Accused White House fence jumper faces more charges

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 16, 2014 7:01 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Iraq war veteran accused of running inside the White House armed with a knife faces more charges under a federal grand jury indictment returned on Thursday.

Omar Gonzalez, 42, is alleged to have climbed over the White House fence on Sept. 29, burst through the front door and made it to the executive mansion's East Room before he was stopped.

Gonzalez, formerly of Copperas Cove, Texas, was initially charged with unlawful entry while carrying a weapon, a federal offense. He also faced District of Columbia charges of carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or business and unlawful possession of ammunition.

The superseding grand jury indictment added two federal charges of assaulting an officer and one District of Columbia count of unlawful possession of a large-capacity ammunition-feeding device, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Gonzalez is alleged to have resisted two U.S. Secret Service officers inside the White House, the basis for the new indictment. He had a folding knife with a serrated blade in a pants pocket, the statement said.

A search of Gonzalez's car turned up hundreds of rounds of ammunition both in boxes and magazines, two hatchets and a machete, it said.

Gonzalez is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama and his family were not in the White House at the time of the incident. The breach prompted a security review because Gonzalez got deeper into the White House than Secret Service officials initially stated. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned in the wake of the incident and other disclosures of security lapses.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Peter Cooney)