White House area goes on brief lockdown after person arrested by Secret Service

The Secret Service arrested an individual on Wednesday after they allegedly dropped a backpack and attempted to jump a bike rack outside the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, forcing the complex to briefly lock down.

The incident took place at 2:45 p.m., the Secret Service said, and prompted law enforcement to cordon off Lafayette Park and close Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th streets to traffic. The bike racks are located near the fences along the perimeter of the building.

ADVERTISEMENT

Around the same time, multiple White House correspondents tweeted that the building had gone into lockdown and that the Secret Service had asked them to go into the briefing room.

Mark Knoller of CBS News tweeted a photo that showed armed Secret Service officers positioned on the North Lawn. 

The Secret Service announced just after 3:30 p.m. that the package had been cleared with assistance from the D.C. Police Department. The pedestrian traffic closures were lifted a short time later. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE was not in the White House at the time. The president was traveling back to D.C. from Florida, where he officially launched his 2020 reelection bid on Tuesday evening.

The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether the incident on Pennsylvania Avenue was the cause for reporters being ushered inside.

Updated at 3:45 p.m.