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Trial in cop-biting case delayed to March 19

The trial of a Lake Oswego man accused of biting a police officer during a check for tree code violations has been pushed back again to give the defense more time for research.

Gary Buford is now scheduled to appear in Clackamas County Circuit for trial March 19. He may also appear in court with his attorney in February on a motion related to the case.

Before this delay, the trial, initially set to take place in late September, was pushed back to December.

Buford faces a charge of assaulting a public safety officer, a felony. He is also charged with one count each of interference with a peace officer, obstruction of governmental administration and harassment, plus two counts of resisting arrest.

In July, Buford rejected a plea offer from Clackamas County Deputy District Attorney Lewis Burkhart that would have allowed him to perform community service; instead, he now faces jail time if convicted.

The case stems from an incident on April 14, when police accompanied city staff members to Buford's home on Camelot Court in response to a complaint about tree cutting.

Few details are known about the physical altercation that occurred during the visit, but police have said backup was called to help deal with the situation, and an officer was later treated for a human bite at a local hospital.

In addition to the criminal charges Buford faces in Clackamas County Circuit Court, he is accused in municipal court of cutting down 11 trees without the required city permits, and he has declined to pay $5,983 in enforcement and restoration fees.

He pleaded not guilty to the violations over the summer. City officials have said both sides of the case are waiting on the outcome of the county trial before moving ahead on the civil issues.