AN independent investigation was launched last night after armed police shot a man with plastic bullets in a busy city restaurant.

Two of the non-lethal baton rounds were fired at the man after customers were evacuated from the premises.

The drama unfolded late on Bank Holiday Monday when police were sent to York city centre following reports of a man armed with a knife in the Goodramgate area.

Shortly after 10pm, police surrounded the nearby Viceroy of India in Monkgate, a popular curry house.

Customers and staff from the restaurant were evacuated by the police and the road outside was sealed off as firearms officers were deployed to the scene.

Officers then fired two baton rounds at the man, who was arrested and taken to hospital, where he was treated for bruising.

The incident was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for investigation - a compulsory but routine procedure when baton rounds are fired.

Monday's incident was only the second time such rounds have been used in North Yorkshire. The first occasion was in 2003, in Thirsk, against a man who was brandishing two knives.

Jack Merry, landlord of the Tap and Spile pub opposite the restaurant where Monday's incident took place, said: "People came into the pub and gave different versions of the story."

Police last night charged a 44-year-old York man with affray and possession of an offensive weapon.

He was held in custody last night and is due to appear before York City magistrates this morning.