The security barriers surrounding Lafayette Square, which is across from the White House, were damaged by a U-Haul truck on Monday night, according to the Secret Service. The truck’s driver was taken into custody and was found to be carrying a Nazi banner.
Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri, was the driver, according to U.S. Park Police’s identification on Tuesday.
Charges against the driver, including assault with a deadly weapon and making threats to harm the president, vice president, or their families, have been confirmed by the authorities.
According to a tweet from Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the accident happened shortly before 10 p.m.
The reason and circumstances of the incident are still being investigated, according to Guglielmi. “There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel,” he added.
Police officers could be seen looking at the truck. The back was opened shortly after 11 p.m., and it looked robots were being used to check to see whether there was anything hazardous within.
“The truck has been deemed safe by D.C. police and the preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally struck” the barriers, Guglielmi wrote in a subsequent tweet.
The suspect is an American citizen, a source in law enforcement said. He threatened Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden after pulling onto Lafayette Square, according to a law enforcement source. The car was devoid of both explosives and firearms.
The man didn’t appear on any watch lists, according to the source, who claimed that the FBI was involved in the inquiry. Checks made overnight revealed that he did not appear to have a major criminal history.
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According to U.S. Park Service police, the motorist was detained and charged with trespassing, destruction of government property, assault with a dangerous weapon, careless driving, and making death, kidnapping, or other threats against the president, vice president, or a member of their family.
Authorities didn’t immediately identify him.
The U-Haul was attempting to crash into the White House, according to Washington, D.C. affiliate WUSA-TV.
Troy Pope of WUSA tweeted a picture of what seemed to be a Nazi banner on the truck the driver was traveling in:
NEW: Investigators pulled what appears to be a Nazi flag out of the U-Haul, but they haven't provided any further details.
— Troy Pope (@troycpope) May 23, 2023
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