WASHINGTON – Federal attorneys on Saturday identified the person accused of jumping a White House fence Friday night. He got so deep into the compound that he was discovered hiding behind one of the columns close to the mansion before being apprehended, reported Fox News.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and court documents identified the man as Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California.
President Trump was inside the White House at the time. He said Saturday that he appreciated the Secret Service efforts and that the accused is disturbed.
The Secret Service issued a preliminary statement indicating the man possessed a backpack, but no hazardous materials were inside. They also said he had no previous contact with the agency.
However, court documents obtained by Fox News state Tran had two cans of mace in his possession, including one inside his jacket pocket.
Mace is a form of CN gas. It is commonly known as tear gas. It is dissolved in solvents into small aerosol spray. When used on opponents is causes heavy tearing from the eyes and running mucus from the nose. It will also have varying effects on the respiratory system.
Tran was officially charged late Saturday in a District of Columbia federal court with “entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon.” The federal crime has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
White House news coverage
The Secret Service investigation revealed the suspect scaled an outer-perimeter fence on the White House complex’s southeast side, near the Treasury Building, and was arrested without further incident by an officer in the agency’s Uniformed Division.
Court records document surveillance video that shows Tran hiding behind a White House column.
Moreover, the arresting officer writes in the criminal complaint that he first observed Tran “walking close to the exterior wall of the White House mansion” and that Tran began heading toward the complex’s south lawn upon being noticed.
The officer also states Tran, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, told him, “I am a friend of the president. I have an appointment.”
In addition to mace, the document states Trans was also carrying an Apple laptop computer, a book written by Trump, and a letter to the president. “Russian hackers” are apparently mentioned in the letter as he claims to have relevant information.
Furthermore, the letter indicates Tran has been called “schizophrenic” and that his phone and email communications have been “read by a third party,” according to the documents.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined further comment. Tran is being held without bond. His next court appearance is Monday.