Judge Rules Man Charged in Assault of Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick Be Released on Bond

A federal appeals court ruled that a man charged in the assault of Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick in the January 6 riots, can be released on bond as he awaits trial, the Associated Press reported.

The appellate ruling determined the district court erred in determining the dangers posed by George Tanios, as he has no past felony convictions.

"The record reflects that Tanios has no past felony convictions, no ties to any extremist organizations, and no post-January 6 criminal behavior that would otherwise show him to pose a danger to the community within the meaning of the Bail Reform Act," the ruling said.

Tanios was one of two men charged with the assault of Sicknick. Back in May, Julian Khater was also charged and would wait behind bars for his trial.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan called Tanios and Khater threats to the community and refused pretrial release at the time.

"These two gentlemen are law-abiding, respected individuals of their community and it makes it very difficult for the court to make this conclusion," Hogan said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Man in Jan. 6 Riots, Bond
A man charged in the assault of Capitol Officer Brian Sicknick was released on bond after the courts ruled him to no be a threat to the community. Trump supporters are getting tear gassed outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images

The district court in May ruled that Tanios must remain behind bars while awaiting trial on numerous charges, including assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon. U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan found that Tanios was a threat to the community. The judge said the assault with chemical spray on Sicknick and two other officers contributed to the mob's ability to breach a police line guarding the Capitol.

An attorney for Tanios — who operated a greasy spoon called Sandwich U in Morgantown, home of West Virginia University — had argued that there was no advance planning and that her client had bought the chemical sprays only for self-protection in the event of violence against Trump supporters.

Prosecutors have said Julian Khater of State College, Pennsylvania, sprayed Sicknick and other officers with chemicals after retrieving a canister from Tanios' backpack. Sicknick later collapsed and died. Khater, who remains behind bars, has pleaded not guilty to assault charges. Neither he nor Tanios have been charged in Sicknick's death.

A Washington medical examiner in April determined that Sicknick suffered a stroke and died from natural causes.

Capitol Police accepted the medical examiner's findings but said the ruling didn't change the fact that Sicknick had died in the line of duty, "courageously defending Congress and the Capitol."

Man in Capitol Riot Out on Bond
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump hold on to a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. A New Jersey gym owner on Friday became the first person to plead guilty to assaulting a law enforcement officer during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. John Minchillo/Associated Press