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Friday, Oct 24, 2014

World

Latest White House intruder charged

AFP | Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, was unarmed when he was arrested on the White House grounds after facing Secret Service dogs that stopped and attacked him, the Secret Service said. Hurricane (L) and Jordan, the two dogs that stopped the intruder, have been cleared to return to duty after being treated for minor bruising.

WASHINGTON - A man who jumped the White House fence was charged Thursday with two felony counts for allegedly kicking and punching two guard dogs that were hailed for their bravery in tackling him.

Dominic Adesanya, 23, scaled the north fence of the presidential mansion on Wednesday evening in yet another security breach, before lashing out at the animals when they ran to intercept him.

Video shows Adesanya - who was unarmed - hitting out at dogs "Hurricane" and "Jordan" before he was swiftly arrested. He will appear in court on Monday.

Adesanya was charged with two felony counts of assaulting a police officer - in this case the dogs - four misdemeanour counts of resisting arrest and unlawful entry, and a felony count of making threats, the Secret Service said.

The dogs were taken to a vet for treatment of light injuries and were cleared for duty. Adesanya was also treated for slight injuries.

Adesanya's father Victor told CNN affiliate WMAR that his son suffers mental health problems and was arrested near the White House about two months ago.

"He had done it before. ... He didn't get that close," the father said.

The White House praised "Hurricane" and "Jordan," both of the Belgian Malinois breed, for stopping Adesanya before he could get any further.

"The animals that performed so bravely last night are not something that we come into regular contact with here," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

"The individual last night probably saw pretty vividly why we all keep our distance," he joked of the dogs.

The incident came just weeks after another man jumped over the fence, sprinted across the North Lawn and entered the executive mansion with a knife in his pocket, triggering withering criticism of security lapses.

Omar Gonzalez has been indicted on two counts of "assaulting, resisting or impeding" Secret Service agents for the September 19 breach.

That time, dogs were not deployed, a decision that was widely criticised.

In jail since his arrest, Gonzalez is an Iraq veteran reportedly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

This and other security failures led to the resignation of the head of the Secret Service.

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