On September 17, 2023, a protester who appeared to be armed was spotted approaching President Joe Biden’s Delaware home. The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but later issued a statement saying, “The individual expressing his constitutional rights had no impact on any of the Secret Service’s protectees’ movements,” said U.S. Secret Service spokesperson Special Agent Steve Kopek.
A reporter shared with the public that a “solo” protester who “appeared to have a gun in his holster” was spotted walking down the road toward Biden’s home in Wilmington, where the president had stayed overnight.
The man was “wearing a neon yellow and orange safety vest, khaki cargo shorts, tan boots and socks,” said a report from the press pool corps assigned to cover the president.
He carried a sign that said, “Bidens are criminals, 20 shell companies?! Where’s the laptop? 10% for the big guy” on one side and “Joe has aliases?! Robert L. Peters, Robin Ware, JRN Ware” on the other side, the pool report added.
The incident comes at a time of heightened political polarization and division in the United States. Police said a man armed with a loaded gun and posing as a U.S. Marshal was arrested outside an event in Los Angeles for Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy on Friday. Records show the man, identified as 44-year-old Adrian Paul Aispuro, has since been booked on felony charges.
The Secret Service is responsible for protecting the president, vice president, their families, and other dignitaries. The agency has a long history of protecting presidents from threats and attacks. However, in recent years, the Secret Service has faced criticism for its handling of security breaches and other incidents.
In a statement, the Secret Service said that it “takes all threats to the president and his family seriously” and that it is “committed to protecting them at all times.” The agency also said that it is “working with our law enforcement partners to investigate this incident.”
An armed demonstrator carries a sign along Barley Mill Road near the residence of U.S. President Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, September 17, 2023. REUTERS/Tom Brenner pic.twitter.com/merUymsM87
— Tom Brenner (@tombrennerphoto) September 17, 2023
— Andrea Shalal (@andrea_shalal) September 17, 2023