SUPERIOR, Mont. (CBS Local) — A Montana man allegedly assaulted a teenage boy Saturday because he did not remove his hat during the national anthem, authorities said.
Witnesses told deputies Curt James Brockway, 39, grabbed, picked up and slammed the 13-year-old boy on the ground during the national anthem at the Mineral County Fairgrounds in Superior.
The boy’s mother, Megan Keeler, said she had dropped off her son, Wally, just minutes before she got a phone call he was on his way to the hospital.
“Dude come up and grabbed him by his neck, picked him up and threw him to the ground head first,” Keeler told CBS affiliate KPAX.
Taylor Hennick, who was at the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo on Saturday, and told the Missoulian she had just stopped at the entrance to the fairgrounds to pause for the national anthem when she heard a “pop.”
“There was a little boy lying on the ground,” she said. “He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent.”
Hennick said Brockway tried to justify his actions because the boy was “disrespecting” the national anthem.
Wally was flown to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington, with temporal skull fractures. His parents said he was bleeding from his ear for nearly six hours after the incident.
Wally was released from the hospital on Tuesday and is back home healing.
“He doesn’t remember anything. All the witnesses I have talked to said this was completely random. There was no exchange – nothing! He targeted Wally and took him down,” Keeler said.
Brockway, who was arrested Saturday night, was scheduled to be released on his own recognizance on Tuesday. Arraignment was set for Aug. 14.
The Missoulian reported Brockway was charged with assault with a weapon in 2010, resulting in a 10-year probation sentence.