NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A world-famous Pennsylvania groundhog has been “indicted” over this year’s weather prediction.
Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow last month when he was released on the legendary Gobbler’s Knob, forecasting an early spring.
Apparently upset over the lack of warm weather, Ohio prosecutor Mike Gmoser has filed an indictment against Phil, charging a “misrepresentation of early spring.”
“When I came to work in the wind and the cold, I said to myself something is wrong with Phil,” Gmoser said. “Punxsutawney has some answers that he needs to give and I’m just going to have to indict him.”
The official-looking indictment states, “Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early. Contrary to the Groundhog Day report, a snowstorm and record low temperatures have been and are predicted to continue in the near future.”
What penalty would Phil face if convicted? Gmoser says it’s death.
“The people further find and specify that due to the aggravating circumstances and misrepresentation to the people that the death penalty be implemented to the defendant, Punxsutawney Phil,” the indictment states.
Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, said Phil will fight any extradition attempt by authorities.
“We’ll have to plead our case one way or the other, but I think we can beat the rap,” he said.
Mike Johnston, a retired Groundhog Inner Circle member, also came to Phil’s defense. He told Pittsburgh’s KDKA that the prognosticator of prognosticators is “incapable of error.”
“I’m sure if you talk to the folks in Texas, they would tell you they’ve had spring-like conditions for the past month, much more premature, much earlier and much warmer and much hotter,” he said. “So Phil was spot on.”
But in the end, Gmoser said he was just having “a little fun” with the indictment.
Malverne Mel on Long Island saw his shadow on Groundhog Day, meaning six more weeks of winter.
Staten Island Chuck however agreed with Phil and predicted an early spring.
No word yet if Chuck faces any charges.
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