UPDATE: Investigators have seized a Nazi flag from the scene where a driver was detained after a truck crashed into security barriers near the White House, officials say. https://t.co/7E2X9ABE6B
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 23, 2023
I try not to overrate the ‘damaged individual attempts damage’ trope, but this particular story adds a twist to the old ‘Timothy McVeigh with a U-Haul’ pattern:
… The white U-Haul box truck crashed into the barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square, a few hundred feet from the White House, just before 10 p.m. ET.
A bystander appeared to capture on his cellphone the moment when a 26-foot U-Haul truck jumped a curb but couldn’t fit through barriers set on the sidewalk.
“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Anthony Guglielmi, the Secret Service chief of communications, said in a statement Monday night…
The Reuters news agency published an image showing a Nazi-style red flag emblazoned with a swastika laid on the ground beside the van. Reuters, citing its own photographer on the scene and a witness, reported that the items apparently taken from the truck had been placed on the sidewalk and were seized by officers.
Video footage later showed a robot opening the back of the truck, which appeared to be empty.
A Marquette High School spokesperson tells us 19-year-old Sai Varshith Kandula is a Jan 2022 graduate. He is accused of crashing a U-Haul into a White House barrier, threatening to harm the president. Here’s his yearbook photo.
More details: https://t.co/5oIIjgy5qO@ksdknews pic.twitter.com/LmiOGBYPWo
— Paula Vasan (she/her) (@PaulaVasan) May 23, 2023
His poor family…
Driver who crashed near White House told officials he was prepared to kill Biden and 'seize power' https://t.co/9GeRnJLWEk
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 24, 2023
From what I understand, kid’s the right age for a first schizophrenic break, and I only wish it were harder to get ‘radicalized’ by online bigots:
… Sai Varshith Kandula, of Chesterfield, Missouri, rented the U-Haul truck Monday night immediately after flying from St. Louis to Dulles International Airport on a one-way ticket, a Secret Service agent said in a statement of facts filed in federal district court in Washington D.C.
The statement was included with a criminal complaint charging Kandula with depredation of property of the United States in excess of $1,000.
Around 9:35 p.m., he drove the vehicle onto a sidewalk outside the White House and into a metal barrier just north of the White House, according to the document…
Kandula allegedly told authorities he had been planning the attack for six months and detailed the plans in a “green book,” the document states.
He “stated his goal was to ‘get into the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation,'” the document states. “When agents asked how KANDULA would seize power, he stated he would ‘Kill the President if that’s what I have to do and would hurt anyone that would stand in my way.'”
In the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, where Kandula lives, FBI agents were seen entering and leaving his home Tuesday and acquaintances struggled to link the alleged attack with the “chill” teen they know…
Errion Barfield, who was on the Marquette High School track team with Kandula, remembered him as quiet and unassuming.
“He was nice and chill,” Barfield said in a Facebook message to NBC News. “Ain’t ever expected him to do something like that.”
Kandula was a member of the sizable South Asian population of Chesterfield, a middle-class suburb about 20 miles west of St. Louis…
Kandula appeared in Washington D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday and is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Kandula has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
Sai Varshith Kandula thought nazis “have a great history,” likes their "authoritarian nature, Eugenics, and their one world order,” and likes “Hitler, because he was a strong leader,” per Secret Service. pic.twitter.com/PqGWtXs6t1
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 23, 2023