The White House went on lockdown during Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit with US President Donald Trump after a woman allegedly tried to drive her car through a security barrier.
Jessica Ford, 35, from Tennessee, has had three other alleged past “encounters” with authorities near the White House, including attempting to climb over a fence, according to the Secret Service.
A witness said Ford on Friday kept ramming her van into security barriers just metres away from the White House and Blair House, the presidential guest house where Mr Turnbull and wife Lucy are staying during their four-day Washington trip.
“The tyres were burning rubber, they were smoking a lot,” the witness told Washington DC TV station WUSA9.
Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump had just completed a 40 minute press conference at the White House when Secret Service officers scrambled.
Media members and other officials were rushed to a basement near the briefing room.
Australian Federal Police advised the crash had “no impact on the prime minister”, a spokesman for Mr Turnbull said.
“The Secret Service has had previous encounters with the female in the vicinity of the White House resulting in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations,” the Secret Service said in a statement.
“The female was again charged today with numerous criminal violations and transported to the Metropolitan Police Department.”