Pasco Man arrested Near Obama’s D.C. Home, Faces Capitol Riot, Weapons Charges
(The Center Square) – After a Pasco man was arrested near the home of former President Barack Obama, a grand jury indicted him on six charges related to illegal firearms and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicted 37-year-old Taylor Taranto on July 14, according to a Department of Justice news release. He was arrested near Obama’s Washington, D.C. home on June 29, according to NBC News.
Taranto faces charges including unlicensed carrying of a pistol, possession of a high capacity ammunition feeder, entering and remaining in a restricted building, disorderly disruptive conduct in a restricted building, parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building and disorderly conduct in a capitol building or grounds. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of firearms involved in his alleged crimes.
Public defender Kathryn Guevara claimed Taranto has mental trauma from serving in Iraq during his time with the Navy, according to CBS News. She said he is not receiving mental health treatment in the Washington, D.C. jail where he is being held and is being unfairly detained.
When Taranto joined a crowd of rioters climbing the U.S. Capitol Building’s west terrace on Jan. 6, 2021, he threw pieces of metal scaffolding, according to the news release. Rioters breached the door to the Capitol building, and he entered and went through the Rotunda and Statuary Hall toward the House chamber.
He then stood outside the Speaker’s Lobby, where members of congress were evacuating. Around this time, a Capitol Police officer shot a rioter. After more police arrived, prosecutors allege Taranto and other rioters scuffled with officers, and he was forced to leave the building.
Law enforcement later arrested Taranto on June 29, 2023 in Washington, D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood, near Obama’s house, according to court documents published by Courtlistener. Prosecutors claim he had been live streaming and made comments about how he “had them surrounded” and was trying to get a “good angle on a shot.”
Guevara told CBS News these comments were only referencing the live stream.
Officers arrested Taranto, then FBI technicians and Metropolitan Police Department K-9 units searched his car, according to the court documents. They found two firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Taranto had allegedly made earlier threats online to blow up his car at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland and made threats and calls to the office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
An FBI whistleblower told Congress in May that the agency lied to make Jan. 6-linked domestic terrorism seem more widespread. FBI Director Christopher Wray faced congressional allegations of bias against conservatives earlier this month.