A suspect has been detained after an unauthorised vehicle tried to enter the White House complex, the US secret service said.
The vehicle had been tailing another vehicle “lawfully entering at an external complex checkpoint”.
The service tweeted that it was responding to a suspicious vehicle near the White House and that roads in the area, including a portion of Pennsylvania Avenue, were closed.
An unauthorized vehicle attempted to gain entry to the White House complex by following another vehicle that was lawfully entering at an external complex checkpoint.
The vehicle was stopped and the individual was immediately taken into custody by Secret Service U.D. Officers. pic.twitter.com/ex406WNK87
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) November 21, 2019
A picture and video from the scene near the White House and Lafayette Square shows a black Mercedes-Benz SUV surrounded by luggage and what appears to be piles of colourful material.
Police were seen searching the car and local TV station Fox 5 said secret service agents had also searched it.
.@SecretService and @DCPoliceDept are responding to a suspicious vehicle — roads near the White House, including 17th St from NY Ave to H St and the 1700 block of Pennsylvania Ave., are currently closed, as well as all pedestrian traffic in Lafayette Park. pic.twitter.com/KJlRAheNea
— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) November 21, 2019
Officals said the driver was arrested and a bomb disposal unit attended the scene as well as police.
In 2017, a man was arrested for trying to jump over a White House fence while Donald Trump was believed to be inside.
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It followed an even worse security breach earlier that year when an intruder managed to peer through a window and rattle a handle at the South Portico entrance – known as the president’s back door.
The intruder, Jonathan T Tran, was on the property for nearly 17 minutes before he was arrested and was seen hanging around outside hours before.
Mr Tran carried a back pack with mace and a letter for the President as he scaled three fences up to eight feet high to gain access.
Despite activating alarms, he was able to give secret service officers the slip at one security point by hiding behind a pillar of the East Wing entrance.