Police are appealing for witnesses following an attempted robbery in Honeysuckle Way, Witham.
The victim, a 22-year-old man, was getting out of a car when he was approached by a group of five men who demanded money.
He believes one of the men had a gun.
At this point, the suspects were disturbed by a neighbour opening their front door and they fled.
Nothing was stolen.
The incident happened at about 11.10pm on Friday, January 10, but police have only just made information about the crime public.
The men were white and were wearing ski masks. One of the men had ginger hair and freckles on his face.
Investigating officer, Dc Andrew Young, said: "This would clearly have been an extremely frightening ordeal for this man, and I would really urge anyone with information to come forward. I need to speak to anyone who either witnessed what happened or saw these men fleeing the scene.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Dc Andrew Young, or his colleagues at Braintree, on 101. Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.