An assault trial over a fight which ended in a man losing his eye was declared a mistrial yesterday after the victim's prosthetic eye popped out while he was testifying, startling jurors.

John Huttick, a former bouncer, was speaking at the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia yesterday when he became overcome with emotion, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As he cried during his testimony about the impact of losing his eye in the August 2011 fight his $3,000 fake eyeball popped out causing jurors to gasp in horror before he caught it.

Shocked: Jurors in a court case were rattled when a man's prosthetic eyeball popped out while he was testifying. The judge at the Common Pleas Court ordered a retrial following the incident
Shocked: Jurors in a court case were rattled when a man's prosthetic eyeball popped out while he was testifying. The judge at the Common Pleas Court ordered a retrial following the incident

Shocked: Jurors in a court case were rattled when a man's prosthetic eyeball, left, popped out while he was testifying. The judge at the Common Pleas Court, right, ordered a retrial following the incident

Judge Robert Coleman said the 'unfortunate, unforeseen incident' was enough to grant a mistrial motion made by defense attorney Eileen Hurley.

'I couldn't believe it just came out,' Huttick, 48, told the newspaper.

The court heard Huttick had been drinking at New Princeton Tavern, Burholme, alongside the defendant 23-year-old chef Matthew Brunelli in August 2011.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson said Brunelli got into an argument with another patron that turned into a fight in the parking lot.

He said Huttick tried to separate the pair but Brunelli threw a punch that hit Huttick's left eye.

Bar fight: John Huttick alleges Matthew Brunelli struck his left eye with a key outside The New Princeton Tavern, Burholme, pictured. Brunelli says he punched Huttick in self-defense and had no keyBar fight: John Huttick alleges Matthew Brunelli struck his left eye with a key outside The New Princeton Tavern, Burholme, pictured. Brunelli says he punched Huttick in self-defense and had no key

Bar fight: John Huttick alleges Matthew Brunelli struck his left eye with a key outside The New Princeton Tavern, Burholme, pictured. Brunelli says he punched Huttick in self-defense and had no key

Gilson claims he had a metal key sticking out between his fingers which stabbed Huttick's eyeball and blinded him.

Hurley said her client only punched Huttick and did so in self-defense, he denies carrying a key.

Huttick, who's also suing Brunelli, said that he lost his job because of the injury and that depression drained his finances and nearly broke up his relationship with his girlfriend.

Gilson faces a charge of aggravated assault.

The new trial is scheduled for March 4.