WASHINGTON — A man who said he was "astroplaning" was arrested Saturday after he scaled a wrought-iron fence and entered the White House grounds while President Reagan was at home.
The suspect, identified as Mike Davis, 26, of Langley Park, Md., had no explanation except that he was "trying to catch the sun," although it was a cold and blustery afternoon when he was apprehended a few yards from the west wing of the White House, where the Oval Office is, Secret Service spokesman Bill Corbett said.
Corbett said Davis climbed over a six-foot fence above a two-foot granite wall along Pennsylvania Avenue and was heading down West Executive Avenue, which runs between the White House and the Old Executive Office Building, when he was seized and handcuffed by uniformed Secret Service personnel armed with shotguns. They found him unarmed and reported that he had "no animus toward the President," Corbett said.
City police charged Davis with unlawful entry and took him to police headquarters, where he was to remain until a court hearing Monday morning. He was listed by police as having no occupation.
Although it is not unusual for intruders to scale the White House fence, they are usually stopped after penetrating only a few feet into the grounds. Davis had gone 100 feet or so, officials said.