After teen does not remove hat during national anthem, man fractures his skull

After allegedly slamming a 13-year-old boy to the ground for not taking his hat off during the national anthem, a 39-year-old man has been charged with felony assault of a minor in Montana.

The incident happened on Saturday at the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo in western Montana.

According to witnesses, when the anthem started, Curt Brockway grabbed the teen, picked him up and then slammed him headfirst into the ground.

While people nearby approached, Brockway said he slammed the boy to the ground because of his hat.

“He said (the boy) was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that,” Taylor Hennick, eyewitness, said.

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Brockway shared with a sheriff’s deputy that he had requested the boy to remove his hat for the anthem and that the boy cursed in response but eyewitnesses did not share that portion of Brockway’s story.

“There was a little boy lying on the ground,” Hennick told the Missoulian. “He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent.” 

She said that she then heard a “pop” when the anthem started and recognized the boy as the neighbor of a family member. The injuries sustained by the boy were severe: he was taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with temporal skull fractures before being flown to a children’s hospital in Spokane, Washington.

The boy’s parents revealed that he continued to bleed from the ear for almost six hours after the incident.

“It’s just a lot of pain in my head. I don’t remember anything—the rodeo, the helicopter, nothing,” said the teen who has since been released from teh hospital.

Brockway has had a trouble in the past with the law and is now currently serving a 10-year probation sentence for a different assault which involves a weapon.