By John Ensor • 23 May 2023 • 17:16
Man arrested for crashing into barriers. Credit: The White House/Facebook.com
A man is alleged to have deliberately driven a ‘U-Haul truck’ into security barriers near the white house last night while police later retrieved a Nazi flag from the vehicle.
Last night on Monday, May 22, security operatives arrested the 19-year-old driver of a ‘box truck’ that was deliberately rammed into security barriers along Lafayette Square, near the White House, write The New York Times.
Speaking on behalf of the United States Secret Service, Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: ‘Shortly after 10:00 pm 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.
‘There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation. Road closures are in effect and pedestrian walkways are closed as we investigate.’
Today, police released the identity of the driver as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri.
The vehicle was checked for explosives and weapons and was later declared safe.
Guglielmi later added, that the vehicle ‘may have intentionally struck the security barriers.’
At the time of the arrest, Park Service police confirmed that among other things, Kandula was charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle; threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president or family member and destruction of federal property.
Recently, security around the white house perimeter was strengthened. Last year the fences were doubled in height to 13 feet.
And in the last two years, there have been serious breaches when vehicles have been used to smash through barriers.
In 2021, a car ran into two Capitol Police officers, killing one and injuring the other. Police shot dead the driver Noah R. Green, after he threatened officers with a knife.
Later that year, following another vehicle collision, Richard A. York climbed out of the wreckage and fired a gun into the air before turning the weapon on himself as officers tried to get to him.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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