A man who police said wanted "to end his own life by threatening an officer" was arrested early yesterday in Greenbelt after firing an unloaded gas-powered pellet gun at a policeman, Prince George's County police reported.

The man, Everett Ira Fogle Jr., 46, of 8543 Greenbelt Rd., was charged with assault and unlawful use of a handgun and was jailed in lieu of $25,000 bond.

Police said Pvt. Frank Cohee went to Fogle's apartment after Fogle called police, complained of a loud party and said he was armed and would "take care of the situation" if police failed to respond.

Cohee, who had answered three complaints at Fogle's apartment in the past without trouble, found no loud party and had begun talking to Fogle grabbed the gun from a sofa and fired it at him, police said. The officer retreated to the apartment's kitchen, called for assistance over a portable radio and ordered Fogle to drop the gun, according to police.

After hesitating, Fogle dropped the gun and Cohee arrested him, police said. Carbon dioxide-powered pellet guns such as the one Fogle had can cause fatal wounds if fired at close range, police said; fired while unloaded, they sound "like a small-caliber gun being fired."

Police said they determined after "thorough investigation" that Fogle was trying to "end his own life" by threatening Cohee.