A flasher throttled a female police officer and swung another around by her hair when they tried to arrest him.

The man left the officers needing hospital treatment after they grappled with him on Brighton seafront.

Drivers got out of their cars to help the officers before the PCs felled their attacker with pepper spray.

Staff at Alfresco restaurant in Kings Road had called police at about 6.30pm when a man standing outside began exposing himself.

General manager Alexandra Lewis said: “He was about six foot five.

“We were surprised it was two female officers who went over initially.

“He was fighting with the air for about an hour before they arrived.”

When the two officers arrived they tried to arrest the man but both were punched.

One needed treatment for whiplash after he swung her by her hair.

With the help of passers-by the women managed to subdue the man with Captor pepper spray and leg restraints.

The two officers both went to the Royal Sussex County Hospital for treatment and were later discharged.

A passer-by who stepped in to help was also accidentally sprayed with the Captor spray.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure and assaulting a police officer.

He was still in custody last night.

Detective Chief Inspector Nev Kemp, of Sussex Police, said: “I am immensely proud of my officers because they were making an arrest and protecting the public from a dangerous individual.

“Despite facing violence and being assaulted they were able to hang on to him, with some help from the public, and detain him.”

In February a female police officer was knocked unconscious and kicked as she arrived at a disturbance in Riley Road, Brighton.

Bob Brown, chairman of Sussex Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: “This is another example of officers arriving at a job and not knowing what they are going to be faced with.

“Any job that we attend has the potential to turn ugly.

“If the matter is prog ressed to court we trust the judicial system will treat the alleged offender with the severity that assaulting a police officer deserves.”

Anyone who saw what happened is asked to call 0845 6070999, quoting serial 1503 of June 20.