The Secret Service detained the driver of a box truck late Monday night after the vehicle crashed into security barriers along Lafayette Square, near the White House, authorities said.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said a preliminary investigation had found that the driver “may have intentionally hit the security barriers.”
The crash occurred on the north side of Lafayette Square at 16th Street NW, which is about a block from the White House, shortly before 1 p.m. 22:00, he said. He added that there were no injuries to White House or Secret Service personnel.
Authorities closed streets for blocks around the White House as they conducted an inspection of the truck that Mr. Guglielmi said, found nothing dangerous. A spokesman for the D.C. Fire Department said his agency was called in to help with the investigation, and local television stations broadcast images of a robot opening the back of the truck.
The Secret Service was conducting interviews to try to determine the “cause and manner” of the crash, Mr. Guglielmi.
Police officials have fortified the White House in recent years in response to cases of people breaching the complex. The Secret Service began upgrading the White House fences last year, doubling their height to about 13 feet. A toddler broke that fence last month after squeezing through the bars on the north side of the complex.
There have been at least two deadly incidents of vehicles crashing into barricades near Capitol Hill in the past two years. In 2021, nearly three months after the deadly riot on January 6, a car plowed into two Capitol Police officers, killing one and injuring the other. The assailant, Noah R. Green, was shot and killed after lunging at 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 exited the burning vehicle and fired a gun into the air several times before shooting himself as police officers approached him.