An Army veteran who ran through the White House with with a knife last year, highlighting the gaps in Secret Service security, was sentenced to 17 months in prison Tuesday.
On Sept. 19, Omar Gonzalez, 43, was able scale the White House fence, slip past security and race to the East Room of the White House. Prosecutors say he was able to knock over a uniformed officer before another officer tackled him. Law enforcement officers later found various rounds of ammunition, some hatchets and a machete in his vehicle.
“Mr. Gonzalez is now paying the price for his foolish decision to jump the fence and run inside the White House,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr. of the District of Columbia. “When he finishes his prison term, he will be barred from entering the District of Columbia and must receive psychiatric treatment. The prison sentence imposed by the court should deter others from taking actions that needlessly put the first family and White House employees at risk.”
Gonzalez pleaded guilty in March 2015 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to unlawfully entering a restricted building while carrying a deadly weapon and to assaulting, resisting or impeding officers and employees, a Department of Justice statement said.
Upon completion of his 17-month prison term, Gonzalez will be placed on three years of supervised release, according to the statement. During those three years, Gonzalez will be forbidden from entering the city unless he has a scheduled court appearance or plans to meet with his attorney.
Gonzalez will also be required to participate in a psychiatric evaluation and cooperate fully with the Secret Service, the statement shows.