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Woman Attempting to Drive Onto White House Complex has North Texas Ties: Ex-Husband Speaks

A woman arrested for trying to drive onto the White House complex has ties to North Texas.

The woman was identified as 42-year-old year old Joy Utokanandu.

Her ex-husband spoke to NBC 5 in Grand Prairie Thursday. He said his ex-wife means no harm and suffers from mental health issues.

Jeffery Akharoh said his ex-wife needs more than time in police custody.

"Basically she needs help," he said. "She has no ill intent. On a normal day, with her normal self, this would not be happening."

The two divorced nearly 10 years ago, but he's certain what she did is not a reflection of who she is. Instead, he said, it's a manifestation of changes he noticed a year ago.

The Secret Service said Utokanandu tried to drive her car onto the White House complex Thursday morning. She didn't get very far, and was immediately arrested while officers searched her SUV.

Her ties were traced to Grand Prairie where Akharoh still lives. In fact, he said federal agents showed up to his house about a month ago.

"A similar incident happened where she went to the White House gate and requested to speak with the president," said Akharoh.

He hopes documentation of what he told them will help in some way.

"She's not a bad person. She's not a criminal. This is a lady that is, it's well documented now, that she is going through some mental illness, and it may have played a very big role in this situation."

Utokanandu faces unlawful entry charges. Her computer and two flash drives were seized.

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