A BRAWL which broke out in a Blackburn pub ended with a police officer being punched in the face and knocked to the floor.

Officers were called to reports of a group disorder at the Bee Hive pub in the Cherry Tree area of Blackburn around 11.45pm on Sunday.

As police descended on the Preston Old Road pub they said a group of around 10 people were discovered throwing bottles and fighting amongst themselves.

Preston Old Road was closed off from Ruth Marriner’s florist to Nibbles Sandwich Shop as officers dealt with the incident.

Nearby residents said the arrival of police mirrored the ‘illuminations’.

One resident said: “ I woke up about half past 12 and saw all the police commotion.

“There were blue lights flashing as far as I could see. It was like the illuminations at Blackpool. It’s usually so quiet around here.”

Another neighbour said: “I heard some shouting around midnight but I didn’t really pay attention. This morning my carer told me there had been a fight in the pub and that people had been throwing glasses at each other. It is shocking.”

Ruth Marriner, of Ruth Marriner’s flowers, said: “The first thing I knew about it was when I got a message last night saying that the police had closed off the road between my shop and the Station pub.

“A friend told me there had been a brawl.”

As the disorder spilled into the street and the officers fought to gain control a 48-year-old man from Blackburn was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The alleged victim of the assault then fled the scene without speaking to officers or seeking medical attention.

As the disorder continued an officer was punched in the jaw and knocked to the floor.

He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital with a badly bruised face.

A 28-year-old man from Blackburn has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting the officer.

Both men were last night being questioned at Greenbank police station.

A police spokesman said: “Police were called to an incident of disorder at the Bee Hive pub in Preston Old Road at around 11.45pm on Sunday.

“Once inside the pub, a 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of section 47 assault and he is in custody at Greenbank being questioned by officers.

“Whilst dealing with the incident, a police officer was punched to the face and knocked to the ground. He received hospital treatment for his injuries but they are not serious.

“A 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and is also being questioned by officers.”