WASHINGTON — Police have arrested a Missouri man they believe intentionally crashed a U-Haul truck into a security barrier at a park across from the White House.
The box truck’s driver smashed into the barrier near the north side of Lafayette Square on Monday at around 10 p.m., Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. He was identified as a 19-year-old from Chesterfield, a St. Louis suburb. US Park Police identify the suspect as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri.
No one was injured in the crash.
Officers from the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department searched the truck after the crash. Video posted by WUSA-TV shows a police officer at the scene picking up and inventorying several pieces of evidence from the truck, including a Nazi flag.
Based on a preliminary investigation, investigators believe the driver “may have intentionally struck the security barriers at Lafayette Square,” Guglielmi said. Authorities offered no additional details about the possible motive.
The U.S. Park Police said the man was arrested on multiple charges, including threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president or member of their family; assault with a dangerous weapon; reckless driving; destruction of federal property; and trespassing.
Lafayette Square, which offers perhaps the best view of the White House available to the public, has long been one of the nation’s most prominent venues for demonstrations. The park was closed for nearly a year after federal authorities fenced off the area at the height of nationwide protests over policing following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but it reopened in May 2021.
U-Haul is a moving truck, trailer and self-storage rental company based in Phoenix.