The Justice Department has charged two men in the assault on Brian D. Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who died the day after he fought rioters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the case and court documents.
The F.B.I. on Sunday arrested George Pierre Tanios, 39, of West Virginia and Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania on charges of assaulting officers, including Officer Sicknick, with a chemical spray. Mr. Khater was arrested in New Jersey.
The arrests, which were reported earlier by The Washington Post, came weeks after investigators pinpointed one of the men in a video of the riot, in which he was seen attacking several officers with the spray, according to two law enforcement officials. The Justice Department has said in previous court filings that rioters were recorded on video talking about attacking officers, including Officer Sicknick.
It is not clear whether Officer Sicknick died because of his exposure to the spray. On Jan. 7, the day he died, the Capitol Police said in a statement that he “was injured while physically engaging with protesters” at the riot a day earlier and then “returned to his division office and collapsed.” He later died at a hospital.
In the hours after Officer Sicknick was rushed to the hospital, Capitol Police officials initially said that he had been struck with a fire extinguisher, but later said that his death was not caused by blunt force trauma. In the following days, investigators homed in on the potential role of an irritant as a primary factor in his death.
Officer Sicknick, 42, was an Air National Guard veteran who had served in Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan.
After the F.B.I. posted fliers with photographs of Mr. Khater and Mr. Tanios, seeking information about the Jan. 6 attack, a tipster told the F.B.I. that the two men had grown up together in New Jersey.
Another person told the F.B.I. that one of the men in the photos looked “very close” to Mr. Tanios, who had “bragged about going to the insurrection at the Capitol on Facebook.”
A tipster also identified Mr. Khater as a former colleague at a food establishment in State College, Pa.