U-Haul driver identified, charged after crashing truck into barriers near White House: police
WASHINGTON - The 19-year-old suspect arrested for driving into a security barrier not far from the White House will appear in D.C. Federal Court Wednesday as court documents shed more light on why investigators believe his actions were intentional.
According to court documents just released, a U.S. Secret Service investigator says 19-year-old Sai Kandula stated his goal was to "get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation," and that when asked how he would do so – the 19-year-old allegedly made comments he would kill the president if he had to or hurt anyone in his way.
Sai Varshith Kandula (Rockwood School District)
I should also note investigators did not find any explosives in the U-Haul he used — no weapons or ammunition either.
A Rockwood School District official in Missouri confirmed Sai Varshith Kandula graduated from Marquette High School early in January 2022. He appeared in court Tuesday with a slim build, a little longer hair, and beard. He looked around and told the judge a few times that he understands.
Court documents revealed the suspect made comments very sympathetic to Nazis, allegedly calling Hitler a strong leader. He also claimed he wanted to get his "book" in front of the people who needed to see it. The green book is where investigators discovered Kandula's plans for how he would enter the White House and what he’d do there.
Around 9:40 p.m. Monday cellphone video captured a U-Haul truck driving into the security barrier at Lafayette Park, just north of the White House. A U.S. Park Police Officer saw the U-Haul strike the barrier, reverse and hit it again. Then investigators said he got out, went to the back, and pulled out the Nazi flag from a backpack before he was arrested.
Roadways and walkways around the area were closed off while police investigated. No injuries were reported.
The incident prompted the evacuation at The Hay-Adams Hotel on the 800 block of 16th Street.
Court documents stated Kandula claimed to have arrived at Dulles from St. Louis that same night on a one-way ticket. He also claimed he rented a U-Haul from a nearby location.
The company confirmed with FOX 5 that they did rent to Kandula Monday. A U-Haul spokesperson said he picked up the truck from a Herndon, Virginia store with a license and valid payment. But the spokesperson wouldn’t share any safety or security changes the company is considering.
FOX 5 learned in court Tuesday the 19-year-old suspect does not have a criminal history but given the serious allegations, he was held behind bars until he appears in a D.C. Federal Courthouse Wednesday.
Had the barriers been breached, two fences providing additional layers of security would have been in-between the driver and the White House. Lafayette Square has long been one of the nation’s most prominent venues for demonstration near the Executive Mansion. The park was closed for nearly a year after federal authorities fenced off the area at the height of nationwide protests over policing following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, but it reopened in May 2021.
The investigation into the crash is continuing.
Note - VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED (due to hate symbol appearing in the top video).