Two arrested, charged with assaulting police officer Brian Sicknick, who died after Capitol riot

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A cloud of colored smoke appears as a mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, January 6, 2021.
Leah Millis | Reuters

Authorities have arrested and charged two men with assaulting Brian Sicknick, the police officer who died as a result of the Jan. 6 pro-Trump invasion of the U.S. Capitol, NBC News reported Monday.

The men, who were arrested Sunday and are expected to appear in federal court later Monday, are not currently charged with killing Sicknick, NBC reported, citing a federal law enforcement source.

Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and 39-year-old George Pierre Tanios of West Virginia are accused of assaulting Sicknick with a substance similar to bear spray, according to NBC.

Video footage of Khater and Tanios on Jan. 6 shows the two men “were working in concert and had a plan to use the toxic spray against law enforcement,” according to a search warrant affidavit in West Virginia federal court, NBC reported.

“Give me that bear s—,” Khater said before reaching into Tanios’ backpack, the affidavit alleges, citing “open source media video” of the incident.

At around 2:20 p.m., Khater, seen holding a white spray canister, walks toward a bike rack barrier outside the Capitol, where a line of officers, including Sicknick, were stationed, the court document says.

Minutes later, Khater appears to raise the canister and aim it toward the officers, who were standing five to eight feet away, according to the affidavit.

Sicknick and two other officers “all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face,” the affidavit says. “The officers immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes,” it says.

“All three officers were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray,” the affidavit says.

Sicknick died at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 due to the injuries he sustained during the riot, according to the U.S. Capitol Police. He had joined the USCP in 2008.

The arrests were first reported by The Washington Post earlier Monday morning.

Khater and Tanios each face charges including assaulting federal officers with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy, obstructing an official proceeding, violence on restricted grounds and disorderly conduct, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

Tanios is scheduled to make an initial appearance at 2p.m. in U.S. District Court for northern West Virginia, while Khater is set to appear in New Jersey federal court at 3 p.m., Justice Department sources told NBC.

A US Capitol Police Officer holds a program as people pay their respects at the remains of US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick as he lays in honor in the Rotunda of the US Capitol building on February 3, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Demetrius Freeman | AFP | Getty Images

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