The man accused of throwing a can of hard seltzer at Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz during the Houston Astros World Series victory parade was no-billed by a grand jury.
Joseph Arcidiacono was charged with aggravated assault after throwing the drink at Cruz.
Video of the incident showed the can flying through the air toward Cruz as he was on a float celebrating the Astros’ victory in November. Another person on the float blocked the can from hitting the lawmaker.
“As always I’m thankful for the Houston Police and Capitol Police for their quick action,” Cruz wrote on Twitter after the incident. “I’m also thankful that the clown who threw his White Claw had a noodle for an arm.”
Arcidiacono’s attorney said in a statement following his arrest that political violence is “never acceptable” but that the drink thrown at the parade “was not political violence nor ‘aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.’”
“We have seen various videos and understand why Senator Cruz’s security detail was alert for potential violence,” the attorney wrote. “Instead, this was an Astros fan trying to toss drinks from his cooler to the Senator during a championship parade and not realizing how it would be perceived until he saw security’s reaction. The night before the parade, Joey texted a friend, ‘My dream would be to throw one of the players a beer. Doubt it would happen haha but that would be epic.’”
“Many generous, fun, semi-stupid, legendary moments have happened during Astros Championship Parades,” the statement continued. “Hopefully, many more of those moments will happen in the years to come. Fans throw cans to people in championship parades all the time. That is a widely known thing. To get them to chug.”
The attorney described in the statement some of what happened during the celebrations on the day of the parade, highlighting that the Houston Astros shared a video of pitcher Ryne Stanek chugging a beer a fan threw to him, and that the fan posted his own video showing how thrilled he was that it happened.
“That was stupid, good fun,” the attorney said of the moment with Stanek and that fan. “This ended up as not fun.”
Arcidiacono “apologizes for how his actions alarmed Senator Cruz, his family, and his security detail and put a damper on an otherwise beautiful celebration for millions of Houstonians. With this fuller context, we ask for grace and hope Senator Cruz declines to maintain charges,” the attorney wrote.