Charges filed against driver of U-Haul truck that crashed near White House
The male driver taken into custody after crashing a U-Haul truck into security barriers near the White House is now facing charges including “Threaten to kill/kidnap/inflict harm on a President/VP/family member,” the United States Park Police say.
Authorities announced early Tuesday that the driver arrested in Lafayette Square Monday night is also facing charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, destruction of federal property and trespassing.
The driver was identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri.
“Shortly before 10:00 p.m. 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 at 16th Street,” Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.
U-HAUL TRUCK CRASHES INTO BARRIERS NEAR WHITE HOUSE, SUSPECT IN CUSTODY, OFFICIALS SAY
There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel, Guglielmi said.
The cause and manner of the crash are under investigation.
Secret Service and Metropolitan Police swiftly responded to the scene.
Video shared by a Fox5 DC anchor showed investigators using a robot to examine the contents of the truck.
Other footage broadcast by WUSA9 showed a police officer folding up what appeared to be a Nazi flag that was laid down on the sidewalk next to the U-Haul. The station reported that it was removed from the vehicle.
D.C. Fire and EMS also were dispatched to the scene and roads and pedestrian walkways near the crash site were closed as they conducted a suspicious package investigation, officials said.
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K-9 units were seen searching around the truck.
Guglielmi said in a tweet at around 12:20 a.m. that the truck was “deemed safe” by police and that a preliminary investigation revealed the driver may have intentionally crashed into the security barriers at Lafayette Square.
He had said the charges will be filed by the United States Park Police with investigative support from the Secret Service.
President Biden was in Washington, D.C., on Monday meeting at the White House with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over how to raise the debt ceiling.
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“I just concluded a productive meeting with Speaker McCarthy about the need to prevent default and avoid a catastrophe for our economy. We reiterated once again that default is off the table and the only way to move forward is in good faith toward a bipartisan agreement,” Biden said in a statement following that meeting.
“While there are areas of disagreement, the Speaker and I, and his lead negotiators Chairman McHenry and Congressman Graves, and our staffs will continue to discuss the path forward,” he added.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.