Mascot Could Cost Arizona State After Tackling Councilman

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Neal Earley Contributor
Font Size:

A councilman from Tempe, Arizona filed a notice of a claim after he sustained injuries in a tackle from the Arizona State University’s mascot Sparky.

David Schapira is seeking $96,146 in damages from ASU along with an additional $27,000 from for the city of Tempe, according to The Arizona Republic after the mascot jumped on the councilman’s back during a football game.

The incident occurred during an ASU game in September when Schapira was posing for a picture on the sideline of Sun Devil Stadium. With his back turned, the ASU mascot sneaked behind the councilman and jumped on his back.

In the photos that show the incident, Schapira — who was still recovering from back surgery at the time — can be seen wincing in pain, and yelling for the mascot to get off of him.

“I kind of laughed at first, then my expression changes to terror as I felt that pop,” Schapira told ABC15 in Arizona.

It was supposed to be a night of recognition for Schapira, who is a lifelong Sun Devils fans. He, along with his fellow council members, were being honored by ASU as part of the university’s “City of Tempe Night.”

Schapira’s injury ended up being so severe he had to be carted off the field and taken to a nearby hospital for a four-day stay. Schapira, who is a current graduate student at ASU, said he has no ill will toward Sparky.

He even joked about the incident saying that the next time he poses with the mascot,“I’ll wear a shirt saying ‘Be gentle’ or ‘Fragile, handle with care,” according to ABC15. (RELATED: ASU Football Team Wears Special Pat Tillman Uniforms To Honor The Fallen Veteran)

After his injury, ASU issued an apology and offered to assist with his medical bills.

“ASU sincerely apologizes for Sparky’s excessive exuberance at Friday night’s game. University officials have been in regular contact with Councilman Schapira since the incident and we have offered our fullest assistance and cooperation in getting his bills paid and we wish him a speedy recovery.”