James Wright, who figured in a neighborhood dispute in January that led to a stabbing and, finally, a call from President Reagan, has been indicted on charges of assault with intent to kill and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Wright, 52, became involved in a complicated dispute that he said resulted from a "big misunderstanding." It began, he said, on Jan. 16 as he was preparing dinner in the kitchen of his Northwest Washington home and saw a group of boys outside throw something at his dog.

Minutes later, Thomas Locks Jr. said, he was walking home when he saw Wright standing over a young boy and holding a 10-inch butcher knife.

Locks, 25, intervened and was stabbed in the chest. Locks, who was hospitalized, said he was stabbed after attempting to help the boy and being backed against a wall by Wright. But Wright, who was arrested, said he stabbed Locks in self-defense.

Reagan, who saw a television story about the incident, called Locks in the hospital and, according to Locks, "congratulated me for saving the child's life." Reagan also helped obtain a job for the unemployed landscaper.

Five days after the incident, Wright, a government employe for 28 years, was placed on administrative leave from his job as typist at the Labor Department. He said he went back to work April 1, in a reassigned position.

Wright is due in D.C. Superior Court April 30 on the indictments charging him with assault with a dangerous weapon against two 10-year-old boys and assault with intent to kill in the stabbing of Locks.