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Driver Arrested and Nazi Banner Confiscated as Truck Crashes Through White House Barriers

Driver Arrested and Nazi Banner Confiscated as Truck Crashes Through White House Barriers

Driver Arrested and Nazi Banner Confiscated as Truck Crashes Through White House Barriers

Officials said Tuesday that a 19-year-old man from Missouri is accused of trying to hurt the president by driving a truck into barriers near the White House. He made statements that led investigators to think he was trying to do harm to the president.

U.S. Park Police said Tuesday morning that the driver was Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield.

A Secret Service spokesperson said that the charges against Kandula for “threatening to kill, kidnap, or hurt a president, vice president, or family member” come from things he said to several law enforcement agencies.

A representative for the agency said that the suspect was talked to by Secret Service agents on Monday night. This is part of an ongoing investigation that also involves the FBI, the U.S. Park Police, and the U.S. Capitol Police.

Kandula was also charged with an attack with a dangerous weapon, driving a car carelessly, and breaking into a building.

The tweet below verifies the news:

Authorities said that what they know so far from their basic investigation shows that Kandula “crash-landed” on purpose into the bollards outside of Lafayette Park. At the scene of the crime, the police took away a Nazi flag.

Not one person was hurt.

A law enforcement source told NBC News that the suspect made threatening comments about the White House at the scene, but he was quickly caught. The truck didn’t have any guns or explosives in it, the official said, but he didn’t say anything else about what happened.

When asked what they thought, the officer said, “I don’t think a Nazi flag or what he said has any place here.”

Just before 10 p.m. ET, a white U-Haul box truck crashed into the walls on the north side of Lafayette Square, not far from the White House.

It wasn’t clear where President Joe Biden was at the time of the event. He talked about the debt limit with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House on Monday night.

“No one from the Secret Service or the White House was hurt, and the cause and circumstances of the crash are still being looked into,” Anthony Guglielmi, the head of media for the Secret Service, said in a statement Monday night.

In a later tweet, Guglielmi said that Washington D.C. police had found the truck to be safe and that “preliminary investigation shows the driver may have hit the security barriers on purpose.” Guglielmi said that the Park Police would file charges with help from the Secret Service.

A picture from the news agency Reuters showed a red Nazi flag with a swastika on it lying on the ground next to a van. Reuters, citing a photographer on the scene and a witness, said that this and other items that seemed to have been taken from the truck were put on the ground and then taken by police.

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The government hasn’t said anything about the flag. When NBC News asked for a response, the White House told them to talk to the Secret Service. NBC News has asked the Secret Service for their thoughts.

Later, the video showed that a robot opened the back of the truck, which seemed to be empty.

A representative for the nearby Hay Adams hotel told NBC News that guests were told to leave the building but were allowed back in at 1 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

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