'He lunged over & punched my son!' Father recalls moment Philadelphia Flyers mascot allegedly assaulted 13yo fan
An enraged father has recalled the moment 7ft tall Philadelphia Flyers mascot 'Gritty' allegedly lost his temper and punched his young son in the back during a club event at the NHL side’s Wells Fargo Center home.
Chris Greenwell claims he was left with a $300 medical bill for a back bruise after the googly-eyed giant allegedly took exception to a playful tap on the head from his 13-year-old son and punched the youngster from behind during a meet-and-greet.
The mascot, whose father was a “bully”, according to the Flyers, is being investigated by South Detectives Division, with Greenwell claiming that club officials are covering up a video of the incident.
Speaking to CBS Philly, Greenwell re-enacted the alleged assault with his son and claimed he was left deeply unhappy with the attempts of Flyers staff to resolve the situation.
Reacting to being tapped on the head, he said Gritty “gets out of the chair and then lunges over and punches Brandon like that — in the bottom left side of his back.”
The Flyers issued a response stating that a “thorough investigation” had “found nothing” to support Greenwell’s recollection of the night last November, and the long-time season ticket holder said he was unimpressed with an offer he received in response.Also on rt.com Internet defends 'Gritty' after Philly Flyers mascot is accused of punching a kid
“They offered me two all-I-can-eat and drink passes for me and my son at one of the alcohol establishments inside of the Wells Fargo Center,” he claimed.
“I told her, ‘I drive 50 to 60 miles to the Wells Fargo Center, I’m taking my 13-year-old son, why would I want all-you-can-drink passes with my son?’ Makes no sense at all. And she told me that’s all she can do.
“Then she asked, ‘what else would you want us to do?’ I said, ‘do something special for my son.’
“And she wouldn’t come up with anything special. We talked later on, I said take him downstairs, get him autographed with the players, meet the players and a picture, I would have been happy and walked away.
“If you have nothing to hide, you would show the video. But they told me there was no video.”
The internet has nevertheless rallied in support of the fuzzy orange talisman, with dozens of Twitter users rushing to defend Gritty's jovial nature.
When they said Gritty punched a kid I thought we were talking about a 4 year old or something but the kid was 13? Like, bruh, welcome to the real world. Sometimes your nightmares come to life in the form of an orange monster and attack you, get over it— ben (@_benby) January 22, 2020
Gritty is described as “talented but feisty” and “a fierce competitor” by the club. “He has some oddities that are both humorous and strange,” reads his official biography. “His father was a ‘bully’, so naturally he has some of those tendencies.”
The mascot appeared on an episode of The Simpsons and organized a 5k race for supporters last year, as well as helping a fan unveil their new tattoo and throwing a birthday party for a four-year-old cancer sufferer.