OAK VIEW : Not-Guilty Plea Given in Finger-Biting Case

An Oak View doctor has been accused of biting off his neighbor's finger during a dispute over a water drain and appeared Wednesday in Ventura County Municipal Court, where he pleaded not guilty.

John A. Wadsworth has been charged with one count of felony mayhem.

His neighbor, Milan Dvoran, told authorities that Wadsworth bit off his left pinky between the first and second knuckle on March 1 and the remainder of it had to be amputated, according to a Ventura County sheriff's report.

Dvoran filed a lawsuit in Ventura County Superior Court against Wadsworth, 62.

The suit--which includes allegations of negligence and assault and battery--seeks $1.5 million.

Neither Wadsworth nor his attorney, Kelton Gibson, could be reached for comment. Dvoran was also unavailable for comment.

Court records list Wadsworth as living on Valley Meadow Court.

According to the lawsuit and criminal court documents, Wadsworth and Dvoran were involved in a legal dispute regarding water run-off and an easement. Dvoran plugged a drain line that Wadsworth had put on his property, the records say.

Wadsworth removed the plug and kept it, the records say. On March 1, a fight erupted between Dvoran and Wadsworth over the plug. During the altercation, Dvoran tried to push Wadsworth's face away from his own face with his hands, documents say.

That was when a portion of the finger was bitten off, the records say. The finger had to be amputated below the second knuckle.

A Sheriff's Department report asking the court to order Wadsworth to stay away from the victim criticized the defendant.

"In talking with other neighbors, we learned that Wadsworth continually terrorizes everyone in the neighborhood, and they all (avoid) him out of fear of what he may do," said the report filed in Municipal Court.

Wadsworth is free on $5,000 bail. The criminal case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Allan Steele.

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