AMESBURY – An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for a Perkins Street man less than 12 hours after police say he pistol-whipped and tried to strangle a woman before fleeing her home.  

Police from several departments  spent more than two hours searching for 27-year-old John Osborne without finding him. 

Osborne faces charges of strangulation/suffocation, assault to murder, assault and battery of a family/household member, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, intimidating a witness and malicious destruction of property less than $1,200. 

Police from Amesbury, Merrimac, Newburyport and Salisbury searched for Osborne along with state police, starting shortly before 1 a.m. on Thursday. They were assisted by a K-9 unit. 

Amesbury Lt. Craig Bailey called Osborne a “frequent flier” with his department and said he may be part of an area gang. 

“He’s not a good person,” Bailey said. 

Osborne also used a baseball bat to batter the woman’s back, according to an arrest warrant application filed in Newburyport District Court. The application shows several photos of the victim’s injuries. 

In his application, Amesbury police Sgt. David Noyes described Osborne as an “alleged gang member with a history of assault and firearms violation.”

“I asked if he was armed and she told me he had a gun. He pointed it at her head and hit her in the head with it or the bat,” Noyes wrote in his report. 

At the time of the incident, Osborne was out on bail on firearms violations out of Essex Superior Court in Salem. He also has prior weapon violations from 2015 and is listed as a criminal gang member, according to the National Crime Information Center.  

In a separate report, Amesbury police Officer Neil Moody wrote that the victim woke up with Osborne on top of her, demanding to know the origin of photos he found on her phone.

When the woman said she didn’t know, Osborne began punching her back. Eventually, the woman escaped from the bedroom but didn’t get far before Osborne cornered her. She went back into the bedroom where Osborne began beating her with a baseball bat and threatened to “bash her brains out.” 

“At this time (the victim) began screaming for help. (She) stated that when she began to scream, John grabbed her by the throat with both hands and began to strangle her,” Moody wrote in his report. 

Osborne left the apartment shortly after that, prompting the woman to lock the door. He began kicking the door and damaging it, but was unable to get in. He eventually ran from her home, according to Moody’s report. 

 Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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