The Seattle Mariners are investigating a Bothell man’s claim that he was assaulted by the team’s mascot, the Mariner Moose, at a baseball game at Safeco Field earlier this week.
Victor Aguilar, 32, says that as he and his family were on their way out of Safeco Field during the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s winning game against the Detroit Tigers, they approached the Moose to try to get a photo.
Aguilar says instead of stopping for a photo, the mascot shoved him, aggravating a recent surgical wound.
“A month ago I had…a disc [in my back] replaced. I’m still in recovery,” Aguilar says. “He just pushed me out of the way [and the] security guys didn’t say anything.”
Aguilar sought first aid and says he was later taken to the hospital, where he spent the next six hours being examined by doctors. “There was a lot of pain. I was like a 7 [out of 10],” he says.
The Mariners are now investigating the incident according to team spokeswoman Rebecca Hale, who says staff have talked to the Moose about the incident, and plan to interview the two security team members who were accompanying the moose at the time.
“The moose has no recollection of him bumping anyone let alone shoving anyone,” Hale says. “Part of the problem is with [the Moose] is it’s a big head and he can’t see very well in it. There are times he will move his head and whack [people] with his antlers.”
Hale did not identify the employee who was wearing the moose costume at the time.
Following the incident, Aguilar says he’s spoken with Mariners’ staff who, he says, offered up their apologies and invited him and his family to another game.
Aguilar says his that although his father-in-law is a longtime Mariners season ticket holder, and his son is a “super fan” of Mariners right-fielder Ichiro Suzuki, he’s not sure he’ll ever return to Safeco Field. “I don’t want to go back, to tell you the truth,” he says. "The experience sucks. It was like a nightmare.”
Aguilar says he asked Mariners staff what would have happened to him if he had shoved the Moose. Aguilar says he was told that he would have been arrested.
So far, Aguilar hasn’t contacted an attorney or law enforcement. “I don’t want to get a lawyer but I want to get something happening,” he says. “If I have to make a police report, I will.”
Ultimately, Aguilar says, he wants the team to cover the costs of his medical expenses. “I don’t want a million dollars. I’m not after money,” he says. “But I want them to pay the hospital bill. I didn’t ask to be in the hospital until 6 in the morning.”
Photo via Flickr.