GYMPIE Centrelink clients were shocked to find themselves in the midst of a violent knife drama as they waited in line yesterday.
A Centrelink representative said no comment would be available from management or security at the O'Connell St job search and welfare office.
But witnesses said staff were stunned when a knife was produced during an argument involving two young men, on the building's O'Connell St veranda.
One young mother told The Gympie Times she was waiting with her child when a man in the line behind her began talking loudly and angrily about another man, saying he would "kick his (expletive) head in."
Moments later, he became involved in a loud argument on the veranda.
"The doors were closed and you could still hear them yelling," she said.
Another witness said the second male suddenly produced a knife, before running from the scene.
Gympie police said they were called to the scene about 11.12am.
They were quickly able to arrest the man, partly because he attempted to make his escape by running up O'Connell St, towards the police station.
"He ran the wrong way," a police spokesman said yesterday.
A Gympie Times' reporter captured the arrest on the O'Connell St footpath (left). It is understood the man may have an association with amphetamine use and weapons offences.
However, police said there was no evidence of drug involvement in yesterday's incident and no drugs were found in the man's possession after his arrest.
A Gympie man, 23, is expected to appear in Gympie Magistrates Court next month on a charge of going armed in public to cause fear.