Assault allegations against Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty unfounded, police say

PHILADELPHIA -- Police announced Monday that investigators did not find any evidence that Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty physically assaulted a teen during a photo session last year, and charges will not be pursued.

The complaint was lodged back in December when the father of a 13-year-old boy told police that Gritty assaulted his son during the shoot at the Wells Fargo Center a month prior.

Chris Greenwell told sister station Action News that his son tapped the mascot's head after the photo, which prompted Gritty to lunge out of his chair and punch the boy in the back.

Greenwell said Gritty left his chair, "took a running start" and "punched my son as hard as he could."

He said his son was diagnosed with a back bruise and provided documents from a chiropractor. He filed a police complaint on December 21.

Police said an investigation was completed by the South Detective Division and the results determined the mascot did not commit physical assault as alleged.

"That investigation, which has been completed and is no longer active, determined that the actions of the individual portraying the Flyers' mascot did not constitute physical assault as alleged," police said in a statement.

The Philadelphia Flyers issued the following response to the announcement: "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."

The team said its parent company, Comcast Spectator, had no video to support the claim.

"We took Mr. Greenwell's allegations seriously and conducted a thorough investigation that found nothing to support this claim," the team said when the incident first became public.

Greenwall said he just wants to put the incident in the past.

"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 Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday. "Any parent would have done the same if they were in the same situation."

The Flyers unveiled the orange mascot to mixed reviews in 2018, but Gritty quickly became a cult figure and was described by ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose as the "toast of the sports world."

Gritty has not kept a low profile since news broke of the investigation. He made several public appearances, and traveled to St. Louis for NHL All-Star Weekend in January where he took the ice for the Mascot Showdown.

(ESPN contributed to this report)
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