An Oxford University student who allegedly attacked a wealthy businessman with a bottle has been arrested and was due to appear in a US court yesterday.

John Washington, an American who is studying for a postgraduate degree at St Cross College, was arrested in New York state over an alleged assault in France five months ago.

Washington, 43, sparked an international manhunt when he disappeared from the south of France after fellow American Colin Hall, 36, was attacked with a bottle and left in a coma for five days.

The two men had been at the Caves du Roy nightclub, in St Tropez, with Laura Clegg, who is studying philosophy, politics and economics at St Anne's College, Oxford, along with other friends.

It is alleged that Mr Hall, who lives in Chelsea, was talking to Miss Clegg when Washington - reportedly related to the first US president George Washington - struck him with an empty bottle.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mr Hall said: "He has shown complete dishonour and cowardice, both by hitting me from behind and sneaking out of the country while I was in a coma.

"How ironic that a direct descendent of George Washington should be eating his Christmas turkey in jail.

He added: "He claims that he was affected by rohypnol but a date-rape drug doesn't make you aggressive and hit somebody over the head with a bottle."