Capitol rioter arrested after allegedly charging toward President Obamas’ D.C. home with weapons
Taylor Taranto, a known Trump supporter and participant in the January 6 riot at the capitol, was arrested outside former President Barack Obama’s house this week with a machete and 400 rounds of ammunition in his van, which he parked several blocks away from Obama’s house in Washington, DC.
Secret Service agents allegedly saw Taranto within blocks of the Obamas’ home before a brief chase ensued, with Taranto reportedly running in the direction of the former first family’s house. Taranto, 37, had an active warrant out for his arrest when he was apprehended. Immediately following the arrest, CBS News reported that law enforcement officials found materials in his van used to make explosive devices similar to a Molotov cocktail. It is unclear whether the Obamas were home at the time of the arrest.
Before his arrest, Taranto live streamed his activities as he drove into the neighborhood. At one point on the livestream, he said, “I’m outside Barack Obama’s house”.
Federal law enforcement officials arrested Taranto and requested an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team to “perform a vehicle sweep” of the van that was near the arrest location. The Metropolitan Police Department said Taranto was charged with being a ” Fugitive from Justice, pursuant to an arrest warrant.” The statement did not specify what the charges were related to.
During his court appearance on Friday, a federal prosecutor said that the search of Taranto’s van had revealed that the search of his van found the machete and rounds of ammunition.
NBC News reported that Taranto went to Obama’s home after the address had been posted on Truth Social by former President Donald Trump. For now, law enforcement officials say Taranto has been charged with being a fugitive from justice pursuant to an arrest warrant but did not specify what the warrant was for.
In addition to these troubles, Taranto is facing a slew of charges related to his participation in the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Online sleuths have been helping law enforcement identify those captured in videos and on print during the riot. Taranto was identified by them as one of the participants of the riot. Taranto admitted on social media that he was at the Capitol, which is a piece of evidence against him.
The widow of Metropolitan Police Department officer Jeff Smith, who was inside the Capitol building at the time of the riot, has filed a lawsuit against Taranto. According to the lawsuit, Smith was struck in the head with a “cane or crowbar” that Taranto is alleged to have handed to another rioter.
Smith died by suicide nine days after the incident.
News outlets say Taranto’s alleged social media account is reportedly known for hosting extremist ideas and conspiracy theories. His alleged last post from the morning of his arrest was a link to a website touting conspiracy theories about Obama’s home, according to the outlet.