Charges against a 23-year-old Vietnamese man over attempting to kill his 28-year-old colleague were dropped on Thursday by the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office in a case that was ruled self-defense.

The two men worked in the same factory in Luzhu District of Taoyuan, The Real Daily reported.

Their dispute started at about 7 pm on June 3 when the accused found his pork chop missing from a refrigerator and blamed his colleague, who happened to be cooking pork in the kitchen at the workers’ hostel.

The pair had a heated discussion which escalated into a physical conflict with one wielding a fruit knife against the accused, who then grabbed a meat cleaver.

Investigators heard the altercation was halted only after the victim’s lower back was cut by the accused man’s cleaver. The accused man immediately dropped his knife and found a clean towel to press onto the other man’s wound to stop the bleeding. This was witnessed by another worker.

The accused man told prosecutors he had no intention of killing the other man, but admitted he had been provoked. Taking into account the fact that man’s injuries were minor, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office ruled it was an act of self-defense and dropped the attempted murder charge.