A driver was detained after a truck crashed into security barriers near the White House on Monday night, officials said.
The Secret Service said the incident, which occurred just a few hundred yards from the White House, may have been deliberate. Investigators seized a Nazi flag from the scene.
The white U-Haul box truck crashed into the barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square, at 16th Street, just before 1 p.m. 22 A.M.
“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel, and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Anthony Guglielmi, the Secret Service chief of communications, said in a statement Monday night.
Guglielmi said in a later statement on Twitter that the truck had been deemed safe by Washington DC police and that “preliminary investigation reveals that the driver intentionally struck the safety barriers.”
United States Park Police will file charges with investigative support from the Secret Service, Guglielmi said.
Reuters news agency published a photo showing a Nazi-style red flag with a swastika laid on the floor next to the van. Reuters, citing its own photographer at the scene and a witness, reported that this and other evidence apparently taken from the truck had been placed on the pavement and then seized by officers.
The authorities have not commented on the flag. NBC News has reached out to the Secret Service for comment.
Video footage later showed a robot opening the back of the truck, which appeared to be empty.
A spokesman for the nearby Hay Adams hotel told NBC News that guests were told to evacuate the building, but were allowed to re-enter at 6 p.m. 1 a.m. ET Tuesday.
President Joe Biden’s exact whereabouts at the time of the incident were unclear. He had met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday night at the White House to discuss the debt limit.