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This Man Hospitalized a 13-Year-Old for Wearing His Hat During National Anthem

“Trump never necessarily says, ‘Go hurt somebody,’ but the message is absolutely clear,” the man's lawyer said.

Megan Keeler; Montana Department of Corrections

A man was charged with a felony after assaulting a teen wearing a hat during the National Anthem at a rodeo in Superior, Montana. Last Saturday, 39-year-old Curt Brockway slammed 13-year-old Wally Crosby to the ground after he failed to remove his hat during the anthem, causing Crosby to be hospitalized. Brockway’s lawyer later cited President Trump‘s rhetoric as a direct influence on his client’s behavior.

Buzzfeed News reports that Brockway grabbed Crosby by the throat and threw him to the ground, resulting in a fractured skull and concussion. Brockway’s lawyer, Lance Jasper, told the Missoulian that his client was following President Trump’s orders.

“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. He certainly didn’t understand it was a crime,” Jasper told the outlet.  He continued: “Trump never necessarily says, ‘Go hurt somebody,’ but the message is absolutely clear. I am certain of the fact that [Brockway] was doing what he believed he was told to do, essentially, by the president.”

When he was in the military in 2000, Brockway was in a car crash that injured the frontal lobe of his brain, which controls judgment and decision-making. He was honorably discharged as a result of the injury. Jasper says that this injury, coupled with President Trump’s history of nationalist rhetoric, is what caused Brockway to assault Crosby.

Regardless of Brockway’s political beliefs, and the other factors at play, assaulting a child is absolutely never okay. However, Brockway has since been released from custody, despite the state calling for bail to be set at $100,000.