A Montana man has been charged after he allegedly threw a 13-year-old to the ground because the boy didn't take his hat off during the national anthem at a rodeo event over the weekend, according to prosecutors. The teen was airlifted to a hospital with a possible concussion and skull fracture, Mineral County prosecutor Elena Donahue wrote in court documents, the Associated Press reported.
According to the prosecutor, Curt James Brockway, 39, told a sheriff's deputy that he asked the child to remove his hat out of respect before the "Star Spangled Banner" was played at the Mineral County Fairgrounds in Superior on Saturday. He said the boy cursed at him before Brockway grabbed him by the neck and slammed him to the floor.
A witness who was the rodeo told the Missoulian that Brockway tried justifying his actions by saying the boy "was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that."
Brockway was arrested and later charged with an assault on a minor. At an initial court appearance on Monday, prosecutors recommended his bail be set at $100,000, but a judge ruled that he can be released on his own recognizance, CBS affiliate KPAX reports.
The boy was dropped off by his mother, Megan Keeler, who said she received a call minutes later saying he was on his way to the hospital. He's since been released and is back home to continue healing. Keeler told KPAX that she wants Brockway to get jail time.
"I want to know Curt is put away and I would like compensation for the damages and bills," Keeler said. "But most of all, my son to heals."
Brockway was convicted of a 2010 charge of assault with a weapon, the station reports. In that incident, Brockway pulled up to a parked vehicle, got out and pulled a gun on a family and stated he was going to kill them, according to KPAX. He was sentenced to 10 years with the Montana Department of Corrections, all of which were suspended.