Intruder caught after scaling White House fence

President Obama was inside during the incident; White House locked down for 90 minutes

A 23-year-old Maryland man was in the custody Wednesday night after he climbed over the White House fence and was swiftly apprehended on the North Lawn by uniformed Secret Service agents and their dogs.

The incident came roughly a month after an intruder armed with a knife scaled the White House fence and made it inside the executive mansion, raising questions about security levels at the heavily guarded complex and spurring the resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson after 18 months on the job.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said a man he identified as Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, climbed the north fence line at about 7:16 p.m. and was taken into custody immediately by uniformed agents and K-9 teams that constantly patrol the grounds.

"The individual was immediately taken into custody on the North lawn of the White House by Secret Service Uniformed Division K-9 teams and Uniformed Division Officers," Donovan said. K-9 refers to the team using specially trained dogs.

President Barack Obama was at the White House at the time of Wednesday's incident.

Adesanya was unarmed at the time of his arrest, Leary said. The man was then transported to a hospital for evaluation, the spokesman said. Charges were pending.

Video showed Secret Service agents surrounding the man on the north lawn of the White House, which was put on lockdown for about 90 minutes. The video showed the man punching one of the dogs that attacked him.

Two Secret Service dogs "were taken to a veterinarian for injuries sustained during the incident," said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said.

The man climbed the fence around 7:15 p.m. and was apprehended shortly thereafter. The White House lockdown was lifted shortly before 9 p.m.

The latest incident came after Pierson’s resignation. Joseph Clancy, a former special agent in charge of the president’s protective detail who retired in 2011, is the Secret Service’s interim director.

Pierson, a 30-year veteran resigned after a man rushed in through the front door of the White House on Sept. 19 and ran into the ceremonial East Room, one floor below the private residence.

Omar Gonzalez, 42, was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area while carrying a "deadly or dangerous weapon," according to an affidavit released by the U.S. Attorney's office at the time.

During the uproar, the Washington Post revealed that on Sept. 16, Obama rode an elevator during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta with an armed security contractor who had three criminal convictions, a violation of Secret Service security protocols.

The newspaper also revealed that it took the Secret Service five days before realizing a man had fired shots at the White House in 2011, while one of Obama's daughters was inside. First Lady Michelle Obama was reported to be furious about the incident, which took place when she and her husband were out of town.

Earlier this week, a federal judge delayed the arraignment of Gonzalez because of questions about his mental fitness to stand trial.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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