A MAN has been seriously injured in an assault in York in the early hours of this morning.

North Yorkshire Police were called at 5.45am to reports of an assault on Bootham in the city, and said a man was taken to York Hospital "with serious injuries".

They have now issued a description of the suspect and are appealing for any passing motorists who may have dash-cam footage of the attack to get in touch.

A spokesman said police were alerted to a report of a man who had been assaulted and received serious injuries to his face  as he and his girlfriend were walking along Bootham. Following the assault, the couple fled to Gillygate where they contacted police.

Officers attended and Gillygate and part of Bootham were closed while crime scene officers conducted a thorough investigation of the area.

The spokesman said: "Police enquiries have found that the victim first encountered the suspect at around 3am near Bar 1331 and VUDU lounge in York city centre. At 5.45am the couple again encountered the suspect on Bootham, where the assault took place.

"The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 6ft of medium build wearing dark clothing."

Anyone who witnessed the incident, the suspect or the couple making off in the direction of Bootham is being urged to contact police.

Motorists who were in the area who may have capture dash-cam footage of the incident are also urged to contact them.

If you have information, dial 101, select option 2 and ask to speak to York Serious Crime Team. You can also email SCTYork@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk – please quote reference 12180198858.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Earlier today, a spokeswoman for the force said: "It is unknown at this stage how the injuries happened.

"Enquiries are ongoing to locate a man believed to be involved in the incident."

She would not confirm local reports that a man had suffered injuries from a sharp implement.

Gillygate was shut to vehicles and pedestrians in both directions for several hours, but reopened at around 10.30am.

A pavement on St Leonard's Place on the York Theatre Royal side and a section of a pavement on Bootham were also cordoned off in connection with the incident.

Jo Weeks who works for Cohens Chemist in Gillygate said all the calls are being diverted to her so she could arrange medicine drop offs to be made from other outlets today.

She said: "About 30 people are going to struggle to get their medicine from us today and they might have to go to other suppliers, which is a loss of business for us."

Before Gillygate reopened, Portland Street resident Phillip Short said: "I can't get in to my house at the moment. I'm waiting for the police to allow me in. 

"There's often police activity in this area."

At around 9.30am, Giampiero Scanu, who runs Mamma Mia's restaurant on Gillygate, said: "They told me two or three hours until Gillygate can open.

"It will mean I can't open for lunch.

"But what can I do, you have to respect the law. It's not their fault."

A local resident, who did not want to be named, said it is "horrible" what had happened, adding: "I don't know anything.

"You can usually hear anything going on outside."

Parents dropping their children at Bootham School were advised to stop at the Union Terrace car park or make arrangements to access the school through the pedestrian entrance on Bootham.

Bus users were also advised the closure of Gillygate was affecting First services in the city this morning.

First tweeted: "All services are back to normal route, some buses are running late and are being adjusted accordingly."