Jerusalem – A member of the US Secret Service was sent back to the US from Israel on Monday after he was briefly detained by Israeli police after taking part in a “physical encounter” in Jerusalem, the agency said.
A Secret Service spokesman told CBS News on Wednesday that the agency was notified of the standoff late Monday and that the agent, who was working in Israel, “was briefly detained and questioned by Israeli police who released him without charge.”
4 people who were informed about the dispute got more detailed information about the agent’s night.
An off-duty Secret Service agent was with other agents at a Jerusalem bar Monday night. A woman contacted the agent at the bar and an argument ensued. During the argument, the agent pushed the woman, three sources said.
According to the sources, the woman involved in the incident was not injured, but she called the Israeli police to inform the agent.
According to three sources, the Israeli police took the agent into custody and reported it to the US Embassy in Israel.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the agent involved was a member of the Counterattack Team, the Secret Service’s heavy-weapons tactical unit that assists the Presidential Guard.
This Counter Strike Team is usually deployed ahead of high-profile presidential visits.
“The employee returned to the United States,” the Secret Service said. “In accordance with agency protocol, his access to Secret Service systems and facilities has been suspended pending further investigation.”
Two people who gave information about the incident said that there was alcohol. Another person familiar with the internal investigation told CBS News that the Secret Service is investigating whether the agent was drunk. This source also said the agent is expected to explain what happened to the Secret Service on Wednesday.
The incident occurred as President Biden was preparing to arrive in Tel Aviv as part of his four-day trip to the Middle East, his first visit to the region as president. In addition to a stop in Israel, Mr. Biden will also visit the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
Asked for more specific details about the agent who pushed the woman in Jerusalem, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told CBS News that the department could not comment or confirm any information “given the early stages of our investigation.”
“We hold all employees to the highest professional standards, and you see the results of our strong culture of accountability,” Guglielmi said, adding that all agents must undergo “annual integrity training” and “professional standards” briefings and adhere to a pre-employment code of conduct. to go to any foreign destination.
It’s also not the first time a Secret Service agent has been sent back to the United States before a presidential trip abroad. In May, two Secret Service agents were sent home from Seoul, South Korea, and placed on administrative leave after an incident in which one member got into a physical “fight” with a local taxi driver.
Local police investigated the incident and no one was arrested or charged. Members of the Secret Service left for the United States an hour and a half before Mr. President. Biden was due to arrive in South Korea as part of a five-day trip to Asia.
Arden Farhi contributed reporting.
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