A pair of teenagers on their first trip abroad without their parents were quizzed by armed police officers after they got MUD on hotel towels.
Francesca Stefanyszyn, 17, and her 18-year-old boyfriend Ged Sykes were rounded on by hotel staff and later the police as they checked out of the 5 star Crown Piast in Krakow, Poland.
They were ordered to pay £41 because they had got mud on some hand towels after using them to sit on in a park.
The couple – who were on holiday to celebrate Ged's 18th birthday – told the Mail the situation 'escalated' when they said they had no money, resulting in the hotel staff calling the police.
The armed officers then demanded the teenagers hand over their passports.
"I was absolutely petrified. Our flight was two hours away and I thought I was going to be arrested or shot," Francesca told the paper. "We had used the towels to lie on when we visited a park and they were very lightly marked with soil."
She said they had handed the towels in for cleaning four days prior to checking out, and that the hotel had waited until they were leaving before mentioning there was a problem.
"They told us they were stained but you could see they hadn't even tried to wash them," A-level student Francesca said. "We had no money left and couldn't pay so they called the police."
She says 'two big officers' with guns blocked the exit and prevented them from leaving the hotel, all the while demanding their passports.
"They took them from us and then our taxi to the airport couldn't wait for us any more and drove off," she said. "I was crying my eyes out. I thought we were going to be arrested or stranded in Poland. I'd never been on holiday without my parents before and I just didn't know what to do."
Francesca eventually phoned her dad Taras, 49, who settled the bill over the phone.
He had booked the holiday for the teenagers and had paid for their flights and stay at the hotel as a birthday present for Ged. He said his daughter had called him in a 'distressed' state.
"She had never been away on her own before and she was in tears," he said. "She felt very threatened by the two burly police officers who had turned up armed with guns and truncheons."
He said the hotel staff were 'really aggressive' with him on the phone, and claimed there was not a manager on duty for him to speak to about the incident.
"If I hadn't been able to pay over the phone they would probably have been arrested," Tara said, adding that the staff have been 'bang out of order'.
"Fran and Ged brought the towels home with them for us to see and they weren't even stained. They just had a few marks on them so I couldn't believe how they had reacted. I think they saw two kids and thought they could get more money from them."
Francesca said she laundered the towels at home and the marks came out with 'just one wash'.
Her dad says the hotel has refused to apologise to the couple, but a spokesman told the Mail they would be investigating 'before responding properly'.