An Ohio prosecutor has filed a criminal “indictment” against Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog who emerges from his burrow each February 2 at Gobbler’s Knob to predict whether spring will come early or late.
Michael T. Gmoser, prosecutor for Butler County, OH, says Punxsutawney Phil lied, and it’s not the first time. Last Thursday was the first full day of spring, the same day the Northeast received a foot of snow.
“I woke up this morning and the wind was blowing, the snow was flying, the temperatures were falling, and I said ‘Punxsutawney, you let us down,’” Gmoser told CNN.
The “indictment” is all in good fun, or course, but that didn’t keep Phil’s handlers from defending their famous rodent.
“If you remember two weeks ago on a Sunday, it was probably 60, 65 degrees,” handler John Griffiths told WXIX in Phil’s defense. “So, I mean, that basically counts as an early spring.”
Gmoser says that defense won’t hold up.
“Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause people to believe that Spring would come early,” the indictment reads. Gmoser says he will recommend the death penalty.
“He’s already serving a life sentence behind bars, as you know,” Gosmer told WXIX.