Austrian man fined $77 for burping at kebab stand

By Ben Hooper  |  Feb. 23, 2016 at 12:52 PM
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VIENNA, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- An Austrian man who let loose with a loud burp at a kebab stand said he was shocked to receive a $77 fine from a nearby police officer.

Edin Mehic, 27, who posted a photo of the police incident report to Facebook, wrote that he stopped at a kebab stand Sunday in the Praterstern area of Vienna for a quick spicy snack and scarfing down the food caused him to burp loudly.

Mehic said he felt a hand on his shoulder a few moments later and discovered it was a police officer who had overheard his belch.

Mehic was issued a $77 fine for an alleged breach of peace.

"Thank God this guy protecting my beloved city of Vienna! What would we do without him?" Mehic wrote of the police officer.

"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," he wrote.

Heinz Robathin, Mehic's lawyer, sharply criticized the decision to fine his client.

"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," The Local quoted Robathin as saying. "People burping is hardly rare there. This is such an abuse of police authority that it borders on misconduct."

Mehic's supporters are organizing a flash mob protest on Facebook. The organizers said supporters will meet Saturday in Praterstern to chug soda and burp loudly.

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