A man was arrested near the White House Wednesday afternoon after police searched his car and found a .30-30 rifle, ammunition and a six-inch blade in the vehicle.
The man — identified as 41-year-old R.J. Kapheim of Davenport, Iowa — approached a uniformed Secret Service officer near 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. saying ”someone in Iowa told him to drive to the White House,” NBC News confirms.
Later Wednesday, Secret Service Acting Director Joseph Clancy said a new White House fence is under consideration.
Wednesday’s arrest and subsequent announcement come on the heels of several security breaches involving the Secret Service in the past few months. Most recently, in October, 23-year-old Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, climbed the north fence-line of the White House, getting as far as 20 to 25 yards onto the lawn before being tackled by officers and dogs. In September, a different man jumped the White House fence, embarrassing the Secret Service and prompting the resignation of the agency’s director. Forty-two-year-old Omar Gonzalez 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.
September’s intruder incident placed the Secret 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, Julia Pierson, resigned over the incident on Oct. 1.
Wednesday’s arrestee, Kapheim, is in police custody and has been charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. Other charges are pending.