A Pennsylvania man was arrested Wednesday morning after making a bomb threat outside of the White House.
Krzysztof Wasik, 44, of Hazle Township informed an officer near the gates to the White House that there was a bomb in a truck nearby. The bomb, he said, would detonate soon.
Police quickly blocked off access to the surrounding streets and the entrance to a nearby Metro rail station. Crime scene tape was wrapped along Pennsylvania Avenue, blocking off pedestrian traffic. The truck was parked on the 800 block of Vermont Avenue, a block away from the north lawn behind the White House.
Streets were closed for a total of two hours. A local CBS station reports that a “fair amount of security” was present, including the Secret Service technical support team and K-9 units. Police would only describe the situation as an emergency while the investigation was underway.
Secret Service inspected the vehicle for explosives, but none were found. False alarm.
Police reopened the streets and took Wasik into custody.
Bomb threats are not an uncommon occurrence at the White House. Some threats, like today’s, lack the presence of any real explosive device.
Others come masked in protest movements. A year ago a suspected smoke bomb was tossed over the White House fence while over a thousand Occupy protesters gathered outside the gates. It was not immediately clear if a protester was the culprit, and no arrests were made. The president and first lady were away at the time, but they returned while the investigation was still underway.
Wazik’s home of Hazle Township is located roughly 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia and has a population of under 10,000 people.
While bomb threats may not be uncommon at the White House, they are not taken lightly. Krzysztof Wasik has been charged with making felony threats and is being held pending a court appearance. It is not yet clear if he has a lawyer.