Curt Brockway, the Montana man accused of body-slamming a 13-year-old boy because he wouldn’t take off his hat for the national anthem, has pleaded not guilty, The Missoulian reports. Meanwhile, security at the small-town courthouse where Brockway made his appearance has been stepped up in response to death threats against Brockway’s family.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, back on August 3, Brockway was in attendance at a rodeo at the Mineral County Fair when it came time to stand for the national anthem. According to police, Brockway confronted a 13-year-old boy who didn’t remove his hat for the song. Brockway then allegedly picked up the lad by his throat and threw him to the ground, causing a temporal skull fracture. Brockway allegedly told police he did so because the boy was “disrespecting” the national anthem.
According to a follow-up Inquisitr report, Brockway’s attorney said his client believed he was acting on orders from Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, Brockway and his attorney appeared in a courtroom in the small, remote Montana town of Superior to enter his plea. Brockway pleaded not guilty, and then he and his attorney made their exit through a fire escape, under cover of law enforcement.
— KPAX Missoula News (@kpaxnews) August 14, 2019
Meanwhile, the sheriff had locked the front of the courtroom prior to Brockway’s arraignment, and 16 law enforcement officers were deployed in and around the courtroom. Officers checked bags as spectators entered the hearing.
The extra security has been put into place because court officials, and Brockway and his family, have been getting death threats, says Mineral County Sheriff Mike Boone.
“Just rather be safe than sorry,” he told reporters.
Specifically, according to Mineral County Attorney Ellen Donohue, there have been around 40 phone calls and emails to her office, the majority of which were appropriate, if strongly-worded, she says. However, enough were “hostile and inappropriate” that additional security was deemed necessary. She also notes that none of the calls or emails actually threatened physical harm, but they did lack “a basic understanding of the judicial process in the United States,” Donohue said.
Brockway, however, has been the subject of more specific threats, both against him and his family.
“(Brockway’s) whole entire family is getting hundreds of threats, to the point where everybody had to remove their phone — literally yank it out of the wall,” said Lance Jasper, Brockway’s defense attorney.
Jasper also said that Brockway’s family is “horribly sad and shaken to their core that this happened.”