Philadelphia police have cleared the Flyers' brash costumed mascot, Gritty, in the alleged assault of a 13-year-old boy during a fan photo event last year, a police spokesman said.
The incident occurred during a photo shoot at the Flyers' home stadium, the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on Nov. 19, police said.
On Monday morning, Philadelphia police detectives announced they had cleared Gritty after an investigation.
"That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers' mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged," police said in a statement.
Statement from Flyers regarding alleged Gritty incident. pic.twitter.com/qqJq9ILHF7— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) February 3, 2020
The boy's father filed the police report that led to the investigation. The father said the incident happened while he and his son were taking pictures with Gritty during an exclusive event for season ticket holders.
"He taps Gritty three times on the head, a light tap," the father said. "After that, my son walks away. Gritty was about eight feet away from my son, got out of the chair and lunged at him and hit him in the back."
The father said he initially thought it was just "horseplay" given Gritty's reputation but soon realized his son was in pain. He told NBC10 his son later received medical treatment for bruising on his back.
The dad said he went to the police after he was unable to come to an agreement about the incident with the Flyers' owners, Comcast Spectacor. Comcast Spectacor is a subsidiary of Comcast NBCUniversal, the parent company of this NBC10 and NBC Sports Philadelphia.
"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," the dad said. "I would've been happy with that but they tried to get me to accept complimentary tickets to make this go away."
Comcast Spectacor issued a statement at the time, saying, “We took [his] allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim."
In regards to whether or not he plans on taking legal action, the father said last month that, "it's still too early to tell."
Gritty, a giant, orange, googly-eyed monster, debuted as the Flyers' mascot in September 2018. Initially greeted with some confusion and skepticism, Gritty quickly won over fans of the Flyers as well as Philadelphians and followers nationwide.
Gritty is known for his smart-aleck tone and penchant for trolling — such as one of his first tweets, in which he warned the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot, Iceburgh, to "Sleep with one eye open tonight, bird."
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