Vienna police have fined a man 500 euros ($565) for loudly breaking wind in front of the police – a move the force was quick to defend on Tuesday.

The Austrian capital’s police force said there was much more to the incident than first meets the eye, after the accused complained of what he called a “disproportionate and unjustified fine” on June 5.

In reply to social media commentary that followed, Vienna police revealed the man was fined for “offending public decency”.

“Of course no-one will be reported for accidentally ‘letting one go’ once,” they wrote on Twitter. Meanwhile, people are building memes and posting hilarious remarks throughout social media.

The force added that the man had behaved “provocatively and uncooperatively” during an encounter with officers that preceded the incident.

He “slightly raised himself from the bench, looked at the officers and patently, in a completely deliberate way, emitted a massive flatulence in their immediate proximity”, they said.

The suspect then found at great financial expense that the police did not “like to be farted at so much”.