Relatives: Vet Arrested at White House Needs Help

Omar Gonzalez, 42, sneaked in with a knife
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 21, 2014 5:00 PM CDT
Relatives: Vet Arrested at White House Needs Help
This Sept. 21, 2009 photo provided by Jerry Murphy shows Omar Gonzalez, who was married to Murphy's mother, Samantha, until they divorced in 2012.   (Uncredited)

An Iraq war veteran accused of scaling a fence and making it into the White House before the Secret Service stopped him owns several guns that he could have brought with him if he had meant to harm anyone, his former stepson said today. Omar Gonzalez, 42, was arrested Friday and is expected in federal court tomorrow to face charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon—in this case, a small folding knife. Jerry Murphy, whose mother was married to Gonzalez for several years, says Gonzalez suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, needs treatment, and shouldn't be treated like a criminal.

He says Gonzalez has been driving around the country and living out of his truck for the past couple of years, and that he always carries his knife. "He's got heavy artillery, you know? He's got all kinds of weapons and he was trained to use them," Murphy says. "I believe if he wanted to make a scene or cause problems, he very well could have. But it's clear that he didn't." The Army says Gonzalez enlisted in 1997, served until 2003, and reenlisted in 2005 until 2012, serving in Iraq from 2006 to 2008. Gonzalez's ex-wife says he was honorably discharged for medical reasons and suffered from plantar fasciitis on his feet. She says he also suffered from PTSD, for which he had been prescribed several medications. (More White House stories.)

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