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A 19-year-old man from Missouri who crashed a U-Haul truck into a White House barrier fence Monday night faces charges that include threatening to kill or harm a president, vice president or family member.
Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri, also faces charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless driving and trespassing, after he rammed the vehicle into barrier fences in Lafayette Park near the White House at aproxmiately 9:40 p.m. on Monday, U.S. Park Police announced Tuesday morning.
United States Park Police and United States Secret Service Uniform Division officers responded to the scene near the White House, and a Nazi flag was also apprehended, according to Reuters. Secret Service claim the man “intentionally” struck the barriers with his vehicle, according to NBCDFW.
Late night vehicle attack near White House raises alarms
While no injuries were reported, it’s unclear whether President Biden or VP Harris were in the White House at the time. Although NBC News reports Biden had met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that night at the White House to discuss the debt ceiling negotiations.
According to an official who spoke with NBC News, the suspect made threatening remarks at the scene but was quickly apprehended. “I don’t think there’s any place for a Nazi flag or the statements that he made,” the official reportedly said without providing further details.
News of the arrest just feet from the White House comes amid a climate of fear and hostility as Republicans continue to demonize diversity programs while downplaying the threat of white supremacist violence.
During a commencement speech at Howard University on May 13, Biden reiterated that white supremacist violence represents the biggest threat to national security.
“White supremacy … is the single most dangerous terrorist threat in our homeland,” Biden said. “And I’m not just saying this because I’m at a Black HBCU. I say this wherever I go.”
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