3 News has obtained CCTV footage of a man arriving at a petrol station in the Bay of Plenty with a metal rod lodged in his head.
Police say the 23-year-old was assaulted in Katikati at around midnight.
"I was like, 'Man is this a TV show? Is this guy for real?'" says Katikati Caltex owner Lester Gray. "It looked like a Halloween stunt where people wear those Halloween costumes over their heads, but it was pretty real when he turned around and blood was coming down the side of his head."
That's when what seemed to be a prank became real for customers and staff at a Caltex service station in Katikati.
"He just walked in with the rod in his head and I was just like, 'Is that a drum stick in your head?'" says witness Dylan Shea. "And he was like, 'Nah, it's a rod.'"
The 23-year-old man was allegedly attacked while he was parked up in his car on a suburban street. Police say he was punched in the head and hit with the steel rod.
"The sharp part of the tyre iron was in his temple," says Mr Shea. "He's real lucky, lucky that it didn't go any deeper."
Incredibly the victim was able to drive himself to a petrol station about four blocks away.
"I don't think he realised he was so hurt," says Mr Gray. "But as you can see he was pretty nasty."
It was so nasty that customers couldn't quite believe what they were seeing.
Mr Shea was at the counter when the victim approached staff for help. He and his friends had just popped into the petrol station for a pie but got much more than that.
"All my other mates were freaking out. I stayed reasonably calm, but they don't really like that gory stuff."
But remarkably the victim kept his cool. He even asked staff to phone police instead of an ambulance.
"He was pretty calm," says Mr Shea. He wasn't freaking out or anything. He knew what had gone wrong and he said he knew his first-aid and that, so he didn't try to rip it out or anything."
Police said they were making progress in their investigation and were talking to witnesses to the incident.
As for the victim, the steel rod has been removed from his head and he's now in a serious but stable condition in Waikato Hospital.
source: newshub archive