PITTSBURGH (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping charges filed against a Tennessee man for throwing a catfish onto the rink in Pittsburgh during the opening of the Stanley Cup Final.
Jacob Waddell, 36, was charged in Allegheny County with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings or processions after tossing the dead fish over the glass surrounding the rink Monday night during the Nashville Predators-Pittsburgh Penguins game.
District Attorney Stephen Zappala said in a Facebook post Wednesday that Waddell's actions "do not rise to the level of criminal charges" so the charges "will be withdrawn in a timely manner."
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry had called for the charges to be "quickly dismissed."
Waddell called himself "a dumb redneck with a bad idea" in a conversation with Nashville radio station WGFX-FM . He said he bought an "entirely too big" catfish in Tennessee, fileted it and cut half the spine out, and then ran over it with his pickup truck several times to make it easier to pack.
"I tried putting it in my boot, but ... the head was too damn big," he said. "No matter how much I ran over it with the truck, the head was too damn big."
He said he sprayed the fish with cologne and body spray, packed it in a cooler, and sneaked it into the arena by stuffing it down his pants between two layers of regular and compression underwear — having tested the method by wearing the fish at his in-law's home for 20 minutes without them suspecting anything. He took his $350 upper-level seat before descending to the lower level to accomplish the stunt.
"It was absolutely — ten times over — worth it," he told the station. "I would do it a thousand more times, absolutely."