Washington, May 23: A man who crashed a U-Haul truck containing a Nazi flag near the White House has been arrested and charged with trying to kill or harm the president, police said Tuesday.
The driver apparently drove deliberately into bollards outside Lafayette Park just before 10:00 pm (0200 GMT) on Monday, the US Park Police said, adding that no one was injured.
TV images showed a red and black swastika banner that had been found during a police search of the truck.
President Joe Biden was briefed on the situation Tuesday morning, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“He’s relieved that no one was injured last night and grateful to the agents and law enforcement officers who responded so quickly,” she told reporters.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri, the Park Police said in a statement Tuesday.
It said he was charged with “assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, threatening to kill/kidnap/inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member, destruction of federal property, and trespassing.”
A local affiliate of Fox News reported that some guests in a nearby hotel said they were 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.