Gritty, the mascot for the Flyers, is under investigation for allegedly punching a 13-year-old boy in the back, Philadelphia police said on Tuesday.
The alleged incident took place on Nov. 19, when 22-year Flyers season ticket holder Chris Greenwell took his son, Brandon, to a photoshoot with the mascot as part of an exclusive event for season ticket holders. (RELATED: The NHL’s Newest Mascot Is What Nightmares Are Made Of)
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Brandon playfully patted the mascot on the head after the photo was taken. As Brandon was walking away, Gritty got out of his chair, “took a running start,” and “punched” Brandon “as hard as he could,” according to Greenwell.
Officials at Comcast Spectacor, the company that owns the Flyers, said they conducted an investigation that included interviews with Gritty, and “Gritty’s handler,” but couldn’t verify Greenwell’s account. There was no video footage of the incident.
“We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim,” a Flyers spokesperson said in an statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
About a month after the alleged punch, Greenwell reported the incident to Philadelphia police. The matter is being investigated by South Detectives Division, the Inquirer reports.
“The investigation is active and on-going,” police said.
Comcast Spectacor officials said there was no proof that Gritty hit the boy, but offered special perks to make up for the “bad experience.” Greenwell, however, dropped his season tickets.