Leon Cunningham went out partying Saturday night, but he apparently stayed a little too long at his last stop.

About 7 a.m. Sunday morning Arlington police received a telephone call from the Black Crystal Restaurant. "I'm locked in this damned place," Cunningham told police.

Three and a half hours later when a reporter called to speak to the sequestered 26-year-old cook, Cunningham was still waiting for police to "rescue" him.

"I don't need a reporter now," he said. "I want to get out of here."

Cunningham said he went to the Crystal City eating and dancing place with his brother who was to help the band disassemble its equipment. After closing at 4 a.m. Cunningham said he "just laid down on one of the chairs to relax 'til they finished and I dozed off. When I woke up the place was deserted."

Police said they asked Cunningham to look for the owner's name in the office so they could get a key and release him.

"Wow, I've never been in this predicament before," said Cunningham who was eager to talk since "I can't talk to the walls. It's a real large place. I've tried to play the piano a little and I've eaten some salad and ice cream from the kitchen."

Cunningham said he was staying away from the bar because "I think that was why I got left. I'm not gonna mess with that."

Apparently his brother thought Cunningham had left the restaurant with a friend, he said. All the same, "I'm just mad. He didn't even check for me," he said.

Cunningham, who lives at 804 Decatur St., NW, in the District works in a restaurant everyday. "But I never thought I'd get locked in one," he said yesterday.