Havoc struck right outside the White House on Friday afternoon. A Tennessee woman, who has since been arrested, intentionally crashed into a security barrier near the White House at about 2:45 pm. Jessica Ford, 35-years-old of La Vergne, Tennessee, was driving a white Chevy van when she collided into the barricade at 17th Street NW and E Street NW. Ford was arrested by Secret Service members following the crash, although she attempted to continue accelerating after the collision. Officers had to pull Ford through a window of the van and then handcuffed her.
In a news release, the Secret Service said, "The Secret Service has had previous encounters with the female in the vicinity of the White House resulting in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations. The female was again charged today with numerous criminal violations and transported to the Metropolitan Police Department."
Ford was previously arrested three times last year in the Washington area. She tried to jump a security barrier at the front of the White House last April. She was issued a stay-away order from being near the White House after pleading guilty to an unlawful entry charge. The next month, she was arrested for violating the stay-away order after trying to scale the White House. She was arrested for breaking the law again in July.
According to the police report, an officer saw that Ford had a pistol in her hand while she was behind the steering wheel. The pistol was pointed in the opposite direction of the officers. Officers forcibly took the gun from her when she did not comply with demands to drop the weapon. According to the Secret Service, no shots were fired, and no officers were injured during the incident. Ford was hit with eight charges including aggravated assault on police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon-car, carrying a pistol without a license, possession of unregistered firearm, include unlawful entry, destruction of government property and contempt of court.
Later on Friday, President Trump tweeted his gratitude for the Secret Service for handling the situation.
Trump was hosting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House during the time of the incident.