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A man has been charged with several crimes, including threatening the president, after a U-Haul truck crashed into barriers around the White House late Monday.
The driver of the truck, who the Daily Mail identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri, smashed into a security gate at Lafayette Park, which is in front of the White House gates. He was charged with five crimes, including threatening to kill, kidnap, or harm the president, vice president, or family member, police told WUSA.
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
The crash occurred on the north side of Lafayette Square at 16th Street at around 10 p.m. The Secret Service said the U-Haul’s cargo hold was empty, but a Nazi flag was reportedly retrieved from the cab of the truck, according to ABC7 News.
“There were no injuries to Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” said Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Guglielmi later tweeted that a “preliminary investigation reveals that the driver may have intentionally struck the security barriers.”
The nearby Hay Adams Hotel was evacuated at the request of the Secret Service, according to The Washington Post. Roads and pedestrian walkways around the park were also closed temporarily.