A MAN was last night in police custody after two police officers were attacked in York city centre.

Crowds watched in shock as the drama unfolded in Nessgate yesterday afternoon It happened after a Police Community Support Officer tried to detain an assault suspect.

Witnesses and police said the suspect walked away, but was pinned down by officers as he headed along Spurriergate. He allegedly assaulted police as he was detained.

North Yorkshire Police said: “A 20-year-old York man has been arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and the assault of two police officers.”

The man had been stopped in Nessgate at about 2.50pm by a Police Community Support Officer who reportedly saw him assaulting another person.

North Yorkshire Police said the man resisted arrested when more officers arrived at the scene.

A 23-year-old man who would not be named, but who works nearby, said: “A police car was parked across the road at an angle so it was blocking traffic in both directions.

“An officer had hold of the guy’s arm and tried to take the Armystyle rucksack off his back. He wasn’t having any of it and started spouting off to the officer and going as if to hit him. He was effing and blinding.

“I’m surprised more police didn’t arrive sooner, it was going on ten minutes before anyone else arrived. Then I think about five police cars with about ten officers all in all. When they arrived, the guy was trying to walk off down the street.”

The witness said the man snatched the bag back from the PCSO and started to walk down Spurriergate, but when a police van arrived and a female officer got out he became aggressive again, while a crowd of up to 100 people gathered, many filming the incident on their phones.

He said: “She got out and he turned round and was walking towards her in an aggressive manner, then the driver and the rest got out and rushed to him and tried to arrest him, but he wasn’t having any of it, so they took him to the ground. I’m surprised he wasn’t Tasered, because he was really, really aggressive.

"I’m surprised nothing was used on him, to be honest. He was on the ground for quite a while because they had to put leg straps on him. They couldn’t apprehend him for quite a long time. There were maybe six or seven officers had hold of him from all angles, and they carried him off horizontally.”

Mohammed Saad, who saw the incident from Hair City in Nessgate, said the incident was mainly “verbal, not physical”.

The road closure led to delays of around half an hour on many York buses.