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Man arrested in Obama’s neighborhood, who is accused of threatening politicians, will remain in jail

By Casey Gannon

(CNN) — Taylor Taranto, the man accused of threatening politicians and arrested in former President Barack Obama’s Washington, DC, neighborhood with weapons, will remain in custody pending trial, a federal magistrate judge ruled Wednesday.

Taranto, 37, is still currently facing four misdemeanor charges related to his conduct during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Prosecutors have indicated that the investigation into recent allegations is ongoing, and they plan to add felony charges at a later date.

“I do believe detention is appropriate in this case,” federal magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui said.

Faruqui said he does not believe Taranto is a risk of flight but that he is a danger to the public. “Dangerousness is more serious than risk of flight,” Faruqui said.

During the hearing, prosecutors laid out more details in the case, including that there were two incidents concerning Taranto’s presence at elementary schools in Maryland.

The first was at Piney Branch Elementary School, where prosecutors have said Taranto and others used a projector to display a film related to January 6. According to court documents, Taranto chose this school due to its close proximity to Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin’s residence. Prosecutors said Wednesday Taranto also filmed children outside of a different elementary school shortly after the first incident.

Prosecutor Allison Ethen said that after authorities learned of the second school incident, they went on a “pretty intense two-day man hunt” to find Taranto.

Taranto’s attorney, Kathryn Guevara, argued that Taranto should be placed on home confinement under the supervision of his parents in Washington state, saying that there is “so much triggering activity here in the capital,” for Taranto.

Guevara also said that Taranto was “savagely attacked” in the DC jail by other inmates and that he suffered multiple injuries.

Faruqui ultimately decided that Taranto’s recent actions and statements towards elected officials are concerning. The judge found it particularly worrisome that Taranto was found near the residences of Obama and his former adviser John Podesta.

“The temperature is way too high in our political discussions,” Faruqui said.

Taranto is a veteran and served time in Iraq. At the end of the hearing, Faruqui thanked Taranto for his service, saying he was “willing to put his life at risk,” yet he is now charged with a crime and suffers from mental illness.

Taranto’s next hearing is scheduled for July 25. Taranto’s attorney said they intend to appeal the detention ruling.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Aleena Fayaz contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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