Feds Nab Jan. 6 Rioter Who Used ‘Whip-Like Weapon’ Against Police

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Texas man Andrew Quentin Taake has pleaded guilty to a single felony count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers with a dangerous weapon after actions at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, that authorities say included the use of a “whip-like weapon” against police officers. Notably, a press release about Taake’s case also says he admitted to some of his actions in conversations on a dating app.

At the Capitol, Taake was evidently in the first waves of January 6 participants to descend upon the complex, crossing the restricted perimeter about an hour before the Capitol building itself was later breached. He used bear spray — meaning a chemical irritant meant for use against bears — against police around that early point, per federal details. Taake utilized the “whip-like weapon,” as it was described, shortly thereafter against an officer with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department who was attempting to help reinforce police efforts against these earliest participating rioters, again per the same release. And apparently, he then spoke about his actions at the Capitol via a dating app that very day, marking a quick turnaround.

He was arrested all the way back in July 2021, and his sentencing is set for March of next year, at which point he could be given a substantial stint in jail. The charge to which he admitted comes with up to 20 years of imprisonment, and although some participants have been sentenced significantly below the maximums associated with their charges, prosecutors have focused on pursuing punishment for rioters who physically attacked police like Taake. Taake, the Justice Department said, was also among the January 6 participants to actually enter the Capitol building, another subgroup upon whom federal prosecutors have focused.

With every similar criminal case, you’re left wondering if these are really the people to whom Trump’s suggested presidential pardons if he regains the White House would apply. Prosecutors in Trump’s own January 6-related case intend to point at trial to his discussions of potential pardons as part of their work to establish his mindset.