19-year-old Missouri man arrested in U-Haul crash at White House security barriers

A U-Haul truck crashed into security barriers around Lafayette Square across the street from the White House Monday night, the Secret Service said. The driver of the truck was arrested and apparently had a Nazi flag with him.

U.S. Park Police on Tuesday identified the driver as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri. 

Authorities have confirmed that charges will be filed against the driver, including assault with a dangerous weapon and threatening harm to the president, vice president or family members. 

The crash happened just before 10 p.m., Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted.

“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Guglielmi said.

A U-Haul truck is seen after crashing into security barriers around Lafayette Park across from the White House late on May 22, 2023.

Chris Zaboji via Storyful

Law enforcement officials could be seen inspecting the truck. Shortly after 11 p.m., the back was opened and it appeared robots were being used to try to determine if anything dangerous was inside. 

In a follow-up tweet, Guglielmi said, “The truck has been deemed safe by D.C. police and preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally struck” the barriers.

A law enforcement source told CBS News the man is a U.S. citizen. After driving onto Lafayette Square, he made threatening statements aimed at President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris,
a law enforcement source said. There were no explosives in the vehicle and no weapons.

The source said the FBI was involved in the investigation, and the man didn’t show up on any watch lists. He didn’t appear to have any significant criminal record, according to checks done overnight.

U.S. Park Service police said the driver was arrested and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon; reckless operation of a motor vehicle; threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president or family member; destruction of federal property and trespassing.

He wasn’t immediately identified by authorities.  

A bystander told CBS Washington, D.C. affiliate WUSA-TV the U-Haul was trying to crash into the White House.

WUSA’s Troy Pope tweeted a photo from the scene of a Nazi flag the driver apparently had in the truck:

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