‘Violence hurts everyone’; Bettendorf man shares his story from the Capitol

Paul Hojnacki went to DC to support President Trump.
Paul Hojnacki went to DC to support President Trump.
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 10:45 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 at 12:33 PM CST
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(KWQC) - Paul Hojnacki went to the nations capital to show support for President Trump and ended up at the Capitol protest, that some turned into a riot.

Hojnacki says that the vast majority of Trump supporters that showed up were peaceful, but many broke into the federal building through windows and stormed the doors as police tried to use gas to keep people away.

Hojnacki tells TV6 he went to voice his opinion but what happened at the Capitol left him with mixed feelings.

“The breaching seemed unreal and I became emotionally deflated, irritated, and bothered very quickly,” Hojnacki said. “We stood around at the Capitol for a while. The Capitol police were standing at the balconies, they left and then came back, then the tear gas started.”

Hojnacki said that is when he started to notice people looking at their phones more often.

“One person next to me said a text message said people were entering the Capitol,” Hojnacki said. “What we were seeing and hearing didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem to take long before phones all around us were going off like an Amber alert, but it was an ‘Emergency Curfew Alert: Starting at 6:00′. You could hear multiple sirens coming from both sides of us.”

Hojnacki says he could sense his mixed feelings about being there affecting those around him as well.

“Such comments as ‘this is not us’,” Hojnacki said. “Sadness followed when I learned that a woman had been shot. We decided to leave early as many also did.”

The good that Hojnacki said was intended for the protests never happened due to the “tragic attack.”

“The good that I can see now is that the violators will be caught and hopefully prevented from doing anything like this again,” Hojnacki said. “It’s easy to generalize all the attendees of a demonstration protest as the same, especially at a violent or tragic event. This will only continue to divide families, political parties and the U.S. Violence in protests should always be condemned, no matter the cause. Violence hurts everyone.”

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