US arrests 2 men, saying they sprayed Sicknick and others with chemical at Capitol

Written by on March 15, 2021

US arrests 2 men, saying they sprayed Sicknick and others with chemical at Capitol

By Bill Chappell / NPR

March 15, 2021

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo violent rioters, loyal to President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington. The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Two men have been arrested for allegedly spraying a chemical on Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick and two other law enforcement officers, during the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. Sicknick died one day later; officials have recently said they’re still determining what factors might have led to his death.

The two men are Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Penn., and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, W. Va. They were arrested Sunday, charged with “conspiring to injure officers and assaulting federal officers” and other crimes, the Justice Department says.

Tanios was arrested at his home; Khater was arrested as he was getting off an airplane at New Jersey’s Newark Airport.

Sicknick died one day after he sustained injuries during the attack by a mob of Trump supporters who were attempting to block Congress from certifying President Biden’s victory over the former president.

Shortly after the Capitol Police officer died, the Justice Department opened a federal murder investigation into Sicknick’s death.

News of the pair of arrests comes two weeks after the FBI singled out a person who was seen spraying a substance on Sicknick and other law enforcement officers. At the time, the Capitol Police emphasized the medical examiner’s report into Sicknick’s death was not yet complete, adding that they were still awaiting toxicology results.

According to the Justice Department, video evidence shows Khater asking Tanios to “give me that bear s*it.” Shortly after, the video shows Khater raising a canister and aiming it at the federal officers.

Both Khater and Tanios face “one count of conspiracy to injure an officer; three counts of assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon; one count of civil disorder; one count of obstructing or impeding an official proceeding; one count of physical violence on restricted grounds, while carrying dangerous weapon and resulting in significant bodily injury; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct, act of physical violence on Capitol grounds,” the Justice Department says.

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