Jerusalem — Members of the US secret service were involved in a “physical encounter” in Jerusalem and returned to the United States from Israel on Monday after being temporarily detained by Israeli police, officials said.
A secret service spokesman was informed in a statement to CBS News that authorities had encountered him late Monday, and an agent working in Israel was “simply detained and cross-examined by Israeli police.
“Employees have returned to the United States,” a spokesman said. “According to the agency’s protocol, his access to the secret service system and facility was suspended until further investigation was conducted.”
Israeli police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to comment on the case.
A person familiar with the situation told CBS News that an off-duty agent was leaving dinner with a group of colleagues when there was some sort of clash with a woman on the street. She claimed that the woman was somehow beaten by an agent and called the police. Police felt forced to detain the agent, but released him after interrogation, sources said. Investigators are investigating whether the agent was drunk at the time of the encounter, he said.
The incident happened when President Biden arrived in Tel Aviv as part of a four-day trip to the Middle East. This is the first time I have visited the area since taking office as his president. In addition to stopping in Israel, Mr. Biden will also visit the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
It’s also not the first time a secret service agent has been sent back to the United States prior to the president’s overseas trip. In May, two secret service employees Returning from Seoul, South KoreaAnd one of the members was put on leave after an off-duty incident that resulted in a physical “replacement” with a local taxi driver.
Local police investigated the case, but no one was detained or charged. Members of the secret service left for the United States within an hour and a half before Mr. Biden arrived in South Korea as part of a five-day swing in Asia.
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