Tennessee woman suspected of ramming White House security gate to appear in court Monday
WASHINGTON - A Tennessee woman is being held without bond and faces several charges after allegedly striking the White House security barrier Friday.
Investigators say Jessica Ford from La Vergne, Tennesse faces three federal offenses, including: Act of Physical Violence Against Property in a Restricted Grounds using a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon, Forcibly Resisting and Impeding Federal Officers using a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon and Damage to Property of the United States in Excess of $1,000.
Ford is expected to appear for a hearing at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday.
A woman inside the home listed as Ford's address in Tennesee reportedly said she was her mother, and the 35-year-old woman suffers from mental health issues. A neighbor says Ford has three children, including a baby.
Ford has been arrested in the past for DUI, fraud as well as trespassing, including previous times at the White House.
"I heard a dull pop, it sounded like a dull firecracker, it didn't sound like a crash or anything and then I turned around and saw all the smoke and then all the police were starting to pile out of the back of the White House and then everybody is just screaming ';go go.' That's when I told all the kids, go," said Kimberlie Flauto, who witnessed the incident on Friday.
The Secret Service says it's had previous encounters with Ford in the White House's vicinity resulting in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations.
Friday afternoon was Ford's fourth attempt in the last year to unlawfully gain access to the White House. This time, she was armed when she reportedly drove a white van into a security barrier at 17th and E Streets, which prompted a lockdown on the premises.
"I'm just hoping everything is ok and I hope things work out, that's the main thing," said Flauto.
The Secret Service was able to retrieve the gun, despite Ford apparently ignoring several commands to drop the weapon.