Benny the Bull arrested at Taste of Chicago

Monday, July 03, 2006

Benny the Bull was busted at the Taste of Chicago. Chicago police say the Bulls' mascot ignored an order to stop riding a motorbike at the Taste Sunday and struck an officer who tried to pull him over.

Barry Anderson, 26, has been charged with misdemeanor battery and he has been cited with driving on a sidewalk.

Phone calls to the Bulls organization were not returned Monday, but ABC7 did catch up with some Bulls fans at the Taste of Chicago. They say their opinion of the mascot isn't going to change.

Benny the Bull is a fixture at the United Center, entertaining Bulls fans throughout the arena. But now the man who plays Benny the Bull has a court date after allegedly punching an off-duty Cook County Sheriff's deputy who was working security at the Taste of Chicago.

According to police, 26-year-old Barry Anderson, dressed in full costume, was riding a mini-motorbike in Grant Park, which didn't have permission to do. When police asked him to stop, he allegedly took off. An off-duty officer caught up to him and police say Benny the Bull started swinging his arms, striking the officer, breaking his glasses and watch.

The Bulls organization had been invited to take part in this year's Taste of Chicago and Benny was there entertaining the crowds before the incident.

Bulls fans ABC7 spoke with Monday say this doesn't have change their feelings about the beloved mascot.

"I think he was just having fun, you know, just moving fun. Now I think it's a little out of proportion," said Quadell Kimble, Bulls fan.

"I think it's bad they bothered poor Benny. I say they should have left him alone. Run, run! He's a good guy. He's in costume, so he was doing using it A. Just leave him alone," said Michele Ranger, Bulls fan.

Barry Anderson's court date has been scheduled for August 25.

This is not the first time a Bulls mascot has been in trouble. In 2004, Chester Brewer who was playing the part of "Dah Bull" at the time, was arrested for drug possession near Cabrini-Green.

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