A man was arrested outside the White House last night (May 22) after reportedly crashing a U-Haul truck into barriers protecting the building. This morning (May 23), authorities identified the suspect as 19-year-old Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri.
The suspect is believed to have intentionally rammed his vehicle into White House barriers. After Kandula was taken into custody, United States Park Police charged him for allegedly “threatening to kill, kidnap, inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member,” according to NBC News. The outlet added that the young man made multiple alarming statements in the presence of law enforcement agencies, per a representative of the Secret Service.
Vehicle collision at Lafayette Square: Roadways and pedestrian walkways are closed as teams investigate. pic.twitter.com/4QqNyRoa0T
— Anthony Guglielmi (@SecretSvcSpox) May 23, 2023
Kandula was interviewed by Secret Service members and other government affiliates, consisting of United States Park Police, the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police. The suspect’s charges were upped to include assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and trespassing. A Nazi flag was also allegedly recovered from the scene of the crime. “There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel, and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Anthony Guglielmi, the Secret Service chief of communications, tweeted, in part, after the incident.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ whereabouts at the time of the crash have not been disclosed, but NBC News stated that Biden did have a meeting at the White House with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. While the POTUS made no mention of the U-Haul incident, he confirmed the meeting in a tweet, noting he and McCarthy talked “about the need to prevent default and avoid a catastrophe for our economy.” The pair also “reiterated once again that default is off the table and the only way to move forward is in good faith toward a bipartisan agreement.”
I just concluded a productive meeting with Speaker McCarthy about the need to prevent default and avoid a catastrophe for our economy.
We reiterated once again that default is off the table and the only way to move forward is in good faith toward a bipartisan agreement.
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 23, 2023
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