Three German language students were attacked outside the McDonald’s restaurant in Terminus Road, Eastbourne, by a group of teenage girls on Wednesday night.
After being pushed and shoved, one student fell to the floor and was kicked in the head, drink was poured over another and the third was struck on the head.
A bystander, a 59-year-old man, who tried to intervene was also assaulted, being pushed to the floor and struck in the face.
Three girls aged 14, 15 and 16 have been arrested on suspicion of assault and are currently detained for questioning.
Sergeant Howard Nevill, of Eastbourne Police, said, “This was a nasty attack on students visiting the town and we will not tolerate such behaviour.
“Fortunately incidents like this are rare and no one was seriously hurt. However, I’d like to thank the person who tried to stop the attack.
“We urgently need witnesses or anyone else who may have information relating to this incident to come forward.
“They are asked to email email@example.com or phone 101, quoting serial 1554 of 8/4. Alternatively they can ring the independent charity Crimestoppers without having to leave their name on 0800 555111.”
The attack took place at about 8.15pm on Wednesday April 9.