Capitol Rioter Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Cops, Including Brian Sicknick

A New Jersey man who admitted to spraying several police officers with chemical irritant on Jan. 6, 2021 ― including one who later died ― pleaded guilty to two federal charges on Thursday.

Julian Elie Khater accepted a plea deal for assault with a dangerous weapon, which could result in his spending up to 20 years behind bars and paying a fine of up to $250,000.

Federal sentencing guidelines, however, recommend between six to eight years imprisonment. He is expected to be sentenced in December.

Prosecutors have not directly tied Khater’s actions to the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who collapsed at the scene of the Capitol riot and died the next day from what a medical examiner determined to be natural causes.

Khater and co-defendant George Pierre Tanios arrived outside the Capitol’s western terrace around 2 p.m. the day of the riot, armed with two canisters of Frontiersman bear spray and additional canisters of pepper spray ― a purchase they allegedly coordinated between themselves. The two friends were indicted together, with Tanios accepting a plea deal on lesser charges back in July.

Prosecutors say they have video showing Khater reaching into Tanios’ backpack while saying, “Give me that bear shit.”

Tanios responds, “Hold on … it’s still early.”

Khater then tells him, “They just fucking sprayed me.”

Just after 2:20 p.m., Khater could be seen on police body-worn cameras raising his arm and deploying a can of pepper spray can just a few feet from Sicknick, Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and a Metropolitan Police officer identified as D. Chapman.

The officers were temporarily blinded by the substance, according to the plea.

Tanios eventually pleaded guilty to charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct for his role in the attack.

Julian Khater is seen in police body-worn footage deploying a chemical irritant.
Julian Khater is seen in police body-worn footage deploying a chemical irritant.

Department of Justice

Edwards later testified before Congress about her experience in June, saying that she experienced a traumatic brain injury that day.

She likened the Capitol attack to “a war scene.”

“It was something like I had seen out of the movies,” Edwards testified. “There were officers on the ground. They were bleeding. They were throwing up. I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people’s blood. I was catching people as they fell. It was carnage. It was chaos.”

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