A Texas man who broke onto the White House grounds while armed with a knife, raising sharp questions about Secret Service competence, has been sentenced to 17 months in federal prison.
Omar Gonzalez, 43, an Army veteran formerly of Copperas Cove, Texas, will face another three years of supervised release after finishing his prison sentence.
Gonzalez will also be “barred from entering the District of Columbia and must receive psychiatric treatment,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Gonzalez pled guilty on March 13 to one count of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, and one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.
The sentencing was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. and James M. Murray, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office, U.S. Secret Service.
On Sept. 19, 2014, at about 7:19 p.m., officials recounted Tuesday, Gonzalez climbed over the north fence of the White House. While he was on the fence, uniformed Secret Service officers with the U.S. Secret Service’s Uniformed Division ran towards him and repeatedly yelled at him to stop and get down. Gonzalez kept climbing and reached the grounds of the White House.
Gonzalez made it through the north doors of the White House, knocking a uniformed officer backwards before another uniformed officer tackled him. According to prosecutors, officers found a folding knife in his pants pocket; in his car, officers say they found ammunition, hatchets and a machete.
“Mr. Gonzalez is now paying the price for his foolish decision to jump the fence and run inside the White House,” Cohen said in a statement. “The prison sentence imposed by the court should deter others from taking actions that needlessly put the First Family and White House employees at risk.”