A man’s trip to a fried chicken shop in the northern town of Middlesbrough descended into a violent brawl after he tried to pay for his meal with a packet of Rizlas.
Anthony McLean, 29, was arrested at the scene after allegedly throwing a charity collection tin at the shop owner when he refused to accept the rolling papers as currency for a portion of fries.
The fracas, which took place on June 22, escalated so much that chairs were apparently used as weapons, according to video footage filmed from across the street.
Perfect Chicken owner Seraz Butt told Teesside Magistrate’s Court: “[McLean] said ‘can I get a portion of chips,’ so I asked him for £1.40 [US$1.70].
“He started getting me the Rizlas and said they were worth 20p each. I said, ‘That is not money, it is a cigarette Rizla.’”
“But he said, ‘No, it’s money.’”
Police said they found McLean topless in the shop when they arrived at the scene and arrested him after viewing the CCTV footage.
However the footage was not submitted as evidence because police had failed to collect it in time.
Magistrates found McLean not guilty on two charges of assault by beating.