Man Who Assaulted Boy During National Anthem Is Convinced Trump Ordered It
A man from Montana–who was charged with assaulting a 13-year-old boy for refusing to remove his hat during the national anthem–apparently believed he was doing what Donald Trump wanted him to do, according to his attorney.
According to reports from The Missoulian, attorney Lance Jasper told the publication that he will seek a mental health evaluation for Curt Brockway, a U.S. Army veteran who convinced himself that he was following the president’s orders by enforcing the rules surrounding the national anthem.
“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. His lawyer also added that Brockway “certainly didn’t understand it was a crime.”
Brockway is said to have suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash back in 2000, which has affected his decision making. Jasper said he plans to raise that point in his client’s defense.
His attorney’s comments on Wednesday came as prosecutors formally charged Brockway with assault on a minor, a felony that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine if convicted.
The 39-year-old Army veteran told a sheriff’s deputy that he asked the young boy to remove his hat out of respect for the national anthem before the start of the county rodeo, Mineral County Attorney Ellen Donohue wrote in the document describing the attack. The boy cursed at Brockway in response, which led to him grabbing the boy by the throat and slamming him into the ground.
According to prosecutors, the boy was airlifted to a hospital for a possible concussion and skull fracture, though his condition was not immediately known.