A quick-thinking worker at a takeaway food store in Sydney has foiled an attempted robbery by throwing a bucket of chilli at a would-be thief.
Tyrone Holmwood, 24, ordered some food in the shop but then allegedly argued with staff over payment and walked behind the counter in a bid to open the cash register, said New South Wales police.
Holmwood apparently struck Joanna Tarnoski, 27, across the chest as she tried to stop him from getting to the money before she threw the chilli in his face. He was left with minor burns.
"I didn't think twice, I just wanted to protect myself. I threw all the chilli on his face here and then he got crazy because of that," Ms Tarnoski said.
"It appears that she's just fought back with whatever was close at hand," Inspector Ralph Deans told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"As you can imagine with a face full of chilli, he's received some burns to his face, and he was quite red-faced at the time police arrived to arrest him."
Holmwood has been charged with assault with intent to rob.
Outside the court, his father praised the employee for defending herself.
"Good on them. I would have poured hot fat over his head. You know, any right person can protect themselves if they're getting robbed. He's lucky he only got chilli over his head," he said.
Staff at the Ole takeaway shop told local media the chilli sauce is a secret recipe and a speciality at their store.