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White House fence jumper pleads guilty to 2 charges

March 13, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — A knife-carrying U.S. Army veteran who scaled a White House fence and dashed into the executive mansion before being caught pleaded guilty Friday in connection with the case.

Omar Gonzalez pleaded guilty to entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon and assaulting, resisting or impeding a Secret Service officer.

The Sept. 19 incident in which Gonzalez was able to breach White House security preceded the disclosure of other serious Secret Service breaches in security for President Barack Obama and ultimately led to Julia Pierson’s resignation as director of the agency after 18 months on the job.

President Barack Obama, the first lady and their daughters were not home when Gonzalez got inside the mansion, though Obama and his daughters had just left the White House aboard a helicopter on their way to Camp David, the presidential retreat near Washington.

After Gonzalez’s arrest, investigators found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a machete and two hatchets in his car. A folding knife he was carrying in his pants pocket when he was arrested had a blade that was 3.5 inches long, according to the Secret Service.

Gonzalez allegedly told a Secret Service agent after his arrest that he “was concerned the atmosphere was collapsing and needed to get the information to the president of the United States so that he could get the word out to the people.”

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Follow Jessica Gresko at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

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