Just before midnight Wednesday, the barricades were breached near St. Vibiana's Cathedral, where Pope John Paul II was sleeping.
The alert came from a motorcycle officer: "Two men dressed in white have just jumped the barricade at 2nd and Los Angeles streets. . . ."
Police officers and Secret Service agents came running from all sides, guns drawn.
They cornered two very frightened "suspects" within seconds: a pair of cooks from the New Otani Hotel looking for a shortcut to work.