Driver Detained After Truck Crashes Into Square Near White House

Driver Detained After Truck Crashes Into Square Near White House

The Secret Service arrested the driver of a panel truck late Monday night after the vehicle crashed into security barriers in Lafayette Square near the White House, authorities said.

Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesman, said a preliminary investigation found the driver “may have intentionally driven into the security barriers.”

The accident happened just before 10 p.m. on the north side of Lafayette Square at 16th Street NW, about a block from the White House, he said. He added that there were no injuries to White House or Secret Service staff.

Authorities closed roads around the White House as they completed an inspection of the truck, which Guglielmi said found nothing dangerous. A spokesman for the DC Fire Department said his agency had been brought in to help with the investigation, and local TV stations broadcast images of a robot opening the back of the truck.

The Secret Service conducted interviews to find out the “cause and nature” of the crash, Mr Guglielmi said.

In response to instances of people breaking into the complex, law enforcement officials have fortified the White House in recent years. The Secret Service began upgrading the White House’s perimeter fences last year, doubling their height to about 13 feet. Last month, a toddler fell through the fence after squeezing through the bars on the north side of the complex.

In the past two years, there have been at least two fatal incidents in which vehicles crashed into barricades near Capitol Hill. In 2021, nearly three months after the deadly Jan. 6 riot, a car crashed into two Capitol police officers, killing one and injuring the other. The attacker, Noah R. Green, was shot dead after attacking police officers with a knife.

In August, another man drove his car into a barricade near the Capitol. The man, Richard A. York III, then got out of the burning vehicle and fired a gun in the air several times before shooting himself as police officers approached him.