A box truck is seen crashed into a security barrier at a park across from the White House, Monday night, May 23, 2023 in Washington. Police have arrested a man they believe intentionally crashed a U-Haul truck into a security barrier near the north side of Lafayette Square late Monday night. No one was injured. (Photo: AP)
WASHINGTON: US Secret Service officers detained the driver of a U-Haul box truck in Washington on Monday night after the vehicle crashed into a barrier near the White House, the agency said in a statement.
"There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation," the statement said.
The driver was identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi later said in a tweet that a "preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally struck the security barriers at Lafayette Square", adding that charges would be filed over the incident.
A local CBS affiliate, WUSA9, reported that what appeared to be a Nazi flag had been found during a search of the U-Haul, though no other information on the flag was provided.
The crash took place just before 10 pm (0200 GMT) on the northern edge of the square, a few hundred yards from the White House in an area home to several upmarket hotels.
A local Fox affiliate reported that some hotel guests said they had been told to evacuate after the crash.
A journalist with the station posted video from the scene showing a robot searching the cargo area of the truck.