A man was fined by police in Vienna, Austria, for offending public decency with a loud burp. Edin Mehic was fined €70 (£55, $77) for belching while standing close to a policeman in the city’s famous Prater Park. Writing on Facebook, the local bar worker said he burped after eating a kebab with too much onion.
Moments later, he wote: “I felt a hand on my shoulder.
But what had I done?... I was being reported for a ‘decency violation’, the policeman shouted.
“I had a long discussion with him about why he wasn’t picking up real criminals who were obviously consuming and selling completely legal drugs. That didn’t get us very far.”
He said he thought he had been at least 20 metres away from the police officer when he burped and had no idea that they could have even heard it.
He added: "I guess things can't be as bad in the area as we read in the papers because if they have time to chase up burping, it means there isn’t anything more serious to worry about."
Mehic posted a photograph of the fine, which says that he violated “public decency with a loud belch next to a police officer”.
Police spokesman Roman Hahslinger confirmed on Monday that Mehic had been fined for the offending burp. Mehic plans to appeal against the fine.
Though it was emitted earlier this month, the belch continues to resonate.
A “loud belch” flash mob has now been planned for next Saturday near the scene of the crime.