Two men arrested in assault on Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick
Mar 15 2021
US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of injuries sustained during the riot.
Earlier this month, news organizations that had reported Sicknick died after being struck with a fire extinguisher backed away from those reports as law enforcement sources told several outlets that they suspected Sicknick possibly died from exposure to a chemical irritant, like bear spray.
Two men have been charged with assaulting fallen U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on January 6 after prosecutors say video evidence shows them dousing Sicknick and other law enforcement officers with a chemical spray outside the building, according to a report Monday.
But the suspects have not been charged with homicide, and prosecutors so far have not implicated anyone directly in causing Sicknick's demise, as an official cause of death remains pending.
Sicknick collapsed later on and died at a hospital on January 7.
Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios, of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, respectively, were arrested on Sunday and are expected to appear in court on Monday, NBC News reported. Federal Bureau of Investigation officers arrested him and West Virginia native George Pierre Tanios on charges of allegedly assaulting several officers, including Sicknick, with bear spray. Medical examiners said they're still investigating the officer's death.
In video footage, investigators say Khater walked toward Tanios and said: "Give me that bear shit" and reached into a backpack Tanios was carrying. Sicknick and other officers were standing guard near metal bike racks, the papers say.
Tanios and Khater are charged with nine counts including assaulting three officers with a deadly weapon - Sicknick, another U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as C. Edwards, and a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman. They are also charged with civil disorder and obstruction of a Congressional proceeding.
The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Referring to Sicknick, a House-passed article of impeachment charged Trump with inciting insurrection, alleging that members of a crowd he addressed "injured and killed law enforcement personnel".
Authorities have included Sicknick among five people who died as a result of the riot.
According to the complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the two men "appeared to time the deployment of chemical substances to coincide with other rioters' efforts to forcibly remove the bike rack barriers that were preventing the rioters from moving closer to the Capitol building".
Then-Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement shortly afterward that Sicknick died of "the injuries he suffered defending the U.S. Capitol", echoing a statement by Capitol Police.