White House intruders

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Extensive security measures are used to protect the White House as the official residence (Executive Residence) and office space (West Wing) of the President of the United States. Security is primarily provided by the United States Secret Service. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the restricted airspace above the White House has been expanded and better enforced.

Currently, a fence surrounds the White House, but it did not always exist. Though at various points since the time of Thomas Jefferson, various fences and gates were added to shape or constrain public access, greater public access to the White House grounds than was common in comparable European institutions was possible (with some restrictions) up until World War II. After World War II, public access to the White House grounds has been increasingly restricted.[1]

Police built barricades on the streets surrounding the White House in 1983.

During the mid-1990s, the fence was expanded by one block to move traffic farther from the White House to prevent damage from any car bomb.[2]

In November 2011, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez was taken into custody in Indiana, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) in connection with bullets fired near the White House- at least two of which impacted- on Constitution Avenue, NW (near The Ellipse and the closed Washington Monument), at least one of which was stopped by bullet-proof glass, the other having hit the exterior; it is unknown whether the White House was a target or was even involved- the President and First Lady were in Hawaii for the APEC Summit meeting at the time. A suspect was seen fleeing into Virginia from the 23rd Street, NW, entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge from an abandoned car left near there.[3]

Successful and attempted intrusions[edit]

Times given are local time.


  1. ^ Public Report of the White House Security Review, chapter 4, "The Evolution of Presidential Security" (1995).
  2. ^ "White House Secure". Sun Sentinel. May 25, 1995. Retrieved November 29, 2009. The radar on the White House roof has been upgraded to protect against kamikaze planes, Pennsylvania Avenue has been blocked to foil car bombers – and still a gunman can clamber over the wrought-iron fence and sprint to within 50 feet of the president's windows. The response from the men and women who guard the White House: Unless you want to turn the president's house into a walled-off fortress, there just isn't much you can do about "jumpers" – except try to stop them on the lawn. 
  3. ^ Grass, Michael (November 16, 2011). "Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez Arrested: Alleged White House Shooter In Custody In Pennsylvania". Huffington Post. 
  4. ^ "Intruder in White House Is Arrested After Forcing His Way In to See Taft". The New York Times. April 13, 1912. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  5. ^ PUBLIC REPORT OF THE WHITE HOUSE SECURITY REVIEW, Federation of American Scientists
  6. ^ "Officers Arrest a Man Outside White House". The New York Times. November 22, 1987. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ Schmitt, Eric (October 30, 1994). "Gunman Shoots at White House From Sidewalk". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  8. ^ Sanger, David (February 8, 2001). "Officer Shoots Armed Man Near White House Fence". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Trespasser Scales White House Fence". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 5, 2005. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  10. ^ Williams, Clarence; Weil, Martin (October 15, 2006). "Man Arrested at White House". Washington Post. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  11. ^ "66-year-old man leaps White House fence". USA Today. March 16, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  12. ^ Ward, Jon (June 9, 2009). "Fence-jumper immediately apprehended at White House". Washington Times. Retrieved December 1, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Feds: Couple crashed Obama's state dinner". CNN. November 26, 2009. Retrieved November 26, 2009. 
  14. ^ Cristina Corbin (November 26, 2009). "Who Are the White House Party Crashers?". Fox News. 
  15. ^ Hermann, Peter (January 10, 2014). "Ohio man sentenced to 3 years in prison for launching driverless Jeep at White House". Washington Post. Retrieved January 10, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Official: Man scaled White House fence, arrested". USA Today. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Toddler caught sneaking through White House fence". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ "'Pokémon' fan jumps White House fence with Pikachu hat and doll". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b Shear, Michael D.; Steve Kenny (September 20, 2014). "Breach Prompts Review of White House Security". nytimes. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ Leonnig, Carol D. (September 29, 2014). "White House fence-jumper made it far deeper into building than previously known". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ "White House fence jumper quickly detained". wbaltv. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 

Further reading[edit]