AMESBURY — A Haverhill man wanted for distributing cocaine was arrested Saturday night following a routine traffic stop, but not before hitting a local police officer in the face. 

Joseph Flowers Jr., 46, initially faced a charge of possession to distribute a Class B substance filed in Haverhill District Court. But Flowers now faces charges of possession of a Class A drug, assault and battery of a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and malicious destruction of property less than $1,200.

Flowers, accompanied by his attorney, was arraigned Monday morning in Newburyport District Court and released on a bail warning.

It is unknown what his status is in Haverhill District Court because it was not mentioned in court after Flowers was given a bail warning. An Essex County District Attorney's Office spokesperson did not return an email seeking clarification before The Daily News' deadline. 

Flowers had an active felony warrant for cocaine distribution, according to an Amesbury police report. So when Officer Travis Tremblay discovered that fact while monitoring traffic on Route 110 about 11:40 p.m. on Saturday, the officer pulled Flowers over near McDonald's restaurant. 

After radioing for another officer to meet him at McDonald's for the felony warrant arrest, Tremblay approached Flowers and asked him to step out of his gold GMC Yukon. 

By this time, police officers Neil Moody and Shawn O'Brien arrived to assist. Once Flowers learned he was to be arrested, he became combative, saying he did not have any warrants. With O'Brien's help, the officers began handcuffing him. 

"I grabbed his right wrist and attempted to place him in handcuffs. This is when Joseph swung his right arm up in the air. When he did this he struck me in the face causing a small laceration to the bridge of my nose. He immediately started running toward my cruiser. I caught Joseph from behind wrapping both my arms around his upper body. I then foot swept Joseph's feet with my left foot tackling him to the ground," Tremblay wrote in his report. 

The two officers, along with Moody, were able to handcuff Flowers and place him in Moody's cruiser. Flowers sustained a small cut over his right eye as a result of the struggle. Flowers declined medical treatment.

He said, "(Expletive) no, but thank you," according to Tremblay. 

Tremblay noted in his report that he was later told O'Brien found what appeared to be fentanyl in Flowers' wallet.

The malicious destruction of property charge was based on damage to Tremblay's boots during the scuffle. 

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

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