Thu Jun 19 10:35am EDT
Mike Timmer knew he was going to be kicked out of the Pepsi Arena in Denver when he tossed an octopus on the ice during Game 4 of the Detroit Red Wings/Colorado Avalanche series. According to the Ben Schmitt of the Detroit Free Press, what the 26-year-old didn't expect was a citation from Denver police that could have resulted in a fine and, perhaps, even jail time:
Denver's finest cited Timmer, who grew up in Grand Haven, for "throwing stones or missiles," a municipal violation.
Here's what the statute says: "It shall be unlawful for any person to throw any stone or other missile upon or at any vehicle, building, tree or other public or private property, or upon or at any person in any public way or place which is public in nature, or on enclosed or unenclosed ground."
Ah, the ever-subtle differences between a stone, a missile and a dead cephalopod.
Russell Hebets is a Denver-based lawyer and a fellow Red Wings fan. The Freep reports that he took this case on free of charge based on it being a gigantic waste of everyone's time, and last week it was dismissed in a Denver city court. Thus avoiding the dangerous legal precedent that could have resulted in heavy fines and multiple arrests during any game with a hat trick.
The real dillweeds in this situation are the Pepsi Center staffers that encouraged otherwise apathetic police officers to issue Timmer a citation, like a bunch of Walter Pecks from "Ghostbusters" demanding the containment unit be shut down. "The cops didn't even care," Timmer told the paper. "Actually, one of them was from Detroit."
Just another battle in the ongoing War Against Red Wings Octopus Tossing and/or Twirling. What we're concerned about is more legal escalation in this fight.
Next thing you know, some kook will try and sue Detroit over octopus tossing based on the 1982 Michigan Bodies of Dead Animals Act. Oh, right ...