WASHINGTON (AP) — A curious toddler on Tuesday earned the title of one of the tiniest White House intruders after he squeezed through the metal fencing on the north side of the executive mansion.
U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers, who are responsible for security at the White House, walked across the North Lawn to retrieve the tot and reunite him with his parents on Pennsylvania Avenue. Access to the complex was briefly restricted while officers conducted the reunification. Officers briefly questioned the parents before allowing them to continue on their way.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers “encountered a curious young visitor along the White House north fence line who briefly entered White House grounds.”
“The White House security systems instantly triggered Secret Service officers and the toddler and parents were quickly reunited,” he said in a statement.
It may be the first successful intrusion onto the complex since the White House fence was doubled in height to roughly 13 feet (3.96 meters) in recent years after a series of security breaches. While taller, the new fence has an additional inch of space between pickets, for a total of 5½ inches (12.7 centimeters) between posts.
Older children have sometimes become stuck in the iconic barrier, which has also been the scene of demonstrations, with protesters chaining themselves to the fence.