London, Nov 4 : In a bizarre incident that has been described as a Wild West-style "saloon bar brawl", a priest and two nuns were seen attacking an Italian restaurant owner.
The fight witnessed by passers-by started over an argument over the lease on the restaurant, owned by the Catholic Church.
The 49-year-old owner revealed that he had rushed to the eatery, in the village of Rutino near Salerno, in southern Italy, after hearing that the priest and nuns were causing trouble.
The fight resulted in the owner getting into an argument with the priest, who smashed a chair over his head, and the nuns joining in with kicks to his stomach.
When stunned passers-by saw tables and chairs being hurled around the bar, they promptly called the police.
"I came down to try to calm things down but the priest hit me with a chair and I ended up on the floor. Then the two sisters started kicking me, insulting me with unrepeatable words," the Telegraph quoted the unnamed owner as saying in a statement.
He was later taken to the hospital with injuries to his neck and bruising to his abdomen, but a lawyer for the clergy disputed his version of events, noting that the nuns had "a combined age of 160".
"This establishment was being occupied illegally," said lawyer Gaetano Di Vietri.
"As to the alleged aggression, I would only say that the two nuns have a combined age of about 160. For the rest, it will be up to the magistrate to clear up, but the clergy members deny the allegations," he added.
The priest and nuns belong to a religious order, the Disciples of Santa Teresa and the Baby Jesus, which owns the lease on the premises and reportedly wants the property back.