A Nashville bartender has been arrested after allegedly being part of the riot in the Capitol last week and reportedly was joined by his mother in the mayhem.
Eric Munchel, 30, has been identified as the man pictured in the Senate press gallery wearing full paramilitary gear. In photos posted on social media, the man is seen carrying a bundle of “flex-cuffs,” which are restraints law enforcement uses when making mass arrests.
Munchel is charged with “knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds,” the Dail Mail reported.
He told 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.”
Munchel said he and his 57-year-old mother, Lisa Eisenhart, breached the building together.
Several other rioters were also seen carrying restraints, creating speculation that they were planning to restrain people. But Munchel, who also brought a Taser to the “Save America” rally that was confiscated earlier in the day, said their only goal was to get into the building.
“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 said.
His mother, a nurse and Trump supporter, said she and her son drove from Tennessee to join in the protests.
“The left has everything: the media, organizations, the government. We have to organize if we’re going to fight back and be heard,” she told the paper. “I’d rather die as a 57-year-old woman than live under oppression. I’d rather die and would rather fight.”
She added, “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?”
Meanwhile, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was arrested after he broke into the Senate chamber was turned in by his ex-wife, according to the Mail.
“The former wife of retired Lt. Col Larry Rendall Brock Jr., 53, called the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center on Friday to report that she’d recognized her ex, who was pictured carrying plastic handcuffs and wearing full military gear, from the footage.”
“When I saw this was happening I was afraid he would be there,” she told the authorities. “I think you already know he was there.”
“But he told The New Yorker he thought he was welcome to enter the U.S. Capitol and claimed he ‘found’ the zip ties on the floor and merely picked them up so he could hand them in to a police officer,” the U.K. paper reported.