The suspect identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, faces multiple charges, including threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president.A “Nazi-admiring” teenager has been charged for allegedly threatening to kill or harm US President Joe Biden after he crashed a pick-up truck into a security barrier near the White House.
The suspect, identified as Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, began waving around a Nazi flag after crashing his truck outside Lafayette Park just before 10pm (02:00 GMT) on Monday.
No one was injured in the crash. No explosives or weapons were found in the truck or on Kandula believed to be of Indian origin.
Biden was briefed on the crash on Tuesday morning by the Secret Service and Park Police, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “He’s relieved that no one was injured last night,” she said.
TV images showed a red and black swastika banner that had been found during a police search of the truck.
A witness, Chris Zaboji, said the driver smashed into the barrier at least twice. Zaboji, a 25-year-old pilot who lives in Washington, DC, was finishing a run near Lafayette Square when he heard the loud crash of the U-Haul truck hitting the barrier. He said he took out his phone and captured the moment the truck struck the barrier again before he heard sirens approaching.
“When the van backed up and rammed it again, I decided I wanted to get out of there,” he said.Admired the Nazis
Kandula later told Secret Service agents that he’d flown from St Louis on a one-way ticket that night after months of planning.
He wanted to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation”, and he said he would “kill the president, if that’s what I have to do”, as per the charges.
Prosecutors have slapped multiple charges on Kandula, including “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”.