On Thursday, an armed man with an active warrant related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots was arrested after reportedly running towards former President Barack Obama’s home in Washington D.C. The suspect, identified as Taylor Taranto, 37, was initially caught by members of the Secret Service several blocks away from the Obama family’s home. According to CBS News, Taranto attempted to flee as Secret Service gave chase, and he allegedly ran directly towards the former president’s home before being stopped.
Taranto’s arrest has raised concerns about the security of high-profile figures, particularly past presidents who are afforded continued Secret Service protection. The incident also highlights the ongoing legal repercussions for those who participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in the deaths of five people.
Upon his arrest, it was discovered that Taranto had guns, 400 rounds of ammo, a machete, and explosive materials in his nearby vehicle, according to CBS News correspondent Scott MacFarlane. Taranto was charged with being a fugitive from justice concerning Thursday’s arrest. It remains unclear whether the Obama family was home during the reported incident.
Taranto was deemed a flight risk by the Department of Justice, 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. Taranto had recently made threats to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) on a social media livestream and was also named in a civil lawsuit filed by the family of former Metropolitan Police officer Jeffrey Smith, who committed suicide two weeks after the Capitol riots.
The lawsuit claims Taranto provided another rioter with a weapon, which was then used to attack Officer Smith, ultimately contributing to his death. Taranto allegedly made numerous incriminating statements about his involvement in the riot and his possession of weapons and explosives. He faces several charges related to the events of Jan. 6, including disorderly conduct, entering a restricted building, and unlawful parading, according to MacFarlane.
The Metropolitan Police Department told CNN that 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 on the matter. The situation has raised concerns about the security of high-profile individuals and the ongoing threat posed by far-right extremist groups.