7 ON YOUR SIDE takes a closer look into White House security breaches
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
If you jump over the White House fence, you are asking for trouble.
Just ask 38-year-old Marci Wahl, who has been arrested three times near the White House. During one incident, Wahl got her shoelaces stuck in the top of the fence.
Then there's 26-year-old Jonathan Tran, who actually jumped the fence and got onto White House grounds.
But has there been an uptick in incidents recently? According to a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, the answer is no.
"There has not been an increase in the number of fence jumpers going back 10 years now on a consistent basis," said Special Agent Joe Casey.
Breaking White House security protocol is a big no-no. The Secret Service doesn't mess around, but fence jumping is different from going over a bike rack in the outer perimeter outside of the grounds.
"Don't go acting goofy like you are going to jump the fence or bike rack. It’s a chargeable offense. Unlawful entry," said Officer Paul Keith with the Uniformed Officer Division of the Secret Service.
2014 was a busy year for White House fence jumpers. Four people jumped it, including one man who had to be tackled inside the White House.
Spikes at the top of the fence were added in 2015. Next year, the height of the fence grows by 24 inches and will top out at just over 13 feet.
"If you look at the size of the crowd here today, it's a fraction that come to the White House on a daily basis," said Casey.
Up to 100,000 people visit the White House each month and if you put that number up against the number of White House fence jumpers each year it appears the Secret Service is doing their job.