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Blazers’ forward accused of fourth-degree assault

August 21, 1997 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ Gary Trent of the Portland Trail Blazers pleaded innocent today to fourth-degree assault, a charge stemming from a scuffle with an acquaintance who accidentally set off a burglar alarm at the player’s home.

No trial date was set. Trent did not attend his arraignment on the misdemeanor charge.

Trent allegedly punched and choked Theron Hall, 31, on July 24 outside the Center for Self Enhancement, where Hall works as a counselor.

``Gary Trent is very disappointed and upset that this matter happened. He has expressed his regrets and apologies to Mr. Hall,″ Trent’s attorney, Robert Weaver, said.

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Hall told police Trent was angry at him for tripping Trent’s home security system, which resulted in a $500 fine for a false alarm.

Trent has had several scrapes with the law this year.

In March, Trent was placed on probation for one year for harassing his pregnant girlfriend during a Jan. 7 domestic dispute. Roxanne Holt, 20, said Trent hit her in the face and kicked her in the ribs. She since has moved to Columbus, Ohio.

Three days after his March court appearance, Trent was involved in a fight at the Metropolis Restaurant and Bar in downtown Portland. He allegedly hit a man over the head with a pool cue.

Witnesses, however, said the man was needling Trent and threw a drink in Trent’s face before the blow was struck. A grand jury declined to indict Trent.

Trent spent a few hours in the Clackamas County Jail in January for failure to pay or respond to repeated false alarms at his home. He eventually was fined $2,650 _ $650 for 10 false alarms and $2,000 for a contempt-of-court charge for failing to pay the false-alarm citations.

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