A 39-year-old Montana man named Curt James Brockway was accused of allegedly slamming a 13-year-old boy’s head into the ground for not removing his hat during the national anthem. Earlier this week, Mineral County Sheriff Mike Boone identified Brockway as a suspect in the alleged Saturday night assault. Attorney of the accused says President Donald Trump’s “rhetoric” is partially to blame for his client’s actions.
Brockway told the investigators that he asked the boy to take off his hat as the anthem began to play at a local rodeo but the boy cursed back him instead when Brockway claimed, he “lifted him into the air, and slammed the boy into the ground.”
He was arrested from the grounds of the country fair, situated in Western Montana Town of Superior and charged with assault on a minor – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Lance Jasper, the attorney of the man told the Missoulian on Wednesday is an experienced U.S Army who was honorably discharged for disability after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in 2000 while on active duty in Fort Lewis, Washington. Jasper said while attacking the teenager his client believed that he was following orders from “his commander in chief”.
“[President Trump] is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” Jasper told the Missoulian. “He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime,” he added.
Jasper told the newspaper he will seek a mental health evaluation for Brockway, whose brain injury affects his frontal lobe and impairs his cognitive function. “Obviously, [Brockway] owes a big portion of accountability for what took place, but it’s certain that there were other things at work here that definitely contributed,” he told the newspaper. “Trump never necessarily says, ‘Go hurt somebody,’ but the message is absolutely clear. . . . I am certain of the fact that [Brockway] was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president.”