Arlington police issued a murder warrant yesterday for a New Jersey maintenance man, charging him with the March 8 slaying of an Arlington man who was killed when he came to the aid of a friend struggling with an intruder.

Police said Thomas Edward Carruth Jr., 33, of Marlboro Township, N.J., has been charged with killing Guy Allen Melton, 28, a Metro mechanic and enginnering student at Northern Virginia Community College.

Authorities said Carruth was arrested Sunday night in Plainfield, N.J., after the robbery of a grocery store there.

Melton, who lived at 4600 S. Four Mile Run Dr. was killed while attending a party at the home of Aimee Hill, 824 S. Irving St., when a man attempted to break into the house. Police said that when Melton dashed to Hill's aid the suspect draw a small revolver, fired on shot into Melton's chest and fled.

Arlington police said yesterday that Carruth supposedly was driving to Alabama to visit his wife when he became lost in Arlington and ran out of gasoline near Hill's home. Seeing a party in progress, police theorize, he allededly attempted to break into the house to obtain money for gasoline.