Man in coma after drunken attack

A business owner is in an induced coma after being attacked when he tried to break up a drunken arm-wrestling argument during a Christmas office outing in Hamilton on Friday.

Police say the 55-year-old man is in a very serious condition in Waikato Hospital after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Greene of the Waikato CIB said the business owner appeared to have been an innocent victim of an alcohol-related dispute which turned ugly.

Mr Greene said staff from two companies arranged an arm-wrestling competition in the outside area of the Still Working Bar in Chartwell's Lynden Court.

He said "words were exchanged" when the result didn't go as some predicted.

"The victim was attempting to de-escalate the situation when he was hit in the back of the head with a heavy glass beer jug, knocking him to the ground unconscious.

"He is currently in an induced coma and is in a very serious condition.

"CCTV footage of the assault helped us identify a person of interest and today, a 23-year-old man will appear in the Hamilton District Court charged with wounding with reckless disregard."

Mr Greene said investigators had spent the weekend conducting a scene examination and interviewing witnesses.

Police want any further witnesses to come forward.


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