Tigger “Punches” 14 Year-Old Kid, Kid Goes To Hospital

Home video of a New Hampshire family’s trip to Disney world shows Tigger “punching” a 14 year-old boy. “The boy’s father, Jerry Monaco, says the costumed character “sucker punched” his boy Friday as his children posed for a picture. He says his son later experienced neck pain and he took him to a hospital.”

Tigger says it was “self-defense,” and has been suspended from his job. Mr. Monoco lodged an official complaint, but all he’s looking for is an apology from Tigger.

“The general manager apologized to me,” Monaco Sr. said. “Everybody will come up and apologize to me but Tigger. He won’t be a man about it and get out of the costume and come out and apologize to my son. I didn’t want VIP treatment. I didn’t want an extra day at Disney. I didn’t want any of that. I wanted him to apologize and that is the one thing that they won’t do.” —MEGHANN MARCO

Home Video Shows ‘Tigger’ Character Apparently Punching Boy’s Face (with video!) [Local 6]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Parttimesaint says:

    Oh, bother.

  2. Tigger’s got a mean left hook. Can’t shake the feeling that the 14 year old must have had it coming.

  3. Falconfire says:

    Its pretty obvious from the way the kid was acting he did something to provoke it. While the guy certainly shouldnt have gone to swinging (and I mean really it doesnt even look like he hit him hard at all) I strongly suspect that kid probably said something or did something to the costume behind the guys back to get the reaction he did.

    The kid even looks like he could be a dirtbag.

  4. acambras says:

    Maybe the kid pulled a Michael Richards and called the guy something that rhymed with Tigger.

    I’M IN UR VIDEOZ
    PUNCHIN UR KIDZ

  5. d0x says:

    It looks like the kid was doing something to his back and honestly that “punch” looked more like he was trying to push the kid away…its not like they can see really well in those suits.

    Hell i’d smack that kid too his voice was driving me nuts.

  6. kellkell says:

    He was doing something to Tigger, you can clearly see that there was a reaction. Plus the expression on the kids face is telling looks like he thought he was doing something funny. That aside I’ve hit my friends in jest harder than that push Tigger gave him.

  7. Sheik says:

    Granted, I watched the video sans audio. But it doesn’t look like that even qualifies as a punch. Both the father and son seem like meat heads. Fingerless gloves? Though I’m no fan of Disney, seems like the two are trying to make a bigger deal out of this that the situation warrants.

  8. Gman says:

    Supposedly the kid was pulling hard on the guy in the costumes tail, leaving him to barely be able to hold his balance and actually hurting him due to the harness he wears. The costumed guy told him to stop [of course not shown on video] and what you see is the result.

    He still should be fired. you do not punch a guest. But sued? No.

  9. PsychicPsycho3 says:

    It looks like his hand fell into him, if anything.

  10. Falconfire says:

    He still should be fired. you do not punch a guest. But sued? No.

    Never worked in one of those have you? I actually did one summer for a pancake house with my buddy when I was younger. There should be a special law out there that you can hang any snot nose teenager or punk 20 year old who taunts the guy in the suit.

    They are so restrictive, uncomfortable, and downright dangerous for some of them that the fact that more park employees havent snapped is a amazing thing.

  11. cudthecrud says:

    He puts the kid in an arm lock before hitting him. The hit was probably not much, but he could have messed up that kids elbow pretty good if he wanted.

  12. SpecialK says:

    I’m on Tigger’s side in this but, Cudthecrud noticed what I noticed… Tigger puts the kid in a well-executed arm lock before smacking him. Tweren’t an accident.

  13. Optimistic Prime says:

    I have to agree with the persons above that the kid was probably doing something stupid. If you look closely, Tigger isn’t trying to punch the kid, but stop him from doing something dumb. I was the Easter Bunny at the mall for a couple of years, and the biggest rule was not let your head come off as would freak the little boogers out quite a bit. I’d bet money this kid was trying to get the head off to scare his siblings.

  14. Kid had it coming.

  15. Havoc says:

    Point: If you actually “punch” a 14 year old male suffering the first stages of testosterone poisoning he will most likely return the favor. Point: The jackass in the bad ass fingerless gloves didn’t do anything after the punch. Conclusion: The kid either has a high pain tolerance, didn’t actually care, or smelled a lawsuit take your pick.

  16. Mujuboo says:

    My wife and I worked at Disney for a summer, and she was one of the short characters (like Mickey, Minnie, Timon.. too tall for Donald, too short for Chip & Dale). Once, in one of the restaurants, she was pushed down some stairs (small flight, like 3 stairs) while in costumes by a bunch of crazy Brazilian kids. Even though she sprained her ankle (and has a bit of a quick temper) she knew enough not to smack the little bastards.

    She put it like this: “So this guy in Tigger just randomly is going to arm lock and punch a kid in the face while the father is videotaping and the kid isn’t doing anything? Riiight..”

    In one of the videos on the story, it said the family lawyer says the family is looking for monetary compensation. God, I hope Disney (who is renowned for giving guests anything they want.. there should be a seperate consumerist post about Disney and other theme park customer service) tells this family to shove it and not come back.

  17. maddypilar says:

    In the still shot used above it looks like Tigger’s tail is still in the kid’s hand. You see his thumb above the tail and his fingerless gloved fingers below it.

    I worked at an amusement park and after 3 summers I finally lost my temper and screamed at a guest. I can imagine it takes many fewer straws to break a camel’s back when you dressed like one.

  18. Vinny says:

    I’m glad Meghann put “punch” in quotes.

    Jeez. That’s a moosh. Still not right, but definitely not a punch either.

  19. spin_sycle says:

    I say the kid deserved it.

  20. Pelagius says:

    Give the baby his settlement and ban them from all Disney parks for life, including the baby.

    Bunch of goombahs, you ask me.

  21. dewrock says:

    Like others, I’m thinking he was either pulling on his tail, trying to unzip the costume or trying to get his head off. Honestly it looked like a love tap and the arm lock was probably because the brat wouldn’t gets his hands off of wherever they were. The kid had it coming to him.

  22. synergy says:

    This seems to be making the rounds. I’m with the majority. It’s all poo.

    Ooo. I didn’t even think that was going to be a pun until it came out!

  23. Too bad Tigger’s suit doesn’t have claws…

  24. Phil says:

    I gotta weigh in on the side of Tigger.

    * He looks like he’s losing his balance when he grabs the kids arm.
    * The “punch” looks like an open-handed grasp that just happened to get him in the face.
    * The kid doesn’t look that injured in the video.

    On the other-other hand, there is some responsibility by Disney on the part of the cast member. When I worked at an amusement park, NO costume character went out without what was called a “walker”; someone to walk with the character, guide them along (due to limited visibility), and also protect the character from punks doing this kind of stuff to them. Where is the “walker”? Tigger should be suing Disney.

    The 14 year old is a punk; he’ll survive. The father is an opportunistic bastard for encouraging his son to try and take Disney.

  25. tspack says:

    I’m on Tigger’s side. True, he should have sucked it up and lived with whatever crap the kid was pulling (part of the job, sadly), so being fired was fair, but knowing that Tigger was fired should be all the family gets. The family, however, should be banned from all Disney parks for being stupid.

  26. RexRhino says:

    How much you want to bet the family gets at least a million? People have been sued into oblivion for looking at another person wrong, let alone giving them a little love tap.

    While I am siding with Tiger on this one, we all know if you stub your tow at Disney it means you won the lottery!

  27. Bluefreak says:

    Anyone else notice that the police incident report posted on the TV news web site doesn’t have any information blacked out–and includes the father’s home and business address and phone number?

  28. Hoss says:

    This isn’t the first time Tigger’s been sent to his den. See here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5582803/

  29. Scazza says:

    I was watching an interview of the kid on some buffalo news, and appeared fine, then the father started freaking out on camera.

    Also, he says they were taking a picture, why the hell were they filming them? Setup?

  30. TinaT says:

    I read somewhere that the tails on those costumes are held on by a crotch harness. If the kid is pulling on Tigger’s tail, then Tigger is probably in some serious discomfort/pain when he tries to push the kid away.

  31. SpecialK says:

    So I guess we can expect the father to try to sue the police and the news station… though those documents are matters of public record if I’m not mistaken.

    I bet the bastard would have sued for emotional damage if his brat HAD gotten the head off of Tigger… arguing that Disney didn’t do its best to ensure his younger anklebiters weren’t scarred for life.

  32. homerjay says:

    That punch was NUTHIN’ compared to what he probably got at school when this aired. Way to go, dad. I hope whatever you get is worth the public humiliation of your punk-ass adolescent son.

  33. pete says:

    Reading through the comments – what a relief that there’s some common sense left in the world.

    Because there doesn’t appear to be much left in the local media.

  34. adamondi says:

    “I wanted him to apologize and that is the one thing that they won’t do.” = “I am a world class a-hole and am pretending to be all humble so that my lawsuit will net me more cashola.”

    One more for Tigger on this one. I think it should be perfectly legal to punch 14-year-old punks as hard as you want. I have met very few 14-year-old buys that weren’t complete jerks in the best of circumstances, let alone when there was a possibility of a massive payday.

  35. aka Cat says:

    If you look closely at the still shot, you can see that the kid still has his hand wrapped around Tigger’s tail.

    Jackass.

    I feel badly for ‘Tigger’. I doubt that he misses the horrid work, but iirc, the mouse paid better than average. (25 years ago. ymmv.)

  36. Stepehn Colbert says:

    Falconfire says:

    “Its pretty obvious from the way the kid was acting he did something to provoke it.”

    Oh yes, when would we ever expect to see a child laughing and waving in Disney World?

    1. What? did most of you take stupid pills this morning? You can’t put your hands on a minor like that let alone “punch” them.

    2. This guy should not only be fired, he should goto jail, fortunately for them, the father doesn’t seem to want to press charges.

    3. SPECIFICALLY, DISNEY RULE #1, RIGHT BEFORE NOT MENTIONING “THE U WORD” ALL CHARACTERS KNOW NOT TO BREAK THE ILLUSION, ITS THEIR JOB, DISNEY WONT EVEN LET AN AMBULANCE IN THE PARK TO RESUSCITATE SOMEONE, NO WAY IN HELL THIS GUY SHOULD GET AWAY WITH THIS CRAP.

  37. Stepehn Colbert says:
  38. kellkell says:

    Nero if we can’t put our hands on a minor, let alone “punch” one, then perhaps we need to legislate that we can.
    My roommate substitute teaches and one day she was assigned to a 1st grade class, she was left alone with them during nap time (which they shouldn’t have done) and a boy got up and walked out. Well she went after him, (didn’t touch him because god forbid) he was swearing at her when she would get in front of him and finally as he was about to leave school property she grabbed his shoulders. Well that got his attention and he spit on her. He was a big kid, I hesitate to mention his ethnicity, so suffice it to say he was big, about 4th grader size. She told him sternly to turn around and he wiggled away and hit her in the face, she grabbed his hands and he spit on her again. Eventually she just wrapped herself around him until another teacher came.
    Well she was pissed and I think you can see why, and they asked her not to return to the school because she had put her hands on the child. They had the whole thing on tape and it showed exactly what I have described, she never hit him she just tried to restrain him.
    My point of this off topic comment is that sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Tigger didn’t hurt this kid and from what most of us can tell and see the kid got what he deserved. I understand why we are not supposed to put our hands on a minor and this situation is different but its the same thing, common sense. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do and sometimes you react. If the guy in the suit (who may well be a minor himself) was in pain he may have reacted as he did and I think that is what most of us are thinking.

  39. Mike Brown says:

    From watching the video, Tigger seems to pull down on the front of his head implying that the kid was trying to pull off his head? Not really surpising behavour for a 14 year old?

    Pretty dumb to hit him tho.

  40. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I’m pretty sure the kid was trying to either unzip the costume or pop the character’s head off. I might speculate even to the point of thinking that maybe the kid and the old man planned it and they were going to film it. (Can you say “desperate for YouTube?)

    Regardless, it sure as hell looks to me like the kid had it coming. Dad certainly comes off as an obnoxious jerk.

    While there may be rules against touching a minor, they don’t preclude the performer’s right to defend himself. Also remember..the guy’s wearing a 50 pound tiger suit with a full head that only lets you see straight ahead..I doubt he could have even lined up an intentional swing even if he had wanted to.

    I happen to know someone who is a professional mascot by trade, and you’d be surprised at what kind of BS people try to pull on him while he’s in costume (tripping, ripping off the head, ripping off the tail, punching, kicking, etc.) Some people get their sick jollies by attacking mascot performers..ha ha, look..I’ll rip Tigger’s head off!!

  41. Stepehn Colbert says:

    If the child claims he was hurt, pain is extremely difficult to disprove in a court of law. He has made his proper rounds, going to the hospital and filing a report. if he pulled on Tigger’s tail, do you think that people would generally be under the impression that the kid was playing with a beloved character in Disney, or that he was intent on hurting a grown man, who probably doesn’t have a tail protruding into the suit’s “Tigger tail”?

  42. Mike_ says:

    What 14-year-old hasn’t considered harassing characters at a theme park? If your job involves dressing up in a Tigger costume and interacting with children, you’re going to get your tail yanked. When 16 million people visit your park, there are bound to be a few who can’t keep their hands to themselves. You need to know how to handle these situations before you put on the costume and become a Part of the Magic.

    There is nothing this kid could have done that would justify the character striking him. If it was so bad, have Security eject the kid from the park. Don’t punch him in the face. Especially when Dad is standing there with a video camera.

    Tigger should be fired. He was.
    Disney should apologize. They did.

    Father and Son come off as opportunistic, sociopathic, litigious asshats with no sense of decency. I’m left wondering if they carefully planned this, moving from character to character until they found one who would retaliate on camera. They’ve had their 15 minutes of fame. Whatever else it is they’re after, I hope they don’t get it.

  43. Anonymously says:

    There’s no way that was a “punch”, “hit”, or anything of the sort. Tigger looks like he was trying to gain separation from the teenager when his hand made contact with the young man’s head.

    I don’t believe there was willful intent on the part of the “cast member” to harm anyone.

  44. JT says:

    That kid is lucky Tigger didn’t go UFC on him with that arm lock.

    … but unprovoked? The reporter asked him directly and that kid lied through his teeth. I unbelievable that a man or woman (whoever was in the costume) would just grab and flail like that for no reason whats so ever.

    That kid needs a good kaning, Singapore style!

  45. jgodsey says:

    to be fair. you can’t see out of those freaking heads. i say it was an accident. the kids arm was locked under tigger’s (which he CAN’T feel and doesn’t know is there) and when he turned the kid was pulled INTO tigger. I think the whole thing is blown WAY out of proportion to get a settlement.

  46. AndyfromIL says:

    http://stupidguesttricks.com/vb3/showthread.php?t=2169

    Stupid Guest Tricks has a nice discussion of this from the Cast Member POV. Check around that site for mucho more “tricks” Its really interesting to see the other side(since I am not a insider, just a regular guest)

  47. srhbks says:

    This is a huge money scam. Tigger is clearly trying to stop the kid from whatever he’s doing with his left hand- either grabbing the tail, the neck, or the head of his costume. And it doesn’t even look like the punch was intentional- the arm lock was, but I think the “punch” was more Tigger trying to stop himself from being jerked backwards.

    It’s ridiculous the amount of airtime this has gotten.

  48. vanilla-fro says:

    @Nero
    This 14 year old kid was playing with tigger?? did he just see Santy at the mall too? Is the easter bunny giving him chocolate eggs this year?
    Were you 14? 14 year olds don’t play with Tigger, they have it figured out by then.
    I’ve worked at theme parks and was even a character for a large halloween event, no 14 year old is ever “playing” with these characters. We had a 5′ tall girl get the tar beaten out of her by 5 of these brats one night because she scared them (horror was in the title of the event and they had walked by at least three other “scarry characters before they got to one they could take). The kid got what he was asking for without even thinking about asking for it.

    Anybody who has ever had, known, or even looked at a 14 year old boy knows they’re asshats.
    Yeah Tigger shouldn’t have hit this kid (not that i think it was really a “hit”) and now Tigger has to go get his 8 bucks an hour somewhere else (at least it will be less sweaty), but the kid and his father don’t deserve crap from Disney.

  49. formergr says:

    Uh, kellkell, you say that you “hesitate to mention” the ethnicity of the kid that spit on your teacher-friend. Why is his ethnicity even relevant? The fact that you even brought it up leads me to assume 1)he isn’t white, and 2)that you think somehow this and the fact that he was a big kid made the spitting worse.

    Nice.

  50. kellkell says:

    formergr if you knew his ethnicity and you grew up where I did you would understand how big this kid was, it was going to be a point of reference that not many would get. The spitting wasn’t worse because of his ethnicity, I said what I said in reference to his size. You were correct though, he wasn’t white, and neither am I. Way to make assumptions.

    Nice.

  51. pestie says:

    Never in my life have I met a 14-year-old who didn’t deserve to get punched in the head by a giant cartoon character. Never.

  52. Michael says:

    If you follow the tip for detecting Photoshop fakes, dialing down the hue and upping the saturation, you will clearly see by how much Tigger stands out from the rest of the image that he must have been digitally added. He was never there. The video was faked.

    http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/4305/tiggerqf4.jpg

    In fact, I’ll bet one could find someone who has a picture or video of themselves with Tigger taken at the exact same moment in another part of Disney World. Even if Tiggers are flouncy, bouncy things, they still can’t be in two places at once. Case closed. ;)

  53. theinsanefurry says:

    I’m siding with Tigger on this.

    High school is going to be hell for this kid! It was hell for me just being “the nerd”, this kid will be “the nerd that got beat up by Tigger!”. To make matters worse, they put this on the net, this kid will never hear the end of it, kinda like the star wars kid.

  54. Stepehn Colbert says:

    vanilla-fro

    I enjoyed Disney when I was 14, now 21, and the thought of one of the Winnie the Pooh characters punching me in the face would probably greatly disturb me. Perhaps I was a different variety of “happy, enchanted child”, who believed everything held silliness and friendship.
    Without knowing the child’s state of mind, and only harboring an opinion of it , this unfounded attack on the tendencies of this 14 year-old go without a hard basis. We see the child playing with Tigger, we see the child pat Tigger on the back or perhaps “pull his tail”. These generally don’t seem like the actions of someone out to harm, or mentally disturb what “should be”, a lovable “amusement park idol”.