Nashville catfish tosser has charges dropped by Pittsburgh DA


In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, Nashville Predators fan Jake Waddell, 36, threw a catfish on the ice at PPG Paints Arena, sailing it over the heads of Pittsburgh Penguins fans during the second period.

It was a catfish he purchased in Tennessee, put in a cooler, doused with Old Spice to cover the smell, fileted, ran over with a pickup up to flatten, vacuum sealed in a bag and then hid in his crotch as he paid $350 to attend Monday night’s game.

For his efforts, Waddell was detained by arena security. A police officer told him that he would receive a citation in the mail for “disorderly conduct.” Instead, Waddell found out on Tuesday that the charges were “disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting and possessing instruments of a crime,” which TMZ Sports reported could have added up to six years in prison.

The instrument of crime being … a catfish

The story quickly gained international game, becoming fodder for sports talk radio shows and earning a rebuke from the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals, which praised the police charging him with a crime.

While we hate to disappoint PETA, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala announced on Wednesday that the charges against Waddell have been withdrawn.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Having reviewed the affidavit involving Mr. [Jacob] 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,” spokesman Mike Manko said in a statement Wednesday. “As such, the three charges filed against Mr. Waddell will be withdrawn in a timely manner.”

So what did it?

The intense pressure of the Nashville media, that wondered if hats and towels were also “instruments of crime?”

Was it the pun-tastic statement from the mayor of Pittsburgh, who called this a “whale of a story” and hoped Waddell would just get community service?

Or was it the threat to fight these charges from Waddell himself? “If they want to go down that road, we can. I’m just stubborn enough, as you can probably tell from strapping a catfish to my crotch, to go up there and fight it.”

Or, perhaps, the district attorney just decided that threatening a guy with a few years in prison for throwing sea life at a hockey game was completely absurd? Yeah. That’s probably it.

So long, Jake Waddell, and thanks for all the fish.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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