A man suspected of participating in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot was arrested on Thursday afternoon near the Washington home of former US President Barack Obama, according to The New York Times.
The arrest followed the discovery of weapons, ammunition and materials potentially used to create explosives inside the suspect's van, a law enforcement official who was familiar with the case told the Times.
The individual, identified as Taylor Taranto, 37, was live streaming his activities prior to his arrest, including his arrival in the neighborhood and a brief conversation with a Secret Service member stationed there.
On the live stream, Taranto mentioned his intention to interview John Podesta, a Democratic official targeted by far-right conspiracy theories, and spoke about the presence of underground tunnels in the neighborhood. He ventured into a wooded area to take photos of a house.
"I'm outside Barack Obama's house," Taranto declared on the live stream.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of the District of Columbia issued a statement indicating that Taranto was charged with being a fugitive from justice.
The arrest warrant originated from the US Capitol Police, although specific charges were not disclosed.
Jason Bell, the acting assistant chief for protective and intelligence operations at the Capital Police, stated that his agency's officers assisted in the investigation due to concerns about public safety and potential violence against members of Congress.
Investigating the suspect's van
The officers who apprehended Taranto requested the assistance of a specialized unit that handles explosives to conduct a sweep of the suspect's van.
According to the law enforcement official, weapons, materials capable of constructing explosives and several hundred rounds of ammunition were discovered and seized.
Taranto has previously been sued by the widow of Officer Jeffrey Smith, a member of the MPD who died by suicide following the violence of the Capitol.
The lawsuit that Taranto provided a cane or crowbar to another individual who then used it to assault Officer Smith.
Taranto has denied these allegations.
The investigation into Taranto is ongoing, including an examination of his intentions in the neighborhood, which is an affluent enclave where the Obamas have owned a Tudor-style mansion since 2017.
It remains unclear whether the Obamas were present at the residence during the time of the incident. Taranto was arrested outside what the Secret Service defines as the "protective zone" surrounding the property.
"There is no active threat to the community," the MPD said in a statement.
The case continues to be investigated to determine the full extent of Taranto's actions and intentions.