Man Apprehended After Climbing White House Fence

Friday, March 16th 2007, 3:00 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Secret Service on Friday arrested a man it said had scaled a White House fence with a package and falsely claimed he had a bomb. The incident led to a security lockdown around the White House for more than three hours.

Secret Service officials used a water cannon to destroy the package, which contained no dangerous materials.

Secret Service spokeswoman Kim Bruce said the man, Catalino Lucas Diaz, 66, was charged with unlawful entry, threatening with a bomb and throwing a missile. She said he was believed to be from Florida but had no fixed address.

The area along Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House, was closed at 11:10 a.m. EDT after the man jumped the fence along the northeast side of the White House. It was reopened at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Members of the media and White House staffers, who also have offices in that area, were not allowed to leave their buildings.

``When he and his bundle made it over the fence, there were three separate packages _ a book, a tape recorder and some other items,'' White House press secretary Tony Snow said at his daily briefing, which was delayed for three hours by the incident.

``One of the reasons it took so long is that they spent a lot of time taking great care and examining each and every one of those items. And that's why we were on lockdown.''