Washington, March 16 : The US Department of Justice announced that two men have been arrested and charged for assaulting police officers, one of whom died, during the January 6 Capitol riots.
Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of West Virginia, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Sunday over allegations that they worked together to spray police with chemical weapon during the riot, Xinhua news agency quoted the Department as saying on Monday in a statement.
One of the officers they attacked, Brian Sicknick, died the following day.
The two men were charged with nine counts, several of them relating to violence and assaulting officers, according to the Department’s statement.
The charges were laid on the defendants based on a criminal complaint filed by the FBI in the D.C. District Court earlier this month saying that “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 document contained detailed descriptions, aided by photos captured by police’s body-worn camera, of Khater and Tanios’s words and conducts on January 6 while they were on the Capitol Hill, joining a mob of then President Donald Trump’s supporters in ransacking the building to obstruct Congress confirmation of the 2020 election results.
It’s yet to be determined whether Sicknick, who the Capitol Police said “returned to his division office and collapsed” on January 7 after engaging with the rioters a day earlier, died from the chemical spray attack.
Besides Sicknick, four other people were also killed as a result of the violence.