A Montana man was charged with assault after he allegedly attacked a 13-year-old boy who he claimed was "disrespecting the national anthem," according to KPAX-TV.
Witnesses said Curt Brockway slammed the young boy to the ground, reportedly fracturing his skull, because he didn't take off his hat while the anthem was playing Saturday at the Mineral County Fair in Superior, Wash.
The 13-year-old was flown to a hospital in Spokane, Wash., where he was treated for temporal skull fractures. His parents told KPAX he was bleeding from his ear for nearly six hours.
Taylor Hennick, a witness, said she was entering the fairgrounds Saturday when she stopped for the national anthem. She then heard a loud "pop" and saw the child injured on the ground.
"There was a little boy lying on the ground," Hennick told the Missoulian newspaper. "He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent."
Hennick said Brockway tried to justify the attack to bystanders.
"He said [the boy] was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that," Hennick told the Missoulian.
Brockway was arrested Saturday night and was still being held in prison as of Monday. Records show the 39-year-old has a record of violence: He is currently serving a 10-year probation sentence for a different assault charge incurred in 2010.
The 13-year-old has since been released from the hospital and is at home recovering.
"It's just a lot of pain in my head. I don’t remember anything — the rodeo, the helicopter, nothing," the boy told KPAX.
Brockway's court date is set for Aug. 14, according to the sheriff's office.