Driver of ‘suspicious’ car at White House checkpoint detained

WASHINGTON — A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a car that was deemed suspicious has been detained by the U.S. Secret Service.

The car was stopped Saturday night about a quarter-mile from the White House.

At around 11:05 p.m. the vehicle drove up to a checkpoint at 15th and E streets Northwest. The driver was detained by the Secret Service and “declared his vehicle suspicious,” a Secret Service spokesman said in a statement. This prompted an increase in “their posture of readiness,” the spokesman said.

The Secret Service says it’s investigating. It hasn’t said what caused the car to be considered suspicious.

CNN reported that two law enforcement officials told the news outlet that the driver claimed to have a bomb in the vehicle, but there was no confirmation of any device.

This is the third security incident at the White House in two weeks. Earlier Saturday a person jumped a low, metal barrier outside the White House and was apprehended by the Secret Service. White House press Secretary Sean Spicer praised the Secret Service for its “great response.”

On March 10, a 26-year-old California man was arrested after jumping a fence and entering a restricted area of the White House grounds, saying he was a friend of the president and had an appointment with him.

President Donald Trump was not at the White House Saturday. He and his family are at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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