Man arrested at White House after strange comment, rifle and ammo found in car

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — A man was arrested at the White House Wednesday after the Secret Service found a rifle and ammunition in his car parked nearby.

R.J. Capheim, 41, of Davenport, Iowa, approached a uniformed division officer at the White House and told the officer that someone in Iowa had told him to drive to the White House, the Secret Service said.

Capheim approached the officer at 15th Street entrance, just north of the East Wing.

He told the officer that his car was located at 16th and Constitution, less than a half-mile from the White House. The uniformed division of the Secret Service proceeded to search his vehicle and found a 30/30 hunting rifle and ammunition.

Capheim was arrested and charged with possessing an unregistered firearm. Additional charges may be pending.

Wednesday’s incident follows a string of security breaches at the White House which resulted in the resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson and a shake-up of the agency’s protocol.

On Wednesday, Joe Clancy, the interim director of the U.S. Secret Service, said that the agency has been “severely damaged in recent years by failures” and explained some key mistakes made by the Secret Service when a fence jumper was able to run inside the White House two months ago.

Clancy, who was tapped to lead the agency last month, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and laid out protocols the Secret Service is trying to improve in the wake of the fence jumper and other problems in the past few years.

His appearance comes a week after the Department of Homeland Security published a report revealing failures in training, equipment and communications at the agency.


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