Driver Who Caused White House Scare Was 'Confused'

IRS employee says he blundered into motorcade

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 8, 2014 12:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – A wrong turn that caused national news: The driver who caused a White House security scare by following a motorcade carrying President Obama's daughters into a restricted area was apparently just confused, authorities say. Mathew Goldstein—an IRS IT specialist described by a friend as "brilliant but absent-minded"—has told investigators that he was mixed up and wasn't familiar with the roads around the White House, the Washington Post reports.

"He was at a function downtown with colleagues and said he was just checked out mentally and confused," an official says. "It seems to be bad luck on his part." The Secret Service, however, is taking the incident very seriously and is investigating how Goldstein was able to get so close to the motorcade that metal posts couldn't be raised in time to stop his vehicle entering a section of Pennsylvania Avenue that has been closed to unauthorized vehicles since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings. Goldstein has been charged with unlawful entry, a charge that carries a maximum of 180 days in prison, and has been ordered to stay away from the White House as a condition of his release, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Secret Service police question Goldstein after he followed a motorcade through a barrier on Pennsylvania Avenue near the front of the White House.
Secret Service police question Goldstein after he followed a motorcade through a barrier on Pennsylvania Avenue near the front of the White House.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Goldstein is led away in handcuffs by Secret Service police officers.
Goldstein is led away in handcuffs by Secret Service police officers.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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