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A 27-year-old New Zealand man has been charged with assault after using a hedgehog as an improvised ninja star against a 15-year-old, NZ's Sunday Herald reports.

Cops allege that Whakatane resident William Singalargh scooped up the unfortunate creature and threw it about five metres at his unnamed target on 9 February. Senior Sergeant Bruce Jenkins, of Whakatane police, said: "It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks. He [Singalargh] was arrested shortly afterwards for assault with a weapon, namely the hedgehog."

Police declined to say whether the participants in the outrage knew each other, or whether booze was involved. The Sunday Herald adds: "It is also unknown whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time but it was dead when it was collected as evidence."

Singalargh is up before the beak in Whakatane District Court on 17 April on an "assault with a weapon" rap. The maximum penalty for the offence is five years. ®

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