SUPERIOR, Mont. (AP) — An Army veteran pleaded not guilty to assaulting a 13-year-old boy who the suspect said refused to remove his hat during the national anthem at a rodeo in Montana.

Attorney Lance Jasper has told the Missoulian that defendant Curt Brockway, a 39-year-old veteran with a traumatic brain injury from an automobile crash, believed he was doing what President Donald Trump wanted him to do.

Brockway told investigators the boy cursed at him when he asked him to remove his hat.

Witnesses have said Brockway picked the boy up by his neck and slammed him to the ground. Court records say the boy suffered a skull fracture.

Brockway, of Superior, Montana, entered his plea Wednesday in the Aug. 3 encounter.

He remains free without bond. His next hearing is Oct. 23.

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