Police have charged a Hamilton man in connection with an unusual case of theft and assault that occurred in a downtown bar.

On Monday night around 11 p.m., two men, who police say were previously unknown to each other, were having a conversation in an establishment near King and John streets. One of the men tried to grab money from the other's pockets.

"This person just reached over — I assume looking for money — and that's where it precipitated from," said Sgt. Debbie McGreal-Dinning, spokesperson for Hamilton Police.

The victim, she said, took out a container from his pocket and sprayed the victim in the eye with an unknown substance. The suspect then fled the bar.

He returned a short time later, jumped over the bar and stole bottles of beer from behind the counter, according to police.

When the staff approached the suspect, police allege, he swung a chair, hitting the initial victim. He suffered minor injuries.

Police arrested the 31-year-old suspect, who is facing assault and theft charges. Police released him from custody later that night.