Cubs sue fake team mascots accused of hustling fans
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[July 21, 2014]
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.
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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
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
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