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, the authorities said.
Anthony Guglielmi, a Secret Service spokesman, said a preliminary investigation had found that the driver “may have intentionally struck 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 10 p.m., he said. He added that there were no injuries to White House or Secret Service personnel.
The authorities shut down streets for blocks around the White House as they completed an inspection of the truck, which Mr. Guglielmi said found nothing dangerous. A D.C. fire department spokesman 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 said.
Police officials have fortified the White House in recent years in response to instances of people breaching the complex. The Secret Service began upgrading the White House perimeter fences last year, doubling their height to roughly 13 feet. A toddler breached 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 Jan. 6 riot, a car slammed into two Capitol Police officers, killing one and injuring the other. The assailant, Noah R. Green, was shot dead 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.