The knife-wielding Army veteran accused of scaling the fence on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and storming the White House last month was slapped with additional charges Thursday after the incident exposed a massive security breach and embarrassment for the Secret Service, prompting the resignation of the agency’s director.
A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., hit Omar Gonzalez with three new charges Thursday, including two counts for assaulting an officer and one for carrying a large-capacity magazine.The 42-year-old allegedly dashed through the front lawn of the White House on Sept. 19, making his way past security guards before he was eventually tackled just outside the Green Room. The first family was not present at the time of the intrusion.
The intruder incident placed the Security Service at the center of a firestorm of criticism in failing to stop Gonzalez before he barreled his way deep into the White House. The agency’s director, Julie Pierson, resigned over the incident on Oct. 1.
Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to all charges from a previous indictment earlier this month for unlawfully entering a restricted building, unlawful possession of ammunition and carrying a deadly weapon. Authorities found hundreds of rounds of ammunition in Gonzalez’s car shortly after his arrest, in addition to two hatchets and a machete.
He is due to appear in court on Oct. 21 and faces up to 15 years in prison.