Update: 5:32 P.M. Munchel was arrested on federal charges. He was taken into custody on a federal arrest warrant charging him 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.
Eric Munchel, 30, has been identified as the man pictured wearing full paramilitary gear and holding zip-ties during the MAGA riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
According to the Daily Mail, Munchel went to the Capitol with his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, 57, and told The Times of London, ‘We wanted to show that we’re willing to rise up, band together and fight if necessary. Same as our forefathers, who established this country in 1776. It was a kind of flexing of muscles.
‘The left has everything: the media, organisations, the government. We have to organise if we’re going to fight back and be heard,’ Eisenhart, a nurse, added.
Munchel’s picture of him in the Senate press gallery holding several flex-cuffs and heavy-duty restraints used by law enforcement when making mass arrests has gone viral. Many questioned Munchel’s and other rioters’ intentions for bringing the zip-ties and wearing the military gear.
His mother also wore a bulletproof vest and told the news outlet, ‘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?”
‘I’d rather die as a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression. I’d rather die and would rather fight.’
The mother and son duo drove to the Capitol from Nashville, Tennessee, to be a part of the “protest.”
Hotel footage obtained by investigators captured Munchel in a D.C. lobby talking to an unidentified woman. The woman was seen earlier that day with Munchel wearing full paramilitary gear.
Since Wednesday’s madness, Munchel has deleted his Facebook account, which listed his place of employment, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille in Florida.
The business has since responded to the incident: ‘It’s been brought to our attention that a former employee of ours from 2+ years ago was involved in the recent events at the Capitol Building. We have no affiliation with this employee, and their actions were their own.’
Munchel’s “expensive camouflage and tactical larp-flare” helped authorities identify him, The Sparrow Project reports.
The FBI is looking to see if the massive group had any plans to hurt or take lawmakers hostage.
‘We’re not looking at this as a grand conspiracy, but we are interested in learning what people would do with things like zip ties,’ a law enforcement official told The Washington Post.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., 53, was also apart of the thousands of rioters. He admitted that he stormed the Capitol dressed in combat gear and carrying zip-tie cuffs. But he told The New Yorker that he found them on the floor and was going to give them to a police officer.
Brock, a father of three who lives in Dallas, told the outlet he thought he was welcomed to go inside the Capitol. Brock was in the Air Force for more than 20 years and now works for an aviation company. He was seen exiting Nancy Pelosi’s office—which was vandalized and looted amid the riot.
Cleveland Grover Meredith, Jr., from Alabama, was also arrested for possession of 11 Molotov cocktails near the Capitol. CNN reported that he traveled to D.C. with hundreds of rounds of ammunition and a firearm.
Text messages show he told his friends he wanted to shoot or run Pelosi over. In one text exchange, he allegedly wrote that he was thinking of ‘putting a bullet in [Pelosi’s] noggin on Live TV.’
He is one of 13 people who have been charged with federal crimes, and there will likely be more to come. Prosecutors say this is just the start, and additional charges remain under seal.
Several state attorneys in Kentucky, Ohio, and Oregon, say people from their state could get more charges if they traveled to D.C. and participated in the riot.
Authorities are also working to see if there was a plot to target Vice President Mike Pence, who upset Donald Trump and his supporters by refusing to illegally intervene in Congress to overturn Trump’s election loss.
REVEALED: MAGA rioter, 30, pictured carrying zip-ties and in full paramilitary gear is identified https://t.co/YG4ZE9pPip
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) January 10, 2021