A "very, very angry" father went berserk at a Child, Youth & Family centre yesterday, apparently over access to a child.
The man now lies in hospital after severely injuring himself smashing glass windows and doors at the combined office of CYF and Work and Income in Papanui, Christchurch.
At about midday yesterday, the man entered the office and "went bananas". He grabbed a female CYF worker at reception "by the scruff of her neck" and threw her over a desk.
The man then started kicking, punching and head-butting glass windows and doors, lacerating major arteries in his arms and a leg.
CYF employees fled through back doors to phone police.
The man, described as in his 40s and around 2m tall, calmed down only when eight police officers arrived.
He was rushed to Christchurch Hospital for surgery and emergency services say he is in a serious condition. Police said he was becoming increasingly shaky due to the loss of blood when they spoke to him.
He has not yet been charged, although police say they will pursue him when he recovers.
The woman who was assaulted was said to be shaken but unhurt.
"It was very scary, we're all still in a state of shock," said one worker. "It can be a very emotive situation when talking about access to children, and we get some very stressed individuals. We get training for how to deal with aggressive clients, but this was something else."