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Jan. 6 suspect arrested near Obama’s Washington home had guns, machete in his van, feds say

by Ethan Kim
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Capitol riot

A federal prosecutor revealed that a man was apprehended near former President Barack Obama’s residence in Washington, D.C., with firearms, a machete, and 400 rounds of ammunition. Taylor Taranto, 37, was chased and arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents a few blocks away from the ex-president’s home. Unsealed court documents indicate that Taranto faces four misdemeanors related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, including disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

During a hearing in Washington’s federal court, the Justice Department disclosed the contents of Taranto’s van, where he appeared to be living. The vehicle was found to contain the mentioned weapons. Taranto has been ordered to remain in custody until a detention hearing scheduled for the following Wednesday.

It remains uncertain whether the Obamas were present at their residence during the time of Taranto’s arrest. Authorities conducted a thorough search of the suspect’s van for explosives and confirmed that there were no public threats or injuries.

Taranto, a U.S. Navy veteran and a webmaster for the Republican Party in Franklin County, Washington state, attended former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6. Court documents state that he participated in the riot, picking up and throwing metal scaffolding, entering the Capitol building, and being in proximity to Ashli Babbitt when she was fatally shot by a police officer.

In a Facebook video posted on an account believed to be Taranto’s, he can be seen inside the Capitol, accompanied by the caption: “This is me ‘stormin’ the capitol’ lol. I’m only sharing this so someone will report me to the feds and we can get this party rolling!”

Taranto recently appeared in court for the sentencing of another individual convicted in connection with the riot. Additionally, he was featured in an online video this month, explicitly identifying himself in footage during the event.

The Capitol riot has resulted in more than 1,000 individuals being charged with federal crimes. Of those, over 600 have pleaded guilty, while approximately 100 others have been convicted through trials presided over by judges or juries. Over 550 riot defendants have been sentenced, with more than half receiving prison terms ranging from six days to 18 years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Capitol riot

What charges does Taylor Taranto face?

Taylor Taranto faces four misdemeanors related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, including disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds.

What weapons were found in Taranto’s van?

Taranto’s van was found to contain two guns, 400 rounds of ammunition, and a machete.

Was anyone injured during the arrest or search?

No, there were no injuries reported during the arrest or the search of Taranto’s van. The explosives team confirmed that there were no threats to the public.

Is Taylor Taranto associated with any political party?

Taranto was a webmaster for the Republican Party in Franklin County, Washington state, and he mentioned volunteering for the Republican Party in an interview.

How many people have been charged in relation to the Capitol riot?

Over 1,000 individuals have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Among them, more than 600 have pleaded guilty, while approximately 100 others have been convicted after trials decided by judges or juries.

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