Federal prosecutors have released an affidavit outlining how they identified 30-year-old Eric Munchel of Nashville as a participant in the mob storming of the U.S. Capitol last week. He was arrested Sunday by federal agents and charged with unlawfully entering the building and disrupting Congress.
Investigators noted several Tennessee-related emblems, including a hat with the logo for Black Rifle Coffee Company, which is a veteran-owned company that has catered to conservatives across the country. It has a roasting facility in Manchester.
Munchel also wore a patch with the image of Tennessee and a “thin blue line,” signifying support for police. Investigators note he also wore an image of the “Punisher” comic book character on his chest, viewable in several photos.
Photos by journalists show someone with the same identifiable fatigues and a holster on his right hip, also carrying the kind of plastic zip ties that are used as handcuffs by law enforcement.
The FBI says it began to see tips on social media on Jan. 8 identifying Munchel’s Facebook account, which has since been taken down. But volunteers assisting the FBI took screenshots and shared them, including one of Munchel in downtown Nashville on Sept. 23, draped in an American flag and wearing a similar Black Rifle Coffee Company hat.
The same hat appears in another photo in which Munchel is holding an American flag and a shotgun, standing in front of a TV with President Donald Trump in the background.
According to the affidavit, Munchel lives in the Green Hills/Belle Meade zip code of 37205.
Munchel traveled to Washington D.C. with his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, on a Southwest flight that she booked, according to the charging documents. She is also identified through cellphone video as entering the building with her son, though she has not been charged.
Police encountered Munchel at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Jan. 6 after the attempted occupation of the Capitol. Officers say he identified himself, and explained that he was carrying a Taser in a holster for protection because he had participated in the pro-Trump rally near the White House.
The FBI has made more than a dozen arrests around the country and continues to seek tips online.