TOWSON, MD., JUNE 2 -- Rep. Helen Delich Bentley (R-Md.) continued to maintain her silence today after being accused of assault by a process server trying to deliver a subpoena to her.

In a complaint filed with Baltimore County police, John Edward Burns, 40, said Bentley grabbed him by the neck and yelled at him after he served her with a summons at her congressional office here.

Bentley declined to discuss the incident today while she was attending a Maryland Republican Party spring convention. "I've been a little busy," the 66-year-old member of Congress said, when asked if she intends to file a complaint of her own against Burns.

The altercation was the hottest topic of discussion during the convention, generating widespread speculation on how Bentley, who is 5 feet 2, could have attacked Burns, a former police officer who is reported to be 5 feet 10 and to weigh 230 pounds.

In introducing Bentley at a formal luncheon today, party Chairman Joyce L. Terhes called the legislator "the fighting tiger of Baltimore."

Bentley, who is known for her aggressive style, was being summoned as a possible witness in the murder trial of a man whose son is a member of her staff.

The man's attorney told The (Baltimore) Sun that there was little chance that Bentley actually would be called as a witness in the trial.

Police arrived at Bentley's office after the incident, and a spokesman said officers could do no more than file a report. It was left to Bentley and Burns to decide whether to seek misdemeanor charges.