A short video posted on YouTube purports to show the incident as it happened.
While an official jumps out of a car to attack the Briton, a woman in a long black cloak intervenes to defend him.
The man can be heard shouting "that's my wife, how dare you.”
According to eyewitnesses quoted by Al-Hayat – one of the leading daily pan-Arab newspapers – the British citizen named Peter Haworth was approached by a group of guards in a supermarket while standing in front of the cashier’s counter which was being operated by a Saudi woman.
The officials asked him why he chose that specific counter to which Haworth replied: “My wife is with me.”
After his purchase, when the couple walked out of the mall, an altercation broke out between him and religious police members who later took pictures of Haworth and his car.
When Haworth tried to take photos of the religious policemen and of their vehicle, they demanded he hand over his camera. When Haworth refused to do so, he was attacked.
Although an investigation has been launched after the video went viral, the altercation caused a public outcry over police brutality.
Saudi Arabia's religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as Hayaa, or Mutawiyin (meaning the pious) have been accused of abusing their power in order to enforce the Saudi brand of Sharia'h law in the kingdom.
Although there are other law enforcement agencies, the Hayaa officers make sure the sexes are separated in public and they do not do anything too Western.
Howarth told The Telegraph that he had been contacted by the head of the religious police, who have ordered an investigation.
“We don’t have to fight the case because they have already admitted their people are at fault,” he said.