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Gritty Cleared: Person Performing As Philadelphia Flyers Mascot Didn't Assault Young Fan, Cops Say
An unidentified Philadelphia Flyers employee portraying the goggle-eyed mascot had been accused of punching a 13-year-old fan during a fan photo event.
Gritty, the goggle-eyed monster mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, has been cleared of assaulting a 13-year-old fan.
A team employee performing as Gritty had been accused of punching a young fan during a photo event late last year, which prompted a police investigation, but authorities said the mascot wasn't guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, local affiliate NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.
"That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers' mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged," Philadelphia police said in a statement.
Chris Greenwell alleged that during the November photo shoot at the Wells Fargo Center, his son Brandon tapped Gritty on the head after taking a photo – which allegedly prompted Gritty to get "a running start” and punch Brandon “as hard as he could."
The father said his son was later diagnosed with a back bruise and he reported the incident to Philadelphia law enforcement roughly a month later after making a complaint to the Flyers organization.
"We are pleased that the Philadelphia Police Department concluded there was no merit to the alleged claim. The police department's statement confirms our thorough internal investigation that found no evidence of the described actions ever having taken place," the Flyers said in a statement provided to Philadelphia's WPVI-TV.
Officials at Comcast Spectator, the owner of the Flyers, had previously said an internal allegation did not corroborate Greenwell's allegations. They didn't identify the person in the Gritty costume.
“We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim," a spokesperson said previously.
Greenwell now says he wants to put the incident behind him.
“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,” Greenwell told the Philadelphia Inquirer Monday. “Any parent would have done the same if they were in the same situation.”
Greenwell had previously said that all he wanted was an apology, payment for his child's medical bills, and something special for his son, the Inquirer reported in late January.
"From the beginning, all I asked for is I wanted my son's medical bills paid. I wanted an apology from the team and for them to do something special for him like a picture with players," Greenwell had said, according to NBC 10. "I would've been happy with that but they tried to get me to accept complimentary tickets to make this go away."