The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/07/11 at 08:32 PM ET
Updated 3x with a superb summary from Yahoo Sports, citation number included, at 9:09 PM: Well here’s irony for you: WDIV (via RedWingsFeed) reports that the first gentleman who found himself facing a $500 fine and a misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct for having the unfortunate luck of throwing an octopus at Joe Louis Arena after City of Detroit added a new law to the books will not face any further punishment for treading upon the NHL’s toes:
The Farmington man who was fined by the NHL for throwing an octopus on the ice during a Detroit Red Wings game was charged with disorderly conduct.
There is a Detroit city ordinance against throwing objects on the Joe Louis Arena ice during games. Charlie Graves pleaded not guilty April 26 to a disorderly conduct charge. However, the city has decided to drop the charge. The arresting officer never showed up to court Thursday for Graves’ hearing, Graves said.
The NHL fined Graves $500 after he admitted to ushers that he threw an octopus on the Joe Louis Arena ice during a March 21 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It is a 50-something-odd-year tradition,” Graves said. “I feel the city of Detroit takes pride in their tradition, and if the (NHL) commissioner thinks we are going to go down without a fight, he is wrong.”
An octopus was tossed on the ice during a Red Wings first-round playoff game this month. The man who threw that octopus also was charged with disorderly conduct and fined $500 by the NHL. Graves had said he would fight the charge in support of the tradition. .
“I pleaded not guilty, of course,” Graves said in April. “I’m going to fight for this tradition. If I had the chance I’d do it again, of course.”
WDIV posted a video report regarding the incident. Now we’ll find out if Tom Balish, who received notoriety via Deadspin for facing similar charges, will end up doing any community service when his court date comes up.
Update #2: According to WDIV’s Bora Kim, Balish’s charges were also thrown out when the officer didn’t show…
Update #3: Per Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski, a quote or five:
One of the fans that received a fine was Charles Graves, 24, of Farmington, who tossed a mollusk on the ice during a March 24 game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He appeared in court on April 26 — wearing a Nicklas Lidstrom jersey, no less — and pleaded not guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.
“I’m going to fight for this tradition. If I had the chance I’d do it again, of course,” said Graves after court to ClickOnDetroit.com.
Graves appeared in court again on Thursday for a hearing on his fine, wearing a Red Wings hat and a red shirt into the building. He heard good news: The case was dismissed because the arresting officer didn’t appear for the hearing, according to WDIV in Detroit.
“I had no idea what they were going to do,” said Graves. “I couldn’t see them actually charging me $500. I think that’s ridiculous for a tradition that’s lasted forever — almost.
“If I were a cop, I wouldn’t want to show up either,” he said. “[And] be the one to ruin everything for everybody.”
And, lest we need reminding:
Multiple Detroit fans received citations for throwing an octopus on the ice in violation of Municipal Code 38-5-4, which prohibits the throwing of objects on the playing area during sporting events. Along with those citations came $500 fines — most notably to a fan named Tom Blaish of Canton, whose tale on Deadspin sparked outrage over the police action.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.