Man Arrested for Crashing U-Haul Truck into White House Security Barriers and Waving Swastika Flag
A man has been arrested and charged by the United States Park Police for crashing a U-Haul truck into security barriers at Lafayette Square, just north of the White House in Washington, D.C. Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, threatening to kill/kidnap/inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member, destruction of federal property, and trespassing. Kandula allegedly rented the U-Haul truck from Dulles International Airport and drove to the White House with the intention of entering the grounds. After crashing into the barriers, he exited the vehicle and waved a flag with what appeared to be a swastika on it. He was detained by officers from the U.S. Park Police and is being held without bond. No weapons, ammunition, or explosives were found on Kandula or at the scene of the crash. During questioning by the Secret Service, he reportedly stated his goal was to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation.”
The incident happened at around 10 p.m. on Monday, May 22, 2023, and there were no reported injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel. The cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation, and Kandula is due to appear in federal court on Wednesday. The crash caused more than $1,000 in damage to the barriers outside the White House, and Kandula is also accused of destruction of federal property.
Kandula has been charged with five counts, including assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, trespassing, and threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president or their families. Law enforcement sources have confirmed that Kandula traveled from St. Louis to Dulles International Airport before renting the U-Haul truck and driving to the White House.
The incident caused a temporary closure of pedestrian walkways and road closures in the area while the investigation was carried out. The U.S. Secret Service, alongside other law enforcement agencies, investigated the scene of the crash before making the arrest.
This incident follows a similar one in which a toddler squeezed through a White House fence, prompting a Secret Service response. In that instance, the toddler was quickly returned to their parents by the Secret Service. However, in Kandula's case, the alleged intention to enter the White House grounds and seize power has raised concerns about security measures in place and the potential threat posed by individuals with extremist ideologies. The incident remains under investigation, and authorities will be looking to identify any potential links to extremist groups or individuals.
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