White House locked down after vehicle strikes barrier
WASHINGTON: The White House was on lockdown for about an hour Friday after a passenger vehicle struck a security barrier. Local media reported that the driver was armed.
The US Secret Service tweeted that the vehicle “did not breach the security barrier of the White House complex.” No shots were fired during the incident, the Secret Service said.
The agency added that the 35-year-old female driver was “immediately apprehended” after the incident on the southeast side of the complex, near the Old Executive Office Building. The driver was identified as a resident of La Vergne, Tennessee, and as someone the Secret Service has had previous encounters with near the White House, “resulting in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations.”
Citing a Metropolitan Police Department report, Washington’s WTTG-TV identified the driver as Jessica Ford and said she was holding a pistol while still behind the steering wheel.
The Secret Service said the woman was charged Friday with numerous criminal violations and turned over to the District of Columbia police department.
Witnesses saw a commotion on the White House grounds as security officers responded.
President Donald Trump had been hosting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House. Turnbull remained at the White House as the incident was being investigated.
The Secret Service said no law enforcement personnel were injured in the incident.
Trump praised the agency’s handling of the situation in a tweet Friday afternoon: “Thank you to the great men and women of the United States @SecretService for a job well done!”