Secret Service Says Vehicle Crashed Into White House Gate, Driver in Custody

Secret Service Says Vehicle Crashed Into White House Gate, Driver in Custody

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The incident happened just before 6 p.m.

An SUV collided with an exterior gate of the White House complex shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, according to the Secret Service.

Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi provided details about the incident in a post on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

“Shortly before 6 p.m., a vehicle collided with an exterior gate on the White House complex. The driver has been taken into custody & we are investigating the cause & manner of the collision,” Mr. Guglielmi wrote.

President Joe Biden, who was away in South Carolina for a campaign event earlier on Monday, was not present at the White House during the incident.

The crash took place near the eastern side of the White House complex, specifically in the vicinity of the Treasury Building at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. As a result, traffic in the area was impacted, but closures were lifted after the vehicle was cleared.

The Secret Service official did not release information on the identity of the driver or any potential motives. CBS News reported that police officials indicated the driver was a man suspected of having mental health issues.

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Images from the scene circulating on social media captured the rear of a gray Cadillac Escalade with a Virginia license plate.

Security measures at the White House have been beefed up following breaches of barriers in recent years.

In May, a 19-year-old man was arrested after he crashed a rented U-Haul truck into security barriers around Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.

The man, Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield, Missouri, told police he wanted to “seize power” and kill President Joe Biden.

Video footage of that incident showed the truck crashing into the barricades before continuing to attempt to move forward following the initial crash. A Nazi-style flag was captured on photographs and video lying near the vehicle, with a police officer seen folding up the flag, which had been spread out on the ground in public view.

In a separate incident on Aug. 14, 2022, law enforcement responded to a car crash, gunshots, and suicide on East Capitol Street. Just after 4:00 a.m., a 29-year-old man identified as Richard A. York III of Delaware drove his car into the vehicle barricade at East Capitol Street and Second Street, U.S. Capitol Police said.

As he was getting out of the car, it became engulfed in flames, and he fired several shots into the air along East Capitol Street. Responding officers approached the scene upon hearing gunfire, and the man shot himself. Nobody else was hurt.

In 2019, law enforcement and the Secret Service responded to a suspicious vehicle whose driver tried to illegally enter the White House complex by following an official vehicle through the Lafayette Park gate. Authorities stopped the vehicle, and the individual was taken into custody by the Secret Service.

As a result, the Secret Service constructed a 13-foot-high fence in the same year, which was more than double the size of the old 6-foot fence. The higher fence also had wider and stronger pickets.

Last month, a silver copper sedan with Delaware plates collided with a vehicle in the presidential motorcade as President Joe Biden and the first lady were leaving their campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

The incident happened after President Biden responded to a reporter’s question, who asked about why he was losing to former President Donald Trump in the polls. President Biden responded, “You’re reading the wrong polls.”

Moments later, a loud bang occurred.

The Secret Service swiftly secured the president in his vehicle while agents apprehended the sedan’s male driver, who was later charged with drunk driving.

Melanie Sun contributed to this report.

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