Woman in van arrested after striking
White House barrier
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[February 24, 2018]
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Tennessee woman
driving a white van on Friday intentionally drove into a White House
security barrier but did not breach it, and she was immediately
apprehended and put under arrest, the U.S. Secret Service said.
No shots were fired and no law enforcement personnel were hurt, the
Secret Service said in a statement.
Previous encounters with the 35-year-old woman from La Vergne,
Tennessee, near the White House had resulted "in numerous arrests for a
variety of criminal violations," it added, without giving her name.
"The female was again charged today with numerous criminal violations
and transported to the Metropolitan Police Department," the statement
said, adding that normal operations had resumed at the White House
The woman was seen holding a gun in her hand, according to a police
report cited by the local Fox network TV station.
According to the report, she faces charges of unlawful entry, carrying a
pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm,
aggravated assault on a police officer, assault with a dangerous
weapon-car, destruction of government property and contempt of court,
the Fox station said.
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately
respond to a Reuters enquiry.
"This minivan came and crashed into the barricade and tried to push
through the barricade and his tires were burning rubber and a lot of
smoke was coming up," eyewitness Chris Bello, 50, of New York, told
reporters near the scene.
"And then about 30 seconds after that the two security guards that were
in the booth, you know, ordered him to stop doing what he was doing and
he didn't listen," Bello said.
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A passenger vehicle that struck a security barrier sits near the
White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jim
The White House was put on a temporary partial lockdown following
the crash, which occurred shortly after a meeting there between
President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull, who was still at the White House.
Trump later tweeted: "Thank you to the great men and women of the
United States @SecretService for a job well done!"
Streets surrounding the White House were cordoned off, snarling
A reporter for the local Fox affiliate tweeted that a witness had
reported seeing officers pull a woman out of the vehicle's window at
gunpoint. He posted a photograph of what he said was the white
Chevrolet minivan that hit the barrier.
Reuters video showed the minivan with an American flag emblem on the
back and with both its rear window and a side window smashed. The
video showed a law enforcement officer checking the underside of the
van with a mirror.
CNN, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, said the action of
driving into the barricade was not directed at the president or
anyone at the White House and that mental health issues may have
been a factor.
(Additional reporting by Eric Beech; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing
by Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler)
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