Just one day after a Nashville Predators' fan was cited for tossing a 4-pound catfish onto the ice at the Pittsburgh Penguin PPG Paints Arena, the prosecutors have dropped the case.
"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," a statement from Allegheny County District Attorney Spokesman Mike Manko reads.
"As such, the three charges filed against Mr. Waddell will be withdrawn in a timely manner."
Jacob Deveral Waddell, 36, of Nolensville, Tenn. launched a 4-pound catfish onto the ice during Game 1 on Monday and was ejected from the game.
Following the stunt — a popular Predator pastime at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville — police cited Waddell with disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting and possession of an instrument of crime.
"Good. I'm glad they realized it was all in the spirit of good fun and not criminal," Waddell told The Tennessean Wednesday morning after learning his case had been dismissed.
"Only crime is not frying it and eating it," said Waddell, who has been dubbed 'Catfish Jake' by legions of Nashvillians.
The tradition of tossing catfish onto the ice in Nashville began in 2003. It's a Nashville take on a Detroit Red Wings tradition of tossing octopus onto the ice in Michigan. At the time, it took eight wins to claim the cup (octopus have eight tentacles).
According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, no one has been cited in Music City for the Predator pastime in the last 14 years.