A man was in custody after allegedly driving up to a White House checkpoint and claiming he had a bomb in his car, CNN is reporting.
Whether the man did, in fact, have a bomb in his vehicle is not yet clear. A robot was inspecting the man’s car.
The man’s name has not yet been released as this is a developing story. This post will be updated as more information comes in. The late evening March 18 incident comes on the heels of heightened security concerns after a man breached security by hopping over a White House fence.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. White House Security Was Upgraded as the Car Was Checked
CNN reported that extra precautions were being taken as the car was checked and the driver in custody.
According to a CNBC reporter, the car drove up to the checkpoint at 11:05 p.m., and the Secret Service declared the vehicle “suspicious.”
The checkpoint in question was located at 15th Street and East Street NW, according to a Secret Service statement obtained by the reporter.
2. Several Streets Were Closed & a Reporter Described a Bomb Squad Member Dressed Like a Character in the Movie ‘Hurt Locker’
Security was tightened around the White House early on March 19 after the incident, with several streets reported closed. According to CNN, the situation was “ongoing.”
CNN reporter Ryan Nobles reported on Twitter, “We just saw a bomb squad member dressed in full gear (like the Hurt Locker) pulling things out of the trunk and inspecting them.”
He also tweeted, around 2 a.m. EST, “It appears that the car is still running and in the same spot it was when the incident began almost three hours ago.” And just before 4 a.m.: “MPD just re-opened the roads around the White House– including 15th street where the suspect attempted to drive on to the WH grounds.”
The Guardian reported that the Secret Service, in the statement it released, said the agency had “increased their posture of readiness.”
The CNN report about the alleged bomb threat cited anonymous sources, and other media quoted CNN.
3. Earlier in the Day, a Different Man Was Accused of Jumping on a Bike Rack in a Buffer Zone Around the White House
The car driving up to the checkpoint was the second security scare outside the White House on March 18. Earlier in the day, a man taken into custody after being accused of breaching a buffer zone around the White House. That man did not jump the White House fence, contrary to earlier reports.
CBS News reported that man was arrested “after jumping over a bike rack in an apparent attempt to get to the White House fence.” No one was injured and no weapons were found in that incident, CBS News reported.
4. Another Man Jumped the White House Fence & Roamed Around the Grounds For Minutes
The security incidents come after a California man was taken into custody after he allegedly jumped a White House fence and made it close to an entrance to the White House residence. That man reportedly had a letter for President Donald Trump and a copy of one of the President’s books.
Jonathan Tran was allegedly stressed out about a job layoff. The Secret Service was criticized in that incident because Tran is accused of wandering around the White House grounds for 17 minutes before being spotted.
5. Donald Trump & His Family Are in Florida
Trump was not in Washington D.C. when the latest checkpoint incident occurred. The president is at Mar-a-Lago with his wife, Melania, and their son, Barron.
You can see photos of the Trumps leaving for their weekend trip here: