Chicago Bulls mascot “Benny the Bull” was arrested at the Taste of Chicago festival on Sunday night after he attacked a police officer who was trying to get Benny to stop riding his mini-motorcycle.
I do love a good mascot-attack story.
According to a police spokesman, Benny (portrayed by Barry Anderson) was riding the mini-motorcycle in his bull costume on the festival grounds Sunday night. Allegedly, no one had given permission for Benny to be in that area and I guess even mini-motorcycles are not permitted on the grounds of Taste of Chicago. A security guard told the six-foot Bull to cut it out, and pursued him when he refused. When the guard caught up to him, Benny slugged him in the face, knocking his glasses off. The guard turned out to be an off-duty Cook County police officer.
Anderson admitted he had struck the officer but said he was “in character” at the time. (Oh, that’s different.) He was arrested, charged with misdemeanor battery and “driving within the parkway,” and his costume was confiscated and returned to the United Center.
This is not the first time a Bulls mascot has been in trouble. “Da Bull,” described as “Benny’s muscular, acrobatic cohort,” was arrested in 2004 for selling marijuana at Cabrini-Green. It was not clear whether he was in character at the time.