Aaron Gray, wanted by Cleveland Police (Image: TeessideLive)

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A man is wanted after a policeman had his throat cut after he was punched to the ground in a shocking attack.

The officer witnessed an alleged drug deal taking place in Middlesborough and attempted to make an arrest at around 8.30pm on Saturday evening, a police press officer said.

He was punched to the ground and pinned down by two men while the man who had punched him held a knife to his throat and cut it while making threats, Cleveland Police Force has said.

They have now named a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident and have appealed to the public for information on his whereabouts.

Aaron Gray, 30, is believed to be in the Middlesbrough area and anyone who knows where he is is urged to come forward.

The incident took place in Athol Street, Middlesbrough

The identities of the other two men are currently unknown.

Detective Superintendent Helen Barker said: “This was an incident which involved an officer who was simply carrying out his policing duties.

“Thankfully he was not seriously physically injured however, understandably, he remains very shaken.

"He is recovering at home and has received many messages of support from colleagues across the force.

“We need to locate and speak to Gray as quickly as possible.

:We believe he remains in the local area, probably within Middlesbrough. People will know where he is, and I’d urge them to pass information to Cleveland Police via the 101-number quoting Reference 100917."

Information can also be passed anonymously to independent charity Crimestoppers online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by phoning 0800 555 111.