PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WKRN) – A Nashville Predators fan who is accused of throwing a dead catfish onto the ice during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday night now faces charges.
According to the Pittsburgh Police Department, Jacob Waddell has been issued a summons on charges of disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting a meeting.
The 36-year-old Nolensville man was not taken into custody, but officials said he would have to return to Pittsburgh for a future hearing, the date for which has not been set.
Waddell tweeted Tuesday morning, “Charge they may, charge they might, that catfish still hit the ice last night! Go Preds!”
Nashville’s mayor Megan Barry weighed in, saying, “We would hope that in the spirit of good sportsmanship that any charges for throwing a catfish onto the ice would be quickly dismissed.”
Pittsburgh’s mayor William Peduto responded, saying, “This has turned into a whale of a story. From my perch, I agree with Mayor Barry that we shouldn’t be baited into interfering with this fish tale, but if the charges eventually make their way to a judge I hope the predatory catfish hurler who got the hook last night is simply sentenced to community service, perhaps cleaning fish at Wholey’s.”
A Nashville law office took it upon themselves to break down Pennsylvania’s statute regarding disorderly conduct, saying they believe the charges should be dropped. The Collins Law Firm, PLLC said, “Mr. Waddell brought tradition into the rink at PPG Paints Arena; if the Penguins weren’t ready to play the Predators, they should have stayed at home.”
The Nolensville man was immediately ejected from the game after throwing the catfish around 9:30 p.m. #CatfishGuy began trending on Twitter immediately after with thousands weighing in, including country star Carrie Underwood and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
PETA even weighed in on the news with the organizations VP Tracy Reiman responding to the charges against Waddell.
She said, in full, “Whether catfish or cat, it’s never acceptable to toss any sensitive, intelligent animal’s body onto the ice during a hockey game. PETA appreciates PPG Paints Arena’s swift action to eject the fan and have him charged with several crimes, which will remind all sports fans that this offensive behavior will not be tolerated. We trust that all NHL arenas will follow suit.”
The Predators fell to the Penguins 5-3 in Monday night’s game.