Secret Service detains driver of car deemed suspicious near White House

WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service detained a man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a car that was deemed suspicious.

The car was stopped Saturday night about a quarter-mile from the White House.

The Secret Service hasn’t said what caused the car to be considered suspicious. It said it’s investigating.

Republican President Donald Trump wasn’t at the White House because he and his family are spending the weekend at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida. 

The incident followed an earlier one Saturday near the White House. A person was arrested after jumping over a bike rack in an apparent attempt to get to the White House fence, the Secret Service said. The agency said in a statement that the person was apprehended before reaching the fence on the north side of the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue. A Secret Service source told CBS News that no weapons were recovered and no injuries were reported. 

The agency said criminal charges were pending. White House press secretary Sean Spicer praised the agency’s response on Twitter.

“Individual jumped bike rack on Pennsylvania Ave, not @WhiteHouse fence. Great response by @SecretService,” Spicer tweeted.

About a week earlier, a man breached an outer perimeter fence and scaled a vehicle gate to gain entry to the White House grounds, raising questions about lapses in security under the Secret Service’s watch.

The man, identified as 26-year-old Jonathan Tran of California, was able to “rattle the door handle,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said Friday in an interview on CNN’s “The Situation Room.” 

The Secret Service said the man was on the White House grounds for 17 minutes before he was in custody. He was charged with entering restricted grounds while carrying a dangerous weapon. 

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Members of the Secret Service Uniformed Division patrol alongside the security fence around the perimeter of the White House in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2017.

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