Sonny Forriest Jr. leaned back in his recliner, stretched out his prosthetic leg, and let out a booming laugh at the sight of his own face on the television.

He was running on just a few hours of sleep. His phone kept buzzing with calls. And he was still wearing the Eagles jersey he had sported Sunday night when, he says, a drunk woman fell into his lap at a tailgate party, grabbed his $2,000 prosthetic leg from the armrest of his motorized scooter, and ran off.

Despite his predicament, Forriest had sung, laughed, and hugged other tailgaters as he recounted the story to reporters - and captured national attention.

On Monday afternoon, after a SEPTA employee found his leg on a subway train and police returned it to him, he was feeling charitable.

"She don't need to go to jail," he said of the young woman who allegedly stole his leg. (No arrests have been made in the case.) Still, though: "They think it's a joke," he said, referring to the culprit, "but it was serious with me."

Forriest, 57, is a fixture at Philadelphia sporting events, known for his signature blue scooter, equipped to hold a boom box, and his enthusiastic renditions of soul classics with lyrics modified to cheer the team to victory.

At his house in Ogontz, he has framed photos of himself at games and newspaper articles on his now-familiar presence in the tailgating lots outside Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field.

Forriest, whose given name is Elbert Giddings, grew up in Philadelphia and has lived in the city most of his life. He said he served in the Army from 1974 to 1982 and attained the rank of sergeant.

He lost his left leg due to an infection after being shot in 1995.

A soul singer and guitarist, Forriest says he played with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and the Intruders.

He started showing up at Phillies games in his scooter around 2008. He quickly became a fan favorite, even traveling to Clearwater, Fla., for a spring training game in 2011. (He ended up being cited by Clearwater police for singing too loudly.)

"I just enjoy it," Forriest said, adding that he suffers from depression. "This keeps me going."

Sunday's incident is not the first time someone has stolen his prosthetic, he said. While on tour with the Intruders, he said, a tryst gone sour prompted another woman to steal the leg.

He later appeared on an episode of The Jerry Springer Show to tell that story, displaying the same buoyancy with which he faced Sunday's theft.

Forriest said he was singing with a group of tailgaters in a Citizens Bank Park lot on Sunday when the young woman fell into his lap. The woman, who appeared to be intoxicated, apologized for breaking his microphone in her fall and offered to pay for it, he said. But seconds after she left, Forriest said, he realized his prosthetic leg was missing.

"It was on the armrest of my chair, and she jumped up and was gone with it," he said. His first thought, he said, was an expletive.

His second thought: "Why would she do something like that?"

A SEPTA employee found the leg several hours later, on a subway train at the end of the Broad Street Line, and it was returned to Forriest late Sunday.

Though he was exhausted by the experience, he said, he was grateful for the support he had received from friends and fans alike. He had even come up with an alternative to jail time for the woman who made off with his leg.

"She should go to the Veterans Administration," he said, "and help some disabled vets."