DETECTIVES are investigating two violent assaults at the same Maitland pub on Friday night, including one where a 64-year-old man was knocked to the ground and hit his head after trying to break up a fight.
Chief Inspector Brian Tracey said police initially held grave concerns for the man’s welfare and feared they could be investigating a “one-punch death”.
But the man is now said to be recovering in hospital.
The 64-year-old was outside the Grand Junction Hotel at Maitland on Friday night when a fight spilled outside, police said.
He tried to intervene but was pushed or punched to the ground where he hit his head. Earlier in the night, between 7pm and 8pm, a man was glassed in the face and punched in the back of the head after an argument over a game of pool, police said.
The man was taken to hospital and later discharged. He has not provided information to police.
“These sort of incidents could easily have resulted in two people dying on Friday night,” Chief Inspector Tracey said.
Publican Ben Quinn stressed the incidents were “extremely isolated and very disappointing”.
“We are a family-orientated arts and culture pub,” Mr Quinn said. “We haven't had a black mark on our name for 20 plus years.
“It just doesn't happen here. We’re shattered by it.
“We pride ourselves on our zero tolerance policy to aggression and violence.”
Police want to hear from anyone who may have information about either assault.