The 23-year-old man accused of jumping over the White House fence and making it onto the North Lawn last week was found “incompetent” for trial after a preliminary psychiatric screening, which was made public Monday in court. In a dramatic scene, two marshals had to escort the defendant, Dominic Adesanya, out of a U.S. district courtroom after he shouted “help me” and yelled that he was a “targeted individual.”
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Last Wednesday, Secret Service officials and their dogs tackled and arrested Adesanya, of Bel Air, Maryland, about 20 yards past the fence. Adesanya, who was unarmed, sustained dog bites on his arms, back, chest and knee. Two Secret Service dogs suffered bruising injuries during the incident, but have since returned to duty.
Adesanya was charged with multiple counts of felony assault, resisting arrest, unlawful entry and making a threat. During the preliminary hearing, authorities physically had to remove him from the courtroom. The defense had requested another court appearance following a preliminary psychiatric screening on Adesanya, which the judge had granted and scheduled for Monday.
He was also expected to appear Monday afternoon in Superior Court, but it remained unclear whether he would attend. He is now expected to return to U.S. District Court on Dec. 22.
The latest fence-jumping incident came as the Secret Service has worked to rebuild its image in the wake of several security breaches. Omar Gonzalez, the 42-year-old Texas man accused of scaling the 8-foot-tall White House fence and briefly entering the building on Sept. 19, faces charges of unlawfully entering a restricted area while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. Gonzalez entered the building through an unlocked door and ran deep into the White House before officials tackled him. Gonzalez, who faces as many as 15 years in prison, is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 3.
The first family wasn’t home at the time of Gonzalez’s alleged intrusion, but the incident developed into a national scandal for the agency. Julia Pierson resigned as director on Oct. 1 following a string of other embarrassing missteps by the agency. Joseph Clancy, a retired special agent, returned to the Secret Service as interim acting director after Pierson’s departure.
A week before Gonzalez entered the White House, a different intruder jumped over the fence along the lawn, and yet another man tried to drive through a barricade onto the grounds. Also under Pierson’s watch, President Barack Obama rode an elevator in Atlanta with an armed security contractor who had a record of assault convictions.
Pierson joined the Secret Service last March in the wake of revelations that agents solicited prostitutes in Colombia ahead of a presidential visit to the country.