Driver charged after truck crash near White House

The driver of a truck that crashed into security barri­ers near the White House on Monday night has been arrested.

He has been charged with various offences, including reck­less driving.

A Secret Service official said there were no injuries and initial investigations suggested the crash might have been intentional.

The driver, a 19-year-old Missouri man, allegedly made threatening statements aimed at President Joe Biden and Vice-President, Kamala Harris.

US Park Police named the suspect as Sai Varshith Kandula, a resident of the St Louis suburb of Chesterfield.

He has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, a threat to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice-president or family member, as well as destruction of federal property and trespassing.

Citing a law enforcement source, CBS, the BBC’s US part­ner, reported that Mr Kandula is a US citizen who was not on any police watch lists. He is not believed to have any significant criminal record.

There were no weapons or explosives found in the vehicle, officials said. A Nazi flag as well as a black backpack and a roll of duct tape were found inside the truck, according to US media reports.

Reuters news agency published an image showing the red flag on the floor near to the vehicle as police conducted a search.

The incident – which happened just before 22:00 local time (02:00 GMT) – triggered evacuations of local hotels, including the historic Hay-Adams.

Video of the crash taken by witnesses and posted to social media show the truck stopped on a sidewalk before it acceler­ated and collided with a set of security posts.

It is unclear where Mr Biden was at the time of the incident. Earlier in the day, he was at the White House for debt ceiling talks with House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy. —BBC

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