An armed man was arrested after reportedly running towards former President Barack Obama’s Washington. D.C. home on Thursday.
The reported suspect, Taylor Taranto, 37, had an active warrant related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. He was initially caught by members of the Secret Service blocks away from the Obama family’s home, according to CBS News.
Taranto Had Guns, Ammo, Machete In Nearby Van At Time Of Arrest, Cops Say
The 37-year-old attempted to flee as Secret Service gave chase, the outlet reports. That’s when Taranto allegedly began running directly toward the former president’s home, law enforcement says.
He was stopped before reaching the property, the outlet reports.
CBS News correspondent Scott MacFarlane tweeted that Taranto not only had guns, but 400 rounds of ammo, a machete, and explosive materials in his vehicle, which was parked nearby, at the time of his arrest.
Metropolitan Police Department charged Taranto with being a fugitive from justice concerning Thursday’s arrest.
It remains unclear whether the Obama family was home during the reported incident. However, he wasn’t in Obama’s neighborhood by accident, a U.S. official told CBS News.
BREAKING: Taylor Taranto had guns, 400 rounds of ammunition in his van when he was arrested near Barack Obama’s home.
Donald Trump posted Obama’s address on social media. Taranto reposted it, then showed up.
Story with @FionaGlisson. #AstroNOT https://t.co/SX7qRQqq3Y
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 30, 2023
NBC News reports Taranto’s last post to his Telegram account was a link to a website touting conspiracy theories about Obama’s home.
MacFarlane reports that the Department of Justice deemed Taranto a flight risk, as he has been living out of his van near the Washington D.C. jailhouse.
A D.C. judge ordered Taranto held in jail pending a detention hearing on Wednesday (Jul. 5), per MacFarlane.
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Taranto Had Active Warrant For Role In Jan. 6 Capitol Riots, Named In Lawsuit Filed By MPD Widow
Taranto had also recently made threats to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) on a social media livestream, according to Macfarlane.
The Seattle native, who has no fixed address, also had an active warrant for his arrest regarding his participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. The charges included four counts: disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building, and unlawful parading, MacFarlane reports.
He’s also named in a civil lawsuit filed by the family of former Metropolitan Police officer Jeffrey Smith. Smith committed suicide two weeks after the Capitol riots, according to CNN.
A psychiatrist hired by Officer Smith’s widow found that drastic changes in Smith’s behavior after January 6 are evidence that the attack on the Capitol was the precipitating event leading to his suicide, the New York Times reported.
Taranto allegedly provided another rioter with a weapon which was then used to attack Officer Smith. The lawsuit claims Taranto’s actions ultimately contributed to Smith’s death.
MPD: No Active Threat To Community Following Taranto’s Arrest Near Obama’s D.C. Home
Meanwhile, the MPD told CNN there was no active threat to the community as of Friday afternoon, and the incident remains under investigation.
A spokesperson for the Obamas declined to comment, the network reports.