Prosecutors to drop charges in Stanley Cup dead catfish toss

PITTSBURGH -- Prosecutors are dropping charges filed against a Tennessee man for throwing a catfish onto the rink in Pittsburgh during Game 1 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a Facebook post Wednesday that Waddell's actions "do not rise to the level of criminal charges" so the charges "will be withdrawn in a timely manner."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."

In an interview Tuesday with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, Waddell described all that went into the catfish toss:

  • He paid $350 for a pair of upper-level tickets to the game, then bought "an entirely too big" catfish at a Tennessee market. He said his wife was "tentatively OK with it."

  • He sprayed it down with Old Spice cologne and threw it into a cooler for the trip to Pittsburgh.

  • On Monday night, before Game 1, he filleted the fish at a relative's house, cut out half its spine, and then ran it over with his truck in an attempt to better conceal it.

  • He stashed the fish over his underwear, then under a pair of compression shorts and baggy shorts.

  • He entered the arena, then staked out a lower-bowl section where he could heave the catfish over the glass. Sure enough, during a stoppage of play, Waddell made the move.

Recalling how it unfolded, Waddell told 104.5 The Zone: "I thought, 'Man, wouldn't it be awesome to get to go to that game?' And then, like an ignorant redneck, I thought 'Wouldn't it be awesome to throw a catfish on the ice at this game?'"

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.