Christchurch police have removed a 25-year old man from a cemetery after he threatened to exhume the body of an elderly man.
The bizarre threat came after the man gatecrashed the 90-year-old's funeral on Wednesday and ordered the deceased to wake up.
After 28 years as an undertaker, Tony Garing of John Rhind funeral directors has never had a funeral like the one that took place in his chapel on Wednesday.
“It’s right up there with most bizarre, I’ve never heard of or seen anything like this personally,” he says.
Just over an hour into the service for 90-year-old Harold Ritchie, a man approached the casket.
Speaking in tongues, he knelt before it and thumped on it with his fists before yelling at the deceased to wake up.
Mr Garing says it wasn't until afterwards that Mr Ritchie's shocked family realised no one knew the man.
“Their main concern is as to why their father is the person whose been targeted for this, or what the connection is – no one seems to know what the young man's connection to Mr Ritchie was, or is, so that is a concern.”
But the 25-year-old hadn't finished with Mr Ritchie just yet.
Police apprehended the man at Ruru Lawn Cemetery this morning after he'd made repeated calls to Mr Ritchie's family during the night telling them he was going to dig his body up at 11am this morning.
Police have referred him for emergency psychiatric assessment.