While many were digging out of the fourth major nor’easter to impact the northeastern US last week, one town was ready to put the blame on someone, or as the case may be, some thing. Pennsylvania’s Monroe County issued a Wanted Poster for Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog made famous for its winter/spring forecast rooted in folklore.
“The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the apprehension of Punxsutawney Phil for deception. On February 2, 2018, Punxsutawney Phil promised that there would be 6 more weeks of winter. That promise expired on March 16th. We are now on the 2nd day of spring and we are in the middle of yet another snow storm,” writes the Sheriff’s Office. “Any positive information please call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.”
Lydia Maria Granuzzo expressed dismay of the order on Facebook. “Are you kidding me Groundhog Day has been a tradition for years and now they get mad and put the poor thing on a wanted list,” she wrote on the Monroe County Sheriff Office’s wall.
Malena Farrell writes on Facebook she’d protect the fugitive. “I will provide free room and board to Phil if he continues to break his promises about winter ending in six weeks, ” she writes. “Phil, you will be safely hidden and protected from this unfair and unlawful harassment by the Monroe county police.”
This isn’t the first time the groundhog has been in trouble with the law. As an example, in 2015, the Merrimack Police Department in New Hampshire issued a warrant for Punxsutawney Phil. In a Facebook post at the time, the police department wrote, “We here at Merrimack Police felt compelled to let the public know that there is a warrant for Punxsutawney Phil! We have received several complaints from the public that this little varmint is held up in a hole, warm and toasty. He told several people that Winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow! If you see him, do not approach him as he is armed and dangerous. Call Merrimack Police, we will certainly take him into custody!”