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Fan Requests Jury Trial, Charged After Throwing Octopus

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Al Sobotka swings around an octopus prior to the Detroit Red Wings taking on  the San Jose Sharks during Game Two of their 2007 NHL Western Conference Semifinal at Joe Louis Arena April 28, 2007. (credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Al Sobotka swings around an octopus prior to the Detroit Red Wings taking on the San Jose Sharks during Game Two of their 2007 NHL Western Conference Semifinal at Joe Louis Arena April 28, 2007. (credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – A Farmington man has pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct charges for throwing an octopus onto the ice at a recent Red Wings game. 

Charlie Graves is asking for a jury trial and said he took part in the longtime Detroit tradition because it deserves respect, even though octopus-tossing violates city ordinances in NHL cities.

“I pleaded not guilty of course, because I’m going to fight for this tradition, and so I have to come back in July for a trial… and I’ll be lawyered up,” Graves said.

The octopus tradition started nearly 60 years ago in Detroit. Its eight legs represented the number of wins needed at the time to capture the Stanley Cup.

Graves said he admitted to last month’s mollusk mayhem when confronted by security at Joe Louis Arena.

“They said it’s against the rules, you know, who threw it. They actually used the word, ‘Who’s got the smelly hands?’ And I told them I did,” Graves said.

Graves was fined $500 dollars by the NHL. A similar incident happened to a Canton fan. He too was fined $500 and thrown out of the game.

Detroit Red Wings fans aren’t the only ones upset about the incidents. 97.1 The Ticket’s Jeff Riger talked with Chris Osgood, who thinks the whole thing is “ridiculous.”

“It’s part of our tradition. For the league to even get involved in that, I mean that’s stepping over the line, I think,” Osgood said.

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