Police: Man arrested after smacking Hubbard Eagle’s beak during football game

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The man randomly attacked the beloved mascot during last Friday's game, police said

HUBBARD, Ohio (WYTV) – In Trumbull County, a man is in jail, accused of attacking a nationally-recognized mascot on his home turf.

Appearing as if nothing happened, Hubbard’s beloved Eagle — the most spirited mascot in the country — still entertained the stadium during halftime at Friday’s home game against Poland.

But during the first half of the game — a random attack.

“Apparently someone swung and hit our mascot,” a police officer said.

It happened while the Eagle was mingling with the crowd.

“Somebody just walked up to him for no apparent reason, took it upon himself to smack him in the beak,” said Hubbard Acting Police Chief Robert Thompson.

Police were able to track the suspect, now identified as 35-year-old Erik Szelest to the parking lot.

“One of the witness statements stated the person left angrily,” Thompson said.

According to a police report, Szelest uttered “the mascot had something on his beak — I got it off” as he was being arrested.

He’s now charged with assault.

“I actually went and made sure that the Eagle was OK, talked to him briefly,” Thompson said. “He was OK. A little shaken up but, obviously, he’s a good kid so he took it well and went out and did his halftime show.”

Szelest remains in the Trumbull County Jail on a $5,000 bond. He’s due back in court November 7.

Erik Szelest

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