Identified as Taylor Taranto, 37, he was arrested on Thursday after U.S. Secret Service agents pursued him a few blocks away from the ex-president’s residence.
A man was apprehended near the Washington, D.C., home of former President Barack Obama, in connection with the U.S. Capitol riot, carrying a cache of dangerous weapons
Taranto faces four misdemeanor charges related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, including disorderly and disruptive conduct within restricted grounds in the Capitol.
During a hearing in Washington’s federal court, the Justice Department revealed that Taranto was found with two firearms, a machete, and 400 rounds of ammunition inside his van, which appeared to be his living quarters. He is scheduled for a detention hearing the coming Wednesday, with the court ordering him to remain in custody until then.
Taranto, a U.S. Navy veteran, and webmaster for the Republican Party in Franklin County, Washington state, had attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in the Capitol led by then-President Donald Trump on January 6. Court documents allege that he actively participated in the Capital riot, including picking up and hurling metal scaffolding on the Upper West Terrace. He then entered the Capitol building and was in close proximity to Ashli Babbitt when she was fatally shot by a police officer as she attempted to climb through a broken window leading to the House chambers.
The FBI’s court filing also mentioned that Taranto was involved in a scuffle with law enforcement officers before leaving the Capitol building
A Facebook account that seems to be operated by Taranto and his wife contained a video in which he bragged about being inside the Capitol, sparking concern. However, it remains uncertain if the Obamas were present at their home during Taranto’s arrest.
Taranto’s case is just one among more than 1,000 individuals charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 600 of them have already pleaded guilty, while around 100 others were convicted after trials presided over by judges or juries. Sentences for over 550 riot defendants range from six days to 18 years of imprisonment.