WASHINGTON (AP) — A man armed with explosive materials and weapons, and wanted for crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, was arrested Thursday in the Washington neighborhood where former President Barack Obama lives, law enforcement officials said.
Taylor Taranto, 37, was spotted by law enforcement a few blocks from the former president’s home and fled, though he was chased by U.S. Secret Service agents. Taranto has an open warrant on charges related to the insurrection, two law enforcement officials said. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing case and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
They said Taranto also had made social media threats against a public figure. He was found with weapons and materials to create an explosive device, though one had not been built, one of the officials said.
No one was injured. It was not clear whether the Obamas were at their home at the time of his arrest.
Metropolitan Police arrested Taranto on charges of being a fugitive from justice. The explosives team swept Taranto’s van and said there were no threats to the public.
Taranto was a U.S. Navy veteran and a webmaster for the Republican Party in Franklin County, in Washington state, according to the Tri-City Herald newspaper. He told the newspaper in an interview last year that he was volunteering for the Republican Party.
It wasn’t clear what, exactly, Taranto is accused of doing in the riot, where supporters of then-President Donald Trump smashed windows of the Capitol and beat and bloodied police officers in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
More than 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 600 of them have pleaded guilty, while approximately 100 others have been convicted after trials decided by judges or juries. More than 550 riot defendants have been sentenced, with over half receiving terms of imprisonment ranging from six days to 18 years.