Queenstown police arrested a drunken Scotsman who allegedly pulled an Indian man's turban from his head on Monday night.
Sergeant Kate Pirovano said yesterday the 19-year-old Scottish man was walking past McDonald's in Camp St at 11.30pm while an Indian restaurant manager was outside.
The Scotsman grabbed the man's turban, she said.
The young man was facing a charge of disorderly behaviour likely to cause violence against persons to start.
He is expected to appear in the Queenstown District Court.
Turbans are worn as traditional or religious headwear in many communities in India, the Middle East, parts of Africa and other countries.
McDonald's New Zealand national communications manager Simon Kenny said the restaurant manager went outside to check another member of staff, who was moving a car parked outside a nightclub.
When he went outside a tourist ran past and grabbed the turban from his head.
It was culturally inappropriate to be seen outside without a turban so the manager went back inside.
The manager was upset by the incident, Mr Kenny said.
McDonald's staff spoke to security guards outside a nightclub and they detained the Scotsman before police arrived.
Mr Kenny said the franchise introduced security after a manager was assaulted last year. It had CCTV and staff had a direct phone line to police in Queenstown.
- The Southland Times