A man in his 30s is being treated in hospital after an "extremely nasty and violent assault" on Saturday evening left him with a fractured skull and nose and ruptured eye socket.
Essex Police said he had been drinking in The Woodcutters Arms in Leigh-on-Sea and was found injured in Elmsleigh Drive, at the junction with Manchester Drive, at about 22:05.
He appeared to have been hit over the head with an unidentified object.
Det Insp Chris Rose said it was an "extremely nasty and violent assault.. and his condition could easily have been a lot worse".
The man remains in hospital with injuries described as serious, but not life-threatening.