The Montana man accused of assaulting a 13-year-old boy for not removing his hat during the National Anthem is a disabled veteran who was influenced by President Trump's call to respect the flag, according to his attorney, KPAX-TV reports.
Lance Jasper, who represents Superior man Curt Brockway, said his client has a severe traumatic brain injury and has problems with impulse control. Between that and being a disabled veteran who is "uber patriotic," Jasper said Brockway is influenced by the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
"Curt says he was given an order from commander in chief to make sure people are patriotic," Jasper said.
SUPERIOR, Mont. (WJW/CNN) -- A Montana man is accused of assaulting a teenage boy during the national anthem at the Mineral County Fairgrounds this weekend, according to KPAX.
Witnesses told deputies the suspect grabbed, picked up and slammed the boy on the ground — apparently because he did not remove his hat during the national anthem.
Within minutes after dropping her son off at the fairgrounds, Megan Keeler says she received a phone call stating her son was on his way to the hospital.
The suspect, Curt Brockway, is accused of assaulting the 13-year-old.
Witnesses say Brockway tried to justify his actions because the boy was disrespecting the flag by not removing his hat during the national anthem.
“He's deathly afraid of strangers. He doesn't remember anything. All the witnesses I have talked to said this was completely random,” Keeler said. “There was no exchange – nothing! He targeted Wally and took him down,” she added.
The boy was flown to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane after receiving temporal skull fractures.
Keeler says the child was bleeding from his ear for nearly six hours after the incident.
The state requested that Brockway's bond be set to $100,000, but a judge ruled that Brockway can be released on his own recognizance.
This is not Brockway's first run in with police. KPAX obtained court documents from a 2010 incident when he pleaded guilty to an assault with a weapon charge. In that 2010 incident, Brockway pulled up to a parked vehicle, got out and pulled a gun on a family and stated he was going to kill them.
He was sentenced to 10 years with the Montana Department of Corrections, all of which were suspended.