Bulls mascot charged with attacking off-duty cop

Updated: July 4, 2006, 11:39 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- A Chicago Bulls mascot dressed in a bright red costume was charged with attacking an off-duty officer after driving a mini-motorcycle through an outdoor festival.

Bennie the Bull
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesBarry Anderson, the Bennie the Bull mascot, is accused of throwing a punch at an off-duty police officer, knocking off his glasses and breaking his watch.

Barry Anderson, the Benny the Bull mascot, was charged with misdemeanor battery and driving within a parkway. The 26-year-old man is accused of throwing a punch at the sheriff's deputy, knocking off his glasses and breaking his watch.

Anderson was riding the motorcycle through the festival without a permit Sunday, Police Capt. James Knightly said. When the off-duty officer, who was working security, tried to stop him, Anderson ran, police said. The officer chased and caught him.

"It would be premature to make any comment at this point until all the information is gathered," Bulls spokesman Tim Hallam said.

Veronica Resa, a spokeswoman with the Mayor's Office of Special Events, said Anderson was entertaining people at the Taste of Chicago festival.

"We always love working with the Chicago Bulls and we know that what happened was not their fault," Resa said.

Anderson's costume was returned to the United Center after his arrest, police said.

In 2005, another Bulls mascot, Da Bull, was sentenced to probation for 1½ years for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press