The attorney for a 39-year-old Montana man charged with assaulting a child who didn't take his hat off for the national anthem says his client, compromised by a traumatic brain injury, believes he was acting on an order from President Donald Trump.
Superior resident Curt Brockway was charged Monday with felony assault on a minor. His defense attorney, Lance Jasper, told the Missoulian on Wednesday the president's "rhetoric" contributed to the U.S. Army veteran's disposition when he choke-slammed a 13-year-old, fracturing his skull, at the Mineral County fairgrounds on Aug. 3.
"His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished," Jasper said. "He certainly didn't understand it was a crime."
A request to the White House for comment was not returned. Mineral County Attorney Ellen Donohue's office said she was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Brockway was apprehended at the Superior fairgrounds on Saturday after several people saw the alleged assault. According to charging documents filed in Mineral County District Court on Tuesday, Brockway told Deputy Micah Allard the national anthem was playing before the rodeo got underway, and he noticed a young teenager still wearing his hat. Brockway told the deputy he asked the youth to remove his hat because it was disrespectful, to which the youth responded by saying "(expletive) you."
Charging documents indicate Brockway told the deputy he grabbed the boy by the throat, lifted him into the air and slammed the boy on the ground. Deputies later learned the boy had suffered a concussion and a fractured skull.
This article has been excerpted with permission from The Missoulian. The full article can be read online here or in print in Friday's Post Register.