Two police officers were hospitalised with suspected whiplash and concussion after their vehicle was rammed near Bishop Auckland.
PCs Hanratty and Jackson of Durham Constabulary were on mobile patrol around Etherley Lane when they came across a group fighting in the street.
As they pulled over, one of the suspects jumped into their car and reverse rammed the vehicle that PC Hanratty was driving, forcing him to push the emergency button.
The suspect made off in the vehicle, which was later found abandoned in the Etherley Dene area.
Both PCs were taken to hospital with "injuries consistent with whiplash and concussion" but are expected to return to their nightshifts on Friday.
A Durham Constabulary spokesperson said: "Thankfully my officers escaped with only minor injuries however it has understandably shaken them up.
"The individual responsible showed no remorse by running away and have shown a blatant disregard towards our communities and our ability to service their emergency calls.
"I hope they feel embarrassed and ashamed of their actions."