Police: Mascot Didn't Assault Young Fan

Investigation clears Gritty in a case that many say couldn't be 'more Philly'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2020 7:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Whoever that is under the costume of the Philadelphia Flyers mascot—the team won't say—has been cleared of an accusation of assault against a 13-year-old fan. The boy's father had lodged the complaint over his son's encounter with Gritty last fall at Wells Fargo Arena, NBC reports. "He taps Gritty three times on the head, a light tap," Chris Greenwell said. "After that, my son walks away. Gritty was about 8 feet away from my son, got out of the chair and lunged at him and hit him in the back." Philadelphia police said Monday that their investigation "determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers' mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged."

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Gritty has a rep as being a little rough, especially toward fans of other NHL teams. He's also taken on a referee and Santa, per the Inquirer. The case drew mockery on late-night TV and in tweets and memes, with many wondering whether the incident could have been "more Philly." One tweeted theory: "The only way this could be more Philly is if Gritty was accused of throwing a battery at a 13yo." Another take: "Gritty is just tipping his hat to one of Philly's most deeply held customs: hammering people. Let the man do his job." After the announcement Monday, Greenwell said he's ready to let the case go. "I respect the police’s decision, but I stand by what my son told me and what I saw, and I just want to put this behind me," he said. "Any parent would have done the same if they were in the same situation." (The New Jersey Devils' mascot shook up a children's party.)

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