WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Law enforcement officers arrested a man with multiple firearms near the White House on Sunday morning, the Secret Service and Washington Metropolitan Police Department said.
The man was arrested after he approached uniformed Secret Service officers at an intersection close to the White House, the Secret Service said in a statement on Monday.
A report by the Washington police on Sunday suggested a different version of events, saying the man was urinating in public when law enforcement officers approached him.
The man said he “came to the White House in order to speak with (Admiral) Mike Rogers and (General) Jim Mattis for advice on missing paychecks and how to get the dog chip out of my head,” the police report said.
Law enforcement officers searched the man’s car, a vehicle with Tennessee license plates bearing tags for the Fraternal Order of Police, an association of police officers, where they found firearms, brass knuckles, three folding knives, and ammunition, the report said.
“The encounter with the individual resulted in Secret Service Officers taking investigative action. The individual was arrested for possession of several firearms,” the statement said.
Washington police said the man had been arrested for possessing a prohibited weapon, an unregistered firearm, and unregistered ammunition, as well as carrying a pistol without a license and a dangerous weapon outside of a home or business, and for unlawfully transporting a firearm.
He was sent for mental observation before being transported to a police station for processing, the police report said.
A series of security breaches, including people jumping over the fence into the White House grounds, prompted to the Secret Service to close public access in April to a sidewalk along the south fence of the White House.
Unattended packages and other security concerns frequently prompt the Secret Service to put the White House on lockdown, but many of the incidents turn out to be false alarms.
The Secret Service is the federal agency responsible for protecting top U.S. elected leaders, notably the president, and visiting foreign dignitaries.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Makini Brice; Editing by Frances Kerry