Thu | Dec 2, 2021
United States

2 charged in assault of Capitol officer who died after riot

Published:Tuesday | March 16, 2021 | 12:24 AM


United States officials have arrested and charged two men with assaulting US Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the January 6 riot, but they do not know yet whether it caused the officer’s death.

George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Julian Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, were arrested on Sunday on an array of charges, including assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy and other offences. The idea that Sicknick died after being sprayed by a chemical irritant has emerged in recent weeks as a new theory in the case.

The arrests are the closest federal prosecutors have come to identifying and charging anyone associated with the deaths that happened during and after the riot. Five people died, including a woman who was shot by a police officer inside the Capitol. But many rioters are facing charges of injuring police officers, who were attacked with bats, sprayed with irritants, punched and kicked, and rammed with metal gates meant to keep the insurrectionists from the Capitol.