A 33-year-old Washington man was shot and critically wounded last night after allegedly attacking a team of undercover policewomen -- "flatfoot floozies" -- with an unbrella as they attempted to arrest the man's friend on a vice charge.

The shooting occurred during a wild late night melee at 8th and N streets NW where the team of four policewomen had been assigned as decoys as part of a drive to suppress prostitution.

It was a few minutes before midnight, when a man approached one of the four women in plainclothes, and began, according to police, to explain that he wished to solicit her sexual favors.

At that point, in the tradition of the area's Dating Game, the woman began to tell the man about the line of work in which she was engaged, and to advise him that she wished to place him under arrest.

Outraged at this apparently unexpected turn of events, the man expressed in vigorous terms his unwillingness to cooperate, and according to the police, began to emphasize his views by swinging his fists at the woman.

As her partners moved to restrain him, the man's friend also moved to intervene in the rapidly expanding rainy night brawl.

After flailing at the officers with his umbrella, the friend attempted, according to police, to stab officer Pam Robertson, with its pointed tip.

At this point, the officer who had originally been solicited, Dolores Masey, of the 3rd District, attempted to subdue the burly umbrella-wielder.

Finally, however, according to police, when she decided that her partner's life was endangered by the umbrella attack, she drew the service revolver she carried, and fired.

Her single shot struck the man in the lower part of his abdomen.

He was taken to the MedStar unit at the Washngton Hospital Center, where he underwent emergency surgery that lasted into the early morning hours.

Hospital officials described his condition as critical.They identified him as Clyde Seay, 33, of 1237 Shepherd St. NW.

Police said that Seay would be charged with assault on a police officer in connection with the umbrella incident.

The other man, who allegedly initiated the incident, was arrested and charged with soliciting as well as assault on a police officer. He was not identified immediately.

Police said the women officers suffered minor injuries.

Police described the area around 8th and N streets NW, where the melee occurred, as a center of prostitution. They said the policewomen were members of a special prostitution enforcement unit assembled to curb the sexual traffic.