A Jan. 6 rioter charged in an attack on Capitol police officers—including one who later died—cut a deal with federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to just two misdemeanors on Wednesday.
George Tanios, a West Virginia sandwich shop owner, was originally charged with felonies including assault and rioting for his role in spraying chemicals on three cops and storming the Capitol to block certification of the 2020 election.
Specifically, Tanios was accused of purchasing and carrying a canister that Julian Elie Khater used to spray and incapacitated Capitol officers Brian Sicknick and Caroline Edwards, and a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman.
“Give me that bear shit,” Khater told Tanios on a 2:14 p.m. video at the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace as officers stood behind metal bicycle racks, according to court documents.
“Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet … it’s still early,” Tanios replied, before Khater was then seen with a spray can.
“This verbal exchange between Khater and Tanios, together with Khater’s retrieval of the spray can from Tanios, reveals that the two were working in concert and had a plan to use the toxic spray against law enforcement,” prosecutors wrote in the criminal complaint.
Sicknick, who held back rioters on the Capitol’s west terrace, later collapsed and died the next day of natural causes, according to officials. The officer suffered two strokes the day after the riots—and there was no evidence he suffered an allergic reaction to any chemical irritants or internal or external injuries, according to an autopsy report from the medical examiner.
Tanios and Khater were never charged with causing his death. On Wednesday, Tanios pleaded guilty to trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted Capitol grounds.
More than 840 suspects have faced charges related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Tanios was arrested in March 2021 after law enforcement received tips from Facebookers with photos that resembled him at the Capitol.
Khater is set to face a trial on Oct. 5.