Members of the public on Morrinsville's main street were left flabbergasted after a Waikato constable was bashed up to 15 times over the head.
Morrinsville police Acting Sergeant Will Hamilton said the officer was sent into the town's CBD after reports of a man walking down the street with a hammer down his pants.
"An officer was sent to the job and confronted the male and then at some stage the situation has very quickly escalated and the constable has been subjected to a reasonably vicious and serious alleged assault, taking 10 to 15 blows to the head by the man's fists."
Hamilton said it's not clear if the hammer was at some stage removed from the man's pants or remained concealed.
However, the constable managed to get some distance between himself and the alleged attacker, and tasered him as more police officers arrived at the scene.
Hamilton praised the young constable in being able to get himself further enough away from the man to use his taser.
"His training kicked into play and he was able to create some distance between himself and the male ... obviously we're provided with the tools and the training but no two situations are the same, we have to deal with each case differently.
"When I got wind of this my heart sank ... my biggest concern is for the welfare of my officers and we're supporting him and his family."
The officer was assessed by St John Ambulance staff before going to see a doctor later in the day.
Hamilton said it was expected he would have a couple of days off work to recuperate.
As a result of the incident, a 27-year-old man will appear in the Hamilton District Court today on various charges related to the assault.
"Any assault on anybody is extremely serious. These situations are absolutely unnecessary and anyone who is accused of assaulting police will face the consequences and be presented before the courts, as in this situation."
Hamilton said at the time of the incident, the town's CBD was full of members of the public going about their business during the busy lunchtime period.