U-Haul truck crashes into barrier near White House; 1 charged, police say

ByMary Kay Mallonee and Josh Campbell,
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
U-Haul truck crashes into barrier near White House
A driver was detained after a U-Haul truck crashed into a security barrier near the White House.

WASHINGTON -- The driver of a U-Haul who crashed into a security barrier in Lafayette Square near the White House Monday night was arrested on multiple charges, including threatening to kill or harm a president, vice president or family member, according to US Park Police.

The truck crashed into security barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square at 16th Street just before 10 p.m., and officers detained the driver, the US Secret Service said.

There were no injuries reported to any Secret Service or White House personnel, spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.

A preliminary investigation revealed the driver - who has not been publicly identified - may have intentionally struck the barrier, the Secret Service later said.

While authorities have not provided specific details on the alleged threat, the US Park Police said the man faces the charge of threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a President, vice president or family member.

The driver also was also arrested on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, destruction of federal property and trespassing, according to the Park Police.

After the crash, the truck was searched by bomb technicians and no explosives or incendiary devices were found, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

Video from CNN affiliate WUSA shows a Park Police officer taking inventory of the U-Haul truck, packing up several pieces of evidence. Among the items that appear to be from the truck are a flag of what appears to be a swastika, a black backpack and a roll of duct tape.

The incident prompted road closures as authorities investigated the crash, and the nearby Hay-Adams hotel was evacuated at the request of the Secret Service, a hotel employee told CNN. The hotel guests and employees were allowed back in when police deemed it safe a short time later.

The FBI's National Capital Response Squad is assisting Park Police and the Secret Service in the investigation.

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