PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating an alleged incident involving Gritty and a teenage boy. The popular Philadelphia Flyers mascot is accused of physically assaulting a 13-year-old boy during a photo shoot. The alleged incident took place at the Wells Fargo Center.
The father says the alleged Gritty attack happened back in November, but nothing was done by the Flyers. He’s now turning to the media after he was left to foot his son’s medical bill.
“It was photo night with Gritty, so you could get your photo with Gritty,” Chris Greenwell said.
The 23-year Flyers season-ticket holder says it was a special event for season ticket holders, but little did he know a photo with Gritty would leave his 13-year-old son in the hospital.
Greenwell walked CBS3 through what he says happened between the Flyers’ mascot and his son, Brandon Greenwell, in November.
“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. “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.”
According to Greenwell, that punch left his son injured, racking up nearly a $300 hospital bill.
The Flyers said in a statement Wednesday, “We took Mr. Greenwell’s allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim.”
Greenwell says he’s not buying it.
“That tells you enough right there when you won’t let me see the video. If you have nothing to hide, you would show the video,” Greenwell said. “But they told me there was no video.”
Greenwell says all he wanted was an apology and for the organization to foot the teen’s medical bill.
“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,” Greenwell said. “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 autographs with the players, meet the players and a picture, I would have been happy and walked away.”
That’s not the response Greenwell wanted to hear and as a result, he says he has discontinued his season tickets after 23 years.
“I’ll always be a Flyers fan, but I lost a lot of respect for the team after the way they’ve treated a long-time season-ticket holder after this,” Greenwell said.
Police say an investigation is active and on-going with South Detectives Division.