Amid storm, Arundel police announce arrest of Punxsutawney Phil

Groundhog Day celebrity charged with 'excessive winter'

  • Anne Arundel County Police released this booking photo of Punxsutawney Phil, who they say was arrested late Wednesday for "excessive winter."
Anne Arundel County Police released this booking photo of Punxsutawney… (Anne Arundel County Police…)
February 13, 2014

Anne Arundel County police say they've arrested famed Groundhog Day celebrity Punxsutawney Phil and charged him with excessive winter and "failing to do right."

The arrest — which came as the area was receiving the first wave of the storm that came across the area Wednesday into Thursday — was announced by department spokesman Lt. T.J. Smith via Twitter. Smith even provided a mug shot of Phil, who appeared to more than 6 feet tall, according to the booking photo.

On his Twitter feed Wednesday night, Smith relayed the news as: "Breaking, Moments ago. Punxsutawney Phil Mugshot. Charged w/ excessive winter and failing to do right."

Thursday morning, he added a new photo and Tweeted, "As 1st reported last night. Follow up and updated mugshot of Phil!"

The excessive winter change may stem from the Groundhog Day incident on Feb. 2 in Pennsylvania, in which Phil saw his shadow, indicating six more weeks of winter.

Anne Arundel is still digging out from the overnight storm that left as much as 12.5 inches of snow throughout the county.

The Tweets came a lighter moment as police, fire and county public works crews responded to the storm. Other recent Tweets on Smith's feed included driver safety tips, preparedness warnings and at least one note of optimism last night: "Think about it, in just 36 days it will be Spring."

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