A sedan smashed into a US Secret Service SUV that was being used to close off a street in the area while the President and First Lady Jill Biden were at event nearby. The sedan then tried to continue into a closed-off intersection, before Secret Service personnel surrounded the vehicle with weapons drawn and instructed the driver to put his hands up.
The incident took place in downtown Wilmington at around 8pm on Sunday evening, when the president and first lady had been attending business at the location.
The first couple was unharmed in the incident but looked shocked when the loud bang happened. Biden was ushered into his waiting vehicle, where his wife was already seated, before being driven swiftly back to their home. His schedule was otherwise unaffected by the incident.
The Secret Service did not immediately comment on the incident. Videos shot at the scene show the reaction of gathered reporters, who were there to greet Biden as he left the campaign office with Dr Biden.
Several gasps erupted as the vehicle struck the SUV that was blocking off the road. Then, Secret Service or other law enforcement agents who were there to protect the president could be heard shouting at the man inside the car to “open the door” with their guns pulled.
The crash itself was a splintering noise, which echoed off of the tall buildings in the streets around the campaign office. Several people, including Secret Service agents, jumped at the sound.
Those gathered near the entrance of the building when the crash occurred were told to back up as law enforcement officers investigated what had happened and continued to point their guns at the car, inside which the driver wasn’t responsive.
Seconds later, he came out, his hands in the air, and he was arrested without incident. But the circumstances of the crash remain unclear — including why it happened, whether it was a targeted attack and what the man will ultimately be charged with, if anything, since his arrest.
It had also been raining, and the roads appeared slick with moisture as street lights and the brake lights from several vehicles illuminated the glistening roadway. Wind could be heard in a Bloomberg reporter’s videos, which were posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, as the incident occurred. They also showed large amounts of rain falling on the scene.
Secret Service spokesperson Special Agent Steve Kopek later released a statement to the media explaining some of the details of the investigation: “Today, at approximately 8.09pm, a Secret Service vehicle securing the President’s motorcade route was struck by another vehicle in Wilmington, DE. There was no protective interest associated with this event and the President’s motorcade departed without incident.”
Wilmington Police Department spokesperson Dr David Karas released a statement of his own to the media, adding: “The Wilmington Police Department is investigating the motor vehicle collision, which did not result in any injuries. Investigators are also working to determine if impairment was a factor.”
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