Iowa man arrested near White House with gun in car
The White House is seen at dusk on the eve of a possible government shutdown as Congress battles out the budget in Washington, DC, September 30, 2013. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) By SAUL LOEB
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Secret Service arrested an Iowa man Wednesday afternoon after finding a hunting rifle, dozens of rounds of ammunition and a knife in the trunk of his car parked near the White House.
R.J. Kapheim, 41, was arrested on a charge of having an unregistered firearm, which is illegal in the District of Columbia.
Kapheim, from Davenport, Iowa, was arrested after he approached uniformed officers along 15th Street just before 1 p.m. and explained that someone in Iowa told him to drive to the White House. He later showed them to his car, parked nearby, and let officers search the vehicle.
The agency said officers found the rifle, ammunition and a 6-inch knife in the truck of his 2013 Volkswagen Passat.
It was unclear if Kapheim had a lawyer.
The Secret Service has been widely criticized in recent months after a series of serious security breaches. In September a Texas man armed with a knife was able to climb over a White House fence and made it deep into the executive mansion. According to an executive summary of a Homeland Security review of that incident, some officers on the White House grounds that night thought thick bushes near the building’s front door would stop the intruder. They were also surprised when he was able to walk through a pair of doors, which were unlocked.
Earlier Wednesday, Acting Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy told a congressional panel the agency has fallen short of its goal of perfection and being in the spotlight has had detrimental effects on morale and operational security, “both with potentially dire consequences.”