Brian Sicknick death: Two men arrested for assaulting Capitol Police officer

Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of West Virginia, are alleged to have worked together to spray police, including Sicknick, with a toxic chemical spray during the Capitol riot. Khater called what was in the cannister “bear sh*t,” according to court records, but the Justice Department on Monday said the spray is unknown.

Investigators had struggled for weeks to build a federal murder case in Sicknick’s death as they pored over video and photographs to try to determine the moment in which he suffered his fatal injuries. Investigators determined that initial reports suggesting Sicknick had been struck with a fire extinguisher weren’t true.

“Officers Sicknick, Edwards and Chapman, who are standing within a few feet of KHATER, all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face. The officers immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes,” the FBI wrote in court papers, describing the melee caught on video.

The two men are charged with nine counts, with several of them relating to violence and assaulting officers.

Court records show federal authorities also searched Tanios’ property in West Virginia this weekend.

Prosecutors are seeking to keep him in jail pending trial, because he could flee or obstruct justice, and because they believe he is a danger to the community, court records say.

A native of New Jersey, Sicknick joined the Capitol Police in July 2008 and had served in the Department’s First Responder’s Unit. He also served as a staff sergeant for the New Jersey National Guard.

More than 300 people have been charged in connection with the January 6 assault on the US Capitol by pro-Trump rioters — a figure DOJ now says could easily pass 400. Charges are also likely coming against additional members of the Oath Keepers, building on the existing conspiracy case that already has nine defendants, prosecutors said last week in court.
Capitol riot prosecutors may charge more than 400 people and plea deals may come 'within a few weeks'

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Source: CNNPolitics – Breaking News

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