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White House Fence-Jumper Overpowered Secret Service Officer, Ran Through Much of Main Floor

Uniformed Secret Service officers walk along the lawn on the North side of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The man who scaled the White House fence this month actually ran through the building into the East Room, much farther than the Secret Service initially disclosed.

The intruder overpowered a Secret Service officer posted near the door before penetrating deep into the mansion's main floor, the Washington Post reported:

An alarm box near the front entrance of the White House designed to alert guards to an intruder had been muted at what officers believed was a request of the usher’s office, said a Secret Service official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The female officer posted inside the front door appeared to be delayed in learning that the intruder, Omar Gonzalez, was about to burst through. Officers are trained that, upon learning of an intruder on the grounds, often through the alarm boxes posted around the property, they must immediately lock the front door.

After barrelling past the guard immediately inside the door, Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife, dashed past the stairway leading a half-flight up to the first family’s living quarters. He then ran into the 80-foot-long East Room, an ornate space often used for receptions or presidential addresses.

Gonzalez was tackled by a counter-assault agent at the far southern end of the East Room. The intruder reached the doorway to the Green Room, a parlor overlooking the South Lawn with artwork and antique furniture, according to three people familiar with the incident.

White House map The White House fence-jumper made it through the North Portico doors (top) and into the East Room (far right). (Image source: whitehouse.gov)

The Secret Service initially indicated Gonzalez was tackled just inside the main entrance of the mansion, saying he was "physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors."

The agency did not immediately comment on the new revelations.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson will face members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in a hearing Tuesday.

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