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Man arrested for bomb threat at White House – US Secret Service

Man arrested for bomb threat at White House – US Secret Service
A Washington, DC resident has been detained following "suspicious activity" at the north fence of the White House, the Secret Service said. The area along Pennsylvania Avenue was closed off for several hours.

Reporters were told to leave the north lawn of the White House, CBS News said.

Although the Secret Service declined to immediately elaborate on the incident, Washington DC police spokeswoman Margarita Mikhaylova said authorities were investigating a suspicious package outside the White House, according to the Washington Post.

The Secret Service identified the suspect as Ervin Pettaway, 33, of Washington, DC. He reportedly told uniformed officers that he “dropped explosives” along the northern fence of the White House.

Explosive ordnance teams and bomb dogs found no explosives in the area, and recovered the suspect’s cell phone. Pettaway was charged with one count of felony threats and sent to a DC jail.

President Donald Trump was en route to Hawaii, before heading on his first presidential visit to Asia.

The Friday incident is not the first time the White House has been placed on lockdown since Trump took office.

In a bizarre incident last month, a man dressed as the Pokemon character Pikachu jumped over a concrete barrier on the southern side of the White House. He was promptly arrested by Secret Service officers.

In September, there were two incidents within two days. The first lockdown was due to a man who threw a sign and a notebook over the fence on Pennsylvania Avenue, while the second occurred due to a suspicious package.

A person who jumped a bike rack serving as a barrier on the north fence line was taken into custody in May.