Undercover police today brawled with two suspected burglars after a dramatic car chase through central London.
Officers driving a black BMW raced after a red Mini Cooper when it refused to stop on Waterloo Place, near Pall Mall, in Westminster.
The policemen, dressed in tracksuit bottoms and hoodies, caught up with the vehicle and rammed it to a stop just past the Ritz a mile away.
Two of them smashed their way into the car before one rained punches down on the driver – who was later rushed to hospital with a head injury.
Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop, dangerous driving and commercial burglary.
Meanwhile the male passenger was nicked on suspicion of commercial burglary while a female in the car was not arrested.
The fighting, at around 1.50pm on Thursday, came to a head outside the £25,000-a-year Eaton Square School.
A police spokesman said: ‘At 13:49hrs on Thursday, 27 January officers on patrol in the vicinity of Waterloo Place, Westminster had cause to signal for a vehicle to stop.
‘The vehicle, a red Mini, failed to stop and made off from officers.
‘It was pursued for a short distance before tactical contact was made by specialist officers, bringing the vehicle to a stop at the junction of Piccadilly and Brick Street.
‘The driver and two other occupants of the vehicle – a man and a woman – were detained.
‘The driver was arrested on suspicion of failing to stop, dangerous driving and commercial burglary.
‘The male passenger was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary. The female passenger was not arrested.
‘The driver sustained a head injury and has been transported to hospital for further assessment. The male passenger has been taken into custody.’
Meanwhile his partner sprinted round to the passenger side and tried to kick through the window to get to the other man.
But he gave up and raced back to help his colleague and a third officer who had arrived wearing police uniform.
They bundled the first suspect – who was bald – out of the car and slammed him face first on to the pavement.
The second man tried to kick the policemen off him but was also hauled out of the vehicle and cuffed.
Shocked onlookers screamed with terror and questioned if the police were allowed to be so forceful.
They sat in their cars in a huge backlog in the upmarket street in the capital as they waited for the fighting to stop.
One woman shouted: ‘Oh my God, wow. What is that, quickly. What the hell. Is that police? What is happening?’
Another in the car with her yelled back: ‘You’re shouting. Stop shouting. You need to calm down.’
Another video of the arrests showed the scene swamped with officers as they spoke to and searched the suspects and checked the car while a helicopter swirled above.
A woman shouted to one of the policemen: ‘Did they kidnap someone? What did they do? Did they kidnap someone?’
One of the officers replied to them: ‘An emergency stop.’ She replied: ‘But are you allowed to hit them like that?’ He said: ‘Absolutely.’
She added: ‘Well done. Well done man, you’re amazing. Oh my god.’