As if nerves weren’t tense enough in Washington DC on Monday with the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, a man was arrested for throwing fireworks at the White House. At approximately 6:40PM, a man threw two different firecrackers over the White House fence. One eyewitness, Clark Cashion, a junior at Pepperdine University spending the semester in Washington DC, described the fireworks as having about a three second fuse and being slightly larger than cherry bombs. “They didn’t produce any fire,” he said “but a lot of smoke.”
Cashion and his friend, Philip Moran, had stopped to take photos in front of the White House when they saw a man, who appeared to be about 5’10 or 5’11 and in his late 30s, throw the first firecracker over the White House fence. Three or four Secret Service agents then rushed him as he continued to stand still and light another small explosive, which he tossed over the fence as the agents converged on him and tackled him. “They blew him up” said Moran, likening it to a quarterback throwing a ball downfield while knowing that he’s about to get hit from his blind side.
Both Cashion and Moran are spending the semester interning on Capitol Hill and had experienced the heightened security on Congress Monday morning in the aftermath of the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard that left 13 killed, including gunman Aaron Alexis. “It’s crazy” Cashion said, shaking his head.