White House fence jumper held without bond

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence was ordered held without bond in an appearance Thursday before a federal magistrate judge.

Wearing blue prison garb, Dominic Adesanya resisted being taken away and started talking as two deputy marshals removed him from the courtroom.

The defendant has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats. A preliminary hearing and detention hearing have been scheduled for Monday.

Earlier Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said options are being considered to enhance security at the White House, including more personnel, technology and physical impediments to get in. He praised the agents’ response, saying, “Yesterday’s incident underscores the professionalism of the Secret Service.”

Adesanya had previously been arrested at the White House in late July and ordered to undergo mental health screening and to return to court Sept. 9, court records show.

A court document says he told an officer that a security barrier he jumped over “was easy and that the next fence to the south grounds of the White House would not be a problem as well.”

Adesanya claimed at the time of the July incident a banking family that he said owned the Federal Reserve Bank was targeting him, and he said he wanted cameras that had been placed in his home removed, according to a court document.

He was apprehended again just three days after the July arrest at the White House complex for refusing to leave the Treasury building next door and swinging his fists at officers.

Warrants for his arrest were issued after he failed to appear in court in September. An attorney representing him in those arrests did not immediately return a telephone call Thursday.

After climbing over the fence Wednesday night, Adesanya was swiftly apprehended on the North Lawn, on Pennsylvania Avenue, by uniformed Secret Service agents and their dogs. He was unarmed. President Barack Obama was at the White House at the time.

Video of the incident recorded by TV news cameras shows a man in white shorts on the lawn just inside the fence. The man lifts his shirt as if to show that he is unarmed, then is seen kicking and punching the two Secret Service dogs.

The dogs were treated by a veterinarian for minor bruising and cleared to return to duty, Leary said.

The incident came about a month after a previous White House fence jumper, Omar Gonzalez, sprinted across the same lawn carrying a knife, ran past armed uniformed agents and entered the mansion before being felled in the ceremonial East Room and taken into custody. This week a federal judge delayed his arraignment because of questions about his mental fitness to stand trial.

The embarrassing Sept. 19 incident preceded the disclosure of other serious Secret Service breaches in security for Obama and ultimately led to Julia Pierson’s resignation as director of the agency after 18 months on the job.

After Pierson resigned, an agent who once led Obama’s protective detail came out of retirement to lead the Secret Service until Obama names a new director, pending completion of internal and independent reviews of agency practices.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who has been leading congressional investigations into the Secret Service, commended the swift response Wednesday night but said more needed to be known about Adesanya, including whether he was doing anything suspicious immediately before the incident that should have led to his detection. Chaffetz also suggested changes might be needed to “maximize the pain of going over the fence.”

“It seems a little too easy to get over,” he said.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

 

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