Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk bar reportedly deleted its social media accounts after owner Steve Smith confirmed Eric Munchel worked at the Nashville restaurant. The 30-year-old Munchel is allegedly the man seen in a viral photo from Wednesday's violent pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol, showing him carrying zip ties inside the Senate chamber. Munchel was arrested in Tennessee on Sunday, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Washington D.C. announced.
Smith told USA Today a man named Eric Munchel worked for the bar with musician Kid Rock's name but was fired 60 days ago. Smith did not share details about Munchel's firing and did not know how long he worked at the bar. According to a Facebook page with Munchel's name, he previously worked at Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille, which has four locations in Florida. Munchel worked for the company over two years ago, the company said on Facebook Friday.
#NEW: Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk has deleted their Facebook & Instagram, and made @bigasshonkytonk private since the revelation that Munchel worked at the #DowntownNashville establishment https://t.co/CfMXL43wMQ— Scoop: Nashville (@looknashville) January 10, 2021
Munchel was charged with "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," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Washington D.C. Photos 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 office's statement reads.
Munchel was arrested after The Sunday Times published an interview with Munchel. He said he drove from Nashville to Washington with his mother, Lisa Eisenhart. He said he spoke to a reporter after the Capitol riot, just as they were packing to head back to Tennessee. "We wanted to show that we’re willing to rise up, band together and fight if necessary," Munchel told the Sunday Times. "Same as our forefathers, who established this country in 1776." He said the point of getting inside the Capitol was to "show them that we can, and we will."
Handgun. Zip ties. Punisher logo. pic.twitter.com/GCKHYzwNWe— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) January 7, 2021
Eisenhart told the Sunday Times she and her son were "observers" and left when they heard rioters discuss stealing laptops and documents. However, the Sunday Times noted that researchers found photos and videos of an unmasked Munchel and Eisenhart in and around the Capitol. Munchel's clothing also included a "Tennesee blue line" symbol.
Some Internet sleuths also found videos appearing to show Munchel having drinks in a hotel lobby and claiming police took a Taser from him, according to News Channel 5 Nashville. He also allegedly live-streamed videos on his Facebook page. One image on Facebook showed Munchel standing with a gun in his hand, in front of a TV screen showing President Donald Trump.