Two men arrested and charged for assaulting Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

Two men have been arrested and charged for assaulting US Capitol Police Officer...

Posted: Mar 15, 2021 12:08 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2021 6:30 PM

Two men have been arrested and charged for assaulting US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after responding on January 6 to hundreds of rioters who stormed the Capitol, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of West Virginia, are alleged to have worked together to spray police, including Sicknick, with a toxic chemical spray during the Capitol riot. Khater called what was in the cannister 'bear sh*t,' according to court records, but the Justice Department on Monday said the spray is unknown.

Investigators had struggled for weeks to build a federal murder case in Sicknick's death as they pored over video and photographs to try to determine the moment in which he suffered his fatal injuries. Investigators determined that initial reports suggesting Sicknick had been struck with a fire extinguisher weren't true.

'Officers Sicknick, Edwards and Chapman, who are standing within a few feet of KHATER, all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face. The officers immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes,' the FBI wrote in court papers, describing the melee caught on video.

The two men are charged with nine counts, with several of them relating to violence and assaulting officers.

Khater and Tanios were spraying police in the face and eyes as rioters tried to remove bike racks being used as barriers to keep the crowd of pro-Trump supporters away from the west and south side of the Capitol building, court records allege.

About an hour into the riot, Khater grabbed for the chemical spray canister. But Tanios told him to 'Hold on, not yet ... it's still early,' the FBI said, recounting an open-source video of the scene outside the Capitol.

A Metropolitan Police Officer's body camera then caught Khater spraying him, Sicknick and another Capitol Police officer from a few feet away.

The court record noted that the police were temporarily blinded by the chemical -- as strong or stronger than anything they had been exposed to during police training, they said -- and needed help washing it from their faces.

The second Capitol Police officer to have been hit, identified in court records as C. Edwards, has had 'lasting injuries' around her eyes including scabbing.

The court record doesn't mention Sicknick's death, or how the spray may have contributed to it.

For weeks after Sicknick's death, federal authorities said they were pursuing a murder investigation. Neither alleged rioters were charged with murder.

Images of both Khater and Tanios had been on FBI fliers seeking information for weeks, and a tipster finally identified them to the FBI. Khater and Tanios had grown up together in New Jersey, the tipster said.

Tanios is the owner of a sandwich shop called 'Sandwich University' in the college town of Morgantown, according to court papers, and he wore a Sandwich University sweatshirt on January 6.

Court records show federal authorities also searched Tanios' property in West Virginia this weekend.

Tanios called into court Monday via zoom video conference, and he set in orange jail scrubs, wore a surgical mask and shook his head. The hearing was procedural, so he could be given an attorney following his arrest less than a day ago. Tanios is set to have a hearing on Thursday on whether he will stay in jail pending trial.

Prosecutors are seeking to keep him in jail pending trial, because he could flee or obstruct justice, and because they believe he is a danger to the community, court records say.

Khater also appeared before a judge Monday. His defense attorney said he plans to enter a plea of not guilty when he is arraigned, and hopes to be transferred to Washington, DC, quickly for further court appearances.

A native of New Jersey, Sicknick joined the Capitol Police in July 2008 and had served in the Department's First Responder's Unit. He also served as a staff sergeant for the New Jersey National Guard.

'The attack on the US Capitol and on our police officers, including Brian Sicknick, was an attack on our democracy,' US Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a statement Monday. 'Those who perpetrated these heinous crimes must be held accountable, and -- let me be clear -- these unlawful actions are not and will not be tolerated by this Department.'

More than 300 people have been charged in connection with the January 6 assault on the US Capitol by pro-Trump rioters -- a figure DOJ now says could easily pass 400. Charges are also likely coming against additional members of the Oath Keepers, building on the existing conspiracy case that already has nine defendants, prosecutors said last week in court.

This story has been updated with a statement from the USCP acting chief.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 319381

Reported Deaths: 7354
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20634421
Harrison18381316
Rankin13862282
Jackson13677248
Madison10234224
Lee10050176
Jones8458167
Forrest7821153
Lauderdale7257242
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Washington5418136
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Monroe4155135
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Pike3366110
Alcorn324172
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Holmes190374
Clay187554
Stone187433
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135247
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica108027
Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin85023
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547873

Reported Deaths: 11274
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809141565
Mobile41984826
Madison35629523
Tuscaloosa26147458
Shelby25580254
Montgomery25075611
Baldwin21805313
Lee16248175
Calhoun14710325
Morgan14618285
Etowah14160362
Marshall12446230
Houston10757288
Elmore10292212
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10155250
Cullman9928200
Lauderdale9591248
DeKalb8963189
Talladega8455184
Walker7330280
Autauga7229113
Blount6937139
Jackson6905113
Colbert6406139
Coffee5622126
Dale4929114
Russell454541
Chilton4470116
Franklin430783
Covington4267122
Tallapoosa4127154
Escambia401180
Chambers3723123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3237106
Pike313978
Lawrence3124100
Winston283272
Bibb267664
Geneva257081
Marengo250665
Pickens236662
Barbour234559
Hale226678
Butler223771
Fayette217762
Henry193743
Cherokee187245
Randolph186944
Monroe179141
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155157
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
Lowndes142053
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
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Coosa111429
Perry108726
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