UPDATED: May 14, 2015 6:25 p.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Park Police have arrested a man for flying a drone in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, Thursday afternoon.
The White House was reportedly on lockdown for a brief time because of the incident.
CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller reports the man has been charged with flying a drone in restricted airspace and adds the drone didn’t cross the White House fence line.
US Secret Service says orders individual to land a drone flying low over Lafayette Park across from WH. pic.twitter.com/lcfvvZI5gc— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 14, 2015
WNEW’s Cameron Thompson spoke with witnesses who were in the area at the time.
“I was just sitting on a park bench and I just heard people screaming ‘Get out of here! Get out of here! Everybody has to move,'” one woman said. “Then the police and the Secret Service came out and they were pushing everybody off the lawn and then further, and further, and further out into the street.”
Philipos Melaku-Bello was also nearby and says he saw officers patting down the man with the drone and emptying his pockets. He also says it looked like officers were chasing another man nearby.
“I saw something in the sky and everybody yelling ‘Go! Get to H Street now! Get to H Street now!’
He says the drone only appeared to be about 18 to 22 inches and was flying over the White House lawn.
“It was over the grass, but it didn’t get above the eddifice of the White House,” Melaku-Bello said.
Scene at Lafayette Square. Secret Service police have closed. AP reports a man was trying to launch a drone. pic.twitter.com/h3wrQVlUEE— Cam Thompson (@CamThompsonCBS6) May 14, 2015
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.