Veteran tried to jump White House fence in Pokémon costume in bid for YouTube fame
By PETER HERMANN | The Washington Post | Published: October 19, 2017
A 36-year-old Kentucky man who authorities said tried to scale a White House fence on Tuesday while dressed as the Pokémon character Pikachu had planned to film his act in an attempt to attain fame, according to an arrest affidavit filed in court.
But the man, identified as Curtis Combs, of Somerset, Ky., told arresting officers that the Secret Service closed in too quickly, interrupting his recording of a "pre-jump" ritual.
With police nearing, Combs told police he decided to try getting over the fence anyway, and he made it into a restricted area where he was caught and handcuffed. The affidavit quotes Combs as saying he "wanted to become famous" and had planned to post his video to YouTube.
The court document does not indicate a reason for the Pokémon costume. Combs reportedly told police that he had researched others who had attempted or successfully gotten onto White House grounds and knew the type of criminal sentences they received. He said he knew he would be arrested. A man in 2014 was caught on the White House lawn dressed in a Pikachu hat and carrying a Pokémon doll.
A D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered Combs released pending a hearing Nov. 9. Combs, charged with one count of misdemeanor unlawful entry, could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Edward Gain, did not return calls. D.C. court documents say Combs is unemployed and had been discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004.
The incident occurred about 9:45 a.m. near the southern fence along E Street in Northwest. Combs told police, according to the affidavit, that he chose the area near the Ellipse because he thought he had spotted a weak point in Secret Service coverage.
Authorities said Combs tried to enlist the help of two friends but that they declined. He lives near the Daniel Boone National Forest, about 150 miles from Louisville.
In the affidavit, Combs told police that after his court case is finished, "He stated he wanted to come back to the White House with his son for a tour."