A male victim was assaulted at Washington Circle near New Hampshire Avenue at about 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Metropolitan Police Department public information officer Paul Metcalf said the aggravated assault sent the male to the hospital and put officers on the lookout for four to five black male subjects.
The victim was conscious and breathing, Metcalf said.
At about 7:45 p.m., officers had handcuffed two black males and were questioning a handful of others.
Metcalf said mace was involved, but he did not know whether officers or other subjects used the spray.
Officers on scene declined to comment.
– Priya Anand contributed to this report.