The Justice Department has arrested and charged two men who allegedly assaulted Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the riot at the U.S. Capitol, as authorities continue working to determine whether the assault was a direct cause of Sicknick’s death.
Julian Elie Khater of Pennsylvania and George Tanios of Morgantown, West Virginia, were arrested Sunday and are expected to appear in federal court later Monday, a Justice Department official confirmed.
In a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit, an FBI special agent cites videos showing the series of events leading up to and after the assault on Sicknick and two other officers guarding a bike rack barrier at the Capitol.
The affidavit cites one video that that shows Khater telling Tanios to hand him a bear spray canister near the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m.
“Give me that bear sh**,” Khater says.
“Hold on, hold on, not yet… it’s still early,” Tanios then replied.
Six minutes later, Khater is allegedly seen walking through the crowd up to a bike rack barrier being guarded by Officer Sicknick and two other officers — he then sprayed them with the bear mace from roughly five to eight feet away, the affidavit alleges.
The affidavit includes screengrabs from police body camera video and surveillance footage showing the three officers pulling back from the barrier to find water to wash out their eyes, though Khater allegedly continued spraying in their direction before an officer engages him and starts pepper spraying him back.
The affidavit notes that all three officers including Sicknick “were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray.” One officer said the spray was “as strong as, if not stronger than, any version of the pepper spray they had been exposed to during their training as law enforcement officers.”
Both men have been charged with three counts of assaulting federal officers, conspiracy to injure officers, civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, physical violence on restricted grounds, violent entry and aiding and abetting.
Attorney information for both men was not immediately available as of Monday morning.