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‘Spiceman’ trial begins with court hearing 911 call

File photo of Maroli Indian Kerala Restaurant on Bloor Street near Bathurst Street . OMNI TELEVISION.

The trial for a restaurant owner who allegedly defended himself with masala spices began Friday with the court hearing a 911 call.

Naveen Polapady, dubbed the Spiceman, is accused of assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon after an incident at Maroli Indian Kerala Restaurant on Bloor Street near Bathurst Street in August 2011.

A man allegedly broke into the restaurant and Polapady said he used a broom covered in masala mix to defend himself and his family who live above the restaurant.

The court heard a phone call Polapady made from his car as he chased the robber.

“He tried to hit me and I followed him…I’m on Palmerston [Boulevard],” Polapady says in the tape.

“He was stealing a GPS and a laptop…I caught him red-handed…I was like putting chili powder on him, because he hit me on hand and chest,” Polapady says.

The robber allegedly suffered serious injuries in the altercation, leading to the charges against Polapady.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Polapady’s case is similar to that of Chinatown grocer David Chen, who chased and then bound a thief who stole plants from his store The Lucky Moose in 2009.

Chen and his two co-accused were found not guilty of assault and forcible confinement.

Just last week, Prem and Jeyanthini Kanapathi fought off two armed men who were attempting to rob their Scarborough silk store.

The entire event was caught on security video. The two teens have since been arrested.