Why N.H. police issued an arrest warrant for Punxsutawney Phil

The Merrimack, N.H., police department has found the culprit for a massive winter felony committed by a wily woodchuck. 

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha, left, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Feb. 2, 2015. Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter weather.

While Boston has its hands full tracking the Boston Yeti galumphing around the city, the Merrimack Police Department in New Hampshire has put out an arrest warrant for groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, via its Facebook page.

“We know we are a day early, however 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,” wrote Lt. Denise Roy of the Merrimack Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit on the department’s Facebook page. “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!”

The public was quick to respond.

Resident Judy Berezansky responded to the post, “You have identified the wrong suspect. Queen Elsa is behind this weather.”

Melanie Brigham Nason replied, “could you put out a warrant for Snow Miser too? I think they are working together.”

Police officer Roy says in a phone interview, “I was talking to the chief and we were saying we need to keep it light and not let the seven feet of snow we have piled up here get to us.”

“We never put out a wanted poster on an animal before,” says Roy. “But we already decided his punishment is going to be life in the hole without parole. No bail for Phil.”

Part of the decision to try and lighten things up comes from the influx of complaints from New Hampshire residents beside themselves over a neighbor blowing snow onto their property.

“When those calls started coming in I thought people could really use a laugh,” Roy says. “This is a really great community. When you start to get those kinds of calls you need to do something to release the stress over seeing your driveway, streets and yard shrinking under the snow that’s boxing you in.”

People needed someone, other than their neighbors, to blame for the misfortune and Roy and the department gave them Phil’s head on a platter – so to speak.

However, Merrimack isn’t the only city struggling to kick off a deep blanket of snow.

In Boston, Charlotte Wilder penned “A Breakup Letter to Snow From the City of Boston,” which quickly became viral on social media.

Dear Snow, I could say “it’s not you, it’s me,” but that would be the biggest lie I’ve told since I promised the British they wouldn’t get shot at if they showed up by sea. It is you. It’s 100 percent you.”

Twitter is rife with tweets that range from moping to coping by donning bikinis and running out into the white stuff.

A series of Snowman prank videos centering around a large snowman standing on a corner in various New England states and randomly coming to life and scaring the daylights out of residents has been popular since late November 2014.

However, in the past some residents took to attacking the snowman in what might be a case of displaced aggression.

On the other hand, those in the Northeast should know that there are people willing to pay to be in the snow.

The Crazy Camps website offers Crazy Snow Camps that sound very much like those currently snowbound. An international mix of people “Cooking, eating & cleaning together. Crazy group games.”

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