Flyers mascot Gritty will remain a free, uh, being after the Philadelphia Police cleared him of wrongdoing in the assault of a 13-year-old boy.
The Philadelphia Police Department announced the news this morning in a release.
On Thursday, December 21, 2019, the Philadelphia Police Department received a report of an assault that, according to the complainant, occurred on November 19, 2019, at 3601 S. Broad Street (inside the Wells Fargo Center). The complainant (a 13-year-old male) and witness (who is the complainant’s father) reported that on that date, at approximately 6:00 PM, the complainant was physically assaulted by an individual portraying the character of Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot, “Gritty” during a photograph session.
An investigation of the incident was conducted by the South Detective Division. That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers’ mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged.
We can imagine this is how Gritty celebrated after he learned he was exonerated.
*whispers* Wham! pic.twitter.com/eYPQEUeCsW
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) January 18, 2020
According to the father, Chris Greenwell, the Flyers’ invited season ticket holders to a private photo session. Chris, a STH’er for 22 years, and his son Brandon jumped at the opportunity to meet the furry orange mascot and his personal assistant.
After the two waited in line and posed with Gritty, Brandon patted the pride of Philadelphia on the head and that’s where things supposedly went wrong. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer who first reported the story, Gritty got up out of his chair, took a running start, and punched Brandon in the lower back as hard as he could.
“I know it was not correct for my son to harmlessly tap him on his head but for a Flyers employee to throw a full punch at someone with his back turned and hurt a 13 year old boy is assault, unprofessional and unacceptable for your organization,” Greenwell wrote to the Flyers in an email.
Brandon had to see a chiropractor a week after the alleged assault and was diagnosed with a “contusion to lower thoracic spine with subluxation” or a back bruise – a nearly $300 hospital bill.
“I’m Gritty, Brandon is standing right here in the picture. When he gets done, the picture, he walks by and taps him on the head,” Greenwell said to CBS3 Philadelphia. “Literally just like that. He keeps walking and then Gritty gets out of the chair and then lunges over and punches Brandon like that — in the bottom left side of his back.”
At the time, the Flyers said in a statement that, “We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim.”
The assault seemed out of character for a mascot who’s done this.
Getting the aim ready for the Teddy Bear Toss pic.twitter.com/ZS513kehRG
— Reading Royals (@ReadingRoyals) December 14, 2019
Only Gritty puts baby in a corner. pic.twitter.com/lJxJ9PrEzn
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) January 19, 2020
And how can we forget this.
If 3 lefts make a right,
Then 14 lefts make a ______? pic.twitter.com/wkRUbP6VxF
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) January 13, 2020
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 28, 2019
How can I forget this?
Merry Gritmas NYC pic.twitter.com/nGMhaUGb3M
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) December 24, 2019
Duck. Duck. Cake. pic.twitter.com/olLXrKCLi8
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) December 18, 2019
And oh yeah – this!
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 31, 2019
The alleged assault quickly went viral and was even joked about on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.
“I just can’t picture Gritty doing something like that,” Colin Jost said. “I mean, look at him — he wouldn’t punch a kid in the back. He’s more of a ‘leap out of the shadows and stick you with a syringe’ kind of guy, you know?”
Headline photo: @GrittyNHL
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