A teenager has been charged with several crimes, including threatening President Joe Biden, after he crashed his U-Haul truck into the gates of the White House late Monday night.
The suspect, 19-year-old Sai Varshith Kandula from Chesterfield, Missouri, was arrested at the scene after crashing his vehicle into a security gate at Lafayette Park in front of the White House at around 10 pm.
“There were no injuries to Secret Service or White House personnel, and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.
He added that “The driver may have intentionally struck the security barriers.”
Vehicle collision at Lafayette Square: Roadways and pedestrian walkways are closed as teams investigate. pic.twitter.com/4QqNyRoa0T— Anthony Guglielmi (@SecretSvcSpox) May 23, 2023
Although Kandula’s motive remains unclear, police found a flag with a large Nazi swastika inside the truck. Police told WUSA that the suspect was charged with five crimes, including threatening to kill, kidnap, or harm the president, vice president, or the leaders’ family members, The Daily Wire reports.
Citizens Press shared a clip of the U-Haul crashing into the gate on Twitter. They captioned the clip, “U-Haul crashes into a protective barrier near White House. This looks like Lafayette Square area.”
U-Haul crashes into protective barrier near White House. This looks like Lafayette Square area.pic.twitter.com/WmELhHRIrE— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 23, 2023
Kandula reportedly crashed the truck into the barriers two times.
According to The Washington Post, the nearby Hay Adams Hotel was evacuated at the request of the Secret Service following the incident. Roads and pedestrian walkways around the park were temporarily closed while police investigated the incident.
“Shortly before 10:00 pm Monday, Secret Service Uniformed Division officers detained the driver of a box truck after the vehicle collided with security barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square on 16th Street,” Secret Service said in a statement released Monday night.
“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel, and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation. Road closures are in effect, and pedestrian walkways are closed as we investigate,” the statement concluded.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Philip Rozenski
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.