Football mascot Toby the Tyke ‘arrested’ as fan films police’s ‘ruff justice’
Barnsley mascot Toby the Tyke was seen being arrested and chucked into the back of a police van as video footage emerged of 'ruff justice' in action.
It's been a season to forget for the South Yorkshire outfit, who sit bottom of the Championship table with just two matches to play. The Reds were relegated from the second-tier last Friday, courtesy of a 2-0 defeat to promotion hopefuls Huddersfield Town, and will play the 2022/23 season in League One alongside Derby County and Peterborough United.
After finishing the last campaign in the play-offs, Barnsley have won just six league matches this term. The Reds sit a point below the Rams at the foot of the division despite Wayne Rooney's side having been deducted 21-points for entering administration and breaking EFL rules.
And having sacked Head Coach Poya Asbaghi earlier this week, Barnsley once again hit the headlines after a video emerged on social media of club mascot Toby the Tyke being led away into the back of a police van.
Thankfully, though, the staged arrest was a PR stunt by South Yorkshire Police (SYP) to raise awareness for the Reds' charitable foundation.
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SYP Barnsley tweeted: "How about this for ruff justice? Officers from @BarnsleyWestNPT and BarnsleySE_NPT had to arrest Barnsley mascot Toby Tyke today as part of promotion work for the BFC Community Game Changer Barnsley project.
"We bet sitting in the back of the van gave him paws for thought. Rest assured we followed every lead going to get our man!"
Earlier in the day, a film of the furry 6ft bulldog had sent social media into meltdown. One Tykes fan had spotted the Toby being led into the back of a police van and quickly filmed the incident without understanding its tongue-in-cheek nature.
The footage has now been seen by over 150,000 people on social media with many choosing to have a sly dig in the mascot's direction. "Is that a person inside a costume!? Worst day ever," quipped one supporter.
"About time someone was held accountable for this season," joked another. While a third posted: "Can’t believe they decapitated him!"
Despite the arrest, it appears Toby has been released on bail with the club mascot back on duty as Barnsley welcome Preston North End to Oakwell on Saturday.
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