Man hospitalized after lighting his jacket on fire outside White House
A man lit himself on fire near the White House Friday afternoon, prompting U.S. Secret Service agents to intervene. The man has been transported to a local hospital for what appear to be non-life-threatening injuries, Secret Service said in a statement.
The identity of the man has not yet been disclosed. The incident took place around 3 p.m., and video footage showed Secret Service agents carrying the man to another location near the White House. Secret Service and D.C. Metropolitan Police are searching two bags the man had in proximity to him.
"USSS Uniformed Division Officers responded in seconds, extinguished the fire and began to administer first aid," Secret Service said in a statement. "Pedestrian traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue was closed following the incident. This is an ongoing investigation."
It's unclear if the man had any intention of making a political statement, or what his mental state was at the time.
Secret Service apprehended the man on the 15th Street side of Lafayette Park, directly across from the White House, according to one CBS News employee who witnessed part of the incident. Secret Service agents physically picked up the man and carried him to the other side of the park.
The turn of events placed the White House on lockdown Friday afternoon, meaning staffers and journalists cannot enter or leave the grounds. The incident also closed part of Pennsylvania Avenue to pedestrian traffic, and 17th Street Northwest to vehicular traffic.
This was another test for the Secret Service, which over the last several years has faced criticism for security breaches at the White House.
In 2014, a man scaled the White House fence, sprinted across the lawn and then entered the north portico before being stopped.
Arden Farhi, Jeff Pegues and Andres Triay contributed to this report.
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