Did Gritty punch a 13-year-old boy in the back?
That’s what the teenager’s father alleges, in a story written by Christian Hetrick at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The incident in question goes back to November, when season ticket holders were invited to an exclusive photo session before Flyers game. After reportedly waiting in line for an hour, Chris Greenwell says his son Brandon was struck in the back after he touched the mascot on the head.
In Greenwell’s telling, Brandon playfully patted the mascot on the head after the photo was taken. As Brandon walked away, Gritty got out of his chair, “took a running start,” and “punched my son as hard as he could,” Greenwell said Wednesday.
Officials at Comcast Spectacor, the company that owns the Flyers, told Greenwell there is no video footage of the incident because the “cameras in that area of the center are focused on other locations,” according to emails between Greenwell and officials. The company claimed it conducted an investigation that included interviews with Gritty, and “Gritty’s handler,” but couldn’t verify Greenwell’s account.
Hetrick goes on to write that the Philadelphia Police Department began to investigate after Greenwell could not come to a resolution with Comcast Spectacor. The issue was described as physical assault by a police spokesperson.
More from the story:
After the alleged punch, Greenwell emailed officials at Comcast Spectacor, first complaining of the “lousy picture” with the mascot who didn’t look at the camera. Then he raised the “more serious and disappointing” concern.
“I know it was not correct for my son to harmlessly tap him on his head but for a Flyers employee to get (sic) 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,” he wrote.
Comcast Spectacor officials said there was no proof that Gritty hit the boy, but offered special perks to make up for the “bad experience.” Greenwell suggested the Flyers show his son on the giant scoreboard or let him into the locker room to meet players and get autographs. The company offered to sit Brandon on the players’ bench during warm-ups before a future game.
Alright then. Sounds like he said/she said to me. Not sure how the police would solve this is there if video evidence reportedly does not exist.
Here’s the full story:
Please read the article below. It is about an incident my 13 year old son Brandon had with the Philadelphia Flyers and is being published in the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper tomorrow.
He was punched and injured by the Flyers mascot “Gritty” at a special team event we were at. After numerous attempts of trying to get the organization to offer Brandon an apology and pay for his medical bills which they did not the Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to me and wrote this article. It will likely go viral and be on many other national media outlets including ESPN.
This could have been handled so simply but they tried to bribe me not to speak about it. My inbox is already getting media requests. This article is 100% factual of the incident and the Wells Fargo Center refused to let me see the video of it and the police had to get involved in it to get it. They tried to get me to drop it by offering tickets and all I can drink passes at one of the bars there.
After this incident I am ashamed of how Flyers have treated a 23 year loyal season ticket holder and my 13 year old son and forcing me not renewing my tickets next year. Those who know us know that Flyers hockey is our favorite thing to do. We even won the Season Ticket Holder of the year award in 2013 and we were able to be in the team picture on the ice with the team.
I hope there are no others out there that have had to deal with this issue also. Reading thru some online forums unfortunately there is though. I would love to hear any and all comments below. Thanks!
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) January 22, 2020