Zip-Tie suspect from Capitol riot goes before judge in Nashville

Eric Munchel faces judge on 2 felony charges
Eric Munchel FB photo.jpg
Posted at 4:58 PM, Jan 11, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The suspect seen carrying zip ties among the mob of people who invaded the U.S. Capitol was arrested and appeared before a federal judge late Monday afternoon.

It was the first step toward the criminal prosecution of 30-year-old Eric Munchel - a former Nashville bartender. During the hearing, Munchel was appointed an attorney. He will remain in custody until his next hearing on Jan. 19.

Special Agents with the FBI arrested Munchel Sunday afternoon -- this coming five days after they say he was part of the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol. Newschannel5 obtained a copy of the criminal affidavit which spells out the complaint.

Eric Gavelek Munchel.jpg
Eric Gavelek Munchel
Photo from MNPD

Agents were able to link Munchel to a photographed masked invader in the Senate gallery. He was photographed with a weapon on his right side holding zip-tie restraints like those used to take prisoners. On his head, a cap from Black Rifle Coffee. On his chest, a state of Tennessee patch with a thin blue line used to show support for police.

Much of the evidence cited by the FBI was found first by internet sleuths, who had already zeroed in on Munchel. Agents say he went to Washington DC with a Florida woman named Lisa Eisenhart. Eisenhart has told a newspaper in London she is Munchel's mom.

Live-streamed video shows the pair enjoying drinks after the riot in a Washington hotel lobby, Munchel still wearing camouflage and an empty holster on his hip.

"It's just a taser, but the police came and took it away from me," he said in the video. "They didn't like it because of tonight. They said I couldn't carry a taser."

The woman with Munchel has not yet been arrested. But a federal judge today informed Munchel of the two felony charges against him for violent entry and disorderly conduct.

It's believed Munchel moved to Nashville from Florida more than a year ago and worked as a bartender at Kid Rocks downtown until he was fired three months ago for violation of company policy.

His Facebook page -- recently taken down -- showed images like this one of him posing with a gun with President Trump on the TV and there's that Black Rifle Coffee ball cap in the background.

Eric Munchel FB photo.jpg
Eric Munchel

Authorities make the case there's little doubt Munchin participated in the riot.