Two men have been charged with assaulting U.S. Capitol police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died a day after working the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
After being arrested on Sunday, Pennsylvanian Julian Elie Khater, 32, and George Pierre Tanios, 39 of West Virginia, are being charged with nine counts. Charges include three counts of assaulting officers with a deadly weapon, civil disorder and obstruction of a congressional proceeding.
Both men are accused of attacking Sicknick with bear spray during the insurrection, when a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building after not accepting Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Among the violent crowd, the two men were caught on video spraying it into Slicknick and two other officers’ faces, according to a criminal complaint filed in the United States District Court of D.C.
They are not being charged in connection with the officer’s death. Sicknick, who died on Jan. 7, was one of five fatalities in connection to the Jan. 6 events. His cause of death remains unclear.
Tanios’s sister, Maria Butros, told the Washington Post that her brother “was arrested for something he didn’t do. He didn’t do it. He would never do that.”
But the FBI alleges that the pair were working together and that, after Khater pulled the bear spray can from Tanios’ backpack and sprayed the three police officers, they were incapacitated for 20 minutes.