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Associated Press, Published September 03 2011

Teen, accused of biting mayor in attempted robbery, pleads not guilty

HIBBING, Minn. (AP) — The teen accused of biting Hibbing Mayor Rick Cannata in an attempted robbery in May has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the incident.

Thunder Cloud Jose Rodriguez of Hibbing is 17 but charged as an adult. He pleaded not guilty Thursday to four counts of robbery, one count of assault and one count of making terroristic threats.

A Daily Tribune report says two other Hibbing men are also charged in the incident.

Prosecutors say the three accosted Cannata as the mayor walked with his wife and two friends on the evening of May 6. One suspect allegedly punched one of Cannata's friends, leaving him with several facial cuts.

Court records say the mayor chased Rodriguez and tackled him. Prosecutors say Rodriguez bit Cannata's left eyebrow, which required stitches.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.