Two Men Carrying Zip Ties At Capitol Riot Arrested After Citizen Sleuths ID’d Them Online
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested two men who were photographed carrying flex cuffs, the zip tie-style restraints used by law enforcement, during the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob last week, the Department of Justice said Sunday.
The two men are Eric Gavelek Munchel, who is reportedly employed as a bartender in Nashville, Tennessee, and Larry Rendell Brock, a retired U.S. Air Force officer from Texas.
Both were photographed in the Senate chamber wearing military-style gear and carrying flex cuffs, which many viewed as evidence of intent to take lawmakers captive.
Munchel was taken into custody on federal charges in Nashville on Sunday afternoon, the city’s NewsChannel 5 reported; he has been 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, the DOJ said.
Brock was arrested Sunday in Texas and faces the same charges.
The identities of both men were pieced together by citizen sleuths on the internet via a crowdsourcing effort led by experts like John Scott-Railton at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, though it’s unknown if the FBI was aided by their efforts or had already identified them independently.
In an interview with the New Yorker, Brock—a 53-year-old former fighter pilot who retired from the Air Force with the rank of lieutenant colonel—confirmed he was the person seen in photos and videos at the Capitol, but claimed he was only in Washington to demonstrate peacefully and that he had picked up the flex cuffs on the floor and had intended to give them to a police officer.
Federal authorities have arrested and charged several participants in the storming of the Capitol who featured prominently in the news last week—including a man photographed shirtless with a painted face and buffalo horns, a man who appeared to be stealing a podium, and a man photographed sitting at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk.
The F.B.I. arrests a man who had carried zip ties into the Capitol (New York Times)
Jacob Anthony Chansley—Photographed Shirtless And Wearing Buffalo Horns In Capitol—Among Those Arrested After Insurgency (Forbes)
An Air Force Combat Veteran Breached the Senate (New Yorker)