President Donald Trump was in the White House at the time, according to reports.
No hazardous materials were found in the backpack when the suspect was apprehended near midnight, and a search of the grounds revealed "nothing of concern to security operations," the Secret Service said.
"I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment," the suspect told the officer who approached him, CNN reported, citing the DC police service. When asked how he had gotten in, he said he'd jumped the fence.
It is not unheard of for intruders to scale the White House perimeter fence, and those that do are usually caught quickly and handed over to local police. The most serious recent security breach of the White House was in 2014, when an intruder with a knife jumped the fence, ran through the front door and made it all the way into the East Room, often used for receptions and addresses, before being tackled by security.