Man climbs over White House fence

(Photo: Jay Korff/ WJLA)

(AP, ABC7) - A man climbed over the White House fence near its western entrance gate and ran toward the presidential residence before he was apprehended by uniformed Secret Service officers.

The man clambered over the fence, ran with his arms outstretched directly toward officers who ordered him to the ground with their weapons drawn.

"He just belly-flopped and cart wheeled over the fence," David Erickson said.

"I was pretty shocked because ain't nobody in their right mentally would do something like that, you know,” said Toni Irons.

They watched in amazement as a man jumped over the fence on the Pennsylvania Avenue side near Lafayette Park.

"I looked over just in time to see this guy jumping over the fence, and he didn't land gracefully,” Erickson said.

Irons says secret service agents quickly approached with guns drawn. "He had his hands up in the air when they told him to ‘stop or we're going to shoot.’ And then he dropped down to the ground," said said.

Secret Service officials say no one was injured and nothing dangerous was found in a backpack the suspect was carrying.

A Secret Service spokesperson said the man is now in custody. He has been charged with unlawful entry.

The episode occurred around 6:35 p.m. as tourists and passersby walked on the Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

Officers immediately evacuated the avenue and Lafayette Square across from the White House.