As they say, you can't create a monster then get upset when he knocks over a few buildings.

The Philadelphia Flyers got a lot of attention a few years ago when they created their new mascot, Gritty.  He's a big, furry, orange creature who went viral for being nightmare fuel.

Well . . . according to the Philadelphia police, Gritty is now under investigation for assault.  Seriously.

Back in November, Gritty was doing a photoshoot with fans.  And one 13-year-old kid hit Gritty on the head after a photo . . . the kid's dad says the kid, quote, "playfully patted" Gritty.

But apparently that infuriated him, and Gritty allegedly got up and PUNCHED the kid in the back.

The Flyers say they investigated, the person in the Gritty costume denied everything, and no witnesses backed up the story, so they dropped it.  But the police aren't so sure . . . so they're still investigating.

(Philadelphia Inquirer)

(Here's the picture of Gritty with the kid.)