A few quiet drinks turned to drama for three mates who narrowly avoided being injured by an out-of-control ute - and then chased down the fleeing driver.
Alvin Hunt and friends Mike Gordon and Rhys Ellery were about to have their last round at Frederic's Restaurant and Bar in New Plymouth about 11.30pm on Friday when they suddenly heard the loud squealing of brakes.
Just as they stepped back from their table, a ute crashed into concrete frontage of the Egmont St bar - striking the spot where they'd just been sitting, and sending shattered glass everywhere.
"It all kind of happened in slow motion... it took ages for the glass to stop shattering and then we just sort of stood there and thought, s**t, that was lucky," Hunt said.
At first, it appeared the driver was going to walk into the bar to check everyone was okay, but then he turned and fled down the street.
"So we thought, let's get him, and we were off out the door," Hunt said.
"We aren't top athletes, but of course, we were about 10 beers deep and we all felt 10-feet tall and bullet proof."
The trio were closing in on the driver, before he flicked off his jandals and sped away.
"He went across under the Waterfront Hotel, but then he made the mistake of coming back to get on to the railway tracks over by the coastal walkway.
"So we bee-lined for that and he tried to jump the fence, got hooked up, and that's where we got him."
Others arrived to help hold down the man until police came.
"He was a bit aggro at the start, but we just calmed him down and said, 'bro, you shouldn't have run, no one was hurt', but you could see he was pretty upset."
When they returned to the bar it dawned on them how close they'd come to tragedy; the seat that Hunt had been sitting on was just inches away from the ute's bumper.
"It was pretty lucky... any earlier, there were people outside, and he would have killed someone for sure."
Despite the ordeal, the mates didn't let it end their night.
"We'd just bought last rounds when it happened, so thought, stuff it, let's have a bit more and we moved on down the road."
A 23-year-old Lower Hutt man has been charged in relation to the incident and was due to appear in New Plymouth District Court on Thursday on driving related offences.