White House truck suspect should be locked up pending trial, DOJ says

ByLuke Barr ABCNews logo
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Teen accused of deliberately crashing U-Haul truck into security barrier near White House
A witness to the crash of a U-Haul truck into a security barrier at a park across from the White House says the driver struck the barrier at least twice.

The man suspected of ramming a truck into the White House barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square should be locked up as he awaits trial, the government said in a Friday night filing that included a slate of new photos.

NOTE: The video in the media player is from a previous report.

The government's motion for a pretrial detention argued that "there are no conditions, or combination of conditions, which would ensure the Defendant's presence at trial or the safety of the community if he is released."

The filing also revealed pictures from surveillance cameras and body-worn police cameras of the suspect crashing into the bollards outside of the White House and getting arrested and more writings from Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, about what he wrote would happen if he was able to take power at the White House.

As prosecutors described in earlier court filings, Kandula came from St. Louis to Dulles International Airport, where he rented a U-Haul truck. Prior court records detailed his alleged admiration for Adolf Hitler and intent to kill President Joe Biden.

In addition to a flag bearing what Kandula confirmed to officials was a swastika, investigators recovered a green book that contained his writings, according to the Friday filing. The filing included an excerpt of what prosecutors said was a speech Kandula intended to deliver after taking power.

The writings, written in the style of a broadcast, spoke of "consequences" for civil unrest following his efforts to topple the government, and what has been described as his draft speech allegedly ended with a Nazi salute, according to the government.

Kandula was set to appear in court on Tuesday to determine whether he will continue to be locked up pending trial, but his public defender filed a motion Monday night requesting a postponement until June 9. The court agreed to a postponement, though it did not set a new date.

Court records show he was referred for a mental health evaluation.

ABC News' Beatrice Peterson contributed to this report.