U.S. Attorney’s Office charges two men with assaulting Officer Brian Sicknick and other police at U.S. Capitol
According to court records, Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were indicted on March 14 in connection with a complaint filed in federal court in Washington, DC, according to a prepared statement According to the March 15 attorney’s office, they conspired in the US Capitol on January 6 to injure officials, including attacking federal officials.
Khater was arrested when he was reportedly getting off a plane at Newark Airport. Tanios said he was arrested at his West Virginia residence.
Khater and Tanios are each charged with conspiracy to injure an officer. three attacks on a federal official with a dangerous weapon; a count of civil disorder; a count of obstruction or obstruction to an official process; a count of physical violence for limited reasons while dangerous weapons are being carried and causing serious bodily harm; and a count of violent entry and disorderly behavior, Capitol physical violence, the statement said.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Khater and Tanios were in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and were seen in video footage collaborating to attack law enforcement officers with an unknown chemical substance by spraying officers directly on the face and eyes, according to the Allegations.
During the investigation, the police reportedly discovered a video in which Khater asked Tanios to “give me the bear”. Tanios replied: “Wait, wait, not yet, not yet … it’s still early”, according to the prepared statement.
Khater then took a canister from Tanios’ backpack and walked through the crowd, just a few steps from the police room. The video shows Khater with his right arm high in the air who appears to be holding a canister in his right hand and pointing him in the direction of the officers as he is reportedly moving his right arm from side to side.
The complaint’s affidavit stated that officer Brian Sicknick, who has a family in South River, as well as officers identified as C. Edwards and D. Chapman, who were all feet from Khater, responded they were sprayed on the face. The officers withdrew, put their hands over their faces, and rushed to find water to wash their eyes.
Sicknick died of his injuries the next day.
The FBI field office in Washington is investigating the case with assistance from the FBI in Pittsburgh and the Newark Field Offices, the United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is pursuing the case with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
“The attack on the US Capitol and on our police officers, including Brian Sicknick, was an attack on our democracy,” Yogananda Pittman, acting chief of the US Capitol, said in a prepared statement from the US Capitol. “Those who committed these heinous crimes must be held accountable, and I want to make it clear that these unlawful acts will not and will not be tolerated by this department. I would like to thank our skillful USCP investigators and our FBI and MPD partners for their work in identifying and arresting those responsible for these acts of violence, and acting US attorney Channing Phillips and his staff for pursuing these cases. “
The investigation into Sicknick’s death in multiple jurisdictions is ongoing, and USCP has said it will provide additional comments when it is completed.
Sicknick was injured while protecting Congress during the US Capitol insurgency. After the attack, he was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on the evening of January 7th.
Sicknick joined the department in July 2008 and most recently worked in the department’s first aid department.
His family is said to have asked that their privacy be respected during this time.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-225-5324 or visit tips.fbi.gov.