CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Morgantown restaurant owner is facing federal charges related to the assault of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, during the Capitol riot on January 6. Sicknick collapsed after the riot and died the next day.
George Tanios, the owner of Sandwich U., in Morgantown, and Julian Elie Khater, 32, of State College, Pa. were seen on surveillance footage spraying bear spray directly in the faces of Sicknick and other officers, according to court documents.
Investigators also found a video of Khater asking Tanios for “that bear sh*t,” before reaching into Tanios’ backpack and taking out a can.
Tanios, 39, was arrested at his home and booked into the Central Regional Jail on Sunday.
Tanios made his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg on Monday afternoon, via Zoom video conference from the regional jail.
On Feb. 27, the FBI announced that it had obtained video that shows the person spraying Brian Sicknick and other law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 riot.
There are two photos on the FBI’s U.S. Capitol violence “most wanted” website showing Tanios. In one photo, he is wearing a “Sandwich U.” sweatshirt.
A tipster also told FBI agents that Tanios had bragged on Facebook about going to the insurrection at the Capitol.
Investigators compared the photos from Jan. 6 to this photo of Tanios at his Morgantown restaurant.
Both Khater and Tanios are charged with three counts of Assault on a Federal Officer with a Dangerous Weapon; Conspiracy to Injure an Officer; Civil Disorder; Obstructing or Impeding Any Official Proceeding; Physical violence on restricted grounds, while carrying dangerous weapon and resulting in significant bodily injury; Violent entry and disorderly conduct, act of physical violence on Capitol Grounds; and Aiding and Abetting.
Tanios faces more than 60 years in federal prison and more than $1.25 million in fines, combined on all the above charges.
Tanios will remain behind bars until a detention hearing is held. The hearing is currently scheduled for Thursday, March 18.
You can read the full criminal complaint filed against Tanios, here. It does contain foul language.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with 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.