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Man fighting for his life after bar brawl

Police seek witnesses after bar incident leaves man fighting for his life

As medical staff work to save the life of a man critically injured in an alcohol related assault in a Hamilton bar, Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Greene of the Waikato CIB said a 55-year-old Hamilton business owner appears to have been an innocent victim of an alcohol related dispute which turned ugly on Friday evening.

"Our enquiries have identified that staff from two separate companies had been drinking at different bars in Hamilton before people from both groups went on to the Still Working Bar in Chartwell's Lynden Court.

"During the course of events an arm wrestling competition has been organised in the outside area of the bar about 9pm and when the result has not gone the way some of those present predicted, words have been exchanged."

Mr Greene said the victim appears to have been attempting to deescalate the situation when a heavy glass beer jug has been thrown, hitting him in the back of the head and knocking him to the ground unconscious.

"The victim was taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance suffering from a critical head injury and has had to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on his brain early on Saturday morning.

"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.

"The CCTV footage has, however, identified there are still a number of people who were in the bar at the time of the incident who are yet to spoken to and we are urging anyone who may have information to come forward to Police."

"While unable to speak to specifics about this case as it is before the courts, Friday's incident highlights the need for those holding work functions to ensure there are non-alcoholic alternatives available and the importance of ensuring steps are in place to get everybody home safely."


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