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Houston man arrested for pepper spraying police, striking with whip

A Texas man was arrested on Friday for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Andrew Quentin Taake, 32, of Houston, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and obstruction of an official proceeding, among other charges. Taake made his initial court appearance in the Southern District of Texas today.

According to court documents, Taake was on Capitol grounds on the afternoon of Jan. 6. At approximately 1:16 p.m., he can be seen on Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) body-worn camera (BWC) footage approaching and pepper spraying a line of police officers who were trying to prevent rioters from entering the building. Around 2 p.m., Taake can be seen engaging in a second assault on law enforcement. As depicted in BWC footage, Taake emerged from the crowd and struck officers with what appeared to be a whip-like weapon. Taake can be further observed on video walking through the U.S. Capitol building holding the whip-like weapon.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, as well as the Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and FBI’s Houston Field Office.

In the six months since Jan. 6, more than 535 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 165 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.