Yes, we know Gritty is the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, not a human being capable of assault. However, the hockey team has not revealed the identity of the person inside the furry orange suit. Whomever it is, Philadelphia police are now saying he, she or they did not assault a 13-year-old boy who took a photo with the googly-eyed monster on November 19 at the city’s Wells Fargo Center. Fan Chris Greenwall and his son Brandon told the Philadelphia Inquirer that, after Brandon patted Gritty on the head following the photo op, the besuited mascot stood up, “took a running start” and “punched my son as hard as he could,” allegedly bruising his back and requiring him to see a chiropractor. Greenwall filed a police report about the incident on December 21, after which the authorities began to look into the case.
“That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers’ mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged,” Philadelphia police said in a statement Monday, according to ESPN.
“We are pleased that the Philadelphia Police Department concluded there was no merit to the alleged claim,” the Flyers said in a statement of their own Monday. “The police department’s statement confirms our thorough internal investigation that found no evidence of the described actions ever having taken place.”
“I respect the police’s decision, but I stand by what my son told me and what I saw, and I just want to put this behind me,” Greenwell told the Inquirer in response to the police’s findings. “Any parent would have done the same if they were in the same situation.”