Charges dropped for waffle-thrower
TORONTO -- A frustrated Toronto Maple Leafs fan won't be doing time or have to pay a fine for throwing waffles on the ice at a game.
But, to his consternation, he's still facing a lifetime ban from Air Canada Centre, home of the Leafs.
Joe Robb, a stonemason from Oakville, Ontario, was charged with mischief to property after making his soft, thawed breakfast-food protest at a 6-3 loss Dec. 20 at Air Canada Centre against the Atlanta Thrashers.
The charges were dropped Thursday in return for five hours of community service.
"They wanted me to do over 30 hours of community service and they wanted me to sign a peace bond and other stuff. I refused," Robb told the Toronto Star. "My parents are proud people, Scottish people. And they just always told me, no matter what I do, I should always stick up for myself and back what you're doing and don't stand down."
Robb, 31, was accompanied at the court hearing by his father, Joe Robb Sr., who said supportive friends have taken to calling him Waffle Sr., according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The younger Robb still is barred from entering all venues owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, including Air Canada Centre, BMO Field and Ricoh Coliseum.
He is hoping the ban might be lifted once he fulfills his community service.
"To ban me for a lifetime. . . for all the money and effort and tears I've put into them, to be told I couldn't go and see them, I'd be pretty disappointed," Robb said, according to the Star.
The Maple Leafs are 19-25-5 this season, with 43 points entering the All-Star break, the fewest in the league except for four teams.
Robb was not the first to toss waffles onto the ice. A fan did it Dec. 9 at Air Canada Centre, when the Maple Leafs lost to the Flyers 4-1. That fan, however, was never nabbed.
"We pay the same money. Why can't we throw waffles because we think they're playing bad?" Robb told the Star. "People throw hats when they think they're playing good. Why can't we do something to show disapproval for what's happened over the past 44 years -- especially in my lifetime, 25 years of robbing us and lies?"
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.