The heat proved too much for one
member of the Petersfield SWAT team
Visitors to Petersfield's world-renowned Food & Drink Festival were forced to dive for cover this morning when an East Hampshire SWAT team swooped on a stall-holder selling organic Spanish cucumbers.
Six armed officers dropped into the town square from a hovering chinnook after Spanish farmer Juan Forderoad began selling the produce from a stall next to a bouncy castle.
Five of the officers surrounded Snr Forderoad's stall, while the sixth yo-yoed between the square and the helicopter after landing on the bouncy castle.
A stand-off ensued for half-an-hour with the SWAT team ordering the stall-holder to 'hit the deck', while he in turn threatened to force-feed a passing tourist with an organic cucumber.
A truce was called when the officers became too hot in their Kevlar tunics and began to strip off, causing more visitors to dive for cover and an 84-year-old town councillor to faint. She had only just recovered after seeing the size of Snr Forderoad's cucumber.
The confrontation was broken up when everybody was distracted by the appearance of a traffic warden. The armed officers then arrested the stall-holder and took him off to Costa Coffee where one of them was heard to yell: "HOW MUCH? Are you taking the p***!"
Tourist John Selwyn-Gummer witnessed the shocking events and said: "Culinary terrorism is a very real threat in the 21st century. We should be very proud of our boys in blue ... and black ... and metal protective clothing ... and night goggles.
"I heard people say this was an over-reaction but it was a necessary show of force. Disaffected minorities are increasingly turning to organic cucumbers and we must be vigilant at all times. This stuff is dangerous. Now excuse me, I'm off to buy some British beef..."
■ The Petersfield Festival of Food & Drink continues until late Sunday afternoon.