Reel, spotted nearby on a bike, then jumped the fence at the Eisenhower Building, home to the vice president's office, the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget.

He was captured with a can of spray paint and allegedly told officers he wanted to mark the "Don't Tread on Me" rattlesnake on the White House complex.

The suspect will remain in federal jail ahead of a detention hearing on Thursday.

President Obama was in California attending a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the time of the incident.