The lawyer of a 39-year-old man who allegedly attacked a boy for wearing a hat during the national anthem on Saturday, claimed his client was moved to hurt the boy by President Donald Trump.
The suspect, Curt James Brockway was “doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president,” the lawyer, Lance Jasper, told the Missoulian.
“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. (RELATED: MSNBC Analyst Uses Numerology To Link Trump’s Decision To Fly Flags At Half-Staff To Neo-Nazism)
Brockway allegedly slammed the 13-year-old boy to the ground in Washington state a few moments after the start of the national anthem. The attack left the boy bleeding out of his ears and suffering from skull fractures. He was transported to a hospital, and has since been released. (RELATED: Man Allegedly Fractures 13-Year-Old Boy’s Skull For Not Taking Off His Hat For National Anthem)
The suspect stated the boy cursed at him when he asked the boy to remove his hat out of respect for the anthem, according to court documents. However, a witness to the attack stated Brockway never asked the teen to remove the hat.
Jasper said Brockway “certainly didn’t understand it was a crime,” and said he will seek a mental health evaluation for his client. Brockway, who is a US Army veteran, suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car crash in 2000.
“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.” (RELATED: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Apologizes For Saying Trump Wants Latinos ‘Exterminated’)
“Obviously [Brockway] owes a big portion of accountability for what took place, but it’s certain that there was other things at work here that definitely contributed,” Jasper said.
Prosecutors have charged Brockway with assault on a minor, which carries a maximum five year prison sentence.
A GoFundMe page called “A Victim of Forced Patriotism Needs Our Help” was created to help defray the boy’s medical expenses.