A Montana man charged with slamming a child so hard for not taking off his hat during the national anthem that he fractured the boy’s skull believes he was acting on an order from President Donald Trump, the man’s attorney said Wednesday.
Curt Brockway was accused of randomly targeting the 13-year-old child Saturday at the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo held at the fairgrounds in Superior.
Attorney Lance Jasper told the Missoulian daily newspaper Brockway, a U.S. Army veteran, was compromised by a traumatic brain injury at the time.
“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.”
Jasper told the Missoulian he’s gotten hateful voicemails at his office since taking Brockway’s case and that Brockway’s family has received “hundreds” of death threats.
Witnesses told Mineral County Sheriff’s deputies Brockway grabbed the boy, picked him up and slammed him on the ground when he did not remove his hat during the national anthem.
Related: Montana Man Accused of Fracturing 13-Year-Old’s Skull for Not Removing His Hat During the National Anthem Threatened a Family at Gunpoint Years Earlier
He was flown to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington, with temporal skull fractures, but is now home recovering, KPAK-TV reported.
The recent incident happened about nine years after Brockway pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon in 2010.
In that incident, Brockway drove up to a parked vehicle, got out and pulled a gun on a family while saying he was going to kill them, according to court documents KPAX-TV obtained.
Brockway’s friend persuaded him to leave instead, and Brockway was sentenced to 10 years with the Montana Department of Corrections, but the sentence was suspended, KPAX reported.
Brockway’s arraignment in the recent incident is set for August 14 at 10 a.m., with District Judge John Larson presiding, according to multiple media outlets.