Washington, DC….Defendants Sprayed U.S. Capitol Officers B. Sicknick and C. Edwards, and Metropolitan Police Department Officer D. Chapman with a Chemical Substance. A Pennsylvania and West Virginia man were arrested Sunday on criminal charges related to their alleged conspiring to injure officers and assaulting federal officers, among other charges.
According to court documents, Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, were arrested on Sunday in connection with a complaint filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., charging them with conspiring to injure officers and assaulting federal officers, among other charges, on Jan. 6. Khater was arrested as he disembarked from an airplane at Newark Airport in New Jersey. Tanios was arrested at his residence in West Virginia.
Khater and Tanios are each charged with 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.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Khater and Tanios were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and were observed in video footage working together to assault law enforcement officers with an unknown chemical substance by spraying officers directly in the face and eyes. During the investigation, it is alleged that law enforcement discovered video that depicted Khater asking Tanios to “give me that bear s*it.” Tanios replied, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet… it’s still early.” Khater then retrieved a canister from Tanios’ backpack and walked through the crowd to within a few steps of the police perimeter. The video shows Khater with his right arm up high in the air, appearing to be holding a canister in his right hand and aiming it at the officers’ direction while moving his right arm from side to side. The complaint affidavit states that Officers Sicknick, Edwards, and Chapman, who were all standing within a few feet of Khater, each reacted to being sprayed in the face. The officers retreated, bringing their hands to their faces and rushing to find water to wash out their eyes.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the FBI Pittsburgh and Newark Field Offices, the United States Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with valuable assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey are prosecuting the case.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.