White House Locked Down After Smoke Bomb

Obamas out for dinner as missile hurled during Occupy protest

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 18, 2012 1:52 AM CST

(Newser) – The White House was locked down for more than an hour last night after a smoke bomb was tossed over the compound's north fence. The Secret Service believes the device was thrown by an Occupy protester. More than 1,000 demonstrators had gathered outside the White House for a rally after marching to the Capitol and Supreme Court when the incident occurred, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"In all the commotion we couldn't see the smoke bomb, but it filtered back that something had been thrown over the fence of the White House," a protester tells the Telegraph. "The police made a moderate show of force with some 30 officers with batons and helmets but no shields. There wasn't any confrontation." No arrests were made and the Obamas weren't home at the time: They were out for dinner a few blocks away to celebrate Michelle's 48th birthday.

Occupy DC demonstrators chant slogans outside the White House.
Occupy DC demonstrators chant slogans outside the White House.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
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