News

Chicago Cubs sue fake team mascots accused of hustling fans

Chicago Cubs sue fake team mascots accused of hustling fans

LAWSUIT:The Chicago Cubs logo is seen at the Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Reuters/Jim Young

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – The Chicago Cubs are suing two men accused of posing in bear costumes as mascots for the Major League Baseball team and lurking around Wrigley Field, hustling fans for tips and in one case getting into a bar brawl.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. district court in Chicago on Friday, the team said John Paul Weier and Patrick Weier show up for games garbed in their “Billy Cub” outfits, including Cubs caps and jerseys, offering to have pictures and videos taken with fans.

But unlike the team’s real mascot, Clark the Cub, the two impostors “seek to hustle those same fans for ‘fees’ or ‘tips,'” the complaint said, adding that they deliberately try to create the impression they are officially associated with the team.

It said the men’s behavior was damaging to the goodwill of the Cubs and misleading to fans, some of whom complained to the team about the characters’ “inappropriate and unsavory” actions.

The lawsuit said the pair’s misconduct escalated to violence in April when Patrick Weier punched a man who had removed the head of Weier’s costume during a scuffle at a bar near Wrigley Field.

Video footage of the incident recorded by an onlooker went viral on the Internet that evening, the complaint said, with Weier misidentified as an official Cubs mascot in some of the coverage.

The team said it had repeatedly asked the Weiers to cease their Billy Cub appearances, but that they have persisted, with behavior that has included lewd gestures and racial slurs directed at ticket-holders and others.

It said John Paul Weier also has operated or controlled websites, domain names and social media pages that he used to promote the Billy Cub character and sold merchandise including T-shirts that infringe the team’s trademarks.

It was not immediately clear if the Weiers have legal representation.

The team said Clark the Cub also poses for photos with fans on game days but never asks for money.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Steve Gorman and Steve Orlofsky)

Recent Headlines

13 mins ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘Deadpool’ is a nasty piece of fun

Fresh
17-overlay-6

The anticipated film flips the bird at the Marvel formula, turns Ryan Reynolds into an avocado, and offers a most agreeably childish R-rated film.

27 mins ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Kids explain love

Fresh
19-overlay-3

Love is difficult to put into words.

5 hours ago in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Feb. 12

hammer

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

17 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘How To Be Single’ feels the same while trying too hard to be different

22-overlay-9

"How to Be Single" makes a valiant attempt to send up rom-com clichés but it borrows so much from other, better movies that you start to wonder if the film’s title should be "How to Commit Larceny."

19 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ producers face charges in Harrison Ford’s on-set accident

18-overlay-7

The "Indiana Jones" star broke his leg when the door of the Millennium Falcon fell on him during filming in 2014.