The same Montana man who threatened a family at gunpoint nine years ago is now accused of fracturing a 13-year-old’s skull Saturday for not removing his hat during the national anthem.
Still, Curt Brockway was set to be released Tuesday on his own recognizance, according to the Missoulian, the daily newspaper in Missoula.
Montana Department of Justice records showed Brockway was registered as a violent offender when he was arrested around 11 p.m. at the Mineral County Fair and Rodeo held at the fairgrounds in Superior.
The town is about 170 miles west of Montana’s capital, Helena.
Witnesses told Mineral County Sheriff’s deputies Brockway grabbed the boy, picked him up and slammed him on the ground when he did not remove his hat during the national anthem.
Taylor Hennick, who was at the fairgrounds when the alleged assault happened, told the Missoulian that she had just paused at the entrance for the national anthem when she heard a “pop.”
“There was a little boy lying on the ground,” she told the Missoulian. “He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent.”
She recognized the child as a relative’s neighbor.
He was flown to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington, with temporal skull fractures, KPAK-TV reported.
Megan Keeler, the child’s mother, told the news station she was called when her son was on the way to the hospital, minutes after she dropped him off at the fairgrounds.
“He’s deathly afraid of strangers. He doesn’t remember anything,” she said. “All the witnesses I have talked to said this was completely random.”
“There was no exchange – nothing! He targeted Wally and took him down,” she added.
Keeler told KPAK her son was bleeding from his ear for nearly six hours after the incident but he’s since been released from the hospital and is at home healing.
“I want to know Curt is put away and I would like compensation for the damages and bills,” Keeler told KPAK, “but most of all, my son to heal.”
The recent incident happened about nine years after Brockway pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with a weapon in 2010.
In that incident, Brockway drove up to a parked vehicle, got out and pulled a gun on a family while saying he was going to kill them, according to court documents KPAX-TV obtained.
Brockway’s friend persuaded him to leave instead, and Brockway was sentenced to 10 years with the Montana Department of Corrections, but the sentence was suspended, KPAX reported.
Brockway’s arraignment in the recent incident is set for August 14 at 10 a.m., with District Judge John Larson presiding, according to multiple media outlets.