A Montana man allegedly assaulted a teenage boy, slamming him to the ground and fracturing his skull, for “disrespecting” the national anthem by refusing to take off his cap.
As The Missoulian reports, on Saturday, Curt James Brockway, 39, was in the stands at the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo when the national anthem came on before the main event. According to court documents filed by Mineral County Attorney Ellen Donohue, Brockway asked the lad to remove his hat for the anthem. Brockway claimed that the boy cursed at him in response. Brockway then allegedly picked up the boy by the throat and then slammed him to the ground.
In a companion report in The Missoulian, a witness identified as Taylor Hennick told the newspaper what she saw and heard.
“There was a little boy lying on the ground. He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent.”
Hennick also said that Brockway justified his actions because the young man “was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that.”
The boy, later identified by The Missoula Current as Wally, was taken to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington, and treated for a fractured skull and a possible concussion.
Montana authorities have charged a man with assault after a witness said he threw a 13-year-old boy to the ground because the boy didn't remove his hat during the national anthem at a rodeo. https://t.co/8C2FYMgGVV
— WNDU (@WNDU) August 6, 2019
Speaking to The Missoula Current, Wally’s mom, Megan Keeler, says that her son is at home and on the mend. She said that he bled from his ear for nearly six hours after the incident.
“He’s deathly afraid of strangers. He doesn’t remember anything,” she says.
Wally, for his part, says via Missoula’s KPAX-TV that he has no memory of the incident.
“It’s just a lot of pain in my head. I don’t remember anything – the rodeo – the helicopter – nothing,” he said.
Meanwhile, his mom says that she wants Brockway to pay for what he did.
“I want to know Curt is put away and I would like compensation for the damages and bills,” she said.
Brockway was taken to jail. Prosecutors wanted his bond to be set at $100,000, but the judge decreed that he could be released on his own recognizance. According to the Montana Department of Corrections, Brockway has been released.
This is not Brockway’s first run-in with the law. Back in 2010, Brockway pleaded guilty to an assault weapons charge. In that incident, he pulled up next to a parked car, in which a family was sitting inside, and told them he was going to kill them.