A small drone crashed on the White House grounds, prompting a lockdown and an investigation into how the device made it onto the lawn, a Secret Service spokesman confirmed, at 3AM on Monday, January 26, and caused the White House to be on lockdown until 5AM, according to www.latimes.com.
“There was an immediate alert and lockdown of the complex until the device was examined and cleared. An investigation is underway to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects,” Leary said, according to www.latimes.com.
The drone had a two-foot diameter, and was about two pounds and was described as a “quadcopter,” which is usually a remote-controlled device that looks similar to a helicopter, reported www.latimes.com. The device was discovered to have been operated by a government employee, whom the Secret Service chose not to identify, according to www.dispatch.com.
“The drone that landed in the White House you buy in Radio Shack,” Obama said, according to www.cnn.com.
Though remote-control aircraft toys and other devices have been for sale for decades, more recent models have been able to equip cameras and microphones, for example, which raises privacy issues.
The agency said the government employee was flying the object near the White House simply for enjoying the purpose of the deviced when he lost control of it. The officials investigating the scene, however, did not explain why the man, who has not been charged with a crime, was flying the drone at that hour, reported www.dispatch.com.
The president and first lady, Barack and Michelle Obama, were not present during this incident, but were traveling in India, leaving their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, at the White House, according to www.roanoke.com. The drone was confirmed to have no threat to the Obama family.