Police have arrested a Missouri man on multiple charges, including attempting to kidnap or kill the president, vice president or a family member, after he crashed a U-Haul truck into a security barrier near the White House on Monday night.
Around 9:40 p.m., Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, allegedly “intentionally” crashed into barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square, the U.S. Park Police said in a statement Tuesday morning.
Kandula was taken into custody by Secret Service and Park Police officers shortly after, Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. He is also facing charges of destruction of federal property, assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and trespassing.
According to an affidavit from a Secret Service agent, Kandula told Secret Service agents his goal was to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation.” In order to do so, the affidavit said, he was willing to “Kill the President if that’s what I have to do,” adding that he “would hurt anyone that would stand in my way.”
He planned the attack over the course of six months, he told the agents questioning him, and had arrived in Washington around 8 p.m. Monday evening after buying a one-way ticket from St. Louis. Kandula was unarmed, and no explosives or weapons were found in the U-Haul, the Secret Service said.
Video from CNN affiliate WUSA shows a Park Police officer taking inventory of the U-Haul truck and packing up several pieces of evidence, including a Nazi flag.
Kandula first pulled the flag out of a backpack after crashing the truck, according to the charging documents. He told agents he brought the flag with him because the Nazis “have a great history,” citing their “authoritarian nature.”
There were no injuries.
Kandula is expected to appear in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C.
Kelly Garrity contributed to this report.
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