The Justice Department has charged two men in the assault on Brian D. Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who died the day after he fought rioters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case and court documents.
The F.B.I. on Sunday arrested George Pierre Tanios, 39, in West Virginia and Julian Elie Khater, 32, in New Jersey on charges of assaulting officers, including Officer Sicknick, with bear spray.
The arrests came weeks after investigators pinpointed one of the men in a video of the riot, in which he was seen attacking several officers with the spray, according to two law enforcement officials. The Justice Department has said in earlier court filings that rioters were recorded on video talking about attacking officers, including Officer Sicknick.
It is not clear whether Officer Sicknick died because of his exposure to the spray. On Jan. 7, the day that he died, the Capitol Police said in a statement he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” at the riot a day earlier and then “returned to his division office and collapsed.” He later died at a hospital.
In the hours after Officer Sicknick was rushed to the hospital, Capitol Police officials initially said that he had been struck with a fire extinguisher, but later said that his death was not caused by blunt force trauma. In the following days, investigators homed in on the potential role of an irritant as a primary factor in his death.