Anita Valdez

Anita Valdez stands with her women for Trump sign at her home on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Valdez went to the nation's Capitol in support of Donald Trump on Jan. 6. MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

Some Comal County residents who were at the nation’s Capitol last week in support of Donald Trump said they didn’t expect the violence that unfolded and spoke out against those who smashed windows and beat police officers.

The supporters marched to the Capitol as members of the House and Senate were certifying the outcome of the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden who will be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Trump Train NB Founder Steve Ceh said he and a small group of Trump Train members were among those outside the Capitol. 

“There were people from all over Texas, we saw lots of Texas flags,” Ceh said. 

He said the event began with a peaceful march on the grounds.

“It was an awesome experience, it was cold,” Ceh said. “We stood there and there were just so many patriots, so many American flags, so many Trump flags. Just circles of prayer praying for the country.”

Anita Valdez, from New Braunfels, said she also went to the Capitol to support President Trump. She had not anticipated any violence.

But that’s what happened as hundreds of people stormed the Capitol building, clashed with police officers and ransacked offices — with many of them taking pictures and videos for social media as they did so.

Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated ahead of the breach and senators and representatives were moved to secret locations to wait for the scene to be secured. By the end of it, five people would be dead. Authorities say one was shot and killed by officers, three more died from medical causes during the event and an officer of the Capitol police died as a result of injuries sustained during the attack.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the attack a “failed insurrection” from the Senate floor after the House and Senate returned hours later to finish work.

Valdez said she had no indication that the day would unfold like that.

“It was the feeling of patriotism and community and kindness and uplifting throughout the entire day,” Valdez said. “Then of course when things went a little south, the small group I was with decided to vacate and get to the lawn area and make our way back to our hotels.”

Trump Supporters in D.C.

Trump supporters gather in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Anita Valdez

 Valdez arrived around 6 a.m. and left around after 4 p.m. as members of Congress began to be evacuated.

 They stood at the Capitol on the terrace for about 30 minutes or so, Valdez said.

 “I have attended Trump rallies since 2015 and I have never seen something like this specifically,” Valdez said. “I’ve witnessed violence against Trump supporters but I’ve never been in a situation exactly like this.”

 It wasn’t until she got to a TV later that she saw that it had become deadly.

“For me, I just want to make a strong statement: I do not condone violence for any reason,” Valdez said. “I feel it barbaric and ineffective to get your point across. My first feeling about even attending this was, number one, to be there for the President and to be safe.”

Ceh and his group left to go back to the hotel and then later returned to the Capitol, where thousands were standing.

“These guys were throwing things at the cops and the same guy was smashing one of the windows and it was shattering,” Ceh said. “We were like, ‘What are you doing? We’re mad about violence like this. What are you doing?’ Some guys told them to stop doing that and it was a lady that grabbed him and drug him down.”

Capitol police and people clashed on the steps and later in the Capitol itself.

“What really bothered me was as we were walking away from the Capitol we’re on the grass area going towards the monument, you could still see the flash grenades going off and the pepper spray,” Ceh said. “I looked at my wife and said, ‘This is where our country is?’”

Valdez said she hopes those who were violent are held accountable.

“What I’m hoping will happen from here on out is that any person involved in this will be held completely accountable and that justice will prevail,” Valdez said.

Ceh said he is unhappy with both parties.

“I think we got way out of place,” Ceh said. “I’m an Independent, the Republican party left me years ago. I think both sides were trouble because they are all paid off, self-serving. I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat, independent. They don’t care about me or you. They can say whatever party they’re all the same.”

As tensions rise, Ceh said he hopes God leads the country. 

“It’s been coming to a head,” Ceh said. “We have some very bad people in our leadership right now in our country. I’m going to start praying that God will take care of it.”

Ceh uploaded a video to Youtube on Jan. 8 called “Truth” blaming liberals, “ANTIFA” and “Black Lives Matter.”

“It was a great rally, great spirit, and then what happened?” Ceh said in the YouTube video. “The liberals, ANTIFA. In front of me I saw ANTIFA breaking windows. No it was not the patriots. Trump did not incite this, the liberals incited this.”

The FBI, which is investigating the attack has said there’s no evidence of Antifa involvement.

Valdez said she hopes people wait until all the facts come out.

“Whatever side you believe in, we need to be patient,” Valdez said.

Trump Supporters in D.C.

Trump supporters gather in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo by Anita Valdez

Another New Braunfels resident at the Capitol was featured in New York Magazine.

New Braunfels’ Valerie Muldez said she was at the Capitol and left with her kids, with Muldez saying that authorities tear-gassed her children.

“I have to teach the next generation how to stand up for righteousness and I want them to see these are wonderful patriots,” Muldez told the magazine.

The FBI is continuing to investigate the incident at the Capitol and is seeking the public’s help in identifying people pictured inside. Twenty people have already been arrested across the country.

For more information and photos under investigation go to: https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/violence-at-the-united-states-capitol

Recommended for you

(13) comments

Pyper Olveda

Wow, this is a disturbing article. Ceh has proven to be a local bully, leading a group of bullies around our beautiful town, terrorizing our peaceful streets and turning them into a war path of racial slurs and angry threats. They even ran the Biden bus off the road in one of their amped up outrageous displays of local terrorism against anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I can’t understand why the Herald would give this local aggressor a platform to speak to the town, as if he hasn’t done these heinous things. I will never support this biased reporting that only serves to stoke the ego of a local terrorist and spread his absurdity and hateful disease throughout our town. SHAME ON YOU Herald-Zeitung for this disgusting excuse for journalism!

Terry Price

He's led his train not only through New Braunfels, but surrounding towns as well. They need to be seen and identified for who they are: domestic terrorists and insurrectionists. They attacked the US seat of government intending to overturn a fair and secure election. Even those who claim to have not been directly involved in the violence supported it tacitly and are equally culpable. They are continuing their efforts. Their actions are despicable, dangerous to the community and the nation, and likely unlawful. They need to be stopped.

Chris Lykins Staff
Chris Lykins

And we've reported on all those things.

And editorialized about them.

Multiple times.

Those things haven't ceased to exist, nor has our editorial about the attack on the Capitol and those involved. We got a delightful piece of mail today on that indicating what we should do with ourselves scrawled across it multiple times.

Seriously, I'm really having a hard time grasping this argument. Why would you talk to a guy who was literally at a national news event that has dominated for much of the last week? Is that a real question?

And we go out of our way to point out the inconsistency with what he tells us and what he released online, and the inaccuracy of that statement, but go off about how we're stroking his ego, I guess.

I went from a CCP loving snowflake to a boot-licking fascist in less than a week. Things move quick around here.

James Reigle

Yeah, sure Chris. In reading this article, you did not point out anything that's inconsistent with their past actions or comments. SO gross that you gave these people a pass and this article makes them out to be some poor innocents caught up in a peaceful protest gone wrong. You continue to give this family a platform to spew their hateful radical views that are wrapped in religion and the American flag. You and this paper continue to go out of your way to normalize them. Shame on you for pretending that you've practiced hard hitting journalism on these folks. Probably because you're with them, or you're afraid of them and their bully tactics like the rest of this town. I assume you've never been on the receiving end of their vitriol simply for being in a car without some sort of visible Trump support sticking to it or flying above it. You deserve all the criticism you're getting. You whining about it doesn't change the fact that you went out of your way to write a puff piece and put it on the front page.

Lyn Neal

HZ really? How about an article how Ceh and his group have been terrorizing our town entering local businesses not wearing a mask and taunting store clerks just trying to do their job. The Trump Train has cost NB in a time many are barely holding on, tourists canceling their plans to come to NB to avoid the threatening nature of their activities. He is not a peaceful protester by his own admission he threatens violence in his online posts. Shame on you for giving this domestic terrorist space on your paper. He is a stain on our town.

Chris Lykins Staff
Chris Lykins

We've done several stories on the incidents that have drawn public attention, and editorialized on them as well: http://herald-zeitung.com/opinion/article_38e24a16-293c-11eb-9fd9-6fa22bff01c3.html

James Reigle

Hit a nerve Chris? No need to point out your past coverage. We've seen it and we know who you stand with, it's certainly not the peaceful folks in town. I hear Ceh wants to run from Mayor. You want to just skip ahead and endorse him now? How about you write an article about our homegrown terrorists? Or rather the family who moved to our town and began terrorizing it while calling themselves Patriots? Here, I'll use the tagline from your favorite group to sum you and this paper up..."Fake news"

Chris Lykins Staff
Chris Lykins

James, if you've seen it, then I can't see how you can draw that sort of conclusion. But honestly, after a year of dealing with science deniers and Q-Anon folks, you can just get in the long line of people I don't get.

Kristi Simmons

This Ceh dude is an imposter and a bully. The Herald Zeitung should have never given this punk a platform to try and backtrack and save face. The Trump Train Traitors need to beat it and hide their stupid idiot faces. Q'anon is a JOKE. Trump people seriously believe their political opponents are devil-worshipers, exploiting children for sexual purposes and Trump is some hero? I never bothered to contest, because arguing with idiots is beneath me. You Trump Traitors think you own this town? You think Trump owns this country? You're so wrong. the majority of the country has been laughing at you behind your idiotic, uneducated, hateful backs. GO BACK UNDER THE ROCK YOU CRAWLED OUT FROM UNDER.

Native Texan

I too will be ending my subscription. and will no longer be advertising my business with in Herald Zeitung. Anyone who has ties to New Braunfels knows about the dissension and at times fear the the Ceh family kooks have been amplifying for at least the last year. These people are illegitimate and shouldn't be given a voice. Maybe you should consider quoting the women and children who were cursed at by the Trump Train as they drove around town like a bunch of mentally and emotionally derailed cult that they are. Get it together!!!

Robert REARDON

This is it. I am canceling my account with this paper (if I can get in touch with anyone). The paper treats this Ceh fellow like he is has legitimate viewpoints. He spouts lies about patriotism and Antifa and the paper quotes him like it has meaning. If he wants to write an opinion, let him. But to treat him like a civic leader is to support violent insurrection. Shame.

Terry Price

@ Michael Hart I agree completely.

The supporters who went to Washington knew exactly what the intention was: to overturn a secure election that Biden won. Supporters like Ted Cruz and Hawley know Biden won and did so convincingly, yet the continued the lie to appeal to the trump crowd. There's a word for a movement that acts in service to a person rather than an ideal: cult.

The demonstrators included some of the most despicable elements of society like neo-nazis and white supremacists as demonstrated by the displays of things like a hanging gallery and the confederate flag, which entered the capitol for the first time ever. What these people did is disgraceful and embarrassing and to claim "I didn't know" or "I didn't expect that to happen" it to be disingenuous in the most cynical way possible.

The United States, once a bastion of democracy, is now seen by the world to be something approaching a totalitarian state. The rioters - indeed all who were at the rally - were there in support of just such a cause. It is shameful and duplicitous apologies will not suffice.

Michael Hart

I don't see that this was patriotic at all. There was an election and the results were questioned, then many courts dismissed those claims as without merritt. What The demonstrators were demonstrating is that they are a disgrace and embarrassment to our country. The President needs to show some class and accept and move on. Same with supporters, just accept and move on. And this is coming from a former Trump supporter.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.