Man arrested for throwing packet over White House fence
WASHINGTON, Mar 22: A man was taken into custody after throwing a suspicious package over the White House fence today but no explosives were found, the Secret Service said.
Tom Mazur, spokesman for the Secret Service, said a similar incident had occurred before. Officials proceeded with bomb investigating procedures as a precaution though past incidents involving have not involved explosives.
Police sealed off the front gates of the White House and a bomb squad converged on the area to investigate the object.
President George W Bush was not at the White House at the time and the grounds were not evacuated.
Mazur said the package was thrown along the north fence line of the White House but was found to be harmless. ''That package has been rendered safe,'' he said.
Police cleared Lafayette Park across the street from the White House. A small remote-controlled robot checked out what appeared to be a small white package.
Reporters and camera crews were ordered inside the White House press room and could only monitor the situation by peering through the windows.
Bush had just left by helicopter from the White House south lawn, heading off on a trip to West Virginia, when the package was spotted.