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.

Comments (65)
  1. all animals lover says:

    The man should be charged with animal cruelty – how disgusting – that’s not a tradition that deserves to be continued.

    1. Wild Fan says:

      Sometimes animal activists take it too far. It’s not like he stabbed it and then threw it.

      1. Daria says:

        It’s also not like an octopus can recovery from being thrown out of water and on to ice. It’s a death sentence, and for all we know it’s terrifying to boot. Just because he didn’t “stab” it doesn’t mean he hasn’t killed it. You can’t just put it back in water and hope everything will be ok.

      2. Mark says:

        The Octopus was dead already, can’t you people understand this, geeese, get a life and learn to read.

    2. ak says:

      I agree, disgusting and wrong, find another way to represent the tradition.

    3. Matt says:

      another rediculous comment from the treehugging comunity. its a great tradition, and to call it animal cruelty is just what we would expect from the wackos from peta

      1. Js says:

        “To call it animal cruelty is just what we would expect from the wackos from peta”……honestly, genius, how can you NOT call throwing a living octopus onto the ice animal cruelty???

      2. Irish says:

        Some of us from the AR Movement are not affliated with Peta such as myself and many others,how about ye being pulled from the water and thrown onto ice,these creatures live in warm waters ye sod!

      3. Jim Brauer says:

        how CAN you call it animal cruelty. It’s a Mollusk, not an animal as one normally thinks of an animal. For this activity description you would say we should be arrested for throwing a fish we just caught onto the bank and let flop around. Or for that matter just HOOKING the fish would be cruelty by your definition. Move on…

      4. pmaria says:

        would you kill an animal that you weren’t going to eat? why?

      5. eye-roller says:

        A great tradition…. so if they through a puppy onto the ice it WOULDN’T be ok, right? Cause that’s a mammal… and only mammals are REAL animals. The others don’t count. Geez… the ignorance around here is astounding. Have any of these people studied octopus intelligence AT ALL? Didn’t think so. (Guess what… they’re SMARTER than puppies!)

      6. Mark S. says:

        you’re ALL Morons… the Octopus is DEAD before it even left the fish market. Geez, what idiots! What did you think the dude did? Go wade into the Detroit River and pluck it out from among the junk cars and dead bodies?

        Get real! What next? No Turkey for Thanksgiving, either?

        Go eat some tree bark, and leave Hockey Fans alone.

    4. Will says:

      Its an octopus, calm down. How is this a worse death than being eaten – what would have happened otherwise? You prove it has feelings – actual feelings – then we can talk. Otherwise, how is it different than a plant? Now, get back to grazing.

      1. Cindy says:

        Can you prove it does not have feelings?

      2. eye-roller says:

        How can it have feelings if it doesn’t talk? huh-yuk.

      3. Mo says:

        I think it has feelings. I think it felt honored to be a part of such a hallowed tradition. PETA can suck it!

    5. yskoty says:

      Animal Cruelty? Get real. Do you think the guy just picked an octopus out of Lake St. Claire and killed it just to throw it on the ice?

      He bought it at a fish market. The worst thing he is guilty of is wasting food.

      Get a life.

    6. dcn8v says:

      ITA. Horrible way to treat a living creature

    7. Charlieknowsbest says:

      First of all, the octopi that get thrown and have been thrown on the ice, are all dead WAY before they ever get stuffed down the throwers pants or into their pockets. It is almost the same as throwing a fish onto the ice. Do you really think that ANYONE would be able to get an “aquarium” of any size into The Joe just so they could throw a living fish, let alone living octopus, onto the ice to die in a most gruesome way? Really people, get a clue and worry about things that matter in your lives and stop distracting yourselves from your own misery. GO WINGS!!!!

    8. Mark says:

      How is it animal cruelty, would it be animal cruelty if he threw some dead hamburger on the ice, your thinking is way off and ignorant. The most he is guilty of is wasting food, but on average you, I and all of us waste 14% of all of our food, so what are you doing about that instead of expousing your left wing views on here, go check your expiration dates on your food and make up for the Octopus not being eaten.

  2. Clare Metz Horvath says:

    What a revolting tradition!

    1. Wild Fan says:

      You’re obviously not a hockey fan.

      1. Karoo says:

        Yes, true hockey fans would understand. True hockey fans are willing to mindlessly victimize whomever is necessary in the name of hockey. Duh.

  3. Kathryn says:

    Just because something is tradition doesn’t make it right. This redneck needs a serious reality check in humanity and compassion.

    1. Brandon says:

      humanity and compassion??? Why dont you think about this next time you fill up your tank for gas. Or have a oil leak and it runs into our water resource. Messed up

      1. Carn says:

        What does this have to do with victimizing innocent, feeling, intelligent cephalopods?

  4. themcguffin says:

    who cares, let them do it !

  5. Amigwyn says:

    Yeah, lets stick with traditions … it used to be okay to beat your kids and wife, molest your children, force marriages… Frankly I’m glad society can move beyond the more barbaric, ridiculous and idiotic traditions.

    1. Matt says:

      when was it ok to molest your children?

      1. Will says:

        Your children, Im not sure. Children in general, talk to the Greeks/Romans…. or the Catholic Church.

  6. nate says:

    that poor octopus, where is peta?

    1. Wild Fan says:

      Too busy obsessing over cows killed for beef when there are bigger problems in the world.

  7. Casie Moulton says:

    It doesnt say if it was dead or alive. I dont think the octopus has a head in the picture above so I doubt any animal cruelty charges will come of it, and even if they did, its probably only just a fine and slap on the wrist if that. How do you get a octopus into a stadium anyways?

    1. Matt says:

      just to let you know, since nobody here seems to be a hockey fan, i’ll explain. the octopi are dead, bought from a local Detroit deli, and thrown on the ice to simbolize the 8 games (8 legs) that it used to take to win the Stanley Cup. they are not bringing in live octopi, clubbing them in the stands and throwing them on the ice.

      1. says:

        Just to let you know, since no one seems to understand anatomy: Octopi are effectively tissue sacks that hold water. It probably has a head (they’re hard to remove and it’s not common to do so from what I’ve seen) and it’s just being squeezed down since there are no bones/cartilages to support it.

        Similarly, taking them out of water and throwing them on ice make them look “dead” because they can’t move without water, which they pump through their tissues to form the supports. In actuality it just sits there suffocating.

  8. red wing fan kyle says:

    you are all nuts. ive been watching people throw octopus on the ice in joe lewis for as long as i can remember. theres nothing barbaric about it they are dead already.everyone needs to calm down about it… its just something that hockey fans do. especially red wing fans. at least we dont beat eachother into a coma.

  9. BrandyB. says:

    People who aren’t from Detroit just don’t get this tradition. And those who use the animal rights argument are a little off base. These octopi are purchased from seafood markets where they would otherwise be bought for human consumption. They aren’t alive. Its as if you were going to the store to buy a salmon for dinner. Just instead of eating it, you’re taking part in a tradition that makes the pulse race for any true Wings fan, nay…any real HOCKEY fan. Its a tradition that has a place in history. GO WINGS! BRING STANLEY HOME!!!

    1. Matt says:

      how is it that peta and the treehugging hippies finds a way to ruin everything?

      1. Irish says:

        Again,not all AR people are of Peta,google other AR Movements and ye will see for yeself!

  10. jc from atx says:

    It is a tradition, i support this guy 100%

  11. Stephanie Mauser says:

    um… was it already dead when he tossed it out there? i mean, where does one buy a live octopus? i’m all for animal rights, but the only thing i can think is that it was sold at a seafood market. it was already dead. pretty sure it’s not cruel to toss already dead things.

  12. Olly the Octpi says:

    Thanks to all the animal lovers for sticking up for us. We are NOT all dead when thrown on the ice. My cousin Vernon jr. the octopi was alive when he smashed onto the ice and slid across the blue line. SAVAGES!

    1. Ghandi McNasty says:

      Haha. way to not spell check your own name, dumbo. haha!!!

      1. Olly the Octpi says:

        Olly the Octpi..Yah thats how I spell my name..I assume you thought I meant Octopi..Don’t tell me how to spell my own name Ghandi..

      2. Olly the Octpi says:

        I think you have bigger problems than my spelling seeing as your talking to an octopus on the internet..

      3. Spell Check says:

        Ghandi…speaking of not spell checking your name, I assume your screen name refers to Mohandas GANDHI? way to go.

  13. Fredddy Tittylover says:

    all you tree hugging hypocrites can go suck on my chocolate salty b@lls!! this is a long standing tradition and has nothing to do with animal rights. seriously, everyone with a brain or cares to know about the tradition realizes that the creatures are already dead before they are purchased. perhaps it is a waste of food, but that is all. don’t be ignorant.

    1. Irish says:

      Ye sir are without the brain,and just from ye post ye have done well!

  14. Blake Ayo says:

    Yall have got to be kidding me. Ill have you know that i plan on going home and stepping on 4 little kittens tonight solely because of this article. The citizens of America are weak as a whole, eventually a foreign party will recognize this factor. Toughen up people, your grandparents would kick your yupp!e a$$e$ if the read this garbage. Our government (correction your government) is corrupt and the people, spineless.
    sincerely, Blake Ayo

  15. LouLou says:

    Anyone who thinks tossing animals, dead or alive, at a sporting event is either really stupid or really, really stupid, almost as stupid as the guy who’s planning to step on kittens.

    Grow some compassion. Compassion and conjones are not mutually exclusive, mes amis.

    1. Mark says:

      You are a left wing idiot.

  16. Impishbrat says:

    I personally think the number of hotdogs consumed there is worse than one little dead critter tossed on the ice.

  17. ari says:

    Whatever, hockey sucks.

  18. Peter T. says:

    If he bought it from a pet store it’s animal cruelty. If it’s from a fish market it’s a waste of food. I’m sure for an event like this it came from is fish market because the ones from a pet store are costly to begin with.

    Lets not make the mistake to confuse food for pets here. I enjoy octopus in sushi now and then, does that mean I’m being cruel to animals? If that were the case then every restaurant and supermarket that sells meat is guilty of animal cruelty along with all the farms and fishing boats that harvest the food in the first place.

    As far as this case is concerned the gentleman in question is not guilty of animal cruelty but of violating a city ordinance.

    As far as traditions goes they change as time goes by, some go away, some change, some stay the same, and some come back after a period of time. Whether this one remains or not is completely up to those who participate in it.

    If the fans wish to continue this tradition then they should come up with $500 for the fine. It’s not like there is jail time involved here and I’m sure there are more than enough fans out there to cover the cost.

  19. Mouth Breather says:

    Meow…I too would like to eat kittens after you stomp on them, but please leave one or two alive for me. I like to feel them wriggling around trying to escape as I crunch and swallow them. The noises they make while in intense pain also makes me happy.

  20. don kolosick says:

    The octopi are dead and usually boiled prior to throwing. You can buy them at the seafood store. So please don’t cry. I’m going walleye fishing tomorrow and I’ll probably have fish for dinner.

    Now go eat your staek and popcorn chicken. Feed your cats and dogs too. iI pray a foreign country doeasn’t come in here and kick our candy-a$$es Watch some hockey and toughen up!!!!

  21. Scott says:

    seriously? I dont care if you like the tradition or not, i’m sure if it was your teams tradition you would defend it also. its not a live creature being thrown on the ice it food being thrown on the ice. its not a rare delicacy food that is rare to be eaten so if fans want to throw food on the ice thats their choice.

    I’ve been a wings fan my whole life, and I was offended when the NHL said they were banning it. sorry the commissioner isn’t a wings fan but it doesn’t give him a right to ban that.

    it’s just like how they are trying to weed out fighting. it’s hockey, fighting is part of it at every level. still love it. GO wings! Go Hockey! Lets throw the Octopi on the ice and enjoy the tradition!

  22. Mike says:

    People Eating Tasty Animals
    Sorry, I am just a redneck.. who happens to believe in traditions like opening day, octupus throwing and spending my tax dollars on real criminals

  23. Dan says:

    man people are ignorant, how is throwing a fish thats been caught in an ocean, killed, shipped to Detroit boiled and then thrown on the ice watching an octopus suffocate. A little bit of common sense would tell us that a) the thing would bee dead from being out of water way before it ever makes it to the Detroit area. b) if by any miracle the thing lived to make it to Detroit surely placing it in a boiling environment would kill it if it was not dead already. So all these people saying its cruelty need a reality check. The thing has been dead for days before it ever hits the ice surface at the joe.

  24. Andrew Durkin says:

    How in the hell did all of these idiots even find this article on a sports website. All of you people saying that they threw a live octopus on the ice are MORONS. How in the hell do you idiots even know how to type. What is a more honorable way for an octopus to go, getting cooked and thrown on the buffet line at some Chinese buffet only to be half eaten by some 300 pound, mouth breathing mongoloid, or to be cheered out by 20,000 fans>>>

  25. bryan says:

    The octopus has feelings, really? Go save goldfish or oysters while your at it. Pathetic! This is hockey town and throwing the octopi is a tradition. Turn the channel to National Geographic and relax.

  26. Mark says:

    PETA: “People Enjoying Tasty Animals”. I am eating some bacon, yep, that is dead pig. Get over an “already dead” Octopus you left wing wackos. No one wants to hear your views, we are humans, with teeth and a stomach made to hunt, kill and eat animals, not just plants. If you are upset that he didn’t actually eat it, that is anothet thing to discuss, a waste of something, but the killing of a octopus, get real. Your views are so off the chart with mainstream views, no one wants to see you online at all. I love eating dead animals and will continue to as that is my right and part of the natural part of being human.

  27. Jack says:

    Lol the comments: some right wing people “Q_Q I HATE LEFT WING PEOPLE BECAUSE IM BETTER THAN THEM”
    Seriously, you don’t have to be left wing to actually care about things other than yourself… I’d hope. Well I guess you do.

    Ugh we weren’t made to eat animals, we evolved to eat animals given the vegetation thousands of years ago. And now we should ask ourselves if the abuse suffered in factory farms of animals is worth continuing, since if the world switched to non-abused meat and continued eating animals at the rate we do, the entire world would be destroyed. So anyone who wants to cry about how “ANIMAL LOVING TREEHUGGERS LMAO IM GOING TO GO SHOOT SOME BIRDS 4 FUN” are being “stupid”, just realize how much sense it doesn’t make that the abuse of animals is somehow worth it because it tastes good. Don’t pretend that the meat you eat is free range if it isn’t, too. Also, a proper vegetarian diet is more healthy than a diet that includes meat. Not saying that it’s so much healthier, just saying that eating meat because “vegetarians need to take lots of vitamins to live” doesn’t really have merit. I’m not even a vegetarian but it makes me angry when people want to call out vegetarian views as idiotic when in reality they make more sense than their own views. To get back to my original point, we evolved to eat animals, and we can “evolve” to not eat them if we choose not to inflict extreme abuse to them. I say evolve in quotations because it would be more like, “Okay, I’m not an addict, I can do this”.

    I still haven’t found out if the octopi are actually dead before they come into the arena since most people advocating that they are dead seem to just be assuming it themselves. The only real reason I am going to assume that they are is because of where most people would probably get them. Still, it’s the same as throwing a dead cat on the ice and then twirling by it’s tail, except it would be more acceptable to be revolted by that for some reason. I wouldn’t mind being thrown on the ice during a game when I die… then again I don’t think that would be allowed for some reason. XD

    1. Jack says:

      Sorry, I mean’t a proper vegetarian diet is generally healthier than a proper diet that includes meat, by the way.

  28. Lame! says:

    Learn how to spell Joe Louis, you supposed “Fan”.

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