Rioter Known As Zip Tie Guy Arrested By FBI For Breaching Capitol
One of the US Capitol rioters, who had been given the nickname ‘zip tie guy’, has been named and arrested.
Eric Gavelek Munchel, from Nashville in Tennessee, was photographed in the Senate chamber, wearing tactical gear and holding a bunch of plastic zip ties during the riots on Wednesday, January 6.
The 30-year-old was arrested yesterday, January 10, after investigators managed to track down his identity on social media, following an influx of tips made to the FBI’s call line.
He was located after social media sleuths found his accounts, which revealed he previously worked at Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk bar in Nashville, however his employment is believed to have been terminated 60 days ago.
A number of Munchel’s posts are reported to have pledged support for the Back the Blue cause, which supports police officers in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Many posts on his now-deactivated Facebook profile revealed he is a big fan of guns, with a number of photos showing him posing with shotguns, handguns, and semi-automatic rifles, TMZ reports.
He also appears to have attended a number of anti-COVID restriction demonstrations in Nashville during 2020, while wearing bulletproof vests similar to the one seen in photographs taken at the Capitol.
According to the Department of Justice, Munchel ‘was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.’
The DoJ added: ‘It is alleged that Munchel was inside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Photos depicting his presence show a person who appears to be Munchel carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day.’
It comes after special agent Douglas Korneski, in charge of the Memphis Field Office, confirmed they were ‘aggressively’ working to confirm the man’s identity on Thursday, January 7.
‘The FBI is aggressively working to identify any of the individuals who were involved in yesterday’s events and is working very closely with the Department of Justice in any way we can to prosecute those individuals,’ he said in a statement.
According to the Sunday Times, Munchel spoke with reporters before his arrest, while on his journey home from DC.
‘It was a kind of flexing of muscles. The intentions of going in were not to fight the police. The point of getting inside the building is to show them that we can, and we will,’ he’s quoted as saying.
His mother Lisa Eisenhart, a nurse, is also quoted as saying: ‘This country was founded on revolution. If they’re going to take every legitimate means from us, and we can’t even express ourselves on the internet, we won’t even be able to speak freely, what is America for?’
Munchel is currently being held at a local Nashville jail.
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