in late August, officers arrested Malik Lanier for "climbing a temporary security barrier" on the north side of the White House. According to court filings, "[Lanier] stated that he had decided to go to the White House that day because he wanted to deliver a contract from 'Black America' to the President. The court filing also said, "[Lanier] said that he had decided to cross the barriers and had every intention of going all the way to the White House because he thought that everyone should be able to talk to the President."

Earlier in August, officers arrested Zachary Madsen for jumping over two security barriers on the north side of the grounds, near Alexander Hamilton Place NW.  According to an affidavit from the Secret Service, "[Madsen] stated that he was told by God while in Texas to go to the White House to speak to the President of the United States."

Security enhancements and widening perimeters have been erected outside and along the grounds of the White House in recent months.

The breaches described in the new court filings do not reference any attempts to climb or breach the main security gate that surrounds the White House complex.   An intruder who surmounted the main gate, opened the front door and managed to enter the East Room of the White House in 2014 triggered a congressional review of Secret Service protections and White House security. A larger, taller fence, with "pencil-point" spikes were ordered in recent years.

Attorneys for Madsen, Washington-Bey and Lanier did not immediately return requests for comment

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