Three days ago, 42-year old Iraq army veteran Omar Gonzalez, was arrested for scaling the White House fence, sprinting across the lawn, and entering an unlocked door with a small, foldable pocket knife in his possession.
He was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted building with a deadly weapon.
Investigation into Gonzalez's history shows that he was a disturbed individual, suffering from PTSD and other mental illness. Reports say he was originally from Copperas Cove, Texas. He served in the army when he first enlisted in July 1997 until Sept. 2003.
Gonzalez re-enlisted for service in July 2005 until he retired from the army in 2012. According to his ex-wife Samantha Murphy Bell, it was during his second tour in Iraq from October 2006 to January 2008 when marriage to Gonzalez took a turn for the worst. Apparently something terrible happened to him which changed him.
Bell never knew what happened to her husband and he would only share that it involved "little children."
Although the couple officially divorced in July, Bell says jail is not what Gonzalez needs as he suffers from PTSD, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, which were aggravated by whatever happened to him in Iraq. She believes that he did not intend to harm the President or his family when he scaled the White House fence.
"He needs to get treatment. I think he needs to get proper help - throwing him in a jail is not helping him," she said about her former husband.
What is known about Gonzalez is he was apparently living out of his Ford Bronco before he decided to sprint across the White House lawn.
When police searched his car after his arrest, they discovered that it was filled with semi-automatic weapons and more than 800 rounds of ammunition.
But that was not the first time Gonzalez was spotted in suspicious circumstances near the White House.
On Aug. 25, Gonzalez was already stopped and questioned when Secret Service saw him walking along the south fence with a hatchet in his rear waistband. He gave permission to have his car searched where they reported there were two dogs and camping gear, but no firearms at that time. He was not arrested and allowed to leave.
Observers comment that this is troubling given that standard procedure for Secret Service should have been a background check on suspicious individuals. Should there be a hit for any criminal record, he should have been transferred to another office for further questioning.
Gonzalez had a clear criminal record that involved plans with the White House.
Earlier in the summer, he had also been arrested in Virginia after leading the police in a high-speed chase in July. According to reports, police in Virginia seized his mini-arsenal which included four rifles, some of them equipped with scopes; two shot guns; 4 pistols, three of which were loaded; a revolver; and a map that had the White House encircled on it.
At that time, he was charged with reckless driving, eluding the police, and possession of a sawed-off shotgun. After posting bail, he was permitted to leave.
The incident has raised concerns over the security break at the White House and has prompted the Secret Service to review and possibly overhaul its procedures regarding White House intruders.
The possible upgrade and redesign of the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the White House is also being considered for extra defense.