Dispute in Mens' Bathroom Line Leads to Brawl

In any club or restaurant where the alcohol is flowing freely, it's usually patrons of the fair sex who are forced to suffer long lines for the bathroom.

But it was an argument between two men over first dibs on a toilet that led to a nasty brawl outside a local cafe, police said Tuesday.

Five people were briefly hospitalized -- one after being shot with a pellet gun -- after customers at the cafe Dionis in southwestern Moscow began brawling outside the cafe at around 11 p.m. Sunday, police spokeswoman Marina Molokova said.

The incident began when two men, who were drinking with separate groups of friends, began arguing over who would use the bathroom first at the cafe on Ulitsa Miklukho-Maklaya, near the Belyayevo metro station, Molokova said.

"The security guard forced them to go outside to settle the matter," she said.

The two men left the cafe, after which one of them called his father, who lived nearby, Molokova said. After the man's 48-year-old father arrived, a fight broke out between the two groups of friends, who had been drinking heavily and had followed the two men outside, Molokova said.

At some point during the fight, the father opened fire from a Makarych pistol loaded with rubber pellets and struck the man who argued with his son over the bathroom, Molokova said.

"He got angry after seeing that someone was hurting his son," she said.

Police arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and questioned the brawlers and witnesses.

Molokova could not say immediately how many people participated in the fight, only that five people -- including the man who got shot -- were treated for various minor injuries and subsequently released.

Police have classified the incident as hooliganism, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, but no one had been charged as of Tuesday.