Lawyer: Man thought he was following orders in anthem attack

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Montana Department of Corrections shows Curt James Brockway. Montana authorities have charged Brockway with assault on a minor after a witness said he threw a 13-year-old boy to the ground because the boy didn't remove his hat during the national anthem at a rodeo. Brockway's attorney says his client believes he was acting on an order from President Donald Trump.

SUPERIOR, Mont. (AP) — An Army veteran pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assaulting a 13-year-old boy who the suspect said refused to remove his hat during the national anthem at a rodeo in Montana.

Attorney Lance Jasper has told the Missoulian that defendant Curt Brockway, who suffered a traumatic brain injury from an automobile crash while he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, believed he was doing what President Donald Trump wanted him to do.

"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 is seeking a mental health evaluation for Brockway, 39, of Superior, Montana.

Brockway told investigators the boy cursed at him when he asked him to remove his hat at the Aug. 3 rodeo.

Witnesses have said Brockway picked the boy up by his neck and slammed him to the ground. The boy suffered a skull fracture, court records said.

Brockway remains free without bond. His next hearing is Oct. 23.

Jasper did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Wednesday.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.