Nashville – A federal judge on Sunday blocked the release of a Tennessee man, officials said, who wore flexible plastic handcuffs during the riot on the U.S. Capitol. U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell for the District of Columbia also ordered that he be taken to Washington for further prosecution.
Howell overturned an order made Friday by a Tennessee judge regarding the release of Eric Munchel, of Nashville, which paved the way for Munchel’s release on Monday. Howell stayed the lower court order pending a review.
Two rioters were seen wearing zip ties during the havoc on the Capitol. Munchel has been dubbed “the guy in the zip tie” on social media.
After testifying at a detention hearing on Friday, U.S. Justice of the Peace Jeffrey Frensley of the Middle District of Tennessee determined that Munchel was not a flight risk and was not causing harm to the public.
Federal prosecutors have argued that Munchel’s offenses are serious enough to detain him pending trial to ensure the safety of the community.
According to court records, an FBI search of Munchel’s home revealed the tactical equipment he was wearing during the Jan.6 assault on the Capitol, five pairs of plastic handcuffs, several weapons, hundreds of cartridges and a drum style magazine.
Munchel is accused of violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds, conspiracy and civil unrest. He risks up to 20 years if convicted.
Munchel has been in federal custody since his arrest on January 10, when he surrendered to authorities.
In a memorandum in support of the detention, prosecutors said Munchel traveled to Washington with his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, who was also charged in the Capitol Riot. The two attended Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in which the former president repeated his baseless allegations of voter fraud and urged the crowd to march to Capitol Hill and “fight like hell.”
Court documents allege Munchel entered the Senate chamber just minutes after the chamber was evacuated.
Munchel “saw himself as a revolutionary, in the mold of those who overthrew the British government in the American Revolution”, according to court documents. He was “dressed for combat” with “combat boots, military fatigues, a tactical vest, gloves and a gaiter that covered his entire face except his eyes,” documents indicate. He also carried a stun gun on his hip and mounted a cell phone to his chest to record the events.
WUSA says the emergency appeal of Frensley’s order filed by U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin included an allegation that was not presented at Friday’s hearing: that Munchel was part of a group that assaulted and threatened a Bloomberg reporter they mistakenly had. identified as “antifa”.
The appeal argued that, contrary to Frensley’s decision, Munchel could “not make any serious allegation that he had attended Capitol Hill on January 6 with the intention of engaging in peaceful protest or civil disobedience.” .
“Instead,” Justice Department lawyers wrote, “the evidence supports the conclusion that he intended to contribute to chaos, obstruct Electoral College certification, and sow fear.” .