FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- A Chick-fil-A employee dressed as one of those scheming, poultry-pushing cows from the fast-food chain's commercials was beaten up Thursday, according to police.
Philip Ruyts was trying to attract customers to the chain's location on Carl D. Silver Parkway in Fredericksburg when a man started yelling at him and knocked him down. The apparent fowl-lover fled.
At least one person went to Ruyts' aid.
The 22-year-old livestock impersonator usually works in the restaurant's kitchen but spends 10 to 15 hours a week in costume greeting customers.
Employees are at a loss to explain the unprovoked assault on the beloved mascot.
Ruyts was waving at cars at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when he heard a car door slam just before he was tackled, he said. He did not get a good look at the attacker from the confines of the cow costume.
Ruyts' back is sore, but his manager, Todd Fleming, said he isn't ready to put the popular employee out to pasture. Fleming never met anyone who disliked the cow, and customers Tuesday said they were outraged anyone would try to hurt their favorite mascot.
Investigators have few leads and are looking for anyone who may have witnessed the attack, police said. There could be a reward for any tip that leads to an arrest.