19-year-old Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri, was arrested and faces multiple charges after driving a truck into barriers near the White House late Monday night.
Charges include allegedly “threatening to kill, kidnap, inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member,” according to law enforcement. Kandula made incriminating statements that indicated to investigators that he was seeking to harm the president.
President Joe Biden was in the White House when the truck crashed outside, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
“He’s relieved that no one was injured last night and grateful to the agent and law enforcement officer who responded so quickly,” she told reporters.
Kandula was also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and trespassing.
The preliminary investigation indicates Kandula “intentionally crashed” into the barriers outside Lafayette Park. A Nazi flag was seized by authorities at the scene of the incident.
“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, said in a statement Monday night.
Law enforcement officials said Kandula made threatening statements about the White House at the scene but he was quickly detained. The truck did not contain weapons or explosives, the official said.
“I don’t think there’s any place for a Nazi flag or the statements that he made,” the official said.
Biden along with Vice President Kamala Harris were both on the list for the suspect, saying he wanted to overthrow the government and take power. He added that he would stop anyone who gets into this way, which implied he wanted to kill those in power.
Secret Service is investigating the matter along with the United States Park Police, the FBI, and U.S. Capitol Police.