Nashville TV Station Digs Into Decision To Charge Catfish Thrower

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (KDKA/AP) — The CBS affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee thinks “something’s fishy” about the decision to file charges against a Predators fan for throwing a catfish onto the ice at PPG Paints Arena during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

NewsChannel 5 Chief Investigative Reporter Phil Williams looked into past incidents of items being thrown onto the Pittsburgh Penguins’ home ice, including one during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final where fans threw rally towels after a call went against the Pens.

Williams reported Pittsburgh Police told NewsChannel 5 no one was arrested following last week’s incident. His report also mentioned two similar incidents with the same result – One involving sock penguins this past February and another involving a shoe in December 2015.

Police say 36-year-old Jacob Waddell of Nolensville, Tennessee threw a dead catfish over the glass surrounding the rink Monday night. He was immediately ejected. Tuesday, he was charged with disorderly conduct, possessing instruments of crime and disrupting meetings or processions.

Waddell told Nashville radio station WGFX-FM that he came up with the idea ahead of a trip to see relatives in Ohio.

He said that “like an ignorant redneck, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to throw a catfish on the ice at this game?'”

Meanwhile, Wholey’s General Manager Scott Thomas tells the “KDKA Morning News” they have three checkpoints in place to make sure someone purchasing a catfish isn’t from Tennessee.

Thomas says they have to get through, “The clerks at the fish counter, the cashier and then the cashier will call me or one of the other managers over for a final check.”

He adds everyone trying to buy a catfish will need to show ID and “if they’re from Tennessee, they’re not getting the catfish, period.”

Thomas says they have now turned away three people and that they didn’t even make it past the fish counter.

Wholey’s has had practice in stopping out of town fans from buying their seafood. In 2008 and 2009 they banned Detroit Red Wings fans from buying octopi.

The Penguins won the game 5-3. Game 2 is Wednesday.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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