Indian-origin youth who rammed truck near White House in custody till next week: Officials
Representational image Credit: Twitter image

Washington: A 19-year-old Indian-origin man accused of crashing a truck into a security barrier near the White House and praising Adolf Hitler will remain in custody ahead of his detention hearing on Tuesday, a US federal judge has said.

During Sai Varshith Kandula’s brief initial hearing in a federal court on Wednesday, US Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather ordered the suspect to remain detained until his detention hearing on May 30.

Kandula, from the US state of Missouri, slammed the U-Haul box truck into barriers along Lafayette Square just steps from the White House late Monday. No one was injured in the crash and no explosives were found inside the rented vehicle.

He had allegedly planned the attack for six months, with his goal to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation,” records show.

Kandula, a self-described unemployed data analyst, made threatening comments regarding the White House at the scene of the incident, including that he wanted to kidnap and harm President Joe Biden and seize power, law enforcement authorities said.

He allegedly said his goal was to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation,” the New York Post reported.

Kandula appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit. He spoke softly as he told the judge his name and answered standard questions from her, but he didn’t speak at length during the hearing, media reports said.

During the hearing, Meriweather informed Kandula that the charge he’s facing carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a USD 250,000 fine, or a combination of the two. It also carries a mandatory restitution payment.

Kandula has been charged with one count of depredation of property of the United States in excess of USD 1,000.

The judge ordered Kandula to remain in custody, calling him a flight risk and pointing to previous alleged threats of violence, the report added.

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Kandula faces one federal charge for damaging property. He was initially charged with assault with a dangerous weapon; reckless operation of a motor vehicle; threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president or family member; destruction of federal property; and trespassing.

Law enforcement officials said they found a Nazi flag inside the truck Kandula drove into White House barriers. They did not find weapons or explosives. No one was injured.

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