AMESBURY – A local man accused of taking a swing at the police officer who later arrested him pleaded guilty to assault and other offenses Tuesday in Newburyport District Court and was sentenced to 63 days in jail.

By Tuesday’s court appearance, 29-year-old Jeffrey Parks had been held in custody for 63 days since his arrest in early April giving him enough credit for time served. But instead of being released, Parks will be spending the next six months in a drug recovery house as part of his plea deal with an Essex County prosecutor.

In addition to assault, Parks pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a police officer and resisting arrest.

Parks was arrested outside the Fairfield Inn hotel off Clarks Road but not before escaping the grasp of Amesbury police Officer Thomas Nichols and then throwing a punch at him, according to court records.

During the same court appearance, Parks pleaded guilty to a March assault and battery charge in which he bloodied a man inside a Birchwood Court apartment. Parks was sentenced to the same 63-day sentence which he already served. The Fairfield Inn staff called police on Sunday, April 4, around 6 p.m. after finding evidence of drug use in one of the rooms, according to Nichols’ report.

After finishing interviewing staff at the hotel, the officer spotted Parks sitting underneath a tree close by and noticed he matched the description of the person seen renting the room in question.

Soon after Nichols began questioning Parks, the officer learned that Lawrence District Court had issued a warrant for his arrest for the possession of a Class B substance charge.

Told he was to be arrested, Parks resisted Nichols to the point where he swung around and threw a punch at the officer. Nichols was able to avoid the blow. At one point, Parks broke from Nichols’ grip and began running sway.

Nichols, with the aid of Officer Samuel Marlar, was able to subdue Parks briefly. But as Parks continued to ignore commands, Nichols, the department’s K-9 officer, warned he would release Achilles. Parks continued to struggle prompting Nichols to send the dog.

The 8-year-old German shepherd grabbed Parks from behind for about three seconds before “Parks yelled OK! OK! OK! Parks stopped resisting and became compliant,” Nichols wrote in his report.

At Tuesday’s appearance in District Court, Parks told Judge Jane Prince he had been using fentanyl and other drugs for more than a decade, and hoped his time at the drug recovery house would help him stop taking drugs for good.

Dave Rogers is a staff writer with The Daily News. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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