SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Spokane man is standing trial this week for allegedly stealing a single piece of aluminum foil from a north side pharmacy.

The aluminum foil is worth about a nickel, which would have made David Hickam's charge a simple shoplifting charge, but when he fought with a loss prevention officer, it upped the ante on his arrest.

Police say Hickam, 26, went into a Rite-Aid pharmacy, picked up a box of aluminum foil, tore out a sheet, stuffed it in his pocket and walked out of the store. A security guard who had watched the alleged theft on a video camera confronted Hickam outside the store.

At that point Hickam reportedly resisted and tried to swallow some yellow-colored drugs.

When the guard grabbed Hickam's throat to prevent Hickam from destroying what thought was evidence, Hickam pepper sprayed the man in the face.

It's at that point that a case of shoplifting turned into 1st degree robbery.

Hickam's defense attorney claims that once the security guard had his hands on Hickam's throat his client used his pepper spray acting in self defense.

If convicted, Hickam, who has a criminal history for theft, faces up to five years in prison.