“The man who carried out a pepper-spray attack on a U.S. Capitol Police officer who died the day
after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot was sentenced to 80 months in prison on Friday with credit for time already served in pretrial detention.
“Julian Khater, 32, [of Somerset, New Jersey], who admitted in a guilty plea he had used the pepper spray against Officer… Sicknick and two other officers, told U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan rash actions that day were not in his nature, and he wishes he could take them back.”
According to the plea agreements, co-defendant George “Tanios bought two cans of bear spray in preparation for his trip with Khater to Washington on January 6, 2021. During the Capitol attack, when the two men arrived near a line of police officers by the steps of the Capitol, Khater said to Tanios, ‘Give me that bear s**t,’ according to the plea.
“Khater took a white can of bear spray from Tanios’s backpack, walked up to the line of officers and, as rioters started pulling on the bike rack barrier separating them and the police, Khater sprayed multiple officers – including Sicknick – who had to retreat from the line.
“After recovering from the bear spray attack, Sicknick continued to help protect the Capitol that day, according to court documents, remaining on duty until late into the evening.”
“Just before approximately 10:00 p.m., Officer Sicknick began slurring his speech while talking to fellow officers,” court documents state. “He slumped backwards and lost consciousness, and emergency medical technicians were summoned for assistance. He was transported to the George Washington University Hospital where he remained on life support for nearly 24 hours and was pronounced dead at 8:51 p.m. the following day.”
On the anniversary of Jan. 6th 2021 earlier this month, President Joe Biden honored the memory and service of New Jersey’s own, Officer Sicknick, with a Presidential Citizens Metal presented to Officer Sicknick’s parents.
Gladys and Charles Sicknick accepted the award from the President in a ceremony at the White House on the two-year anniversary of the mob insurrection at the United States Capitol where Mr. Sicknick lost his life defending the democratic process.
The youngest of three sons, Mr. Sicknick grew up in South River and attended East Brunswick Technical High School. Prior to becoming a Capitol Police Office, he served in the New Jersey Air National Guard and was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant after serving in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom.
On Jan. 6th, 2021, Mr. Sicknick was part of a “police line guarding the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol on the day that pro-Trump mobs attempted to stop lawmakers from certifying President Biden’s Electoral College victory.
“Sicknick was attacked with chemical spray during the confrontation and collapsed later that evening. He suffered from two strokes and died the next day. Sicknick was 42.”
The New Jersey native is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
The family of the slain Capitol police officer this month filed a wrongful death lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and Khater and Tanios. The estate of Brian Sicknick, represented by his long-time partner Sandra Garza, wants $10 million in damages from all three defendants in the suit filed in US District Court.
“Former President Donald Trump called Khater and Tanios to Washington DC to attack the Capitol and they answered. This directly caused Officer Sicknick’s death,” estate attorney Matt Kaiser said in a statement.
Khater, 33, of Somerset, New Jersey, last September pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to two counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.
According to court documents, Khater and a co-defendant — Tanios – traveled together to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Prior to the trip, Tanios purchased two cannisters of bear spray and two cannisters of pepper spray. He provided one cannister of pepper spray to Khater prior to arriving in Washington. On Jan. 6, the two men attended a rally near the Ellipse and then headed towards the Capitol, where they joined others in a mob illegally on the grounds.
Khater then walked through the crowd to within a few steps of a bike rack barrier being used by a line of law enforcement officers attempting to secure the Capitol and its grounds. Khater stood directly across from officers. At 2:23 p.m., people in the mob began pulling on the bike rack barrier using ropes and their hands to pull the rack away. Seconds later, from less than eight feet away, Khater sprayed pepper spray from a cannister in his right hand at the officers. He first sprayed a U.S. Capitol Police Officer, identified in court documents as “Officer B.S.,” in the face. That officer then turned his head away and retreated from the police line.
Khater continued to deploy the spray, advancing towards another Capitol Police officer, identified in court documents as “Officer C.E.,” and spraying her directly in the eyes from only a few feet away. She dropped her head and retreated, requiring the assistance of another officer because she was unable to see. Khater then sprayed a Metropolitan Police Department officer, identified in court documents as “Officer D.C.,” directly in the face. That officer also immediately retreated from the line. All three officers suffered bodily injury from the pepper spray attack and were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties.