Judge: Capitol riot defendant can download UberEats

Eric Gavelek Munchel entered the U.S. Senate during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to prosecutors.

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Eric Gavelek Munchel entered the U.S. Senate during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to prosecutors.

In the 15 months since Jan. 6, 2021, defendants charged with the attack on the U.S. Capitol have occasionally asked judges for more relaxed bond conditions, but Georgia native Eric Munchel’s request was unique.

He wanted UberEats.

In an order posted this week, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth agreed to allow Munchel to download the food delivery app to his smartphone.

Munchel, who grew up in north Georgia but moved to Nashville where he worked as a bartender, was one of the most notorious of the accused Jan. 6 insurrectionists, in part because of a photo showing him climbing over seats in the U.S. Senate gallery with a handful of plastic “zip-tie” handcuffs. Dubbed the “Zip-Tie Guy” by online sleuths, Munchel and his mother, Woodstock resident and registered nurse Lisa Marie Eisenhart, were arrested within days of the Capitol attack and held without bond for weeks.

Munchel and Eisenhart both won their release on bond in March 2021, but he has lived under closely monitored and restrictive conditions including a prohibition from using the internet. In September, the Justice Department asked the court to impose a “no alcohol” condition on his release after his “contributive behavior leading up to (his) eviction” from his apartment.

Lamberth’s order came in response to a sealed motion filed by Munchel’s public defender, so some of the context of the request is hidden.

Court records are presumed to be open to public inspection, but the court may seal records where there is an “overriding interest,” such as to protect health information or an undue invasion of privacy. In his order, Lamberth did not reveal why the UberEats request was sealed.

Lamberth also agreed to allow Munchel to use his employer-provided laptop for business purposes.

The vast majority of Jan. 6 defendants have spent the past year on some kind of bond release while awaiting their day in court. Some, like Americus attorney William McCall Calhoun and Buford teen Bruno Cua, have asked for and received modified bond conditions to better allow them to work.

In March 2021, a federal judge rejected the request of former Pelham Police officer Michael Shane Daughtry to be allowed to resume his business of selling firearms.