As if the Trump presidency couldn’t possibly get any stranger, the White House went into an emergency lockdown after a man in a mobility scooter set himself on fire along Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Secret Service, as you can imagine, had a hell of a time.
Here’s their official statement on the matter:
“A male subject operating an electronic wheelchair-type scooter lit his outer jacket on fire while sitting along Pennsylvania Ave. outside the North Fence Line.”
“Uniformed Division Officers immediately responded, extinguished the fire and rendered first aid.”
“The male subject has been transported to a local hospital with what appears to be non-life threatening injuries.”
UPDATE: A male subject operating an electronic wheelchair-type scooter lit his outer jacket on fire while sitting along Pennsylvania Ave. outside the North Fence Line. Uniformed Division Officers immediately responded, extinguished the fire and rendered first aid.— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) April 12, 2019
UPDATE: The male subject has been transported to a local hospital with what appears to be non-life threatening injuries.— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) April 12, 2019
The fire was extinguished before firefighters arrived on the scene.
President Donald Trump was in the White House at the time of the incident but was not in any danger.
Secret service spokeswoman tells me a man set his jacket on fire in front of the White House. He is being treated for injuries. No threat to the President— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) April 12, 2019
Things were a little tense for a while there, with the Secret Service clearing the North Lawn, Lafayette Square and the sidewalk in front of the White House.
Members of the media were asked to stay in the West Wing.
Lockdown at the White House after someone reportedly set himself on fire outside the WH gates. Media now being told to go back inside. pic.twitter.com/brWPY6sQ6Q— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) April 12, 2019
The Secret Service later apprehended the man, who set himself on fire on the 15th Street side of Lafayette Park, directly across the street from the White House.
According to voter rights activist Daniel Kingery, the man’s act appears to have been a protest of some kind; the man held up his burning jacket and did not put it down even after being ordered by members of the Secret Service to do so.
“He wasn’t obeying their order to put it down, so it was definitely some sort of a protest.”
Reactions to the event appear to be split along party lines.
When your "president" is so bad, you just wanna end it all...this should be a clear sign that the POTUS is unfit and doesn't deserve his office.— Vaedron (@Basque37_Twitch) April 12, 2019
Sadly, they weren't concerned about the life of the man in the motorized wheelchair. Just as @GOP is not concerned about Americans or democratic values.— Kay Shannon (@kayellen17) April 12, 2019
I bet I've had the same thought 100x a day since the inauguration— Counts My Blessings (@mirakle330) April 13, 2019
Did that man achieve his goals to set himself on fire, He obviously had a message to deliver but I don’t think he succeeded.🙏Prayers for that human for being so un human.— Investor35 (@12janicerd) April 13, 2019
A man set himself on fire outside the White House yesterday. He could have had a bomb. Criticizing the President is incitement to violence and it has to end. Stop criticizing the President or someone is going to die. https://t.co/ZoRYu1rlTm— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 13, 2019
Symptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome now apparently include lighting yourself on fire outside of the White House.— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 12, 2019
What a strange time to be alive.