A  Racine man sought on battery charges made a first appearance in Racine County Court two months after he beat a man with a piece of wood.

John Ballard, 46, was in court Friday after a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a signature bond of $10,000, which Ballard. He was released from the Racine County Jail on Friday.

Ballard was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with strangulation, battery, disorderly conduct, and bail jumping. If convicted of all charges, Ballard faces up to seven years nine months in prison and/or fines up to $31,000.

Ballard accused of beating man

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police officers were called to a report of an unwanted party at 8:03 p.m. Dec. 23 at 2910 Taylor Avenue. When they arrive, they found a man coming down the stairs covered in blood. Asking how he got the injuries, the man told police that he had stayed with Ballard for about a day and a half when he told him to leave.

Caught off guard, the man asked him why he had to leave and Ballard lunged at the man. Grabbing him by the throat, Ballard choked the man. He then punched Ballard and was able to get free. The two men wrestled. But Ballard was able to break free and he ran into another room. Returning with a white wooden board, Ballard struck the man with it several times.

At the hospital, police noted that the man sustained a bump on the right side of his head, several cuts and scrapes to his neck and collar-bone, and cuts to his hands and arms. He also had a bloody and swollen lip.

Criminal history

Ballard, a lifetime registered sex offender since 1994, is listed on the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry as non-compliant. His criminal history is lengthy. It includes 14 charges, including four felonies, six misdemeanors and four municipal citations for disorderly conduct, drunk driving and a child sexual assault char from 1994 through 2009.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. March 7 in front of Rudebusch.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.