Meet Curt James Brockway, 39. Brockway is a disabled Army veteran and Trump supporter who is “uber patriotic”. In 2000, Brockway suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Apparently, his lawyer thinks this injury excuses him from choke slamming a thirteen year old boy when they were both attending a rodeo last Saturday at the Mineral County Fairgrounds in the town of Superior, Montana.
It seems the boy was wearing a hat during the National Anthem and Brockway felt the boy was being disrespectful. He asked the young man to remove his hat, but the boy cursed at Brockway in response. So Brockway, believing that Donald Trump would have wanted him to take a stand, grabbed the boy by the throat and body slammed him, leaving him with a potential concussion and skull fracture. Witnesses say the boy had blood coming out of his ears. The 13 year old was airlifted to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington.
Meanwhile, Brockway was arrested and charged with assault on a minor, which is a felony. He could go to prison for up to five years and have to pay a $50,000 fine. Brockway is already listed as a violent offender after a 2010 incident involving assault with a weapon. Brockway’s comment regarding the boy was, “I guess I messed up because he got hurt. But I’m a patriot.” And apparently, that gives him the right to injure other people, particularly those one-third his age…
The fact that this man so severely injured a boy one-third his age over the boy’s choice to wear a cap during the National Anthem is horrifying enough. What makes it worse is that Brockway’s excuse is that he thought that was what President Trump is advocating normal citizens to do. The man claims he didn’t know physically assaulting a child is a crime and cited Trump’s remarks about how people who kneel during the anthem should be fired or those who burn the flag should be punished. And, apparently, he thinks he’s the one who should be carrying out these consequences for those he deems “disrespectful”.
I don’t know that I would necessarily directly blame Trump for Brockway’s actions, since it does sound like he has brain damage and, perhaps, some mental health issues. However, I do think Trump’s hateful rhetoric inflames people like Curt Brockway, who resort to violence to get their points across. I don’t think the boy was necessarily right to swear at Mr. Brockway; but his use of profanity, in no way, validates Brockway’s actions. It sounds to me like Brockway could use some time cooling his heels outside of society.
It’s a shame that basic civility and common decency seems to have eroded even further ever since Trump was elected. I do think Brockway needs some serious help, but someone with such poor impulse control and understanding of the law should not be wandering around free. I hope he gets the help he needs… far away from innocent bystanders who might behave in a way that he thinks is “disrespectful” to the president or the U.S. flag.