Secret Service Officer Was on Phone, Missed Intruder

Homeland Security review is a little scary
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2014 7:00 PM CST
Secret Service Officer Was on Phone, Missed Intruder
A Belgian Malinois dog, part of the Secret Service's K-9 unit used for security at the White House, greets members of the Secret Service police on the North Lawn in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Homeland Security has wrapped up a review of the incident in which a man armed with a knife scaled a fence and got inside the White House, and one detail as relayed by the New York Times stands out above all others:

  • The intruder "could have been stopped by a Secret Service officer who was stationed on the North Lawn with an attack dog. But the officer did not realize that an intruder had made it over the fence because he was sitting in his van talking on his personal cellphone."

A close second is probably the officer stationed outside the North Portico doors who initially couldn't figure out what was going on because of garbled radio chatter, reports the Washington Post. When he eventually saw the intruder running toward the White House, the officer drew his weapon, took cover behind a pillar ... and then let the man proceed to the doors because he assumed they were locked. They were not. The officer also thought that if he emerged from the pillar, the attack dog might have mistakenly gone after him. (More Secret Service stories.)

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