A suspect has been detained by the US Secret Service after crashing a U-Haul truck into a security gate not far from the White House in Washington, DC. Authorities are now reportedly investigating a suspicious package at the scene.
The crash took place at the north side of Lafayette Square, which is directly adjacent to the White House, around 10pm local time on Monday night, according to the Secret Service, which confirmed that it had made one arrest.
“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.
An eyewitness later took to Twitter to share footage captured as authorities arrested the driver of the U-Haul truck. They said they initially assumed the crash was an accident, “until the U-Haul backed up and once again tried to break through the barriers.”
Took this photo of the White House and immediately heard a crash behind me. Figured someone may have accidentally crashed until the U-Haul backed up and once again tried to break through the barriers.Shoutout to the Secret Service Police for their quick response and action! pic.twitter.com/qIq3PbBJFj
— Benjamin Berger (@BenB005) May 23, 2023Police were seen inspecting the truck later on Monday night, at one point deploying robots to determine whether it contained anything dangerous. A local NBC affiliate reported that a “suspicious package” had been found in or near the U-Haul, but offered no further details.
Several blocks were closed down in the area as authorities investigate, with multiple hotels also evacuated as a precaution, according to local Fox reporter Marina Marraco. No details about the suspect have yet been released and the reason for the crash remains unclear. The DC Metropolitan Police Department is assisting the Secret Service in the probe.