Two men have been arrested and charged with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who collapsed after responding to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and died the next day.
Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were arrested Sunday. They are charged with conspiring to injure officers and assaulting federal officers, among other charges, according to the Department of Justice.
The men are accused of assaulting Sicknick and two other law enforcement officers with some type of bear spray. They have not been charged in Sicknick's actual death.
Video allegedly shows Khater asking Tanios to “give me that bear s---,” to which Tanios replied, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet … it’s still early,” according to DOJ.
Khater then took a canister from Tanios’ backpack, walked to the police perimeter and appeared in the video to be holding a canister up in the direction of the officers and moving it side to side, according to DOJ.
Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer C. Edwards and D.C. Police Officer D. Chapman put their hands to their faces and went to find water to wash out their eyes, court documents say.
Investigators believe Sicknick may have ingested a chemical substance that may have contributed to his death, two people familiar with the case previously told The Associated Press, but the actual cause of death has not been determined by the FBI.
Photos: Pro-Trump Supporters Breach the Capitol Building
Capitol Police have said officials consider it a line-of-duty death.
Sicknick died after defending the Capitol against the mob that stormed the building as Congress was voting to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral win over former President Donald Trump. It came after Trump urged supporters on the National Mall to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat.
Capitol Police have said Sicknick was injured “while physically engaging with protesters.” He collapsed later on, was hospitalized and died.
Khater was arrested at Newark Airport in New Jersey and Tanios was arrested at his home in West Virginia.
Each man was temporarily detained. Khater appeared before a magistrate judge in New Jersey and chose to waive his right to a detention hearing in that district, pending transfer of his case to a D.C. judge. His next appearance will be in federal court in D.C., but no time was set.
Tanios chose to have a detention hearing in his home district of West Virginia. It is set to occur Thursday morning. Federal prosecutors argued that he should remain held.
“The attack on the U.S. Capitol and on our police officers, including Brian Sicknick, was an attack on our democracy,” U.S. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said in a press release 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."