On the Friday of Memorial Day weekend in bustling Washington, D.C., tourists visiting the White House got to see more than they bargained for when a man stripped down to his birthday suit, assaulted a Secret Service agent and then tried to scale the fence outside of the White House entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue around 3 p.m. on May 23. The naked fence climber has been identified as Michel Bechard, according to NBC News.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service said that agents with the Secret Service that were on the scene quickly subdued the naked Bechard, tackled him to the ground and got him covered up. Prior to his getting naked, Bechard reportedly asked permission to pass through the White House gated entrance to “attend a meeting.” When personnel said that he couldn’t enter the grounds, Bechard stripped.
Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News, happened to be on the scene when Bechard tried scaling the fence. Todd said that officers took control of Bechard and covered the naked man in "silver foil like blankets."
The man was adamant that he had an appointment with President Obama as he yelled and removed his boxers ... That was seconds before his naked body was tackled to the ground.
Lafayette Park, the area where Bechard tried streaking onto the White House property, is a popular vantage point for tourists trying to get a good view of the White House, and is also a popular spot for protest rallies. It isn’t known whether or not Bechard was actually protesting anything though. The Secret Service reported that Bechard sustained minor injuries during his scuffle with officers and had to be taken to the hospital.
The Washington Post reported that Bechard’s formal arrest would take place after he was examined at the hospital. As of this writing, any charges against the man are still pending. Secret Service spokesperson, George Ogilvie, did not know what Bechard’s motive was for getting naked and trying to get onto the White House grounds.