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Tennessee man accused of rioting at Capitol building with zip-tie handcuffs held without bond

Eric Munchel
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 08:07:28-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A former Nashville bartender that was seen carrying zip ties among the mob of people who invaded the U.S. Capitol last week will remain in custody until his next hearing on Jan. 19.

It was the first step toward the criminal prosecution of 30-year-old Eric Munchel.

During the hearing on Monday, a federal judge ordered the Nashville resident to be held without bond pending further hearings, according to Fox News and The Tennessean newspaper.

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.

Eric Munchell
These photos were provided in court documents by the FBI. The original images were taken by Win McNamee for Getty Images. This image was taken directly from court documents, including the watermark on the images.

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."

Eric Munchel FB photo.jpg
Eric Munchel

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.

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

This story was first published by Nick Beres at WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee.