Man With Somerset Ties Charged In Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol Riot

Julian Khater (LinkedIn).

A 32-year-old man with township ties was one of two men charged March 14 in connection with the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Julian Elie Khater of State College, Pa., was arrested as he stepped off a plane at Newark International Airport, according to the FBI.

Khater and a West Virginia man, George Pierre Tanios, face nine identical charges relating to the alleged attack on U.S. Capitol Police during the riot. One of the officers the FBI says Khater and Tanios attacked, New Jersey native Brian Sicknick, died the next day from injuries he sustained during the riot.

The FBI said that Khater and Tanios were friends from New Jersey. Khater’s LinkedIn bio states he is from Somerset. His family owns a house here in the township.

According to FBI charging documents, Khater removed a can of bear spray from Tanio’s backpack and sprayed it at several Capitol police officers.

The charging document says that Khater and Tanios were near a row of bicycle racks that were being used by Capitol Police as a barrier against rioters when the two were seen on video “working together to assault law
enforcement officers with an unknown chemical substance by spraying officers directly in the face and eyes.”

The FBI agent who swore out the criminal complaint, whose name was redacted prior to the document’s release, said he saw that “these defendants appeared to time the deployment of chemical substances to coincide with other rioters’ efforts to forcibly remove the bike rack barriers that were preventing the rioters from moving closer to the Capitol building.”

The FBI alleges the man in the Trump hat with the pom-pom is Julian Khater. The man in the red hat with his back to the camera is George Tanios, the FBI said. (FBI).

The complaint gives a chronology of the alleged attack on the officers:

According to the complaint, Khater was heard on the video telling Tanios to “Give me that bear sh–” before reaching into the other man’s backpack.

“Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet… its still early,” Tanios allegedly tells Khater, according to the complaint.

“Khater is then seen emphatically telling TANIOS, ‘They just f–ing sprayed me,’ and KHATER is seen holding a white can with a black top that appears to be a can of chemical spray,” according to the complaint.

“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,” the complaint alleges.

“On the video, KHATER continues to talk animatedly with TANIOS,” according to the complaint. “At approximately 2:20 p.m., KHATER walks through the crowd to within a few steps of the bike rack barrier. KHATER is standing directly across from a line of law enforcement officers to include U.S. Capitol Police (“USCP”) Officers B. Sicknick and C. Edwards, and Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) Officer D. Chapman, who was equipped with a functioning body worn camera (“BWC”) device.”

Chapman’s camera captures rioters pulling on the bike rack, the complaint says.

“Seconds later, KHATER is observed with his right arm up high in the air, appearing to be holding a canister in his right hand and aiming it in the officers’ direction while moving his right arm from side to side,” according to the complaint. “Officer Chapman’s BWC confirms that KHATER was standing only five to eight feet away from the officers.”

The complaint states that the three officers “all react, one by one, to something striking them in the face. The officers immediately retreat from the line, bring their hands to their faces and rush to find water to wash out their eyes.”

Soon after, according to the complaint, Khater is seen on video raising his arm and continuing to spray in the direction of officers.

“(Metropolitan Police Department ) Lt. Bagshaw notices these actions and approaches KHATER. At 2:23 p.m., Lt. Bagshaw then sprays KHATER,” according to the complaint.

The complaint states that the officers were temporarily blinded by the spray and needed medical assistance.

“All three officers were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray,” the complaint states. “Officer Edwards reported lasting injuries underneath her eyes, including scabbing that remained on her face for weeks. Officers Edwards and Chapman also described the spray to their face as a substance as strong as, if not stronger than, any version of pepper spray they had been exposed to during their training as law enforcement officers. Officer Sicknick reported to his supervisors and colleagues that he had been sprayed in the face with a substance.”

After publishing photos of Khater and Tanios, a tipster told the FBI that the two men were friends and grew up together in New Jersey, the complaint states.

Authorities identified Khater with the help of his LinkedIn page, according to the complaint. Tanios was also identified from his social media posts, according to the complaint.

Khater and Tanios were each charged with one count of conspiracy to injure an officer; three counts of assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon; one count of civil disorder; one count of obstructing or impeding an official proceeding; one count of physical violence on restricted grounds, while carrying dangerous weapon and resulting in significant bodily injury; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct, act of physical violence on Capitol grounds, according to the FBI.

Khater’s LinkedIn page identifies him as a 2009 graduate of Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg, graduating with an Associate’s degree in business administration and management, and a 2011 graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University with an identical major.

Khater lists his work experience as an assistant manager at Peter’s Liquors in Hillsborough, a financial sales consultant in PNC Bank in Somerset, a bar manager at Panico’s in New Brunswick, and an event ambassador/bartender at TopGolf in Edison.

Most recently, he was the general manager/co-owner of Frutta Bowls in State College, Pa. and Chapel Hill, N.C., according to his LinkedIn profile.

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