Update: Charges filed against a man who threw a catfish onto the ice as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators competed Monday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final have been withdrawn.
Jacob Waddell, 36, of Nolensville, Tennessee, threw the fish over the glass surrounding the rink at PPG Paints Arena about 23 minutes into the game, police told WPXI.
Waddel had been charged with possessing instruments of a crime, disrupting meetings and disorderly conduct. The charges have since been withdrawn.
Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Manko released the following statement Wednesday.
Having reviewed the affidavit involving Mr. Waddell as well as the television coverage of the incident, District Attorney Zappala has made the determination that the actions of Mr. Waddell do not rise to the level of criminal charges. As such, the three charges filed against Mr. Waddell will be withdrawn in a timely manner.
Original story: It wasn’t a Sidney Crosby injury that stopped game play during the first game of the Stanley Cup finals Monday night at PPG Arena in Pittsburgh.
It was a catfish.
About 23 minutes into the game, a fan threw a catfish carcass onto the ice, The Associated Press reported.
Nashville Predators fans have copied the tradition of those who follow the Detroit Red Wings, adapting the Red Wings’ octopus toss and making it their own using catfish.
Jacob Waddell, 36, was arrested after the fish was thrown, charged with possessing instruments of crime, disrupting meetings and disorderly conduct, WPXI reported.
A local fish market said last week that it would not sell catfish to people from Tennessee.
Wholey’s, which is based in Pittsburgh’s famed Strip District, said the ban on sales to Tennessee fans was in response to Nashville refusing to sell finals tickets to anyone from Pennsylvania.
The store’s owner told WPXI that identification would be required from anyone who was buying catfish during the finals.
Waddell went to the glass and tossed the fish onto the ice, causing play to stop police said.
Waddell told police that he got the fish in Tennessee, vacuum sealed it and shoved it into his compression shorts to smuggle it into the arena. When he got inside, he went to the restroom, removed the fish from his pants and wrapped it in a free T-shirt and towel that were given away by the Penguins, police said.
Fans in Nashville strap the dead fish to their bodies to sneak them into Bridgestone Arena.
The Penguins had no shots on goal in the second period after the catfish incident. The Predators put up three goals in the second and third.
The Pens went on to win 5-3. Game 2 is Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
WPXI contributed to this report.