A transient man was arrested in Santa Cruz Saturday after punching a police officer in the face. 42-year-old Nicholas O’Donnell was approached by an officer near Pacific Avenue and Beach Street around 9am after he was seen smoking in a non-smoking area. When the officer made contact with O’Donnell he noticed that the man was displaying signs of intoxication. O’Donnell has been arrested 9 times for public intoxication since March. After O’Donnell was confronted, he began verbally abusing the officer, told him he had better call for back-up, and then punched him in the face. O’Donnell was arrested for suspicion of public intoxication, resisting arrest, and battering a peace officer.