CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Union County man is facing charges after investigators say he broke into the BB&T Ballpark and stole the mascot costume for the Charlotte Knights.
According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, someone broke into the ballpark early Saturday morning, shortly after midnight.
They say the person stole a Homer the Dragon costume, worth about $6,000 and a two-way radio.
The person reportedly ran away from the ballpark wearing the mascot costume.
"An unauthorized individual gained access inside BB&T Ballpark after Charlotte Beerfest to the Homer mascot costume," Knights officials told WBTV. "After a CMPD investigation, the costume was recovered. The Charlotte Knights thank the dedicated investigators of the CMPD for their prompt response in resolving this matter."
A viewer sent WBTV a photo of what appears to be Homer walking through Romare Bearden park, across from the stadium, after the costume was stolen.
"[He was] strolling through Romare Bearden park high-fiving drunk people [...] not exactly making a run for it. I wasn't sure what to think," Candice Lackey told WBTV. "I figured maybe Homer had too many samples at Beerfest."
The Union County Sheriff's Office arrested Joseph Michael Gillespie early Monday morning in connection with the case. He was charged with breaking and entering and possession of marijuana.