Misdemeanor charges dropped against Benny the Bull

Updated: August 30, 2006, 8:19 PM ET
Associated Press

Bennie the Bull
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesCharges were dropped against Barry Anderson, the Bennie the Bull mascot, who was accused of throwing a punch at an off-duty police officer.

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.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press