WASHINGTON — A conspiracy-minded Donald Trump supporter who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was arrested Thursday near the home of former President Barack Obama, a law enforcement official told NBC News.
Taylor Taranto, 37, who was identified by online sleuths in August 2021 and faces a lawsuit from the widow of a Washington police officer who died by suicide, recently showed up at the sentencing of David Walls-Kaufman, his co-defendant in the lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses both men of being involved in an assault on Officer Jeffrey Smith on Jan. 6, 2021, which they have both denied.
While Walls-Kaufman was arrested last year and has already been sentenced, Taylor had not been charged.
In recent weeks, Taranto has been living in a van near the Washington jailhouse, according to his social media accounts, and has repeatedly wondered in online posts why he had not yet been arrested over Jan. 6. Taranto also posted a video of himself on YouTube inside the Capitol during the riot.
Washington police said in a statement Taranto was arrested under an outstanding arrest warrant, though the police department did not specify what the warrant was for, and that he has been charged as a fugitive from justice. Officers had the explosives disposal team sweep his van near where he was arrested, the department said, adding that there is no active threat to the community.
Earlier Thursday, a Truth Social account that uses the same screen name that Taranto uses on other social media accounts re-posted a Trump post that included what is alleged to be the address of Obama’s home in Washington and noted that the home is near a mosque. “Got them surrounded!” the Truth Social account wrote.
NBC News has also been reviewing Taranto’s Telegram account. His last post was a link to a website touting conspiracy theories about the Obamas' home.
It was not immediately clear when Taranto would make a court appearance.
A spokesperson for Obama did not respond to a request for comment.