THESE dramatic CCTV images show the terrifying moment when a hammer-wielding man went on a violent rampage at a York council office.

Shocked staff ran for cover when the man calmly walked to the cashiers' desks at the city finance office and attacked the reinforced glass.

Seconds earlier he had methodically smashed the large outside windows of the Library Square building with a metal claw hammer.

Police were today asking Evening Press readers to help them trace the man responsible for the destruction of 38 windows worth £6,000.

PC Carol Langford, who was leading the inquiry, said: "Our inquiries so far have drawn a blank. Now we need the help of the public.

"These are good quality images and we hope that somebody will be able to recognise the man and contact us on 0845 60 60 24 7.

"For someone to use a hammer in this way is extreme. It is a very serious incident and was an extremely frightening experience for the staff that were there."

The attack began on February 22 when the man walked to the city centre office, behind St Leonard's Place, at about 2.30pm.

Cameras captured the man smashing several large windows on the outside of the building before he went inside and lunged at the cashiers' area.

Witnesses said he was shouting abuse at staff, many of whom ran out of their secure area by a back door, about a £7,000 fee or debt.

The man, who may have been wearing green military trousers, then attacked the door of the building before fleeing.

Police said no one was injured in the incident, which lasted for several minutes, but at least two women customers were also present.

Housing tenants who needed emergency repairs were asked to call a special hotline last month when the office was briefly closed while the damage was repaired.

The man is described as white, 5ft 10ins tall with dark brown hair and a moustache. He was wearing dark brown trousers and shoes, a dark jacket with a white jacket underneath.

Anyone with information should phone York Police or Crimestoppers, for free and in confidence, on 0800 555 111. You may receive a reward.

Updated: 10:07 Saturday, March 26, 2005