Missouri man arrested for crashing truck, making threats near White House

U.S. Park Police and U.S. Secret Service agents responded to the park around 9:40 p.m. Monday

By: - May 23, 2023 9:43 am
The White House South Lawn in Washington, D.C.

The White House South Lawn in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images)

Federal police arrested a Missouri man on Monday night after he crashed a vehicle into security barriers in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House.

Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member, destruction of federal property and trespassing, according to a Tuesday morning statement from the National Park Service.

U.S. Park Police and U.S. Secret Service agents responded to the park around 9:40 p.m. Monday, the release said. That was within hours of President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ending a meeting on debt limit negotiations. 

Investigators’ first look at the incident suggested Kandula intentionally drove a truck into the park’s bollards, the release said. 

Authorities found a Nazi flag in the area of the arrest, Park Police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Twiname confirmed in a brief phone interview Tuesday. Twiname could not provide more details about the flag. 

Reuters published a photo from the scene showing a Nazi flag next to the truck and reported, citing the news service’s photographer, that the flag was retrieved from inside the truck.

Charging documents for Kandula were not immediately available Tuesday. 

He remained in police custody pending arraignment, Twiname said.

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Jacob Fischler
Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

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