Officers with guns drawn ordered the man to lie down. The Secret Service said the man was in custody Thursday night.
Henry reported that the man appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, and said he overheard Secret Service officers communicating to each other that the jumper carried a stuffed animal, not a weapon, which might explain why no shots were fired.
Secret Service officers deal with fence jumpers or bags tossed over the fence as serious potential threats. Henry reported that although fence jumpers are an occasional occurrence, this incident stood out because "it felt like it went on for several minutes without the Secret Service apprehending the individual."
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were not present at the White House during the incident. They were performing a service project at The Inspired Teaching School in Washington D.C., stuffing backpacks assembled for homeless children as part of a Sept. 11 service project.