Authorities have charged two men with assaulting Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick during the insurrection attempt at the US Capitol on January 6. George Pierre Tanios of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Julian Elie Khater of Pennsylvania are charged with spraying Sicknick and two other officers with bear spray. Sicknick died January 7 from injuries he sustained while trying to protect the Capitol from fans of President Trump who believed his lies about why he lost reelection last November.
According to an application for a search warrant, a FBI special agent observed Tanios and Khater in surveillance footage of the assault. Khater told Tanios “Give me that bear shit,” the warrant reads, and Tanios replied, “Hold on, hold on, not yet, not yet… it’s still early.” That transaction, the FBI alleges, “reveals that the two were working in concert and had a plan to use the toxic spray against law enforcement.” The warrant says the other officers sprayed were a Capitol Police officer named C. Edwards and a DC police officer named D. Chapman, who was wearing a camera. All were temporarily blinded, and Edwards reported scabbing on her eyes that lasted for weeks.
Tipsters helped the FBI identify Khater and Tanios, who, according to the warrant, posted a photo of himself in the Capitol wearing a sweatshirt with the name of Sandwich University, his business in Morgantown. Tanios’s Instagram page identifies him as “George Pierre Tanios aka @thesandwichnazi.” He wore the same sweatshirt in his Facebook profile photo, the warrant notes. Tanios also uses the name “kingofthefatsandwich” in social media.
Tanios has trademarked Sandwich University, “Sandwich U,” and “King of the Fat Sandwich,” according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office database. A 2014 BuzzFeed article described Sandwich University as a “drunk person’s paradise” and recommended the entire menu for its innovations in fried food. The Fat Freshman, for instance, is a sandwich comprising cheesesteak; chicken tenders; bacon; mozzarella sticks, and “secret sauce.”
A May 2019 post from Tanios’s Instagram page spotlights a one-star review that appears to describe him as resembling Donald Trump, if he were a restaurant manager. Tanios says it’s “To epic not to share” and includes the hashtag “#Dontletpoliticsdivideus.”
One witness who identified Tanios to the FBI said a tipster was engaged in a “legal dispute with TANIOS where TANIOS reportedly embezzled $435,000 from their former business,” according to the warrant.
Neither Tanios nor Khater have been charged with Sicknick’s death. As the Washington Post notes, Sicknick’s autopsy results are not yet available, so his death cannot yet be considered a homicide. The Capitol Police union says 139 officers were injured in the assault on the Capitol, and four people died in addition to Sicknick.