A 19-year-old man has been identified as the suspect who crashed a U-Haul truck into a security barrier located near the White House on Monday night.
After Sai Varshith Kandula was arrested, investigators say that he often praised Adolf Hitler, saying also that he was prepared to “kill the president” if he had to in his attempt to overthrow the current government so that he himself could be in power.
Kandula, who is from Missouri, is currently in federal custody and has thus far been charged with depredation of property in the United States in excess of $1,000 (one count).
Federal prosecutors could eventually add on more charges as their investigation progresses. US Park Police was the agency that initially arrested Kandula and levied several charges on him. Those include threatening to kill or harm a president, vice president or family member.
Kandula made his first appearance in DC Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon. He was held without bail in federal custody.
To this point, he hasn’t entered a formal plea yet, and the case is expected to remain in federal court for now. Kandula’s lawyer hasn’t been publicly named yet, or even if he has legal representation.
No one was injured during the incident.
The U-Haul truck that Kandula was driving had many items in it, which included a Nazi flag. Right around 10 p.m. Monday, the truck crashed into a security barrier that was located on the north end of Lafayette Square and 16th Street in Washington, D.C., according to the US Secret Service.
The preliminary part of the investigation has revealed that Kandula could have crashed into the barrier intentionally.
While at the scene with law enforcement authorities, the suspect allegedly made multiple threatening comments toward the White House. Sources with law enforcement agencies told CNN that Kandula said he had planned to kidnap President Joe Biden and harm him.
Another source said they were weighing what role that mental health could have played in the entire incident.
Court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday show that an officer with the US Park Police saw the suspect drive into metal barriers that were on the sidewalk, which then sent multiple pedestrians fleeing.
After the truck wasn’t able to get through the barriers, the driver backed the truck up and struck the barriers another time. Once the crash was over, Kandula got out of the truck and removed a flag “from a black backpack he was carrying.”
Investigators asked him about that Nazi flag when they were interviewing him following the arrest. He said he brought that flag with him because “Nazi’s have a great history” and that he admires their “authoritarian nature, Eugenics and their one world order.”
Investigators further wrote in the court documents that, “when asked if he looks up to any leaders, Kandula answered ‘Hitler, because he was a strong leader.’”
Kandula also told law enforcement officers that he was planning this attack for the last six months, and that he flew from St. Louis to Washington, D.C., earlier that day.