A New Zealand man has been accused of assault with a prickly weapon — a hedgehog.

Police allege that William Singalargh picked up the hedgehog and threw it several yards to hit a 15-year-old boy in the North Island east coast town of Whakatane on Feb. 9.

"It hit the victim in the leg, causing a large, red welt and several puncture marks," police Senior Sgt. Bruce Jenkins said Monday. The teen did not need medical treatment, he added.

The Herald on Sunday newspaper reported that it was not known whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time of the attack, but that it was dead when collected as evidence.

Jenkins said Singalargh, 27, was arrested shortly after the incident on a charge of assault with a weapon. He is expected to appear in court again on April 17.

His lawyer, Rebecca Plunket, said Singalargh intends to plead innocent. The maximum penalty for the charge is five years in prison.

While using a hedgehog as a weapon in an assault is uncommon, Jenkins said, "People often get charged with assault for throwing things at other people."