Omar Jose Gonzalez the man who hopped the White House Fence and ran into the President’s residential area was a decorated Iraq war Vet who saw extensive combat. He retired with a disability after 13 total years in the Army in two different stints. When the Secret Service finally got around to detaining him in the White House he had a folding pocket knife.
He received over a dozen awards, badges and ribbons throughout his military career including two Good Conduct medals an Iraq Campaign medal, a Combat Action badge and an Expert Marksmanship badge.
Gonzales, from Copperas Cove, Texas, s alleged to have jumped the White House fence along Pennsylvania Avenue at 7:20 p.m. Friday, then sprinted across the north lawn and opened the mansion’s front door before and was then apprehended by a Secret Service police officer standing guard.
President Obama, his two daughters and a friend had left several minutes before on helicopter Marine One for Camp David. First lady Michelle Obama had departed earlier for the western Maryland presidential retreat.
Gonzales told Secret Service agents after being apprehended that the “atmosphere was collapsing” and that he had to tell the president so he could warn the public.
At a hearing Saturday afternoon in D.C. Superior Court, Margarita O’Donnell an assistant public defender representing Gonzalez said her client had no convictions or arrest warrants and had tested negative Saturday for drug use, according to The Washington Post. There was no mention of alcohol use.
“This is someone who has provided service to his country and shown commitment in his life,” Margarita O’Donnell told the judge as she tried unsuccessfully to get Gonzalez released.