Truck carrying ‘swastika flag’ crashes into barriers near White House | world news
US intelligence has arrested the driver of a rented pickup truck who crashed into security barriers near the White House last night.
It is believed the driver may have aimed at the building on purpose, but there were no injuries and there was no “persistent danger,” police said.
A witness said investigators found a Nazi swastika flag that appeared to have come from inside the truck that crashed into cordons in Lafayette Square, next to the White House grounds.
Officers retrieved the flag and plastic bags of evidence that were laid out on the sidewalk after the accident and placed them in the back of the U-Haul.
Anthony Guglielmi, Secret Service communications chief, said on Twitter: “Preliminary investigations indicate that the driver may have deliberately driven into the security barriers at Lafayette Square.”
The US park police will press charges with investigative support from the Secret Service, he added.
WUSA TV showed video of a boxy U-Haul truck stopping next to a row of steel bollards as uniformed police officers and a dog approached the vehicle.
A remote-controlled robot opened the truck’s tailgate, revealing a dolly but no other apparent cargo.
Chris Zaboji, a witness to the accident, posted a short video on social media showing the truck driving into the barricades.
After an accident, the driver crashed into the guard rails a second time, he said.
Zaboji, 25, an airline pilot living in Washington, said he had just finished jogging down the National Mall and was heading home when he heard a loud crash.
He said, “I looked back and saw the U-Haul van had rammed into the barricade.” I backed up behind a man on a golf cart and captured the video on my cell phone. After seeing him get rammed again, I didn’t want to get near the truck and left.
A previous tweet from the Secret Service’s Guglielmi said no one from the White House or Secret Service was hurt.
President Joe Biden’s exact whereabouts were unclear at the time. He met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy at the White House Monday night.
The nearby Hay Adams Hotel was evacuated at the request of the Secret Service, the Washington Post reported, citing a hotel official, while the Secret Service said some roads and sidewalks around the park were closed.
A spokesman for the Washington Fire Department said a call was received at 9:40 p.m. (0140 GMT) regarding an allegedly suspicious package investigation.
A full-scale law enforcement and public safety response soon ensued before investigators determined the contents of the mostly empty truck were harmless.
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