Six youths robbed a Northwest Washington man of his watch and $15 late Friday night, then kicked and beat him with a pipe, according to police.

Jose Hernandez, a 37-year-old cook for a Georgetown restaurant, had just left the emergency room at Georgetown University Hospital, where he was treated for a burn. As he walked in the 3700 block of Reservoir Road NW, six youths knocked him to the ground and robbed him.

Two detectives -- John McKnight and Tom Selby -- were cruising in the area when they spotted teen-agers running. They arrested four youths, two of whom are juveniles, and charged them with robbery.

Yesterday, Herandez, who speaks very little English, was resting in a bed at Georgetown University Hospital. He is being treated for cuts and a broken finger.

A friend, Antonio Vasquez, said Herandez is from El Salvador and has been here for two years. He has five children.

Vasquez, who works with Herandez at 1789 Restaurant at 1226 36th St. NW, said Herandez had burned his arm earlier on Friday. He went to the hospital about 7 p.m.

After being treated, he headed for his home in the Dupont Circle area. As he walked in the 3700 block of Reservoir Road, the six youths approached him. They demanded money.

"There was no reason for the beating," McKnight said. "He would have given them the money. He was intimidated by their mere presence."

Some residents in the area and passersby saw what was going on and began yelling. Someone called the police.

Meanwhile, McKnight and Selby were in the area and noticed the youths running and stopped them just as a report about the robbery was being aired on the cruiser's radio.

The money and the victim's wallet were recovered, police said. Two other youths are still being sought.

Arrested and charged with robbery were Wayne Batie, 19, of 1144 Abbey Pl. NW; Eugene Jackson, 19, of 3718 Hayes St. NE, a 17-year-old Northeast Washington youth and a 17-year-old Northwest Washington youth.