Suspicious item prompts White House lockdown, 1 in custody

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The North Lawn of the White House was placed on lockdown for several hours after a suspicious item was thrown over a fence, officials say, though specific details were not immediately disclosed. One person is in custody.

The incident began at around 12:15 p.m. ET on Monday, a few minutes after Obama arrived back at the White House following a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery. The lockdown was limited to mainly the North Lawn and nearby areas.

“An individual threw a metal object over the north fence line at the White House. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers immediately apprehended the individual without incident,” said Shawn Holtzclaw, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. The person – said to be a woman – was not immediately identified.

Hazmat trucks, fire crews and ambulances responded to the scene as the metal object was being investigated. The object was described by some officials as a container that may have contained papers. though Holtzclaw did not provide details about the object. He said nothing hazardous was found.

“The White House returned to normal operations,” the Holtzclaw said.

The White House has regularly experienced security scares over the past few years, though the incidents usually involve fence jumpers who are quickly taken into custody.

Most recently, the White House was placed on lockdown on May 22 when party balloons drifted over White House grounds and landed on the North Lawn, the roof of the press office and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. That alert was quickly lifted.

Days earlier, the White House was put on lockdown after an armed man identified as Jesse Olivieri was shot by the Secret Service at an outer perimeter checkpoint near the White House. Olivieri allegedly failed to drop the firearm before being shot.

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