Riot police storm pub after a smoker lights up in protest to the ban

UK Daily Mail
Monday October 15, 2007

151007smoker.jpg It wasn’t exactly the dramatic finale one cricket fan was expecting.

Having installed himself in his local pub to watch England play India, John Vaughan was enraged when the channel was switched over to football just as the cricket was reaching its thrilling conclusion.

So Mr Vaughan lit up a cigarette in protest. When he refused to extinguish it, staff pressed a panic button behind the bar.

And a few minutes later six riot police officers wearing protective gear stormed the pub.

Mr Vaughan had been watching the one-day international at the Copper Pot pub in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, last month.

The game was about to finish when the channel was switched to the England versus Israel Euro 2008 football qualifier.

Mr Vaughan said yesterday: “The cricket only had ten minutes left, but the football wasn’t even going to start for another 45 minutes.

“We complained but nothing happened. So I decided to light up out of protest.

“Staff told me I couldn’t smoke, but I said I’d had enough of being pushed around by the Government.

“They pressed a panic button and the next thing I knew, there were six policemen in the pub and two outside.”

No action was taken against demolition boss Mr Vaughan after he agreed to leave.

There was a big cheer round the pub from about 60 people, added Mr Vaughan, “and even the police found it quite amusing.”

Warwickshire Police confirmed officers had been sent to the pub on September 8 following reports of a man “smoking and being aggressive”.

A spokesman said: “They explained why he should not be smoking, asked him to leave and he did so happily.”

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4 Responses to “Riot police storm pub after a smoker lights up in protest to the ban”

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  4. Matt Shultz Says:

    This has to be one of the most ludicrous things ever to happen in the current police state environment. So absurd it belongs in a British sitcom, but with an underlying creepiness to it that can’t help but remind me of the Diet Mountain Drew ad. It likely came down to a misunderstanding: the police, seeing that the panic button had been pushed at a pub, continued on the assumption that a bar brawl was in the making … arriving only to find that it was a matter of enforcing a minor regulatory infraction at a sleepy little pub. From the sounds of it, everyone walked away from it shaking their heads and chuckling.

    But you know what? I’ll bet you it goes a long way towards enforcing the new no smoking policy, too.

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