The Chicago Cubs are suing two men who posed as fake team mascots while hustling fans around Wrigley Field for tips.
The Chicago Cubs are filing a lawsuit against two men posing as fake Cubs mascots.
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According to a July 20 update by Reuters (via The Chicago Tribune), the two alleged impostors were "hustling fans for tips" within the vicinity of Wrigley Field:
"The Cubs are suing two men accused of posing in bear costumes as mascots for the Major League Baseball team and lurking around Wrigely 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 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."
The Chicago Sun-Times' Luke Wilusz breaks down the details of the lawsuit against the Weiers:
"The seven-count suit charges the Weiers with trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, injury to the Cubs' reputation and unfair competition.
"The suit is asking the court to order the Weiers to stop using the Billy Cub character and 'deliver for destruction' all merchandise, advertisements, packaging, costumes or other materials related to the character.
"The suit also wants the defendants to remove all depictions of references to the character from all of their websites or social media accounts.
"The suit is seeking an unspecified amount of money in damages in legal fees, in addition to all profits the defendants have made from the character.
"The Weiers could not immediately be reached for comment on the suit Friday night."
CSN Chicago also reported on the Cubs' lawsuit:
"The Chicago Cubs filed a lawsuit on Friday against a group of men for posing as the rogue 'Billy Cub' mascot.
"The Cubs claimed that the group of men were charging for pictures to be taken with the mascot outside of Wrigley Field and are not affiliated with the Cubs organization. The bear mascot sported a Cubs baseball hat, a gray Cubs away jersey, and the number 78 with the name 'Billy Cub' on the back, according to the suit.
"You may have been familiarized with the unofficial mascot on April 5, when a video surfaced YouTube capturing 'Billy Cub' punching a fan at the John Barleycorn Sports Bar & Restaurant on Clark Street for knocking off the mascot's head."
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