Three men arrested in unrelated attempted breaches of White House, Capitol grounds
By PETER HERMANN | The Washington Post | Published: July 12, 2018
WASHINGTON — Three men were arrested in the past week after authorities said they tried to breach security barriers at the White House or violated orders to stay away from the U.S. Capitol and other government buildings. The incidents were unrelated.
The latest arrest occurred about 3:50 a.m. Tuesday when uniformed Secret Service officers arrested Dirk Renard Estes of California after, they said, he moved and walked past a security barrier near the East Wing of the White House.
Police said Estes was carrying a Yorkshire terrier along with two book bags filled with clothes, a wallet and a District of Columbia Department of Corrections bracelet. He was wearing a Trump-branded fleece. Estes told the Secret Service that he admired President Donald Trump and wanted to meet him, according to the arrest affidavit filed in federal court.
The documents state that Estes thought he had entered the front door of the White House and that he wanted to tell the president "that God asked him to change the world." Authorities said he held a small New Testament Bible during his interview.
Estes was charged with unlawful entry. The Secret Service said in court documents that he has been arrested several times on the same charge after similar breaches at the White House.
Estes told officers he would continue to try to meet Trump, authorities said. When told that such a meeting would not be possible, the affidavit says Estes responded by smiling and saying, "I'll just keep trying."
On Sunday, the Secret Service said officers arrested Timothy Huynh of Virginia and charged him with unlawful entry after he allegedly entered a portion of Sherman Park that is part of the secured White House complex. The incident occurred about 7:15 a.m.
An arrest affidavit says Huynh jumped a bicycle rack with restricted entry signs posted, then ignored several commands by an officer to stop. The affidavit says the officer took out his weapon, upon which Huynh stopped and yelled, "Shoot me, shoot me, shoot me."
Authorities say Huynh had in his possession a wallet, a motor vehicle registration card from Virginia and drawings of houses. He also spoke only French, police said, and talked about soccer fields, gardens and horses. He said he wanted to meet Trump and claimed his real name was Henry Gallaedet, that he had been born in 1959 and that he had been invited to a dinner party at the White House.
On Friday, authorities said they arrested Jonathan Tuan Tran after he climbed the steps of the Capitol. Authorities said he had violated the terms of his two-year probation stemming from his conviction in September 2017 for unlawful entry to the White House grounds. A federal judge had ordered him to stay away from nearly all federal buildings along the Mall.
An arrest affidavit says that after a Capitol Police officer arrested Tran, he told the officer that he had flown to Washington from northern California and that he had a knife in his hotel room. The officer escorted him to the Hotel Harrington on 11th Street NW, three blocks from the White House, and found a TAC force folding knife with a spring-loaded blade.
According to the affidavit, Tran told the Secret Service he knew he was violating court orders but wanted to brief officials in Washington about Russia and the presidential election. Authorities said he had a notebook with a to-do list that included "protection, pocket knife, baseball bat and documented photos."
Authorities said Tran also traveled with books including "Trump: The Art of the Deal," "Dangerous Personalities" and "The Art of War."
Attorneys for the men could not be reached on Wednesday morning.