Winnipeg police are searching for a suspect who pepper-sprayed an officer the face in the city's downtown area.

On Tuesday, police saw a drug transaction taking place in an area monitored by close-circuit television cameras near Portage Avenue and Edmonton Street.

Officers attempted to arrest the suspects, but one of them allegedly pepper-sprayed an officer in the face and escaped, said police. The officer was treated and released from hospital.

Police arrested a second suspect in the area. Freeman Radford Desjarlais, 23, has been charged with possessing a controlled drug or substance, along with breaching probation, said police.

Officers continue to investigate the incident.