The vast majority of professional sports teams boast a mascot whose primary job is to pump up and entertain fans with the various antics they deploy over the course of a typical contest.
Most of those squads rely on the talents of a costumed performer tasked with those particular duties, although some teams (like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish) skip the suit entirely while others eschew the anthropomorphic approach in favor of real, actual animals (like the penguin that had a tragically brief run for Pittsburgh’s NHL franchise).
In 1969, the Chicago Bulls introduced the world to Benny the Bull, the bright red bovine who’s been a staple at home games ever since.
In 1995, Benny got a partner in the form of a “cousin” dubbed “Da Bull,” who spent close to a decade with the team until the character was forced into retirement after the performer inside the costume was arrested for selling marijuana.
However, Da Bull isn’t the only mascot affiliated with the franchise that’s ended up in handcuffs, as Benny also landed in hot water a couple of years later thanks to a pretty strange story featuring a brief police chase involving a mini-motorcycle and accusations of assault.
The time Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull ended up in handcuffs after an altercation with an off-duty cop
While sports mascots may spend the bulk of their time in stadiums and arenas, their job description usually extends to other events outside of those venues where they serve as an ambassador for the team they represent.
On July 2, 2006, Barry Anderson (who performed as Benny the Bull between 2004 and 2016) donned his costume and headed to Grant Park for the food festival known as the Taste of Chicago with a miniature motorcycle in tow.
However, he eventually attracted the attention of an off-duty police officer who’d been hired to do security for the event and attempted to stop Benny to see if he had the permit that was required to navigate his tiny vehicle through the large crowds of people who’d gathered for the event.
After being approached, Anderson/Benny attempted to make a quick getaway but was quickly apprehended. However, he didn’t go down without a fight, as he managed to break the glasses and wrist of the cop who grabbed him in a brief scuffle that ensued after he was tracked down.
Anderson was cuffed and charged with misdemeanor battery and driving within a parkway, but the charges were eventually dropped.
However, that wasn’t the last time he’d end up facing legal trouble for his actions, as he was also sued a couple of years later by a dentist who claimed he was injured as the result of an overenthusiastic high-five.