Philly police investigating report that Gritty punched a 13-year-old boy

Gritty

Flyers mascot Gritty entertains fans during a preseason game between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers on September 27, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

This article originally appeared on NBC10.

Philadelphia police are investigating whether the Flyers’ brash costumed mascot, Gritty, assaulted a 13-year-old boy in November, a police spokesman said.

The incident occurred during a photoshoot at the Flyers’ home stadium, the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, police said.

Police didn’t release any other details.

The boy’s father, Chris Greenwell of Glasgow, Delaware, filed the police report. Greenwell said it happened while he and his son were taking pictures with Gritty during an exclusive event for season ticket holders.

A photo of Chris Greenwell and his son with Gritty. (Courtesy of NBC10)

“He taps Gritty three times on the head, a light tap,” Greenwell 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.”

Greenwell 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 attention.

Greenwell 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 station.

“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,” Greenwell said. “I would’ve been happy with that but they tried to get me to accept complimentary tickets to make this go away.”

Greenwell told NBC10 he still hasn’t received an apology from anyone. He also said he requested access to security footage but was unable to get it.

“They refuse to let me see the security videos of that night and even said they have no working cameras there inside of the newly renovated, $250-million-dollar upgraded facility,” he said. “There was clearly many cameras where it happened at but if the video gets out it will go viral and make the team have lots of negative PR.”

Greenwell’s son told NBC10 he doesn’t want to go back to any Flyers games due to the incident. Greenwell also said he’s dropping his season tickets.

In regards to whether or not he plans on taking legal action, Greenwell said, “It’s still too early to tell.”

Comcast Spectacor issued a statement, saying, “We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim.”

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.”

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal