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Misdemeanor charges dropped against Benny the Bull

8/30/2006 - NBA Chicago Bulls
Charges were dropped against Barry Anderson, the Bennie the Bull mascot, who was accused of throwing a punch at an off-duty police officer. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

HELENA, Mont. -- Charges that the Chicago Bulls mascot
attacked an off-duty police officer during an outdoor festival in
Chicago have been dropped, Bulls officials said Wednesday.

Charges of misdemeanor battery and driving within a parkway were
filed against Barry Anderson, the Benny the Bull mascot. Police
said Anderson, in his bright red bull costume, threw a punch at a
sheriff's deputy on July 2, knocking off his glasses and breaking
his watch.

Police said the officer had tried to stop the mascot for riding
a mini-motorcycle thorough the Taste of Chicago festival without a
permit. When the off-duty officer, who was working security, tried
to stop him, Anderson ran, police said. The officer chased and
caught him.

The charges were dropped last Friday, the day the case was
scheduled to go to trial, Bulls spokeswoman Christine Cronin said.

Anderson previously worked as the University of Montana's Monte
mascot, winning the national mascot of the year award in 2002.

Anderson, a native of Miles City, Mont., is preparing for his
third season as Benny the Bull.