A toddler made it through the gates of the White House, causing a brief security lockdown on Pennsylvania Avenue. The young boy, out of the sight of his parents, squeezed through the front gates of the White House on Thursday, catching the attention of the heavily armed agents patrolling the presidential grounds.
Reuters news service, via MSN News, said that Secret Service agents “regularly close off the area due to suspicious packages near the White House, but pint-sized intruders are far less common.”
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan released a statement to reporters who were gathered awaiting news on the recent foray into Iraq. Donovan joked: “We were going to wait until he learned to talk to question him, but in lieu of that he got a timeout and was sent on way with parents.”
Writes the Washington Post:
The brief kerfuffle as agents scrambled to intercept the pint-sized intruder confirms what most people know: toddlers are sneaky, and fast. This one was promptly returned to his parents.
The toddler’s brief intrusion into the protected area caused President Obama to delay his address to the nation Thursday night on the intended strikes in Iraq. Airstrikes commenced this morning on Islamic State artillery positions in northern Iraq.
The young boy’s age and name were not released.
Intruders to the White House are not common, but the grounds are protected by a vast network of security measures and manned stations.
An iron fence surrounds the perimeter; in the mid 90s the fence was moved back by a block to prevent the White House from being damaged by a potential car bomb. The fence entrances are monitored by guard stations constructed with bullet-proof glass. Alarms under the ground sense any “fence jumpers,” while cameras and infrared sensors patrol for activity.