A barman who confronted a duo of armed robbers was attacked by a baseball bat after he revealed the safe they were after was empty.
The violent assault was a part of a string of robberies at Christchurch businesses last night.
The aggravated robberies began in north-west Christchurch as two men wearing black balaclavas entered Little Brown Jug on Wairakei Rd, Bryndwr, about 9.45pm.
Police say that it appears they left empty-handed in a silver sedan.
Little Brown Jug owner Graeme Wali said the store was locked shut minutes before the men arrived in the car park but his staff, including his daughter, were shaken by what happened.
"They rang the police right away."
Just 15 minutes later two men allegedly entered the Celtic Arms Inn on Selwyn St, Spreydon.
They were wearing black balaclavas and armed with a baseball bat and knife.
One man wore a grey hoodie, blue jacket and black trousers, while the other was in a red jacket.
The Celtic Arms Inn barman told Stuff he was confronted by a man with a knife who said "give me all your money".
But when the barman handed over the cash register and showed them the safe was empty the man holding the bat became aggressive, striking him about seven times on his back and arms.
"He just started whacking me and I'd just had enough of it by then so I said 'f*** you', and threw the big glass tip jar and then a bottle of bourbon," he told Stuff.
The barman told Stuff police thought he was a "f****** nutcase" for attempting to fight the robbers.
Police say the pair made off with the till in a silver sedan.
A short time later, at about 10.30pm, a man wearing a grey hoodie and black balaclava entered KFC on Peter Leeming Rd armed with a baseball bat.
He left with tills containing a quantity of cash and got into a waiting silver sedan.
"We want to reassure the community, especially business owners, that we take these incidents extremely seriously," a police spokesperson said.
"Being the victim of a robbery can be a very traumatic experience and we know the community will agree with us that this sort of behaviour is absolutely unacceptable.
"Police urge anyone who has information that may assist this investigation, or has seen a silver hatchback, thought to be either a Subaru sedan, Toyota or Mitsubishi, with no registration plates, to call 111."
Information can also be attributed anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
One man has been arrested in relation to the robberies.
Lennon Donald Auckram, 31, appeared via audio visual link at Christchurch District Court this morning facing 16 charges, including assault and aggravated robbery.
Auckram was remanded in custody after a short appearance before Judge Brian Callaghan. No application for bail was made.
Police say further charges are likely as they seek a second male offender.