x
Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

'Zip Tie Guy' appears in federal court after Capitol riot

Eric Munchel, 30, was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building without lawful authority and one count of violent entry.

NASHVILLE, Tenn — A Nashville man known as 'Zip Tie Guy' was arrested Sunday afternoon in Tennessee following his actions in the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

Eric Gavelek Munchel, 30, 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.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Munchel was allegedly inside the U.S. Capitol carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day.

Hotel surveillance video and social media posts linked him and his mother to the capitol raids. 

"It's just really scary, honestly, it just kind of blows me away," said Munchel's neighbor Matt Chandler. 

The TBI says Munchel has no prior state charges, though they did not run a criminal records report in states outside Tennessee. 

Court documents show Munchel has a number of misdemeanor charges out of Georgia and Florida, as well as a marijuana possession charge and an arrest for battery in 2013.

Neighbors said, looking back, they did notice some odd behaviors.

"He would wear his bullet proof vest whenever he was walking his dogs every once in a while. That kind of threw a flag out, but then I thought maybe he was a security guard or something," said Chandler.

News4, an affiliate of 10News, has learned he was fired from Kid Rock's bar downtown about 90 days ago for a policy violation. 

The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.

The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.