Man Arrested Near White House With Rifle, Ammunition in Car

UPDATED: November 20, 2014 5:16 p.m.

WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — A man was arrested near the White House by Secret Service after a .30-30 rifle and ammunition was found in his car.

R.J. Renae Kapheim, a 41-year-old from Davenport, Iowa, approached a Secret Service checkpoint at 15th and E Street just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. He told agents that he had an appointment with President Obama who invited him to the White House, according to court documents.

Kapheim walked away when he was denied entry, where agents say he began talking to himself, shaking his head back and forth. According to court documents, he told agents that he had driven from Iowa to D.C. and parked his car near 16th and Constitution Avenue.

After taking Secret Service agents to his car, he informed them that he had a rifle, knives and ammunition in his car. After consenting to a search, agents found the .30-30 rifle, ammunition and a 6-inch knife in his 2013 Volkswagen Passat.

Agents say the rifle was found “protruding” from the back seat with the barrel in immediate reach from the driver’s seat, obscured from view by miscellaneous bags. He also informed agents that he could not remember if the rifle was loaded or not, according to documents.

The rifle was reportedly loaded and contained six rounds of ammunition, with 37 additional rounds recovered by agents.

Kapheim arrested on a charge of having an unregistered firearm, which is illegal in D.C. He was later charged with having unregistered ammunition and possession of a prohibited weapon.

A judge on Thursday ordered Kapheim held until a Friday hearing. He has been charged with illegally carrying a rifle in the District of Columbia, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

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 that 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.”

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(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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