The defense attorney for Curt Brockway, a man charged with assaulting a 13-year-old boy whom he claimed was disrespecting the national anthem, suggested President Donald Trump is to blame for his client’s behavior.
Lance Jasper told the Missoulian on Wednesday that a traumatic brain injury made Brockway, a 39-year-old Army veteran, more susceptible to the president’s “rhetoric.”
“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.”
According to Jasper, his client has received hundreds of death threats in the wake of the incident, which took place Mineral County fairgrounds on Saturday.
Witnesses told police that Curt Brockway picked the boy up and slammed him to the ground, CBS affiliate KPAX reported. They also said Brockway tried to justify his actions by saying the boy didn’t remove his hat during the playing of the national anthem.
The teen, who is now back at home, was flown to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane and treated for temporal skull fractures.
Megan Keeler told MTN News that the attack on her son came out of nowhere.
“He’s deathly afraid of strangers. He doesn’t remember anything. All the witnesses I have talked to said this was completely random,” Keeler said.
“There was no exchange – nothing! He targeted Wally and took him down,” she added.
According to Keeler, her son was bleeding from his ears for nearly six hours following the incident.
Documents obtained by MTN News revealed Brockway pleaded guilty in 2010 to an assault with a weapon charge for pulling a gun on a family and threatening to kill them. He left after eventually being talked down by a friend.
Brockway received a 10-year-sentence for the incident. The sentence was completely suspended, according to KPAX.
Curt Brockway and Trump’s rhetoric
While media focus on Trump’s rhetoric is a constant, scrutiny has increased in the wake of a fatal shooting in El Paso, TX over the weekend.
Trump’s critics, including some 2020 presidential hopefuls, have accused him of engendering an anti-immigrant climate in America that they claim may have motivated the shooting in El Paso. A manifesto allegedly written by the El Paso shooter contains strong anti-immigrant sentiments.
Conservatives and the president’s supporters, meanwhile, have forcefully pushed back.