Secret Service under scrutiny over security issues
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Two security-related incidents happened Saturday, which made it the third incident in a matter of eight days.
The latest attempted security breach at the White House happened around 11:05 p.m. Saturday. Officials said a driver was taken into custody after pulling up to a checkpoint at 15th Street and E Street NW and told a security guard he had a bomb. The car was declared suspicious, and a robot was used to examine it.
"I'm really nervous with the Secret Service in that they're not doing their job, that something needs to be changed, maybe at the head of it," said Lisa Cummins, who’s visiting D.C. from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Earlier in the afternoon Saturday, a person jumped over a bike rack on Pennsylvania Avenue and tried to get to the White House Fence. The person was apprehended immediately and charges are now pending.
The two incidents took place on the same day Cummins and her friends were getting a tour of the White House.
"There's security everywhere, I don't know how anyone thinks they can make it up to the house," said Alisa Ellis, who was part of the tour.
The two incidents on Saturday come about a week after the Secret Service said Jonathan Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California, roamed the property for 16 minutes before being arrested.
Tran scaled a fence near the Treasury Department at East Executive Avenue. At one point, officials said video showed him hiding behind a pillar, and he reportedly jiggled a door.
President Trump was on the property at the time.
"Yes, I have some opinions about him, but I feel like he's the one person we have to protect at all costs," said Nick Jacobs, visiting DC from Boston. “It’s the White House, you think it’d be the most secure place and the hardest place for normal people to get inside.”
In a statement released Friday, the Secret Service said, “The men and women of the Secret Service are extremely disappointed and angry in how the events of March 10th transpired. Immediate steps have been taken to mitigate lapses in security protocols even as the investigation continues.”
In response to the incident Saturday night, the Secret Service said, “In accordance with proper protocols, Secret Service personnel increased their posture of readiness. Due to the fact that this is an on-going criminal investigation, the Secret Service will not provide any further details at this time.”
A new fence outside the White House was approved last month. It will be taller, stronger and have special technology to help keep out intruders. The Secret Service hopes to break ground with the National Park Service next year.