Federal agents have have charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during a clash with rioters on Jan. 6.
Sicknick, 42, of Springfield, died the day after the Capitol riots after "physically engaging with protestors," U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement. After the clash, Sicknick returned to his division office and collapsed. Authorities have not released a cause of death.
George Tanios, 39, of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Julian Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, were arrested Sunday in connection with the assault and were scheduled to appear in federal court today, the Associated Press reported.
Investigators initially believed that Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, the AP reported.
"But as they’ve collected more evidence, the theory of the case has evolved and investigators now believe Sicknick may have ingested a chemical substance — possibly bear spray — that may have contributed to his death, officials have said," the AP wrote.
According to court records, Khater was captured on video spraying Sicknick and others with bear spray but the hasn’t been directly tied to Sicknick’s death.
“Give me that bear (expletive), Khater said to Tanios on the video, according to court papers. Sicknick and other officers were standing guard near metal bike racks, according to the AP.
Khater then says, “they just (expletive) sprayed me,” as he’s seen holding a white can with a black top that prosecutors said ”appears to be a can of chemical spray.”
The medical examiner’s report on Sicknick’s death is incomplete and Capitol Police say they are awaiting toxicology results.