KEY POINTS

  • Eric Munchel is facing federal charges in connection with Capital Hill riots
  • He was seen in photos carrying zip ties inside the Senate chamber during storming of Capitol
  • Munchel also carried a taser in his holster, which was taken away from him by cops

A Tennessee man, who was dressed in black and carried zip ties inside the U.S. Capitol building during Wednesday’s storming by pro-Trump rioters demanding the election results to be overturned, was arrested Sunday after his photos circulated online.

Eric Munchel, 30, of Nashville is facing one count of knowingly entering a restricted building and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct charges, according to the Department of Justice, USA Today reported.

The FBI had urged people to reach out to them in case they had information about people who were "actively instigating violence," the Tennessean reported.

Munchel’s arrest came following an extensive online search by people to identify him after he was seen in images, wearing paramilitary gear inside the Senate chamber as he hopped a handrail in the wake of the rampage, which sparked fear that rioters planned to take lawmakers hostages.

"Photos depicting his presence show a person who appears to be Munchel carrying plastic restraints, an item in a holster on his right hip, and a cell phone mounted on his chest with the camera facing outward, ostensibly to record events that day," the federal prosecutor's office in Washington said in a statement, according to USA Today.

Authorities didn’t identify the object in Munchel’s holster, but in a live stream reported by News Channel 5 in Nashville, Munchel, who described himself as "a hidden patriot ready to jump off," said he carried a taser in the holster, which was taken away from him by cops.

The outlet reported that a woman was seen with him in the photos, whom internet sleuths speculated to be his mother.

Zip ties, alternatively known as flex cuffs, are often used by law enforcement officials to detain protesters during large demonstrations. It wasn’t immediately known what Munchel had planned to do with the zip ties. He is reportedly not facing charges in connection with the possession of the zip ties.

Hours before his arrest, Munchel and his mother, Lisa Eisenhart, gave an interview to a British newspaper The Sunday Times.

"It was a kind of flexing of muscles . . . . 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," Munchel told the outlet.

Chaotic scenes had unfolded Wednesday in Washington D.C. as Congress gathered to certify Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. Rioters, after attending a rally in support of President Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol Hill building by breaching barricades and security checkpoints. Five people, including one police officer, died during the mayhem.

handcuffs-354042_1920 Representational image Photo: Photo by Pixabay (CC0)