A 15-year-old was arrested after a man suffered a serious chest injury during an assault in Darlington.
The 42-year-old was attacked near St Thomas Aquinas Church in North Road in the early hours.
He was taken to hospital where his condition is described as "life threatening but stable".
Police said many people would have been making their way home from a night out at the time of the attack - about 0200 BST - and appealed for witnesses.
Officer particularly want to hear from any drivers who may have been flagged down after it happened.