Jessica Ford (Rutherford Co. Sheriff)

Known White House Jumper Arrested for Ramming Perimeter Barrier

A 35-year-old woman from Tennessee who has a history as a fence-jumper was taken into custody Friday for intentionally driving her vehicle into a metal barrier at the White House perimeter.

The Secret Service said no shots were fired in the 3:30 p.m. incident at 17th and E streets in Washington, and no law enforcement officers were injured. The driver did not breach the White House perimeter, the agency noted. The White House was briefly placed on lockdown; President Trump was hosting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull inside at the time.

Jessica R. Ford, 35, of La Vergne, Tenn., was taken into custody. She reportedly had a gun in her hand, and is facing weapons charges along with assaulting an officer, unlawful entry and damaging government property.

Her history in D.C. includes trying to jump a security barrier outside the White House last April, trying to climb over the White House fence in May, and violating an order in July to stay away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Back in her home state, Ford’s priors include misuse of 911, trespassing, driving under the influence, prescription fraud and probation violations. At some point, she was reportedly under psychiatric care.

The Secret Service confirmed that they had “previous encounters with the female in the vicinity of the White House resulting in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations.”

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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