Washington – Joseph Caputo was sent for psychiatric evaluation after being charged with illegal entry of restricted grounds. The man jumped the White House fence on Thanksgiving Day.
The man from Stanford Connecticut draped himself in an American flag, jumped the fence and bolted past several layers of security before he was detained by a Secret Service agent. Authorities said the break occurred at about 2:45 p.m. At the moment President Obama and his family were celebrating Thanksgiving at the White House, according to public agenda.
No comments from the Courtroom
Caputo made his first court appearance on Friday where D.C. Superior Court Judge Errol R. Arthur ordered the suspect to undergo an emergency psychiatric evaluation at St. Elizabeths Hospital. Caputo remained silence in the brief hearing and his attorney, Paul Signet, did not make any comment.
Caputo was charged with making an illegal entry onto restricted grounds, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. After the psychiatric exam, Caputo is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate on Monday morning.
What the documents say
According to the documents filed on court, Caputo was carrying the flag, a flash drive designed as the shield carried by the comic book character Captain America, a pocket guide to the U.S. Constitution and weightlifting gloves at the moment he was arrested.
The documents said that Caputo left a suicide note and a message for his mother that said he might not see her again.
“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around us who transform into the Force,” he wrote in the note, according to the documents.
The current fence does not work
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents D.C. in Congress, said on a statement that the incident “shows that the current fence fix does not work”. She also said she will ask for a Secret Service meeting to explain the security breach and timing for a “permanent fix to the White House fence.”
The incident is at least the third time someone has jumped the White House fence within a year. In September of 2014, Omar Jose Gonzalez not only was able to jump over a fence; he also reached the president’s front door and, got into the first floor of the White House while carrying a folding knife.