Washington [US], March 16 (ANI): Federal authorities have arrested and charged two men for assaulting US Capitol police officer Brian D Sicknick, who died after the infamous Capitol riot on January 6.
Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania and George Pierre Tanios, 39 of Morgantown, W.Va., were arrested on Sunday and were expected to appear in federal court on Monday (local time), according to Washington Post.
Both accused have been charged with assaulting Sicknick with an unknown chemical spray during the riot, but have not determined whether the exposure caused his death.
Khater and Tanios are charged with nine counts, including assaulting three officers with a deadly weapon -- Sicknick, another US Capitol Police officer identified as C Edwards and a DC police officer identified as B Chapman.
Khater was seen on video discharging a canister of a toxic substance into the face of Sicknick and two other officers, according to arrest papers.
Prosecutors filed charges after tipsters contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) allegedly identifying Khater and Tanios from wanted images released by the bureau from surveillance video and officer-worn body-camera footage, the complaint said.
They are among more than 300 who have been charged in the Capitol riot. Prosecutors have said it will probably be one of the largest investigations and prosecutions in American history with at least 100 more people expected to be charged in the event, Washington Post reported.
Charging papers say that all three officers were temporarily blinded and incapacitated for more than 20 minutes as a result of being sprayed in the face with an unknown substance by Khater and Edwards sustained scarring beneath her eyes for several weeks.
Sicknick died at a hospital on January 7, one day after the Capitol riot. He is among the five people who lost their lives in the incident.
It remains unclear what role if any the charged assault played in Sicknick's death. Investigators determined that he did not die of blunt force trauma, people familiar with the matter said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, according to Washington Post.
On January 6, a group of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol to protest legislators confirming electoral slates in the 2020 presidential elections from battleground states they thought were invalid.
Trump, who was defeated by current President Joe Biden, had made a speech among thousands of supporters reiterating his claim that massive voter fraud had robbed his election victory and encouraged supporters to maintain support to "stop the steal." (ANI)