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

1 day ago in Music

This week’s top country tracks

lukebryan

LISTEN: This week's top country tracks, according to the latest Billboard chart.

2 days ago in Entertainment

Bill Murray tosses fans’ phones off rooftop

billmurray

The "Ghostbusters" star was unwinding at rooftop restaurant in California on Thursday when he spotted two starstruck fans trying to snap his photo.

2 days ago in Entertainment

OPENING WEEKEND: ‘Deadpool,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ to battle at the box office

15-overlay-6

Here's a look at some of the films set to open this weekend.

2 days ago in Entertainment, National

Roses and roaches: Cold-hearted Valentine’s Day ideas

valentines

With the coldest air in more than a decade forecast to grip the United States this Valentine's Day weekend, the holiday dedicated to love is flashing its frigid side.

2 days ago in Music, Entertainment

Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration in the works

woodstock

Organizers of the original Woodstock festival are trying to get something together to mark the golden anniversary of the event in 2019.