Unattended package leads to temporary lockdown of the White House

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A roundup of news from the Washington region.

THE DISTRICT White House lockdown is lifted, deemed safe

A lockdown of the White House was lifted after about an hour Tuesday afternoon after police determined that an unattended package found near the North Lawn was not hazardous, the U.S. Secret Service said.

Police said the item had been discovered about 1:15 p.m. in an area along Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Square, just outside the security perimeter. Pedestrians were cleared from the area between 15th and 17th streets.

A spokesman for the Secret Service said the package was determined to be harmless about 2:15 p.m. The owner has not been located.

The incident came a few minutes after police found a different suspicious package at 1:10 p.m. on the Rotunda steps of the U.S. Capitol.

A U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman said no hazardous items were found, but a man was arrested and charged with unlawful entry. The steps are off-limits to the public.

— Peter Hermann

Bei Bei turns 2, celebrates with cake

Bei Bei, a giant panda at the National Zoo, turned 2 years old Tuesday. Zoo officials said he had a cake with frozen diluted juice in it to celebrate.

Plenty of online well-wishers tossed out birthday greetings to the panda.

— Dana Hedgpeth

VIRGINIA Woman films man who exposed himself

A woman was robbed of her cellphone after filming a man who had just exposed himself to her in Falls Church, Fairfax County police said.

Donnell Rojas, 25, of the District walked out of the woods and exposed himself to the woman as she waited at a bus stop near Lee Highway and Graham Road about 8 a.m. Friday, police said.

The woman then took the man’s photo to report him to authorities, police said. Rojas attacked the woman and took her phone before leaving the scene, police said.

Witnesses directed police to Rojas and the location of the woman’s phone, police said. Rojas was arrested and charged with robbery and indecent exposure.

Since his arrest, Rojas has also been charged with stalking and sexual battery in connection with a similar case reported in the same area of Falls Church in July, police said.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that Rojas is responsible for other incidents in Maryland and the District. They are asking for anyone with information to contact them at 703-691-2131 or anonymously through the county’s Crime Solvers program.

— Justin Jouvenal

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