Former State College Business Owner Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison for Assaulting Police Officers During Jan. 6 Riot

A former State College business TAG PROPERTY was sentenced Friday to nearly seven years in federal prison for attacking two police officers during the Jan. 6, 2021 at the US Capitol.

Julian E. Khater, now in New Jersey, admitted last September to pepper spraying US Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Caroline Edwards. The 34-year-old former owner of Frutta Bowls in downtown State College, which closed in 2020, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of assaulting officers with a dangerous weapon.

US District Judge Thomas Hogan sentenced Khater to 80 months, with credit for 22 months already served, and a $10,000 fine. The sentence, which was within the sentencing range guidelines of six and a half to eight years was the longest handed down so far against any of the more than 900 people charged in connection with the Capitol attack. Federal prosecutors are asking for 90 months.

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Khater traveled to Washington, DC on January 6 with co-defendant 42-year-old George P. Tanios, of West Virginia, who brought two cans of bear spray and two cans of pepper spray. The two men attended a rally where former President Donald Trump spoke then went to the Capitol where they joined a crowd of Trump supporters seeking to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in presidential election.

Tanios, who pleaded guilty on two misdemeanors, sentenced to five months’ service.

Khater told Tanios to “Give me that bear sh–,” and grabbed Tanios’ backpack, then said he had just been sprayed. As the rest of the rioters began forcibly removing the barriers to the bike rack, Khater sprayed a canister in front of Sicknick, who had to turn around and retreat. Prosecutors said Khater used pepper spray, not bear spray.

Sicknick died the next day. Washington, DC medical examiner Francisco J. Diaz concluded that Sicknick died of natural causes after suffering multiple strokes, and neither Khater nor Tanios were charged in his death.

Diaz, however, said that “everything that happened [on Jan. 6] played a role in his condition,” according to the Washington Post.

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Edwards, who was sprayed at the same time and who testified before the House committee on January 6 last June, said in his remarks to the court that Sicknick had turned “ghostly pale” during the attack and that he had experienced trauma. -an of the survivor after not being able to help. him because he was also temporarily weak.

“Sometimes when I close my eyes I can still see his face, white as a sheet,” he said, according to the New York Times. “I would give anything to take away the pain of the Sicknick family and my fellow officers.”

Dozens of US Capitol Police officers attended the Federal District Court in Washington for the sentencing on Friday, which included testimony from Sicknick’s family.

Gladys Sicknick, Brian Sicknick’s mother, told Khater at the sentencing, “You attacked my son like an animal. You are the animal, Mr. Khater. … What does it feel like to go to jail for a bald-faced lie?” according to NPR.

He also blamed the mob for the mob.

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“You all bear responsibility for the injuries that Brian’s fellow officers sustained – the broken bones, head trauma and the ongoing mental anguish they suffered and will endure for the rest of their lives,” he said. , according to the Times. “Imagine the emotional pain that can cause someone to take their own life. Four officers committed suicide. You and your ‘action’ caused their death.”

Khater asked the court to be sentenced to time served.

“What happened on Jan. 6 — there are no words for it,” he told Hogan. “It’s bad, and I hope I can get it all back.”

Hogan noted that Khater did not apologize to the officers, Khater said he did not apologize because of the ongoing civil lawsuits, which include a lawsuit from Sicknick’s longtime partner Sandra Garza .

“I find that to be a very self-centered approach,” Hogan told Khater.

Khater is the second person with ties to State College to be convicted of felony charges related to the Jan. 6 riot. Brian Gundersen28, is found guilty in November for obstructing a congressional vote and assaulting a law enforcement officer.


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