Gritty drama: Philadelphia Flyers' furry mascot Gritty cleared of physical assault following police investigation
The mascot, who has become something of a cult hero among the Flyers' fanbase since his introduction was accused of physical assault against a 13-year-old during a photoshoot at the team's arena, the Wells Fargo Center, in November 2019.
But, following a police investigation, the mascot has officially been cleared, with the police inquiry now over.
"That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers' mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged," said a press release from the local police.
The boy's father, Chris Greenwell, had alleged in a Facebook post last month that his son Brandon had been "punched and injured" by Gritty during a season ticket holders' event at the arena, and that the Flyers organization had "...tried to bribe me not to speak about it."
Instead, Greenwell did speak about it, and accused Gritty of striking out at his son during the fan meet and greet session.
Speaking to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Greenwell said that, after having a photo taken with Gritty, his son patted the mascot on the head and walked away. Then, he explained, the mascot, "took a running start and punched my son as hard as he could."Also on rt.com ‘Hockey isn’t about winning, it’s about having fun’: Young NHL fan delivers best hockey interview of the year (VIDEO)
Greenwell said he took his son to a chiropractor and was diagnosed with a "back bruise."
But the Flyers released a statement last month, saying, "We took Mr. Greenwell's allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim."
Following the police statement, the NHL franchise followed up with another statement, saying, "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."Also on rt.com Goalie fight! Rare sight as goaltenders slug it out after ‘Battle of Alberta’ NHL clash erupts into mass brawl (VIDEO)