Man Who Scaled White House Fence Will Likely Avoid Prison - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Man Who Scaled White House Fence Will Likely Avoid Prison

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(NBC Chicago) - A man who draped himself in the American flag and jumped over the White House fence on Thanksgiving Day in 2015 will likely not serve any jail time.

Joseph Caputo of Stamford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty in September to entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Prosecutors agreed not to ask for jail time in the case but will ask for a period of three years probation.

Caputo will also not be allowed to enter the District of Columbia during any period of supervised release or probation, among other restrictions. 

Caputo will be sentenced Thursday morning. 

Caputo, 23, scaled the fence on Nov. 26, 2015 while carrying in his mouth a binder with a self-authored, "re-written" Constitution. Once over the fence he shouted "I love my country" and complied with Secret Service officers' demands to get on the ground.

Caputo's lawyer previously argued that Caputo's actions were intended to call attention to deficiencies in the Constitution and protected by the First Amendment, so the charge against him should be dismissed. A judge disagreed, saying Caputo's arguments "border on frivolous." There is "no First Amendment right to express one's self in a nonpublic area like the White House," U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper wrote.

Caputo isn't the only person to successfully scale the fence in recent years. In September 2014, a Texas man managed to get over the fence, enter the executive mansion and run deep into the building. The man, Omar Gonzalez, was found to be carrying a folding knife and was ultimately sentenced to 17 months in prison. The security breach prompted officials to put up a second, shorter barrier several feet in front of the fence and to restrict people from entering the space in between the two barriers, but a month after Gonzalez was arrested, another man also got over the fence.

In 2015 a second layer of steel spikes was added to the fence, but Caputo still managed to get over it. 

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