The driver of a rented U-Haul box truck that crashed into security barriers near the White House on Monday night has been detained.
The U.S. Secret Service tweeted that shortly before 10:00 p.m. Monday, Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers detained the individual after the vehicle they were driving collided with the security barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square at 16th Street.
The tweet added that there were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and that the cause and the manner of the crash remain under investigation.
“Preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally struck the security barriers at Lafayette Square,” Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the Secret Service, later said on Twitter. Guglielmi said the truck had been deemed safe and that the Secret Service would be supporting the U.S. Park Police who will file charges.
On Tuesday, U.S. Park Police identified the driver of the vehicle as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri. Kandula was arrested and 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.
Various media outlets say witnesses have reported seeing a Nazi swastika flag that apparently came from inside the truck. Another witness who filmed the incident said the vehicle rammed the barriers twice.
This story was updated at 12:40 p.m. on May 23 to include the U.S. Park Police identification of the driver.