City tows Secret Service

Van linked to Jenna Bush had accumulated 6 tickets

March 21, 2009|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com

Baltimore transportation officials towed a Secret Service van connected with former first daughter Jenna Bush's security detail yesterday, according to city and federal officials.

Adrienne Barnes, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation, said that the van was towed from a South Baltimore neighborhood for a "nonmoving violation." The vehicle had accumulated six tickets, officials said, but the total fines and specific violations were not immediately available. A second Secret Service vehicle was also ticketed, Barnes said.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed that one vehicle was towed and said the federal agency is paying the tickets. The van is used by her agents, and does not transport Bush, he said.

Barnes said that the agent in charge of a regional Secret Service office paid the fines and picked up the van from a Pulaski Highway impound lot yesterday afternoon.

Children of former presidents receive protection until age 16, according to the Secret Service's Web site. It was not immediately clear why Bush, 27, is still entitled to that security.

A neighbor recalled seeing a boot on the vehicle yesterday. It had been parked outside the former first daughter's house for months. "It just sits there," said the neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous. "These are in spots that are designated for the Secret Service cars. These were taken away from general public's parking. Only their cars are parked there."

The neighbor was amused yesterday when a sign appeared on the van's window indicating that the vehicle would be towed. "I've just got to laugh," the neighbor said. "They can keep an eye on her, but not their own vehicles."

Bush and her husband, Henry Hager, bought a two-story rowhouse in South Baltimore in April, a month before the two were married. They moved to the city when Hager accepted a job with Constellation Energy.

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