SUPERIOR, Mont. (AP/KPAX/CNN) - A man accused of attacking a 13-year-old boy for not removing his hat during the national anthem at a rodeo was released without posting bail, despite having a criminal record.
Curt James Brockway is accused of throwing a 13-year-old to the ground for not taking off a hat during the national anthem. (Source: Montana Department of Corrections)
His attorney said his client believed he was acting on orders from the commander in chief.
Curt Brockway, 39, was released Monday, but that release comes with a list of the following conditions: He is required to wear a GPS, he cannot have any contact with the victim, the victim's' family or witnesses; and he can only leave his parents' home for work, doctor appointments and court appearances.
The mother of the victim said her son is traumatized and is in recovery. The boy was airlifted to a hospital with a concussion and a fractured skull after the attack.
The attorney for Brockway said Wednesday his client is a U.S. Army veteran who believed he was acting on an order from President Donald Trump.
The president's "rhetoric" contributed to Curt Brockway's disposition when he grabbed the boy by the throat and slammed him to the ground, fracturing his skull, at the Mineral County fairgrounds Saturday, attorney Lance Jasper told The Missoulian.
Brockway told a sheriff's deputy that he asked the 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, and the man grabbed him by the throat, "lifted him into the air and slammed the boy into the ground," Donohue wrote.
Conduct during the playing of the national anthem has been an issue in recent years, with some NFL players kneeling to protest police brutality. Trump once called for NFL owners to fire players who kneel or engage in other acts of protest during the anthem.
"Trump never necessarily says go hurt somebody, but the message is absolutely clear," Jasper said. "I am certain of the fact that (Brockway) was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president. ... Everyone should learn to dial it down a little bit, from the president to Mineral County."
Brockway, who is charged with felony assault on a minor, is a registered violent offender after being convicted of a 2010 charge of assault with a weapon.
Six months ago, Brockway was released from supervision from that case.
According to a 2010 affidavit, Brockway randomly pulled a gun on a family of three. The victims said Brockway told them he was going to kill them.
At the time, a friend persuaded Brockway to put his gun down and leave the scene.
Brockway faced a 10-year sentence for the 2010 incident, but that sentence was suspended. He was on probation instead until February of this year and served 900 hours of community service.
Court documents say Brockway has a traumatic brain injury he received in 2000 after a crash while he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington.
He completed neurological and psychological therapy as well as takes medication.
The Montana Department of Corrections considered Brockway low risk.
Brockway's arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 14 at 10 a.m.
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