From Joe Walljasper of the Columbia Daily Tribune:
I have never heard of the maple bar, but I can only imagine its deliciousness. It is a pastry native to the Pacific Northwest that is so tasty that a man can steal one and not be held accountable. What chance did he have?
“They’re irresistible,” said Seattle Seahawks rookie wide receiver Golden Tate after being caught stealing a maple bar from a Top Pot donut shop in Bellevue, Wash.
It was 3 a.m. and the shop wasn’t open, but the nighttime baker had left the door unlocked. Tate and a friend popped in and swiped the maple bars. The baker noticed them and called 911 and reported the theft.
The police bought the deliciousness defense and let Tate off with a warning. His boss was similarly sympathetic.
Pete Carroll barely batted an eye. Still, I'd hope, especially if I were a Seahawks fan, that Tate would show better judgment as a highly-paid NFL player and not risk his new NFL career by swiping a donut, albeit a Top Pot donut. Then again, given the punishment that he got and making the appropriate assumptions about his expected punishment, maybe swiping the pastry was an optimal choice.