Lebanese-American Detained Over U.S. Capitol Police Assault

Lebanese-American Detained Over U.S. Capitol Police Assault Charges
Tyler Merbler/flickr

A U.S. magistrate has ordered the detention of George Tanios, one of the two Lebanese-American men charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot.

During a Monday hearing, Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi berated Tanios for his involvement in assaulting police with a chemical spray during the insurrection, describing his actions as “an assault on our nation.”

Earlier this month, Tanios, 39, was charged alongside Julian Khater for spraying three officers during the Capitol siege, including Officer Brian Sicknick who died a day after the incident.

Judge Aloi ordered Tanios to be detained pending trial. “I’m very aware that my rulings affect the person in front of me and everyone who loves them,” he said. “It is hard for me to look at this as anything other than an assault on this nation’s heart.”

During the hearing, prosecutors said that Tanios had visited a gun store a day before the riot and purchased 4 cans containing two types of bear or pepper spray, including one that appears to be the same type Khater used on Sicknick.

It’s worth mentioning that the cause of Officer Sicknick’s death has yet to be determined, as is its relation to the alleged actions of Tanios and Khater.

While arguing for Tanios’s detention, the prosecutors alleged that he may be a flight risk, citing FBI tipster information that revealed that the defendant’s mother, Maguy Tanios, had been planning to get her son to Lebanon.

When asked about the alleged plan, the mother, who was one of the several witnesses called by Tanios’s defense team, responded tearfully, “Who tell you that? … This is my country. God bless the United States… We are American.”