The driver of a U-Haul is facing multiple charges after allegedly crashing into security barriers in Lafayette Square near the White House on Monday night.
Just before 10 p.m. May 22, Secret Service officials detained the driver of a U-Haul truck after the individual crashed into barriers near the White House, Secret Service communications chief Anthony Gugliemi announced in a Tweet late Monday.
The driver was later identified as 19-year-old Sai Varshith Kandula of Missouri, according to a Tuesday press release from the National Park Service. After entering Lafayette Square, the driver allegedly made threatening remarks towards President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Happened to walk by right before it happened…crazy pic.twitter.com/G2mUk84rlu
— Chris (@itszaboji) May 23, 2023
The driver was arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, destruction of federal property and trespassing, Park Police announced, according to CNN. Additionally, the driver is facing charges of threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a President, vice president or family member. (RELATED: Pedestrians Hit And Dragged By U-Haul Truck In Brooklyn, Bomb Squad Responds)
Bomb technicians thoroughly investigated the vehicle and found no incendiary devices or explosives, but authorities did remove what appears to be a Nazi flag from the truck, CBS reported.
The incident required officials to close roads around and near the White House as authorities investigated the crash and examined the truck. The Secret Service evacuated the nearby Hay-Adams hotel as a precaution, though employees and guests were allowed to re-enter the facility a short time later, CNN reported.
The FBI’s National Capital Response Squad is investigating along with the Secret Service and Park Police.