JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man at the center of a 14-hour standoff with police was a known threat with mental health issues, according to records.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office SWAT team blocked off Toucan Road overnight in the Julington Creek area of Mandarin.
They arrested 37-year-old Ryan James Taylor on charges of aggravated assault and firing a weapon on residential property. He surrendered peacefully after police fired tear gas toward his home. Officers said he was firing a shotgun in his backyard, and apparently hit another home.
The I-TEAM has discovered police were aware of the man having issues and were trying to take action in court to remove his guns.
Duval County Clerk of Court records show Taylor was in the process of being under what’s called a Risk Protection Order, or RPO.
The Florida Legislature passed the so-called “Red Flag” law in 2018 that allows police departments to petition judges to have guns removed from people thought to be threats to public safety.
Taylor initially had an RPO petition filed against him in 2019, after police said he caused an armed, drunken disturbance at a downtown Jacksonville hotel. He was accused of disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed firearm and improper exhibition of a firearm. The RPO was removed after his mother took away the guns from his home.
In that RPO application, Taylor’s mother told JSO he is suicidal and delusional, had been smoking synthetic marijuana and believes various entities are after him, including Interpol.
Records show on Dec. 29, 2020, his parents claimed he threatened to kill his them for watching TV too loud, told them the CIA was in his room, that he had a rifle and “things were about to get real.” His mom and dad left the house and have been in hiding. They told police Taylor is psychotic and paranoid and self-medicates with marijuana.
“The hope is it would take away weapons and out fear into somebody that this is serious you cannot have weapons,” said defense attorney Gene Nichols, who isn’t involved in this case but has been involved in other RPO hearings.
He said the filings can help some situations, but they don’t solve all problems.
“It, unfortunately, does not work well with people who don’t understand its importance such as somebody with a mental health issue and isn’t going to give up their guns no matter what,” he said.
Jacksonville police have been busy filing for RPOs.
In 2019, JSO filed 108 Risk Protection orders to have guns taken away. There were 62 RPOs filed by JSO in 2020 and three so far this year.
Taylor had been scheduled for a hearing on his RPO Tuesday, but that was pushed back to next week. The judge did not say why, but the overnight standoff could have been a factor.
As of Tuesday, Duval County jail records show Taylor is in custody but is not at the jail. He may be receiving mental health treatment.