Authorities: Montana man assaulted boy who kept hat on during anthem

SUPERIOR, Mont. — A man is facing an assault charge after Montana authorities say someone saw him throw a 13-year-old boy to the ground because the teenager didn’t remove his hat when the national anthem was played at a rodeo.

The boy was taken to a hospital in Spokane, Washington, but details about his condition were not released.

The witness, Taylor Hennick, told the Missoulian she was at the rodeo on Saturday when she heard a “pop” and saw the boy on the ground, bleeding from his ears. The assailant justified his actions by saying the boy “was disrespecting the national anthem so he had every right to do that,” Hennick said.

The 39-year-old man, of Superior, Montana, made an initial court appearance Monday on a charge of assault on a minor. Prosecutors recommended his bail be set at $100,000. Court officials said the man’s attorney was working Tuesday to recommend conditions that might allow him to be released without posting bond.

The man is a registered violent offender after being convicted of a 2010 charge of assault with a weapon. District Judge John Larson gave him a 10-year suspended sentence. The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 14, when he’ll be asked to enter a plea.

The man’s attorney, Lance Jasper, was not in the office Tuesday and did not immediately return a phone call or an email seeking comment.

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