The local police who heard the man burping near the Praterstern area of the Austrian capital in Vienna told him it was a violation of peace and handed him with a €70 fine.
Edin Mehic, 27-year-old, took his concern to Facebook and posted a copy of the police report of the incident with a caption saying: “I know in these times police are very present on the streets to tackle crime but surely tackling a burper is a bit too much.”
Edin said he thought he had been at least 20 metres away from the police officers when he burped and had no idea that they could have even heard it in the first place.
“It was a Sunday and I was enjoying a walk in the park, and I suddenly felt hungry. I ordered one the way I like it, spicy with a lot of onion.”
He said he had been shocked when he felt a policeman’s arm on his shoulder after the burp and even more surprised when he ended up with the fine.
“I didn’t even know he was there until I felt his arm on my shoulder.” he said.
He also 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.”
The 27-year-old bartender got himself a lawyer, Heinz Robathin, who said: “It is all a question of perspective. If my client had done it in the opera or theatre, I could probably understand somebody complaining. But not in the Praterstern, where there are drug dealers and other people of a dubious character on a daily basis.”
“People burping is hardly rare there. This is such an abuse of police authority that it borders on misconduct.”, Robathin added.
The judge dismissed the fine and ruled out that there was not enough evidence to prove that Mehic burped in front of the officer.