The boy was left with multiple temporal fractures, according to his family, and according to one witness was left seizing on the ground with his ears bleeding.
Mineral County deputies said that Curt Brockway, 39, who was already on a suspended 10-year sentence for assault, claimed that the boy had cursed him when he asked him to remove his hat during the national anthem, according to court documents cited by the Associated Press.
The boy’s parents told MTN that he was bleeding from his ears for nearly six hours, after being rushed to a hospital in Spokane, Washington, on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 3.
“It’s just a lot of pain in my head. I don’t remember anything…the rodeo…the helicopter…nothing,” the boy, who has not been named, told MTN News.
His mother, Megan Keeler, said that all the witnesses told her it was completely random, according to told MTN News.
“He’s deathly afraid of strangers. He doesn’t remember anything. All the witnesses I have talked to said this was…
“Dude come up and grabbed him by his neck, picked him up and threw him to the ground head first,” she said.
“There was no exchange–nothing! He targeted Wally and took him down,” she added.
The teenager has since been released from the hospital, according to the parents.
Eyewitness Taylor Hennick told the Missoulian that she was at the County Fair and Rodeo when she heard a “pop.”
She turned round to see a “little boy” lying on the ground, who she recognized as a family member’s neighbor.
“He was bleeding out of his ears, seizing on the ground, just not coherent,” she said.
Hennick said that the assailant, later identified as Brockway, told bystanders that he was justified in his action.
“He said (the boy) was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that,” Hennick said.
A family friend posted a picture of the boy lying in a hospital with a bloody bandage visible up by his ear, appealing for financial help for the family.
“My best friend’s son was brutally attacked by an adult Saturday evening in Superior MT while he was entering the rodeo for no reason at all,” she wrote. “He received several temporal skull fractures. The trama that is just coming up is absolutely heartbreaking for this little boy, he has a very long road of recovery.”
Montana Department of Corrections records show Brockway is serving a 10-year probation sentence for an assault with a weapon charge in 2010, according to local reports.
According to KOAA prosecutors requested his bond be set $100,000, but a judge ruled that he can be released on his own recognizance.