A 39-year-old man is facing assault charges after he brutally attacked a 13-year-old boy at a rodeo after the boy neglected to take his hat off during the playing of the National Anthem. The man’s lawyer claimed he was acting on behalf of President Trump, who has been vocal in his anger towards anyone not standing during the playing of the anthem.
Curt James Brockway, who lives in Montana, allegedly defended his actions before he was even arrested, claiming the boy was “was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that.”
According to the police report, Brockway told deputies he noticed the young boy did not take his hat off during the playing of the National Anthem.
When he confronted the teen, the boy allegedly said “f**k you,” The Daily Beast reported. In response, Brockway grabbed the teen by his throat and slammed him into the ground, which left the boy with a concussion and a fractured skull. The 13-year-old had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Taylor Hennick, a witness at the scene, said the boy was bleeding from his ears and having seizures following the assault.
Brockway was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army years prior after traumatic brain injury. Brockway’s lawyer, Lance Jasper, said this injury, as well as the president’s rhetoric, played a large role in the attack.
“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.”
When asked how he thought the president was responsible, Jasper stated: “Trump never necessarily says go hurt somebody, but the message is absolutely clear. I am certain of the fact that [Brockway] was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president.”
The former vet made his first court appearance Monday where prosecutors asked for a $100,000 bond due to the severity of the attack.
This isn’t Brockway’s first violent outburst. In 2010, he was registered as a violent offender after he assaulted another person with a weapon, The Washington Times reported.
Brockway will reportedly enter a plea on August 14.