DANVERS — A nurse suffered a broken nose and a concussion after being punched in the face by a Peabody man she'd approached outside a Danvers drug and alcohol treatment center Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Nicholas Cavanaugh, 27, went on to land punches on two Danvers police officers trying to arrest him, police said.

Cavanaugh, of 136 Washington St., was arrested at 4:35 p.m. Wednesday and charged with two counts of assault and battery on a police officer; assault and battery on a person over 60 causing injury; resisting arrest; disorderly conduct; and an outstanding warrant for assault and battery on a police officer out of Peabody District Court, police Sgt. Robert Bettencourt said.

The nurse, both officers, and Cavanaugh himself were all taken to Beverly Hospital.

The nurse, who is over 60 years old, also had a large cut on her nose, which was broken, and was diagnosed with a mild concussion, according to the court complaint.

The two officers, Derek Colella and Graig Lebrun, were evaluated but did not suffer any injuries, police said.

Cavanaugh received some scrapes and bruises during a scuffle with police.

The incident started when the nurse saw Cavanaugh smoking a cigarette outside the Danvers Treatment Center of CAB Health and Recovery Services at 111 Middleton Road. The man, who was not a patient, appeared agitated.

Cavanaugh, according to court papers, stands 6'2" and weighs 260 pounds.

"She asked if he needed any help and he punched her in the face," Bettencourt said.

Lebrun, Colella and fellow officer Susan Tibbetts went to the facility in the rural Hathorne section of town, not far from the Middleton town line, in response to a 911 call.

According to the police reports, Colella ordered Cavanaugh to the ground and, when the man continued to approach him, sprayed him with chemical "pepper" spray. Desite two blasts of the spray, Cavanaugh managed to get in two punches to Colella's face.

When LeBrun managed to grab Cavanaugh's shirt from behind, Cavanaugh spun around and landed a blow on LeBrun, police said.

By this time, state police had also arrived, and the officers were able to subdue the suspect on the ground and handcuff him.

After his release from Beverly Hospital, Cavanaugh remained in custody. During his arraignment Thursday in Salem District Court, he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered held at Middleton Jail on $20,000 cash bail. He'll be back in court June 10.

It's not Cavanaugh's first violent run-in with the law. In addition to the case involving Peabody officers, for which he was wanted on a warrant, Cavanaugh was arrested last July and charged with shoplifting and two counts of assault and battery, after police said he punched two Best Buy employees in the head.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673 or by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter @DanverSalemNews.

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