U.S. Arrests 2 Men, Saying They Sprayed Police Officers At Capitol : NPR

U.S. Arrests 2 Men, Saying They Sprayed Police Officers At Capitol : NPR

The U.S. and U.S. Capitol Police flags were flown at half-staff after the death of officer Brian Sicknick. On Sunday, the FBI arrested two men who are accused of spraying chemicals on Sicknick and others.

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The U.S. and U.S. Capitol Police flags were flown at half-staff after the death of officer Brian Sicknick. On Sunday, the FBI arrested two men who are accused of spraying chemicals on Sicknick and others.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.

During a standoff with police at the Capitol, Khater asked Tanios to “give me that bear s*it,” according to the Justice Department, citing video footage from the scene.

After pulling a canister from Tanios’ backpack, Khater moved to the front of the crowd, next to the police perimeter. He then raised his hand, aimed the canister at Sicknick and two other officers who were standing just a few feet away, and waved his arm from side to side, the agency says.

The three officers – Sicknick and C. Edwards from the Capitol Police and D. Chapman from Washington’s Metropolitan Police – were immediately forced to retreat, “holding their hands to their faces and rushing to find water to wash out their eyes,” the Justice Department said. The agency did not provide the officers’ first names.

Investigators say they were alerted to Khater and Tanios by tips from the public, including one person who said they “knew each other and grew up together in New Jersey,” according to a criminal complaint and affidavit in the case.

At the Capitol, Tanios was seen wearing a hoodie bearing the logo of the Sandwich University restaurant in Morgantown, known for its “Fat Sandwich.” A witness told the FBI that Tanios owns the “Fat Sandwich” restaurant, and social media accounts show that “George Pierre Tanios” is affiliated with the account “kingofthefatsandwich.”

Khater was located after a tip pointed investigators to his LinkedIn page – which they then used to contact a witness who identified him. The witness said they had worked with Khater at a “food establishment” in State College.

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.

Source: U.S. News and National Top Stories : NPR

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