In A Minute: veteran who entered the White House with a knife pleads guilty
Omar Gonzalez, an attacker who last September 19 jumped the fence of the White House, armed with a knife and made it to the door of the executive residence, pleaded guilty Friday to charges against him.
Gonzalez, a veteran Army aged 42, was accused of entering a restricted building carrying a deadly weapon and assaulting a Secret Service agent, hinders security efforts and resisting arrest.
The incident involving Gonzalez was the largest of a series of security breaches in the custody of the White House, who questioned the performance of the Secret Service of the United States and led to the resignation of the director of the agency, Julia Pierson, the October 1, 2014.
By the time of the arrest, Gonzalez his pocket of his pants a retractable knife with a serrated blade 10 inches long, according to then the Secret Service. Officers also found a machete, two axes and hundreds of ammunition in the suspect’s car.
The first family was not in the official mansion when Gonzalez managed to sneak up to the north gate, facing Pennsylvania Avenue from the capital. President Obama and her daughters had just board a helicopter heading toward the presidential retreat at Camp David, located in Maryland, just outside Washington, where they would meet with the First Lady.
Omar J. Gonzalez, a native of Copperas Cove, Texas, enlisted voluntarily in the armed forces twice. He first met service between 1997 and 2003 and then returned to enroll between July 2005 and December 2012, when he retired because of a disability.
At the time of his arrest, his family revealed that he suffered from PTSD. When questioned by a Secret Service agent, Gonzalez claimed he had tried to enter the White House because “I was worried that the atmosphere was collapsing and should inform the President so he could warn the public”.
There were others who also tried to enter the White House, before and after Gonzalez. Just a week earlier, when the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, a man dressed as cartoon character “Pokemon” commemorating also managed to jump one of the fences of the White House and was stopped almost immediately after falling in the garden. And less than 24 hours later, a man parked his car in front of the gates of the White House and refused to leave, before being arrested by Secret Service agents.