Suspect Who Allegedly Crashed U-Haul into White House Barrier Said He Was Willing to 'Kill the President'
A criminal complaint alleges that the 19-year-old flew in from St. Louis earlier the same evening with a one-way ticket and a goal to "get to the White House" and "seize power"
A driver who was arrested after allegedly crashing a U-Haul truck into White House security barriers on Monday night allegedly told authorities he was willing to "kill the president," according to a criminal complaint released Tuesday.
The 19-year-old suspect, identified as Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri, allegedly drove the rented U-Haul onto a sidewalk and into a metal barrier just north of the White House Monday night.
According to the complaint, a U.S. Park Police officer claims he then witnessed Kandula "exit the driver's side of the vehicle and go to the back of the U-Haul" before he "removed a red and white flag with a Nazi swastika in the center from a black backpack he was carrying." At that point, Kandula was ordered to the ground and detained.
The suspect was taken into custody to face several charges, including assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on the president, vice president or a family member, according to the United States Park Police.
RELATED: Driver Arrested, Identified After Crashing U-Haul Truck into Security Barrier Near White House
No weapons or explosives were found, but a Nazi flag was removed from the scene of the crash, which occurred on the north side of Lafayette Square on 16th Street, shortly before 10 p.m.
The new court documents detail Kandula's interview by Secret Service agents, during which he purportedly said he had flown to D.C. from St. Louis earlier that same evening on a one-way ticket. Law enforcement allege that his goal, he said, was "get to the White House, seize power and be put in charge of the nation."
From the document: "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.'" He added that he had been planning for six months, the document alleges.
Elsewhere in the interview, Kandula allegedly told agents he purchased the swastika flag online, telling them, "Nazi's have a great history," and adding that he admired their "authoritarian nature, Eugenics, and their one world order." He also referred to Hitler as someone he admired, saying he was "a strong leader."
In the complaint, Kandula is charged with depredation of property of the United States in excess of $1,000.
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