Two men, one from West Virginia and another from Pennsylvania, have been arrested and charged in connection with an assault on 42-year-old Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on Jan. 6. Sicknick died the next day. The suspects are 39-year-old George Pierre Tanios and 32-year-old Julian Elie Khater, the Washington Post first reported on Monday.
The two were arrested on Sunday are supposed to appear in court on Monday. Tanios’s appearance is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“Khater was arrested as he disembarked from an airplane at Newark Airport in New Jersey. Tanios was arrested at his residence in West Virginia,” the DOJ said in a statement.
Federal court records reviewed by Law&Crime also show that a Morgantown, West Virginia man named George Tanios filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in May 2020.
Initial reports about Sicknick’s death said that authorities believed he was hit by a fire extinguisher, but investigators later suspected that a chemical irritant like bear spray may have been to blame. Court documents quote Khater as saying to Tanios, “Give me that bear shit,” an apparent reference to bear spray. Khater was allegedly recorded using a spray on Sicknick.
Documents allegedly show the suspects communicating with one another (Khater in blue Trump hat, Tanios in red hat).
“A tipster to the FBI provided information that TANIOS and KHATER knew each other and grew up together in New Jersey,” documents explained the connection.
Khater and Tanios face charges for assault, obstruction of an official proceeding, and civil disorder. Here is the full list of federal offenses they are accused of:
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.
The feds said two witnesses identified the defendants. A Witness-1 (W-1) said they were “100% sure” their Khater, their former colleague, was subject 190 on the FBI’s wanted list.
Witness-2 (W-2) also said that they were 100-percent sure Tanios was BOLO 254 once presented with one image of him. That person apparently had a legal dispute with Tanios and was a former business partner of his. The witness said that they had known Tanios for more than a decade.
“Upon viewing the two images of TANIOS, W-2 positively identified the individual in the photos as TANIOS. W-2 stated that IT was ‘100%’ sure the individual in one photo was TANIOS, and ‘pretty sure’ the individual in the second photo was TANIOS. W-2 has known TANIOS for 15 years, and they are former business partners. W-2 reported that IT was in a legal dispute with TANIOS where TANIOS reportedly embezzled $435,000 from their former business,” documents said.
The defendants are also accused of assaulting officers C. Edwards and D. Chapman, the former with Capitol Police and the latter with the Metropolitan Police Department. Authorities have been investigating Sicknick’s death as a possible murder.
Another image of Tanios indicates that his username on a social media account was “kingofthefatsandwich,” which appears to show him at his Sandwich U business.
Old tweets about Tanios and that business have resurfaced.
Just your daily reminder to never support, endorse, or buy from this terrible business, Sandwich U, and its owner, George Tanios. pic.twitter.com/GkZZBDFwcC
— j dizzy (@dolinpls) May 5, 2019
The sandwich joint was even the subject of news article in 2017: “Sandwich U serves up specialty sandwiches, sets itself apart from the rest.”
Another image included in a document shows Tanios in front of a “Trump 2020 Keep America Great sign.”
Read the documents below:
[Image via Capitol Police]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]